The Wombats’ bassist, Tord Øverland-Knudsen, caught up with Dermot Murphy to talk about inflatable marsupials, the Lion King, and a Christmas collaboration with Les Dennis…

On 28 February this year, the Wombats won ‘Best Dancefloor Filler’ at the NME Awards, effectively confirming their widespread popularity on dance floors this side of the world.

And, as far as Tord and his bandmates are concerned, it’s all down to their already considerable fan base: “To win an NME award is something you only dream about. It was all voted by the people too so that’s what’s really cool about it. A lot of people voted for us and we really appreciate it”.

Since then, the band have been hitting the festival circuit hard, including Reading, Glastonbury and T in the Park.

You may have even spotted them ripping it up at Oxegen this summer. With four prestigious festivals under their belt in a matter of weeks, this Liverpool threesome may as well be conducting their own indie invasion.
Right now the Wombats are in France. They’ve just finished a promotional tour of their debut album A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation in the U.S and two nights ago played to 1,200 people in Paris.

With a relentless touring regime that can only be described as heroic, one wonders if they have any time to eat or sleep, let alone work on new material.

Astoundingly, there are a few tracks in the pipeline. “We still had time to write about three new songs, and we got a new single”, explains Tord.

The new single, ‘My Circuitboard City’ is set to be released on 9 February 2009, and according to Tord is “getting mixed this week hopefully”.

“Yeah we’re releasing this Christmas song… around Christmas, and we want to collaborate with Les Dennis”

While another pop-tastic power single is always going to go down smoothly, the real excitement stems from the future seasonal release of a Wombat Christmas song, featuring non other than Les Dennis. Sorry… what?

“Yeah we’re releasing this Christmas song… around Christmas, and we want to collaborate with Les Dennis. In the beginning of the song there’s a little poem and we want him to read that out”.

But all this success has come at a price, namely that of Cherub, the Wombats’ furry little mascot, who incidentally is also a wombat. Tord is able to shed some light on this tragic loss.

“We left him in the airport in Norway. He’s long gone. Now we have a massive inflatable wombat onstage with us”.

On the topic of inflatable animals we ‘accidentally’ spiral off on a tangent which ends up centring on one of our favourite Disney films, timeless classic The Lion King.

Tord in particular has some fond childhood memories which he is only too happy to share. “I remember I nearly cried. Its’ really emotional… And it has a beautiful soundtrack”.

After an especially heartfelt rendition of ‘Circle of Life’ it was time to say goodbye to the Wombats. Fortunately, it won’t be long before they grace these shores again with their marsupial presence.

And, if you missed them at Oxegen you can check them out in the Academy on 9 November.