With their new album, Glitterbug, set for release on Monday (13th April) and a UK tour currently underway, The Wombats are hot property – and pretty it’s easy to see why. Surpassing the nostalgic glow that surrounds their earlier hits, the band have crafted out a new sound and a new aesthetic capable of flooring even the sternest of critics. We had a chat with drummer Dan Haggis just before the trio set out on tour.
Your new album is set for release next week: what’s the story behind this record?
Glitterbug touches upon break ups, the intense beginnings of a new relationship, sex, partying, big cities and the hope and desperation that flows within all of these. It’s basically based on big cities – how they can look sparkly and glamorous on the outside, but when you get inside them and get to know them, you discover the dark sides. This can also be transferable to people in the cities, relationships, et cetera.
There’s a definite sense of growth on the album: how much do you feel your sound has evolved, and how much is organically the same?
Stylistically we’ve perfected the electronic and synthy elements we discovered on our second album, but lyrically it is probably closer to our first album. We’ve taken a bigger part in the production side of things, very much a co-production kind off thing with the very talented Mark Crew (Bastille), so this is our first album to sound pretty much exactly how we wanted it to sound. The writing process was quite different as Murph spent a lot of time in LA, so a lot of the song ideas started as instrumental ideas me and Dan would email over to Murph to write over.
It’s been almost four years exactly since you last released an album (2011’s This Modern Glitch) – does the time and distance between where you were then and now create a different kind of pressure?
The pressure is definitely there, but we try as much as we can to not let it get to us. Apart from being four years older, we’ve got a lot more experience in the studio. We’ve been taking a big part in creating the sounds and how this album sonically is really close to what we had in mind. We are very proud of the album, so we can’t wait to share it with everyone!
The first track to be unveiled from Glitterbug was ‘Greek Tragedy’ – accompanied by a shockingly brilliant music video. Tell us a little more about the thought behind this.
We’ve definitely been trying to shake things up a little bit on this record, so hopefully people will be into it! We got a few treatments through from different directors, and this young irish guy called Finn Keenan had this idea about a stalker. The end image was really strong with all of us tied up in a warehouse, so we chose him to direct the video.
You’re embarking on a headline tour of the UK, before heading to Canada, America, and beyond. With three albums to draw from now, what can fans expect from your live shows?
The live show is a good mix of first and second album tracks, but with a few more third album tracks. The new songs feel bigger live than any of the older songs, but still fit in well with energy and mood of the live show.
If there’s one thing you’re hoping for out of this tour, one message or feeling for fans to get from your shows, what do you want that to be?
We want our shows to feel like a party with lots of energy and sweat, and with songs people can sing along to!
Glitterbug is released on 13th April via Warner Music Group. The Wombats are on tour now.