Worlds will collide later this month when Liverpool locals, The Wombats bring their Los Angeles inspired Glitterbug tour to Australia.
The Wombats – comprised of front man Matthew Murphy, drummer and keyboardist Daniel Haggis, and bass player Tord Øverland Knudsen – have previously brought us such indie rock gems as Let’s Dance to Joy Division and Techno Fan. Their third album Glitterbug has been highly anticipated by fans since its first single Your Body is a Weapon was released in 2013. I spoke with Murphy this past week.
Glitterbug proves a return to the storytelling elements present in The Wombat’s first album, but also explores new styles that are somewhat un-characteristic for the band. Murphy explains: “I guess I’ve always had a general feeling of just never wanting to repeat something, always wanting to try something a little bit different.” He wryly describes Glitterbug as “a bit more upbeat and a little bit odd”.
Many of the stories told in Glitterbug take their inspiration from Los Angeles culture and social life. When asked why he thinks the city is such a rich source of inspiration for so many artists, Murphy said: “Well permanent sunshine, for one, is generally helpful for a creative mind. And there’s a rich dichotomy of people living there.” The band collaborated throughout the long and messy production process. Murphy recalls: “I would write on a guitar, or a piano, or a keyboard. Then we would work on it [together] even more. One song came from just messing around in the rehearsal room.”
The album has garnered enthusiastic reviews from critics, including Rolling Stone. This would come as no surprise to Murphy. He joked: “When I’m writing I just have to try and kid myself into believing that everything I write is the best thing that ever existed and that’s it…. When I was writing [Glitterbug] I thought that everyone was going to quit their jobs and just basically follow me as some kind of messiah. I know that’s absolutely ridiculous, but I need to feel confident in order to write I suppose.”
The Wombats will play at the Entertainment Centre on Thursday, 30 July.
Interview by Nicola Woolford.