Wheatus are back touring the UK and we caught up with them for a chat

Many of you who read Blazing Minds will have seen in the past that I’ve posted about the band Wheatus on several occasions during the times they have been in the UK, I’ve even had a chance to hang out with them for a while over in Holyhead.

So when I found out they were heading back over the pond and heading to Wales again, I couldn’t miss out on the chance of getting in touch and preparing to see them at The Tivoli in Buckley, so before the show heads to Buckley on the 4th May, I caught up with the band and had a chat about touring, venues and the chance of a new album.

Starting off I asked Wheatus what their rehearsals generally like before a show and if they have a set time before each show in which they practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous.

We actually don’t tend to do rehearsals on show days! We have a home studio where the gear is permanently set up, and we’ll all go out there for about two days per week, for full days of rehearsal. We spend a lot of time getting the sounds exactly right for the show, as well as making sure all the parts for the songs are as well-prepared as possible. Rehearsal days usually include a nice long lunch break where we eat pizza, then sit in the garden for a bit before we get back to work. Looking back at the calendar for this tour, we rehearsed for almost 100 hours! Which probably means we spent about 25 hours in total eating pizza.

With the band being back in the UK I wondered what can the fans expect from the tour.

All the old favourites, for sure, but we’ve prepped a couple that we haven’t played over here before! For some of the tour as well, we’ll have three backing vocalists, which is really fun for harmonies! Another new thing we’ve prepared is a little semi-acoustic section during the show, which is really cool for us because it’s a new and interesting way to perform songs that we’ve been playing for a long time. We have so many repeat customers at our shows – some people come out every year to see us, so it’s great to be able to present something different for them.

It’s been 22 years since the band was formed in 1995 after all this time do the band still love being on the road and playing at new venues.

Definitely! After all these years we’re amazed and thrilled that people are so excited to see us – especially in the UK. As long as they keep coming to see us, we’ll keep playing! We’ve gotten to see so many parts of the UK now too, so we feel very at home here. Every time we pull up at a familiar venue, it’s so lovely to get out of the bus and be able to wander around a city and just know where all our favourite coffee shops and lunch spots are, and we now all have muscle memory that walks us directly to the nearest Wagamama. On the other hand, when we get to visit a new place, it’s always fun to find out what’s good there and meet the locals and make new friends, and find out where the nearest Wagamama is.

Always a hard question to ask a band, but we wanted to know if there any venues that Wheatus are really looking forward to performing at, the guys told us.

Some favourites are Thekla in Bristol, which is a venue inside a docked boat – super cool! Tunnels, Aberdeen is actually in a tunnel, which is fun too. To be honest, we love touring in general. But there is always something really special about playing in small towns. People are always so gracious and excited to see us and meet us, and it’s really fun for us to get to visit these places that are kind of off the beaten path. We probably would have never discovered Holyhead if we hadn’t been invited to play at Ucheldre Centre! It’s a shame we don’t get to play there this year, it’s such a beautiful part of Wales!

Many readers of Blazing Minds will know that I was I the production manager on video for the collaboration with Brendan and Straight Jacket Legends, so was there any plans for more collaborations with other bands?

Funny you mention that because some of Wheatus are performing as Mike Doughty’s backing band in his opening set! As for recording, there are a couple of things in the works but we can’t tell you about that yet!

Straight Jacket Legends – She’ll Never Be Mine (Feat. Wheatus)

Something all the fans of Wheatus want to know, so I asked if there a new album in the pipeline?

Yes! Our new single ‘Tipsy’ will be on the new album, and we’ve recorded about half of it so far but are on a break from recording because there’s so much touring this year. But hopefully, when we get back home we can also get back in the studio quickly and finish it up. Our current plan is for it to be done by the end of the year.

Massive thanks to Wheatus for taking time our of their busy schedule to chat with me, tickets for Wheatus’ UK Tour are available from SeeTickets, Wheatus will be at The Tivoli in Buckley on the 4th May, we’ll be joining them there for some exclusive photos from the gig and bringing you those shortly after the gig, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Don’t forget to check out their official website for more news on shows, new releases and to download their single “Tipsy” exclusively from their website.

Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of the Blazing Minds. She is also a Cinema reviewer, based at the Scala in Prestatyn and also works with RealD 3D reviewing the latest 3D releases, she has also had several articles published in various publications. In 2015 she became an Award Winning Blogger and also has her website listed as one of the UK's Top 10 Film Blogs.
Karen Woodham