The Wombats frontman on his one big album regret and TikTok success


Matthew ‘Murph’ Murphy reflected on the band’s new album (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

As the world shut down over the past couple of years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Wombats have still had an eventful time.

While the music industry suffered and musicians were unable to perform live, a handful ended up being introduced to millions of new fans on TikTok – and The Wombats, made up of Murph alongside Tord Øverland Knudsen and Dan Haggis, were one of them.

Their song Greek Tragedy, which was released in 2015, found a new lease of life on the platform six years later and, at the time of writing, it’s been used in more than 500,000 TikTok videos.

The remix that people fell in love with hadn’t actually been released online, with Murph recalling a ‘mad scramble’ to get it released.

‘I can open my Spotify app and see that we had so many new listeners – it’s been great. It’s just weird!’ he recalled to Metro.co.uk.

‘I didn’t understand what was happening – I still probably don’t understand what happened.

‘It really feels like it happened to a different band. It was so random how one influencer found a remix that we hadn’t heard before. It just proves the power of social media and the randomness of life as well.’

The band’s new album, Fix Yourself, Not The World, takes inspiration from the last few years and even directly references the Covid-19 pandemic on their single Everything I Love Is Going To Die, with the lyric: ‘What a crazy pranged out year/And we spent most of it kissing teeth/Locked in a quarantine.’

According to Murph, though, that was a mistake.

‘I remember talking to my wife about it, and it was like, you can’t really talk about this because it’s going to age like crap. So the idea was to not have many references to Covid,’ he admitted.

‘One of the [references] got in there. I didn’t fight it hard enough. Although it’s inspired by a lot of things over the past few years, I didn’t want it to be too pandemic-y. Hopefully it’s not. Maybe it is.’

So what did he want it to be?

‘I really wanted to take the positive energy from our last album and make sure I implemented that into this one. I just wanted to make a load of really good songs.

‘In the early demos, there were a lot of cool things happening – different sounding guitars, trumpets, brass, it was this David Byrne vibe coming in and this old-school sound system thing happening, and we kind of made the decision to take those three or four elements and bring them out as much as we could.

‘I guess that’s what really shaped the sound of this album.’

The Wombats have released their new album Fix Yourself, Not The World (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

With the pandemic ongoing, things with the music industry still seem a little uncertain.

‘Europe’s a bit of a mess with Visas and things, so that needs to get sorted out otherwise I can’t see a huge influx of UK or US touring artists really going there. How do we get people to feel comfortable going back to gigs?’ Murph pointed out.

However, thankfully, the band have been able to get back to playing live shows, gearing up to their biggest ever headline show at the O2 Arena in April.

‘I was convinced that wasn’t going to happen and it just shows where there’s a will, there’s a way,’ Murph said.

‘Touring is so important and it’s so beautiful as well, so we’re really happy we’re able to do that at the moment. It feels really good.’

Fix Yourself, Not The World is out now.

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