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Live Gig Videos: The Wombats perform stripped down versions of ‘Jump Into the Fog’ and ‘Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)’ for Pure Volume

 
By on Friday, 19th October 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

The Wombats recently stopped by the Pure Volume studios to perform ‘Jump Into the Fog’ and ‘Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)’. The band was also interviewed, so both gig videos and the interview are embedded below. Enjoy.

 

Preview: Y-Not Festival 2012

 
By on Friday, 25th May 2012 at 9:00 am
 

Deep in the midst of the Peak District National Park, the sister festival to 2000 Trees is shaping up nicely. Winning the Grassroots Festival award and the coveted Best Toilets award at last year’s Festival Awards, Y-Not Festival is back to prove itself worthy of more trophies in its cabinet. Taking place on 3-5 August, there are six stages of the best British music from an array of scenes and sounds.

Headlining the Main Stage throughout the weekend are the UK indie mainstays the View (pictured above), the Wombats and We Are Scientists. With enough big radio hits under their cumulative belt to form the basis of a ‘Now That’s What I Call Mid-00s’ album, get your lungs ready for a sing-song. Backing them up are other indie stalwarts the Pigeon Detectives, British Sea Power and the Subways.

But it’s not just an indie festival, across all the stages are diverse acts from the hip-hop of Roots Manuva to the harder edged Pulled Apart By Horses. The Giant Squid stage is the haven of ‘heavier’ music over the weekend with big names Rolo Tomassi, Lower Than Atlantis, Turbowolf and Brontide gracing the Midlands.

If this sounds your thing – and if you’re a fan of UK music then surely it must be – then head on over to the official Web site to purchase tickets. Priced at just £75 for the weekend, there’s no reason not to visit the heart of Derbyshire for a weekend of summer music antics.

 

Live Gig Video: The Wombats play a cover of Limp Bizkit’s ‘Break Stuff’ on their bus while on tour in North America

 
By on Thursday, 3rd May 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

Limp Bizkit is not really what we think of when the Wombats cross our minds. So get a load of this folky cover of ‘Break Stuff’ – with drummer Dan Haggis on guitar – they videoed on their bus while traveling through North America last month. Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AQCbwTtMIg[/youtube]

 

MP3 of the Day #440: The Wombats

 
By on Wednesday, 16th November 2011 at 10:00 am
 

The Wombats are offering up ‘IOUs’, the b-side to single ‘Our Perfect Disease’ off this year’s ‘This Modern Glitch’, absolutely free. Listen to and snag it below. A little different from the other tracks on the album but still pretty damn good.

 

Interview: Tord Øverland-Knudsen of the Wombats

 
By on Monday, 7th November 2011 at 11:00 am
 

Before their show at the 9:30 Club last month, the incredibly nice bass and synth player of the Wombats, Tord, gave me a ‘tour’ of their home away from home and we talked about instruments and a funny thing about the ‘Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)’ video…

Many thanks for Caroline and Sarah for sorting this interview out for us.

Hello Tord. How are you today?
It’s all good. [smiles]
Congratulations on your new album, ‘This Modern Glitch’, which was released here earlier this year. What was it like writing and recording this album compared to the last one?
How I would compare it? Hmmm…let’s see. I think a lot of the energy and a lot of the songwriting is quite similar to what was going on on the first record, but I think we got slightly bored of using the same instrumentation. Guitars, bass, drums….there’s only so much you can do with those three instruments, and we needed to do something new and refreshing for ourselves. And also we’re not like…I’m just not a bass player, I play other instruments, and the same with Dan [Haggis], he’s not just a drummer. We needed to have other elements and that’s when we started playing around with keyboards and synths. And with new programming with synths, all that lot. There was obviously moments that made us do those decisions but we’ve always be into electronic music, even before we did the first record. But this was the first time as a band we wanted to put those instruments into our music, and you can hear a lot of that in the (new) record, with an electro influence. But it’s still guitar-y and indie.

The cover of the album is very unusual. What can you tell me about it?
Yeah, we got sent through a load of ideas that we really didn’t love. We liked some of them but we didn’t love them. We’ve been fans of Storm Thorgerson and his artwork. He’s done a lot of things we liked, like Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, Led Zeppelin…he did all the Muse artwork, Biffy Clyro’s artwork, Biffy’s labelmates of ours…that’s how we got the link, that’s how the label pulled it off to get him to do our artwork.

