“I went to Barcelona for a week to get drunk in a square, just to take myself out of normality…” – The Wombats open up about Glitterbug…
Liverpool trio The Wombats don’t like to rush things. Their debut album A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation, a collection of sarky, indie pop, came out a whopping eight years ago, during that time, some bands would get through five or six records, but The Wombats are only just getting around to releasing their third, Glitterbug, which is out on Monday (April 13th).
We chatted with mainman Matthew ‘Murph’ Murphy about making the album, working with Bastille/Rag N Bone Man producer Mark Crew and why he took himself off to Barcelona and got royally pissed to get some lyrical ideas…
It’s been four years since your second LP This Modern Glitch, how come it took so long to get the record done?
“It’s not been quite four years. We finished writing it all last February, mostly, then it was the recording process that took such a long time. We recorded it with Mark Crew, so we had to do three weeks on and three weeks off because he was between projects.”
Was that irritating?
“It was kind of nice, I was going back and forward from LA, so it was good to get breaks. It was frustrating too though, I’d get these rough mixes and we’d have to sit on them, so you’d get new ideas and always want to change things. It was good and bad.”
Did you go in with lots of songs?
“We whittled it down quite quickly to 13, with Mark’s help. We had over 20 when we went in, but we cut them down pretty fast.”
What made you decide to work with Mark Crew?
“We had four big name producers on our second album and we didn’t like that experience, we wanted to go with somebody fresh and young. He’d come out with that Bastille album and he was working with loads of cool people. He was fresh, full of ideas and it was great to work with someone our own age too.”
Did you deliberately turn your back on a big name?
“It was definitely less daunting. I could have a beer with our other producers, but I feel like I’ve made friends with Mark, I’d go round to his house.”
How did you want Glitterbug to move on from This Modern Glitch?
“This Modern Glitch was really a rebellion against our first album, I didn’t want this album to be as produced, I wanted it to be more sparse, I wanted us to go back to being the band we were before we were signed. I’m always trying to get back to that place.”
How did that come across in the lyrics? Your lives are very different now...
“Hence this time out I felt like I had to create problems. For the first half of the writing I was in London and in a stable relationship, I remember going to Barcelona for a week to get drunk in a square, just to take myself out of normality, to try and inspire situations that I could include in the lyrics.”
A big part of the album is concept-driven right?
“A few of the songs started out being about this fictional woman from LA, who I was trying to create. That’s where the term Glitterbug comes from.”
How much touring do you have lined up?
“We’re out around the UK now, then we’re off to America for a couple of weeks, after that it’s mainly festivals. We’ll be back out at the end of the year, there’s loads still to come.”
Finally, you’ve got a tonne of festivals lined up, which is the one you’re most excited about?
“Reading and Leeds. That’s a really special festival and we’ve had some great gigs there, I’m excited about them all, but that’s the one I think I’m excited about the most.”
The Wombats’ new album Glitterbug is released on Monday (April 13th). The band will sign copies at two hmv stores next week. Click here for full details.