The Wombats aren’t afraid to take on the world

CLTure asks the Wombats’ Dan Haggis about their non-stop tour dates and Glitterbug success

By Patrick Bogans 

June 15, 2016

The Wombats, a bright, New Wave English rock band from Liverpool, have gradually made a name for themselves in the United States after already rocking their home country of Liverpool and the rest of the U.K. The quartet has continued to cultivate their sound for over a decade, bringing a range of bright and offbeat rock tracks like “Jump Into the Fog” and “1996.” The Wombats recently made a solid slot in the mainstream charts with their third studio album, Glitterbug. Led by engaging pop-rock-synth mixes like “Greek Tragedy” and “Emoticons,” their junior effort was a cohesive step forward with their musical endeavors while maintaining that charming personal perspective The Wombats have made well known throughout their 10+ year career.

Now after a string of dates around the U.S. and the world, the band is back at it again, touring the U.S. throughout the summer. This includes a stop here in the Queen City on June 18 at Amos’ Southend, a great venue for a band who certainly thrives in a slightly more intimate setting. CLTure recently had a chat with Dan Haggis about refining their sound, their non-stop worldwide adventures and why this Charlotte show will be another great stop on their long-lasting whirlwind of Glitterbug success.

Dan Haggis (Left), Matthew Murphy (Middle), and Tord Øverland Knudsen (Right)

CLTure: Glitterbug was released a little over a year ago. You’ve talked a little bit about the reception, but overall, how has this album changed everything for you guys?

Dan Haggis: Yeah, we worked on it for a good year and a half, two years. It’s been amazing – like the reception to all of our new songs has been awesome. And I think for us as a band, it was definitely a step in right direction. It was sort of a consolidation of everything we’ve done before, and we finally felt like we found a sound that really works for us.

CLTure: How’s it been bouncing all around the world, seeing fans from all corners of it? Have you been to a lot of different places on this tour?

Dan Haggis: We’ve done quite a few tours now for the Glitterbug album and we’re still playing places that we haven’t played, which is nice – to play in these new cities and for new fans who’ve never seen us. Kind of makes it a bit refreshing for us.

Last year, we toured non-stop for a whole year and went around the world like three times or something. It’s always a worry that when you release a new album that people aren’t going to get into it as much as the last album that you’ve done, but if anything this album has actually been one of the best receptions we’ve had for any one of our albums, so it’s been great.

CLTure: Do you ever get used to touring? Going around the world three times sounds like a great, but tiring adventure.

DH: You end up jet lagged quite a lot, but to be honest? We love playing shows – doing the gigs in the evening, having a few drinks and meeting all of these new people. There’s so much going on that you don’t really have too much time to feel exhausted. And if you do, the adrenaline you get from the show probably wakes you up pretty quickly.

CLTure: What kind of modern and maybe not so modern, inspirations do you guys have for your current sound? Or do you feel like it’s just been a gradual evolution of yourselves?

DH: You know, I think a lot of it comes from us as a band referencing ourselves over the years [thinking about] what would we do. But we tried to push things in a different direction. So, with the first song on the album, “Emoticons,” we first started it and felt like, ‘Wait, can we really do this?’ And you know, we tried it. Our references are Blondie and Bowie and that side of music. We used those, and maybe some modern references to be like, ‘Maybe we should try and do things that we haven’t really done before.’

So like, ‘Greek Tragedy,’ that was an idea that myself and Tord had. We had the backing track idea for it, and we didn’t show it to anyone for a while because we thought maybe it didn’t “sound like” the Wombats. And then Dan heard and he said, ‘We should totally finish that off.’ Over the whole album, that just became a thing: to make things that sound exciting to us.

Dan Haggis, drummer, guitarist and keyboardist of The Wombats.

CLTure: The venue you guys will be playing at here in Charlotte (Amos’ Southend) is intimate but it’s definitely got enough room for a good party, so it sounds like a place where you guys would love to be. What kind of show should Charlotte expect when you guys come here next month?

DH: I think our shows are really feel-good, high-energy shows. We like to crowd interaction and get people bouncing and moshing and crowd surfing and generally whatever people feel like doing. The more energy we put in, hopefully the more energy the crowd puts in. Eventually it becomes this, symbiotic experience [laughs]. If us three aren’t sweaty and soaked and exhausted after a gig, then we feel like we haven’t done our job properly.

Catch The Wombats this Saturday, June 18 at Amos’ Southend with Coast Modern.

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