They name them­selves af­ter an Aus­tralian mar­su­pial but hail from Eng­land, so it’s only nat­u­ral that they pay their re­spects here

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE & LOUD PLAY - CAMERON ADAMS

Bri­tish band The Wom­bats took their name from Aus­tralia and al­ways like to give some­thing back Down Un­der. That has in­cluded enough fre­quent tour­ing of these parts to see their sec­ond al­bum This Mod­ern Glitch de­but­ing at No.2 in Aus­tralia in 2011, their high­est chart po­si­tion any­where in the world to date.

The Wom­bats were in Townsville per­form­ing as part of the Groovin’ the Moo re­gional fes­ti­val when they got the good news.

“It was one of our big­gest ben­ders,” front­man Matthew “Murph” Mur­phy re­calls.

The trio toured This Mod­ern Glitch re­lent­lessly for three years, with a run of sin­gles in­clud­ing Tokyo (Vam­pires and Wolves), Techno Fan, 1996 and Jump Into the Fog.

The band also made waves in Amer­ica, although they re­mem­ber their US record la­bel show­ing them a web­site that de­tailed how many times their songs had been il­le­gally down­loaded in the States.

“Jump Into the Fog was do­ing 10,000 illegal down­loads a day and 2000 le­gal,” Hag­gis says.

“That as a ra­tio is not great. Of course right now if 10,000 peo­ple a day are try­ing to lis­ten to one of our songs it’s still good.”

In be­tween ran­dom fes­ti­vals they recorded third al­bum Glit­terbug be­tween Los An­ge­les, Lon­don and Liver­pool with pro­ducer Mark Crew (Bastille).

Murph started the al­bum’s lyrics writ­ing about a re­la­tion­ship with a fic­tional woman from LA. Soon he met an ac­tual woman from LA and started an ac­tual re­la­tion­ship with her.

“Yeah, it’s not too am­bigu­ous,” Murph ad­mits of the life-im­i­tat­ing-art al­bum.

Talk­ing about the record­ing process, the three mem­bers swerve off on tan­gents.

“On the sec­ond al­bum we worked with dif­fer­ent pro­duc­ers in rel­a­tively close suc­ces­sion; on this one we worked with one pro­ducer on and off for about a year,” Murph says.

“It was six months,” clar­i­fies Hag­gis.

“It felt like a decade,” says Murph.

“We were ready to record but it was a wait­ing game for the pro­ducer to be avail­able,” Nor­we­gian-born bassist Tord Over­land Knud­sen says.

“Just when we were get­ting in the flow we’d have to stop and pack up the gear and take it back to Liver­pool,” Hag­gis says. “Now the al­bum is about to be re­leased ev­ery­thing feels re­ally pos­i­tive.”

“I can get back to that place quite easily,” Murph notes.

Now liv­ing in LA, when the band weren’t record­ing in Amer­ica Murph would record his parts in a stu­dio in LA and send them back to the Wom­bats’ stu­dio in Liver­pool.

“It’s a very ef­fi­cient way to work,” Hag­gis says. “Ef­fi­cient is a very bor­ing word to use. but it worked for us.”

Murph is now loved-up and liv­ing in LA, while his band mates re­main in the UK.

“I was quite happy to get back to Eng­land,” Hag­gis says.

“There’s some weird sense of it feel­ing homely, you have to go into a pub and warm up.”

Bri­tish band The Wom­bats are head­lin­ing Splen­dour in the Grass this month.

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