English band The Wombats have been around for nearly 20 years, and they're sounding as fresh as ever. While they're no longer the fresh-faced trio that brought us the 2007 album A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation, the band's success over the years is proof that they've always connected with fans on a level that many of their contemporaries could only dream of.
Earlier this year they released their new single, If You Ever Leave, I'm Coming With You, which captures how the pandemic has affected people's interpersonal relationships. It's an upbeat, driving track, which hides the nature of the lyrics, which definitely speak to the pain that a lot of people have felt throughout the last couple of years.
Lead singer Matthew Murphy says, “I noticed that 2020 and 2021 put some serious strain on interpersonal relationships, it felt like people around me were really struggling. For me, If You Ever Leave, I'm Coming With You taps into all of that and asks the question… is it the circumstances putting undue stress on people? Or have the circumstances shed light on people’s incompatibility with one another?”
To celebrate the release of the track, as well as the upcoming release of their fifth album, Fix Yourself, Not The World, which is set to drop on January 14th, 2022, we've taken a look at how The Wombats have continued to go from strength to strength, as well as why fans everywhere love the band so much.
Know where your audiences are
The Wombats have always had a great relationship with Australia, and Australian fans have always returned the favour, selling out tours whenever the Wombats come to town. They've played pretty much every Australian festival there is to play, and they've always brought their A-game when touring Down Under.
The band's love of Australia has translated into success in triple j's Hottest 100, with the band appearing in 7 different countdowns. Their last three albums have also appeared in the ARIA Top 10, proving just how much Australia loves the English trio.
Speaking to The Music, band member Dan Haggis had the perfect explanation for why the band seems to always be in Australia. "We do European tours, and we do UK tours and American tours way more often than we do Australian tours - I think it's just 'cause it's so far away maybe Australians aren't used to bands doing that many tours, so they're a bit like, 'What's going on with these guys?'
“We love coming down there and, like, of all the countries in the world it's one place that people seem to really get the music, and the atmosphere at the gigs are always so amazing. It's obviously a big deal for us as well. As long as we get asked to come and play, we say yes, basically. Sorry if you're sick of us.”
Looking backwards AND forwards
Fans are always looking for a way to express their love for their favourite artists, and The Wombats are more than willing to engage with them. The Wombats' fans have always been die-hard, and it's thanks to the appreciation the band has for those that support them most.
For example, the band recently held a listening party for their 2018 album, Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, on YouTube. In the comments, lead singer Matthew Murphy was chatting to fans the whole time, revealing different things about the album. It's a great example of how The Wombats continue to engage fans and get them excited for their new music, as well as stay in touch.
Following the listening party, the band took to social media to start teasing the new single, Method To The Madness, ensuring that the hype was there. Their methods of getting people excited for new music are tried and true.
Staying friends, even when it's hard
A lot of bands will crash and burn in spectacular fashion after spending so much time on the road together. However, that's never been the case with The Wombats. The band have spoken in the past about how they stay friends with each other on the road, and it's great advice for any young band.
Speaking to The AU Review, band member Dan Haggis says the band is well-connected with their crew, so they've always got people around them. "We actually get on really well with all our crew as well so it doesn’t really feel like it's just the three of us, it’s all of us in it together.
"We get on well with our manager as well so he’s an extra person to throw in to the mix. I think it’s just good to disagree sometimes isn’t it? You need that to push things forward. If all of us were saying “oh yeah that idea's great” then you wouldn’t push each other to try and come up with something better or we wouldn’t sound the same as we do."
It's hard to pin down what a fan of The Wombats looks like
With most artists, you can tend to pin down what a fan of theirs might look like. However, with The Wombats, they have a range of fans, who enjoy a range of genres. Over the years, The Wombats have dabbled in a range of genres, from indie-rock, pop, synth-pop, dance, and now R&B. For a band with four albums, they've managed to pack in a range of different genres.
Their most recent album, 2018's Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, doesn't pigeonhole their sound. Instead, it's an evolution of what the band sounds like. Not only that, but when you've been around as a band for a long, long while, your fans grow with you, while also picking up new ones. If you go to a Wombats show, or see them at a festival, take a look around at the crowd. You'll find people from all walks of life, and all ages and backgrounds. There's Method To The Madness of the band's success, and they're only going from strength to strength.
You can vote for The Wombats' If You Ever Leave, I'm Coming With You in the triple j Hottest 100 now! Head here to vote by midday 17th January.