Every year there is always an influx of bands who are pinned as "buzz bands," some stick around and some live up to the hype. Then there are some that are just so irresistible in both style and sound that long after they are a buzz band they can just simply be called a good act. The Wombats are one of those bands. The UK trio, whose debut Tales of Love, Loss and Desperation was one of my favorite records of last year. With their catchy hooks, witty humor and punk delivery, these lads from Liverpool really have something special going for them. I had the opportunity to speak with bassist Dan Haggis about the new record, an expressed interest from a former Beatle to work with the band and a possible US tour. Check out my interview with Dan below:
1) How are the sessions going for the new album?
The second album is coming along nicely, after taking a 6 weeks or so to relax after our 'never ending' (about 2/3yrs) 1st album tour finished we started writing and recording demos for the new album. At first it was strange just being in the practice room all the time and not having a tour manager telling us stage times etc and being creative as opposed to performing but after a few practices things got going! Now we've got about 10 songs and we're all really happy with them, some more than others obviously but it's all really exciting for us. We just can't wait to finish writing and rehearsing and record the album properly and get the songs out to other people's ears.
2) Do you feel any pressure to outdo the success of your debut?
Of course there is some pressure but our only goal is to make the best album we possibly can, as we did for our 1st album, and hope that people are as happy as we are when it's finished. The main source of pressure comes from our own heads I guess! 2nd albums can't make or break bands can they??oh dear..as Glen Frey once said 'the heat is on..' haha!
3) It has been reported that fellow Liverpool native and legend, Sir Paul McCartney would like to produce your next album. How do you respond to such high acclaim for someone of his caliber would like to work with you?
It has indeed been reported but it was more of a rumour than anything. He apparently said in an interview with the BBC that if he were to start producing again he would like to work with some new up and coming bands such as the Wombats, or words to those effect. We have since interviewed Sir Paul when we took over from Zane Lowe for a show on radio 1 in January which was an amazing experience. Just to have been mentioned by him with regards to music he likes is just incredible for us. He's such a nice guy too, he made our interview with him sound good!!
4) Would you let Paul take the reigns of your next project or any project for that matter?
I'm sure we would definitely be up for trying something with Sir Paul one day but for now our main concern is writing the best album we can and enjoying ourselves in the process. We haven't started shortlisting producers to work with just yet.
5) What is it like having your wildest dreams come true, from forming a band in school to playing major festivals to touring the world and having your music loved the Globe over?
Being in a band was always something friends and family (and oneself deep down) called a hobby and the idea of becoming well known and touring the world over like your hero's was just a pipe dream but to suddenly find yourself backstage at a sold out show in Sydney with people chanting our name was when I think we all had a moment of realisation. Of how far we'd come in a relatively short space of time. It's strange though because you just have to deal with it,there's no other way so it somehow becomes 'normal'. It was only when we all got back to Liverpool for a few weeks that we started to realise what we had achieved.
6) With bands coming out of the UK like yours and Coldplay, Glasvegas and the Fratellis to name a few. Do you feel we are experiencing a third British Invasion? I guess if you feel like that's happening then it must be. There are lots of good bands coming out of the UK but we don't really know how well they do in the US. We haven't really extensively toured the states yet. We've dipped our little paws in the water and want to jump in headfirst and swim till we can't feel our arms because it is a blummin'(very) big swimming y'all got over there! Don't worry though, we've got bright orange arm bands and tord and murph often share a dinghy with me kicking behind so my thighs get a good work out. They tell me it'll help get rid of my chicken legs.
7) Will the band be coming to the US anytime soon?
As soon as our album is finished, which will hopefully before the end of this year, we will be over there sooner than you can say 'bottoms up' but no tours set in stone yet.
8) Is making it in the US still a big deal for a European musician?
The US is responsible for so much incredible music that I think every band would love to make it big enough in the states to be able to tour all over and to get to know the place that gave us so many genre defining artists. For us, from our experience so far it has been intense. Lots of hours on the road and not much sleep but it is definitely worth it and we are hoping to build on our 1st album success over there. See you soon..
(Top: "Let's Dance to Joy Division," Live at NME 2008 / Below: "Kill the Director" Acoustic for Italian Radio)
Special thanks to Dan Haggis and Simon Bobbett for the interview!