Liverpool's Wombats are one of the hardest working bands you'll ever meet, releasing huge lengths of bombastic and unique material whilst building a lucrative worldwide fanbase of all ages.
The gigs will be nothing sort of special as the band began their incendiary tour all the way back in March. In preparation for the glorious return of one of the north's favorite bands we caught up with singer Matt to find out all the gory details of the biggest slog in the band's history.
It's been one hell of a world tour for you lot, where are you traveling through at the moment?
We're actually in Switzerland at the minute.
Are you looking forward to getting back to good old blighty?
Well we went straight from Australia to America, then straight from America onto this European tour, we've got three dates left and then we'll be back in Liverpool on Tuesday.
So how long exactly have you guys been on the road for?
We've been touring now since the start of March really, but I guess this "official world tour" kicked off at the beginning of September. It's been a while so we're really looking forward to getting back to Liverpool.
Alongside the homecoming gigs have you got any burning plans for when you get back?
Apart from those three shows, just seeing family and friends as well as actually sleeping in a bed that's not on wheels! You know, doing some normal stuff! We've got a rare kind of six weeks off to do whatever we please really, make some music, not make some music or even sit around twiddling our thumbs.
So considering it's a big deal for UK bands to make it over to America how did you find that particular leg on the road?
It was one of the most enjoyable tours we've ever done I think, obviously in the UK, Australia and to some extent Europe we're big enough to play some larger stages. But America is still really early days so it almost felt like we were starting out again which was really exciting as we still love playing smaller clubs and bars. There is that sort of vibe that you don't know what's gonna happen each night, you don't know whether the people there are just regular punters in the bar who've never heard you, or whether they are die-hard fans, you just end up with everything in-between. So it was really exciting because we didn't know what to expect, every night we ended up pleasantly surprised - obviously doing a road trip around America is every band's dream really.
A bit of a bucket list job then?
Yeah, I even got to do some driving of our RV that we'd hired to drive around the states in. Rolling into New Orleans all sun glazed with a pint of coffee in the hands and some awful chicken burgers from a grotty roadside stop was definitely a highlight of my life.
Were there any towns that you passed through that you might have picked out as a favorite?
I think Portland was one of our favorites, the gig was funny as we ended up doing a race to the back of the room because there were only about 200 people in the room when it could fit about a 1,000. It was quite funny, but the actual city itself is just amazing, we ended up walking up in the forests, going to Japanese rose gardens, meeting nice people - that was a really fun day.
Were there any particularly memorable gigs that you played at?
The most memorable for us was probably New Orleans, we did a festival there and we'd had a day off before so we'd ended up going out on bourbon street until I don't know what time in the morning. I woke up in the corridor outside the hotel room and we literally woke up still completely s**t-faced only to be due on stage at two 'o clock in the afternoon. It was the Halloween weekend so everyone was in weird fancy dress stuff as they celebrate it so much over there. We kind of embraced that and got all dressed up, but the only way through it was just to keep boozing. So that was probably the most drunk gig we've ever done, which at this stage you would have thought we would have already achieved. It was quite a lot of fun, we ended up just talking a load of s***te on stage.
It went well despite the inebriation factor then?
We thought we played particularly well obviously, but it went fine, it was a little bit rough around the edges but we like it that way.
What would you say the main differences are between the American and British crowds then?
It's hard to say actually as over in the states they are very strict so it's either 18 plus or 21 plus, most of the time it's 21 plus and I guess people over that age are slightly more jaded than the younger crowd. In the UK obviously we have a lot of gigs that are 14 plus so you get this couple of 1,000 kids who have got more energy than they know what to do with so they all just go completely wild and just hop around. There's definitely a different intensity, even in the states we did one all ages show in Washington where the crowd were completely insane. But all these other gigs people dance and get into it but it's not quite as over the top rowdy. I'm 27 now and I look back on when I used to go to gigs aged 16 it was a completely different experience, I'd go watch Deftones and mosh only to come back with one shoe. Now I just stand at the back with a pint, I really enjoy it just in a different way.
Sounds like you guys pulled in some great crowds then?
It was really fun to try and win crowds over again with having to approach shows in a different way, because when the crowd are going completely mental we feed off the energy which makes us feel less like old bastards. When the crowd are a little bit stationary we have to work harder to get them going; it's the nicest feeling when you do actually get a bunch of 21 pluses to be dancing around like maniacs, which we managed to do on quite a few occasions.
Where there any particularly crazy stories from the tour then?
As far as tours go it was one of the booziest we've ever done, there was a really stripped down crew, so I'll try to stay away from silly boozed up stories about us all tucking each other into bed. The whole thing of just playing in all these places we'd never been was crazy in itself. One of the Halloween shows was pretty mental, we were dressed as toy soldiers and it was a hot sweaty club, these costumes made it so much worse. I'd like to say that I was the one who actually managed to keep his on to the bitter end, I think I lost about a stone but it was well worth it. The other two had to get theirs off very quickly, it was sort of like that scene from raging bull.
Seeing as the years drawing to a close have you had a chance to keep up with this years releases, if so which is your favourite?
Probably 'Bon Iver' by Bon Iver, that's the album I've listened most to, we play such energetic music that I always end up listening to stuff that is much more relaxing. I'm just a big fan of Bon Iver anyway I think that he's amazing, the album is really innovative, I love it.
Have you had time to catch his live show at all?
Unfortunately I haven't had time to because of the tour, my brother's seen him and Tord's girlfriend, they both said he was amazing. I did get time to watch a few videos of him performing on Jools Holland and yeah he was brilliant.
So what's been your high point of the year?
Probably playing in Brisbane, we've been there three times for this album so far and Australia never fails to surprise us with how ridiculous things get over there. We played this park stage or something that was outside in some botanical gardens with over 5,000 people. Just before we played it had tipped down, with the kind of tropical storm that we don't really see in the UK, it was insane and we were like "oh my god is this really going to happen?". The rain kind of died off and there were all these people stood there dripping wet in their ponchos absolutely going for it with mud up to their knees. It felt like a festival even though it was our own show, to be that far away from home, playing to that many people having a great time was my definite highlight of the year.
Any resolutions on the cards for the new year?
I think I've actually given up making resolutions as I've made so many in the past and never stick to them. I feel we should just keep the way we are going we should be alright!