So I know you as the bass player of the Wombats. When did you start playing bass?
I was 13, I think, when I started playing bass. I came from a classical background: I started playing cello when I was about 6. I come from a musical family; my dad is a music professor. We had a piano in our house, and he could play anything, he’s like a multi-instrumentalist. At the time I was listening to so many bands, skate punk and grunge around when I was 12, 13 when I decided, yeah, I wanted to give it a go so I could play the kind of music I liked listening to. Got an opportunity to do a course in high school to play bass there. Some friends of mine played in a band, one of them played guitar, this other guy had drums…they had already played for a while but they didn’t have a bass player, so that’s where I came in. And I’ve been in loads of bands since, really.
So what other instruments do you play, to varying degrees of mastery?
There are a lot of instruments I play, even though I don’t really know how to play them! [laughs] Then there are instruments that I play that I actually know how to play and can play. Cello, and bass, obviously. We all sing. But that’s not really an instrument, is it?
Now did you play the strings on ‘Anti-D’?
I didn’t actually, because it was recorded in the States. There were talks about doing it at Abbey Road at some point and I thought, “I have to be involved!” and there were talks about me getting into the string section and doing it, but it was cheaper to do it out here and the arrangements as well. But yeah, I also play keyboards…and piano. Guitar, bass…
How did you get to playing bass, was it one of those things where you played guitar and then a band needed a bass player so you switched to bass because of peer pressure?
No, I started with bass and went the other way. I played guitar in a load of bands before the Wombats, so I’ve been through both (situations). Oh! And drums is one of the instruments that I’d like to…I try to play but I can’t say I play drums. I know all the beats but I can’t really play them.
That’s okay! Cello, bass, guitar…that’s a lot already!

The single ‘Tokyo (Vampire and Wolves)’ has a crazy video that looks like it was a lot of fun to shoot. Was it actually filmed in Japan?
[deadpan] No. [Editor’s note: I was honestly fooled because I assumed it was filmed somewhere in Japan so I really need to take a closer look at this…] It was a lot of fun. If you look closely, you can see the road signs and you can see it was done in LA. So if you look closely, you can see it’s in LA. We didn’t fool anyone in Japan, they’re all “nahhh”…but it was a kind of a joke, it wasn’t “let’s fool people and pretend that we’re in Japan”. It’s very cool and very LA-esque, so…and the only really Japanese place that we filmed in was that restaurant/bar, because that was actually a Japanese restaurant. But yeah, that was a lot of fun. We filmed it over 2 days. The first day were all fresh-faced and like “yeah!” [smiles broadly] That night we did exactly what happens in the video [editor’s note: watch the video below, I won’t have to explain it] and we woke up feeling awful. We didn’t even have to act to look bored or tired because we actually felt bad and hungover at the time. The last shot, when the manager put us into the van, we were actually asleep, more or less. [laughs]
So no acting required there, then?
No, not really.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRhUIJextp8[/youtube]

Speaking of Japan, what’s it like touring outside the UK? Do you love it? Do you hate it?
I love it. I love going to places, seeing places I’ve never been. It’s nice to meet new people, see new places. I’m a traveller, definitely. I like being in the bubble. Being on tour, being with the crew and the band.
Are you getting any time to do any sightseeing on this tour?
Sometimes. We get a day off here and there. But mostly it’s this lot [points to camper van we are sitting in], hotel and venue. I really want to see the White House but I guess that’s for another time.

You just came back from Australia. Were you playing music festivals or playing your own shows?
No, they were our own shows. We did five shows, the biggest shows we’ve done yet in Australia. It’s quite different to America, over there it’s small arenas, basically. Play to 5, 6,000 people every day and with full production, it’s a lot more polished because we have screens and lasers, so it’s a visually different show than what we’re doing tonight, but musically it’s not going to be different.

