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The Wombats talk 5th studio album 'Fix Yourself, Not The World'

Having played some of the world's biggest festivals which include Reading & Leeds, The Wombats are no stranger to the music scene. With anthemic classic hits such as 'Cheetah Tongue', 'Turn' 'Moving To New York' and 'Lets Dance To Joy Division', the UK natives are now ready to release their next biggest thing into the world, their fifth studio record!

Photo credit: Tom Oxley

In light of the band's release of 'Fix Yourself, Not The World' which drops Friday, January 14th, Vibez caught up with the band to ask some big questions about their long-awaited new album, what we can expect from it, and how the band got through recording during a global pandemic.

Hi guys, I hope you are all keeping well, thanks so much for taking the time to chat about the band and the new album with Vibez Music, we are so stoked for it! So firstly, how have you guys been? What has the reaction been like to the new singles fans have heard so far, such as ‘Everything I Love is Going to Die’?

We are all good, thank you, and we are also very stoked to share the new album with the world! So far, the reaction has been amazing to the new songs, and it was great seeing people already singing along to the lyrics at Reading and Leeds Festival back in August.

You are due to release your new album Fix Yourself, Not The World In the new year. What was the inspiration behind the album name, and what can fans expect from this album?

The inspiration behind the album title comes from the feeling of being powerless through the pandemic or life in general, and how overwhelming and impossible it can feel to deal with any big issues in the world or life. To fully be able to have a positive impact on anyone around you or society in general you need to have yourself in a good place first, so focusing on the matters we can do something about right now is where we need to start to eventually make the world a better place.

You have a track on the album called ‘Method To The Madness’, which is quite a different sound from your previous singles, it is quieter but absolutely brilliant, what lead you to experiment with new sounds?

Thank you! We were listening to some lo-fi hip hop in the morning of the session we wrote it, and that influence shines through in the first half. No idea how or when we decided to change it completely for the second part of the song, but it felt bonkers and exciting and also felt like it was supporting the lyrical concept of the song. This is definitely one of the tracks I am the proudest of on the record as I feel like we discovered and covered some new ground both sonically and structurally. This is something we often try to do - explore and experiment with ideas that force us to get out of our comfort zone but without losing an integral part of our DNA.

What was the recording process for the album like and where do your ideas mainly stem from when it comes to songwriting for The Wombats?

Working from three different cities (Oslo, London, Los Angeles) through a couple of lockdowns, definitely had a big impact on both the writing and the recording of the album. Whether it was lyrical ideas or how we recorded and how things ended up sounding, this was definitely an external factor that influenced the album in one way or another. For other music that influenced us on this record, it was a broad variety of stuff: Talking Heads, Beck, LCD Soundsystem, lo-fi hip hop, break-beats, grunge, psychedelia - just to mention a few sources of inspiration that was bouncing around the room when we wrote stuff before going into the first lockdown. The body of work we had started before lockdown (roughly half of the album) definitely helped to pave the way for the rest of the writing process.

Do you feel that your hometown impacts the music you create, and would the album sound differently if it wasn’t for the pandemic, do you think?

We now live in three different cities, and that impacts our music differently from when we all used to live in Liverpool, I am sure. And yeah, of course, both parts of the writing process and the recording session would have been very different if it wasn’t for the pandemic, as we weren’t able to all be in the same studio together for a lot of it. But if the album would have sounded much different, I am not sure about it!

What is your favourite track on the album, and which one are you most excited to play live?

It’s always fun to play any of the new songs, but my personal favourites at this moment of time are ‘Ready for the High’ and ‘People Don’t Change People, Time Does’.

‘People Don’t Change People, Time Does’ is my personal favourite from the new album - I find it very relatable - how important is it to make music that connects with your fans?

Thank you! The lyrics have always been an integral part of our songs since day one, and it is really important that people can relate to our songs.

Who are your favourite artists right now, and who heavily influenced you into creating ‘Fix Yourself, Not The World’ the album?

I am really into the latest album from The Avalanches, an electronica duo from Australia.

For our album, as I mentioned earlier, there was a broad variety of influences: Talking Heads/David Byrne, Beck, LCD Soundsystem, lo-fi hip hop, break-beats, grunge, psychedelia etc.

Looking back at your music career, when did you know music was your passion and what was the first album you ever bought?

It was back when I was 13 and got my first bass and started to play in a band with three of my friends. We were called Amperage and were covering Green Day and Nirvana before I wrote my first song ‘Who am I?’ That’s when I realised that this is what I want to do. The first album I bought was The Offspring ‘Smash’.

What is your favourite thing about being in The Wombats, and what has been the most challenging thing?

The best part must be getting to travel the world spreading some positivity by doing something we love! The most challenging thing is probably to be away from my family a lot when we are touring.

With massive hits like ‘Turn’, ‘Moving to New York’, and ‘Lets Dance to Joy Division’, how have these songs changed your life? What would you tell your younger self?

Those songs have definitely changed our lives massively and given us a chance to continue to do what we love. I would tell my younger self about all the records I now know about and enjoy - it was harder to get hold of or find different kinds of inspiration before having access to everything digitally.

What advice would you give to new and emerging bands and people starting out in music?

Have fun and be ambitious, but don’t overthink what you do!

How do you think this album differs from your previous ones?

I think it is more organic sounding, and I feel like there are several tracks representing completely new styles and sounds for us as a band.

Finally, what can we expect from The Wombats for 2022, what will the live shows be like after having performed in so long?

We're going out to North America in early 2022 to tour the new record; that should be very exciting! We also have an Australian tour coming up in the summer, we have a UK tour coming up in spring/summer also, and hopefully a lot of festivals along the way too! It'll mainly be a big year touring the new record, getting the new stuff out there to as many people as possible, connecting with fans, making new ones and more energetic shows for sure. Watch this space, it's going to be a lot of fun! Big things to come for sure!