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Music

We didn’t even know what a wombat was: an interview with The Wombats’ Dan Haggis

Tales of girls, and boys, and girls, and marsupials named Fred.

With DAN HAGGIS
By ISOBEL ARMSTRONG

10 years ago, The Wombats released A Guide To Love, Loss, and Desperation. Since then, the group has been dubbed a sole survivor of 2007-era pop-rock, and long-life cult hits such as Let’s Dance To Joy Division, Greek Tragedy and Give Me a Try attest to that. The music always seems to perfectly encapsulate human emotion in the raw- it’s one long bleak, hyperactive, drunken, glittering, anxious, loved up party. Now, their fourth studio album is in the works, and the boys are down under in preparation for Groovin’ The Moo, and a handful of headline shows in our capital cities. I spoke briefly to Dan Haggis (drums, percussion, guitar, keyboard and backing vocals) about all the goings-on.

 

First of all, I just have to say thank you, because last time you came over I got chocolate cake at the show. We had no mixers at my house, so we mixed up the last of the red wine and the last of the vodka, and when we got the show there was chocolate cake, and it was the best drunk food. So thanks for the cake!

D: Our pleasure!

 

So I know you’re playing at Metros again in May. What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about Australia?

D: Australia? My favourite thing would have to be the brunch here. There are so many awesome places with great coffee and inventive combos of eggs/avocado/sourdough with all sorts of immense trimmings. It just puts you in such a good mood for the rest of the day. My least favourite thing would have to be the day of each tour when we have to leave your beautiful country!

 

Is “The Wombats” secretly a conspiracy name to gain fame here? Have you ever seen a real wombat? They’re quite vicious.

D: Haha, we didn’t even know what a wombat was when we named the band! We’ve met a couple over the years and actually hung out with one called Fred at the Cleland Wildlife Park in Adelaide today. He was pretty chilled!

 

What do you guys like to do outside of music that contributes to your creativity?

D: Amongst other things, Murph plays golf a lot, Tord likes fishing and I do yoga a few times a week. I think doing non creative things and trying to relax really helps you to find inspiration rather than the brain constantly whirring. Every machine needs an regular oiling!

 

It’s the 10th anniversary of A Guide To Love, Loss and Desperation– what has been the biggest change with the band personally?

D: Probably the fact that we now live in 3 different countries and Tord has recently had a baby!

 

Your music is the soundtrack to my warehouse rave/walking to the party/bottle of vodka type nights. But I think the flip side to that is the best part of the music. It’s the bit where your night gets ruined, and you’re like, hang on, I was dancing and screaming a minute ago, and now I’m filled with crippling anxiety and self-doubt. So I guess my question is, is this next album a similar style? Are we continuing the party, or going home alone?

D: “Are we continuing the party, or going home alone?” That’s an awesome description of our music! It’s a bit early to tell as we haven’t properly started recording and we’ve still got a good few months of writing left, but I’m sure that even if we tried not to, it would still have elements of what you describe!

 

Last question- I ask this to everyone I interview. Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck sized horses?

D: A hundred duck sized horses. I’d fancy my chances.

 

Huge thank you to Dan for having a chat with us, and the band for joining the GTM tour down under. The Wombats play their headline show at Metro City on 11th May, and there are still some tickets available. 

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