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THE WOMBATS The X-Press Interview

The Wombats are no strangers to Australian shores, in fact they may as well apply for citizenship! The band are returning on Thursday, November 15 to play their biggest Perth headline yet at Red Hill Auditorium. KIERRA POLLOCK chatted to drummer Dan Haggis about their latest single Bee-Sting, the reaction to February’s album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life and bringing back old songs into their set.

Another tour! We can’t get enough of you guys and it seems you can’t get enough of us. How are you feeling about the upcoming tour?

Indeed we can’t! Yeah, really excited about it. We’ve never played on a winery before (Grapevine festival) and we haven’t played Perth, Brisbane and Canberra on this album so it’ll be nice to play a load of new songs to those cities! Our Australian fans our so amazing it’s just such a pleasure for us to be there. Also really looking forward to having some good brunches!

What’s it like creating setlists now that you have four albums and so many popular and fan favourite tracks? Is it hard to pick what to include?

It’s kind of a nice problem to have. Obviously when we make a new album we want to play as many new songs as possible and then we usually just rotate songs from the three earlier albums. Occasionally someone will ask us play a song on Twitter or Instagram and we might add that request if we can remember it.

You’ve been playing some tracks for more than 10 years now, I noticed that you now bring some giant Wombats on stage for Let’s Dance to Joy Division, is there anything else you guys do to try and make the older tracks more exciting to play?

Usually the crowd reaction and the big singalong is more than enough to make us feel excited. Also, there’s something nice about playing the older songs as the muscle memory is so embedded that you literally don’t have to think about what you’re doing so you can just concentrate on the experience and crowd and relax. Our friends and family love dancing in the wombat costumes and it’s so nice for them to be able to share the experience with us and see what it’s like being on stage. It always brings a smile to our ridiculous faces!

And what’s the response been like towards the new album material on tour so far?

Really good, our fans know all the words and sing along just as loudly to the new album as they do the other albums which is awesome. We’ve actually met quite a few new fans who only discovered us through the new album and then went back through our older albums.

You’ve just released the video for Bee-Sting which is great, could you tell me a bit about that?

Thanks. We wanted to do a performance video for one song on this album so we went to a very warm warehouse in east London this summer and smashed out take after take and then the director messed around with the FX until we were all happy.

Is Bee-Sting a one off single or can we expect more?

We recorded Bee-Sting and another song called Oceans in Oslo back in May. Oceans and an acoustic version of Lethal Combination will accompany Bee Sting as three bonus tracks on our album, think it comes out on November 9.

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