Catchy British indie-pop band The Wombats have just released their second album, This Modern Glitch. We spoke to frontman Matthew Murphy, aka Murph, to find out what lies behind the trio’s cheeky-chappie exterior.
Paul McCartney offered to produce their second album. ‘He mentioned it in an interview once and obviously our ears and tails pricked up, but I think he’s probably a bit too busy to do that. Although I did just have a dream about Paul McCartney. I bumped into him and then I was back at his house, sat around this huge long table – he’d invited me to dinner – but there were about 20 people there. It was strange.’
Two of them have been in car crashes, one of which was in Dubai. ‘Dan [Haggis, drums] was in a dune buggy accident in Dubai a while ago. Then I wrote my car off in December 2009. We were doing this big reunion thing in Skegness, so I drove from there to London the morning after and I hit this surface water and just aquaplaned. The car started going right and I hit the central reservation, shot across the road, nearly flipped it and ended up in a hedge.’
New single ‘Anti-D’ is about Murph’s battle with depression. ‘I was on anti-depressants for nearly three years, from just before “Kill the Director” came out in 2007 until May 2009. I think I was on the wrong medication because I kept upping the dose and ended up putting on loads of weight, then got miserable about stepping on stage in front of loads of people and not looking how I should. I guess the anti-depressants made me quite happy, but I’ve got no intention of going back on them. I’m not quite as miserable as I sound.’
He’s a ‘miserable b****** trapped in a happy person’s body’, in terms of the music. ‘Sometimes the songs are quite positive. We all have a strong ear for melody and pop hooks and we want each song to have as much ear candy for the listener in it as possible. We don’t go off on mad long tangents because we don’t want to be bored.’
They used to party harder than Pete Doherty, but not any more. ‘Pete once told me I was wasted and I needed to go to bed. That was quite embarrassing. We’ve definitely had a few sessions, but I don’t know if we can keep doing it that way. We’ve got bigger productions now and you need to be in a solid state of mind to keep doing that night after night. I don’t think staying up until 6am caning it is really gonna help.’
He doesn’t like band arguments. ‘There was a time when Dan was winding up Tord [Øverland-Knudsen, bass] and he had a little freakout and didn’t know what to do, so picked up this tangerine and threw it at Dan’s crotch before storming out of the room. No one knew how to respond – it was just a brilliant little moment of a tangerine to the groin.’
They’ve had odd stage presents. ‘Sometimes [fans] throw really nice jumpers. I don’t really understand why they do that, so we try to give them back or essentially just nick them.’ This Modern Glitch is available online now.