You also just finished off an entirely sold out tour of the UK. How did that feel, finding out that every single date of that tour had sold out?
It’s always a relief, because we did that with the first record. With the way everything’s going with the new record, everything has been positive and going the right direction. It’s very hard to sell tickets these days, even bands that are doing all right…with the recession, I think people think twice before (buying tickets) before going to see a band. We feel very privileged to have sold out so many shows and we have fans that are really into us and are really genuine (about us).

Final question, courtesy of the album: girls or fast cars?
Eh…girls! Girls, definitely! I’m not a car person. I haven’t even got a car!

 

Live Review: The Wombats with Static Jacks and Postelles at 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – 21st October 2011

 
By on Monday, 24th October 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Months ago when the Wombats autumn North American tour was announced, I was even more incredulous when I saw the entire bill for the second gig in DC as the 9:30 Club. The openers were to be the Static Jacks (who I’d seen open for Futureheads and Biffy Clyro last year) and one of my personal favourites, New York’s Postelles. So I already knew with three bands that I love playing on one night was going to be an event of epic proportions. I just didn’t know how big the Wombats were in Washington. The show wasn’t sold out, but I think a lot of curious people showed up last minute, because the venue felt rammed. The ratio was definitely in favour of screaming teenage girls, but it turned out that it worked in favour of the openers.

The Static Jacks were on first. I was sure few people there had heard of them and they would have their work cut out for them. This was the first time I’d seen them since they became signed with American indie label Fenway, where they are labelmates with Doves and the Cribs. It could have been part the great soundsystem at the 9:30 but they sounded so amazingly tight. Just brilliant. It was one of those moments where I felt proud to be a fan early on: to be able to see them progress. There’s no way but up, up and away for this band now. Sing-song ‘Blood Pressure’, a song about the very real angst of growing up, was the highlight of the set for me, though ‘Girl Parts’, with its punk sensibility, got everyone dancing along to singer Ian Devaney’s powerfully delivered vocals. After the show, teenage girls were clamouring to get photos and CDs of their new album ‘If You’re Young’ signed. That was a tearful moment.

The Postelles have a pretty large and vocal university kid-age following in DC, but on this night they probably gained a load more younger fans. After a blinding set from their New Jersey little brothers on this tour, they had to rise to the challenge of getting the crowd on their side. I shouldn’t have worried: the Postelles are consummate performers, singer Daniel Balk getting the whole audience involved with the final refrain ‘Hey Little Sister’, a song which was dedicated to me. (That was all kinds of awesome.) They previewed two new songs, one of which is called ‘Tidal Wave’ and fit perfectly alongside songs from their self-titled debut released this past summer.

And then came the Wombats. This was the first time they’d come to our town but it was obvious as I was waiting in the queue before doors that they had a lot of teenage fans. This was one night where I didn’t have to worry about beer on my shoes. I always wear earplugs to gigs but they were requisite this night, as girls screamed every time bassist/keyboardist Tord Øverland-Knudsen jumped around with his Fender. That man probably sweated off his body weight as he bounced across the stage. (I had an interview with Tord before the show, and the interview is coming soon to TGTF.) In comparison, Matthew “Murph” Murphy was more stoic, the words of songs so beloved to so many of the gig-goers crossing his lips to manic screams of delight. ‘Girls and Fast Cars’ and ‘Techno Fan’ went down superbly, kids pogo-ing as if their lives depended on it.

I should note that the 9:30 Club has a strict crowd surfing policy. Usually. So crowd surfing is unheard of here. After the 10th crowd surfer was carried above and over the barrier and then shooed back into the crowd, I stopped counting. Murph commented they’d never seen crowd surfers at an American show, so I think it’s safe to say that the Wombats are never going to forget this night in Washington. Ladies and gentlemen, I think I’ve found my best gig of 2011.

But the night was not over. Tord and drummer Dan spun tunes at nearby DC9 (where I explained to Tord I’d seen his countrymen Casiokids just the past Monday) and not only did they play some great tunes (M83, Blur, Rage Against the Machine, and Passion Pit, just to name a couple), writer Cheryl square-danced with Dan on the DC9 stage. You can’t make this stuff up, kids. Just a really good night out, the likes that are likely not to be repeated anytime soon.

After the cut: more photos and set lists.
Continue reading Live Review: The Wombats with Static Jacks and Postelles at 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – 21st October 2011

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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