When 7Deadly sat down with British indie band The Wombats, we instantly realized these dudes were doing good things. We interrupted what we can assume was some sort of pre-gig feast — burgers, fries, the works, but the Wombats were more than willing to tell us what they’ve been up to.
7Deadly: What’s been so far your best experience on this tour and your weirdest?
Matt: This tour…best experience…We played a festival called Bumpershoot in Seattle.
Tord: Yeah, Bumpershoot, that’s probably the one that sticks out.
Matt: We’ve played in Seattle quite a few times before, and we turned up this festival. They stopped letting people into the room, there were 3,000 people all going mad and crowd surfing. The last time we were there, there were only 250 people in a fairly dry bar somewhere. So that was the highlight.
The weirdest thing was, um..
Dan: You running around in a gimp mask yesterday?
Matt: Yeah, me running around, I bought a gimp mask yesterday.
Tord: I wish I had it—no, you have the photo!
Matt: Yeah I have the photo.
Tord: You need to see it.
Matt: That was kind of my look for last night. What I like so much about this photo is that it looks like there are two huge styrofoam penises floating behind my head. So yeah, that would be the weirdest thing.
7Deadly: What about your strangest fan encounter? Any crazy stalkers?
Tord: Yeah, there’s been a few little things. I had a 15-year-old girl crying on my doorstep outside my flat in Liverpool. That was pretty scary. Her parents couldn’t find her, and she had all these friends within the Wombats fan base, and somehow she found out where I lived. I wasn’t home, but that’s where they found her.
You’ve been compared to the Artic Monkey a lot, how do you feel about the comparison?
Matt: Who told you that?
Matt: I don’t think we get compared to the Artic Monkeys at all, really.
Tord: People say that but I can’t really hear that or see that myself.
Matt: We’re way poppier than they are, I think.
Tord: They’re really riffier, we’re a lot more melodic, I think.
Matt: But they’re a really good band, there’s a lot worse bands to be compared to.
Tord: It’s a compliment.
Dan: Part of it is being a British indie band isn’t it?
Tord: Yeah, the accent, people hear the accent.
7Deadly: Where do you look to for inspiration in your songwriting process?
Matt: I dunno, we’re not one of those bands that sit around and listen to Led Zeppelin albums and get inspired from that. It’s more from real-life experiences, or weird people we’ve met, or weird mornings, afternoons, or evenings we’ve had in weird cities around the weird world.
7Deadly: What about getting started as a band? What was the hardest part?
Matt: The hardest part is to get people take notice of you or to stand out from the crowd. I guess we learned how to do that and build up a fan base along the way.
Tord: We didn’t really set off with intentions, necessarily. We all wanted to be doing what we were doing now, we were all hoping for it, but I don’t think we expected it, you know? As we were building, as we were doing better and better, we didn’t have a clue what was going on. It’s not like we had a master plan. I almost fell like we just fell into it, in a way, from hard work and a love of doing gigs and making music.
7Deadly: Did you have anything else you wanted to do with the rest of your life?
Tord: Matt’s a golfer.
Matt: I like playing golf, but I was definitely never good enough to consider it a profession, so not really no. Pretty much, when this is over, I will be in a skip with a bottle of Jameson’s and a big beard.
Tord: We all enjoy sports, having bit of footsie. I grew up doing a lot of skiing and snowboarding.
7Deadly: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
Matt: Write loads of songs, and play loads of gigs. Don’t be desperate and don’t wait for people to come to you. There’s no need to send demos off, if you’re good enough, they’re going to hear about you.
Tord: I think a lot of people start off and they’re just concerned about being in a band that is doing well. They’re not so bothered about the actual songcraft, the actual enjoyment of the process of making music or touring or whatever, and that’s why you should do it, not the “Oh yeah I want to be famous!”
Well, it certainly worked out for them. When they emerged from a dark corner of the stage, the formerly tranquil crowd erupted into a cast of unwavering, ridiculously exuberant fans. The show that followed was nothing short of delight—the trio has an incredible energy and presence. We definitely forgot we were there to take photos at certain points, going wild with the pulsating mass of bodies as they played their popular track “Jump Into the Fog”.
All in all, a superb performance by an incredibly genuine group of guys who were not only hospitable, but willing to entertain our photographic whim of posing them with power tools.
Fun fact: They were surprised and excited to learn from us they were playing in Orange County, having watched “The O.C.” from across the pond.
Literary Contributions by Aaron Huntsberger