Wheatus Interview – orginally published in The Bite Mag

Becky Beynon-Lewis catches up with Brendan B Brown from Wheatus for a chat about their upcoming appearance at Bearded Theory Festival in May 2012.

Kedleston Hall , Derby, plays host to Bearded Theory Festival 18th- 20th May this year. In 2011 this family friendly festival won Best Independent Festival in the Aim Music Awards. Wheatus are special guests whilst Dreadzone, Levellers and The Damned headline. Organisers say they have two totally new areas, a local brewery stocking their bars and a whole range of activities meaning 2012 is looking like a vintage year for the festival. Bite Magazine are pleased to be going along for the first time and will report back on what we discover!

Here’s what Brandan had to say…

Our magazine is based in Wales, do you usually get much love when you play in Wales?

Wales is one of two places on the earth that constantly competes for the best place to play on our tour. Its Scotland or Wales, I’ve seen it go between the two so much. Last time Dundee took the title away from you. But it’s been Cardiff and Bangor. You guys are crazy. Something about the celtic blood I think.’

What are the bands plans for the festival…

‘When we played in Swansea we actually broke the record for the amount of people in skeleton costumes in one room’ Apparently the band plan to wear false beards at their Sunday set to help with the festivals annual record attempt. ‘When we were younger dressing up wasn’t great, it was all record companies trying to get you to wear shitty leather pants, now it’s kinda fun’

Wheatus are a great band to guest star at an independent festival with such a varied, diverse lineup because of the fact the band itself is independent, you’re not tied to a label or agency. What attracts you to this kind of festival?

‘What you mean besides the fact we’re weirdos? I remember how there used to be a lot of tribes in music (I know this because I’m old) and how difficult it was to not want to belong to one of those tribes. To want to experience The Ramones in the same way you experienced Metallica and other music. Genre allegiance used to be intrinsically tied with these tribes. Now things are different. If somehow we can be part of the collective going on finally that’s great for us’.

Even though you have a new album out you plan to play your debut album in full at the festival, how did that come about?

‘Well there’s one song we can’t play but we will do the rest. We don’t normally do that. When we play we play about 3 or 4 songs from that album, I mean we have 5 albums so we try to do a mix. But this seemed like a fun, interesting thing to do.’

It should go down well with the crowd, I’ve been to your gigs before and when you play those songs the fans all scream every word…

‘It’s pretty weird still for us to have that experience’

Do you ever get tired of playing them ?

‘No, every time you play them the crowd takes it to somewhere new. They kind of feel like they own those songs and we accept that’

That’s a nice way of looking at it. Last year Teenage Dirtbag entered the charts for the second time since it’s release ten years ago. How did that feel?

‘Yeah it was weird, totally awesome but on some level I feel confused by it! I always end up comparing it to the solitary experience of writing the album in my apartment in Queen’s like 15 years ago. I wasn’t seeing people, just working on the music. You know in those films where the virus the scientists are working on escapes and infects everyone? It’s kinda like my music got out of my apartment and infected everyone!’

We love it, like a zombie infection movie, only it’s your bands music that turns everyone to zombies.

‘We should totally do that in a video, like the Teenage Dirtbag infects everyone (Bite Magazine claims co-ownership of this idea haha!) No actually we did some music for a zombie film by my friend Anthony Lane called ‘Invasion of the not quite dead’.
(If you haven’t heard of this fan funded film check it out, Becky is a producer…to find out how you can be visit http://www.indywood.co.uk)

What advice would you give to any up and coming bands reading this?

‘I wouldn’t wish people to make it exactly the same way we did, somehow we made it through alive but …(laughs). Everyone is capable of finding their own way. The circumstances that existed which got us into the situation we were in just don’t exist anymore. Bands have a lot more choice now. Whereas you used to have to be creative in the way you made your music, now you have to be creative in how you get it out there. Have you heard of Amanda Palmer, singer from the Dresden Dolls? I recommend following her on Twitter. She is genuine parade of creativity, the things she posts…not just about her music. ’

What new bands out there are exciting you at the moment?

Math The Band, what they are doing is like newer than new.

Well Thanks so much for talking to us, we are nearly at an end but first we have a few fan questions for you from our readers…

Marc wants to know are you a Pepsi or a coke man?

‘Jeez Louise that’s a complicated answer y’know? Ok, Coke, not any coke, it has to be Mexican coke and in a glass bottle. I don’t know why, it just tastes better.’

Heidi asks what’s your favourite Ice-Cream Flavour?

‘Well there is only one kind of ice-cream and its chocolate!’

Model Sarah Tonin says she is a massive fan, can she star in one of your videos?!

‘Thanks! Pass on her details!’

Kevin wants to know if you still have two tickets left to Iron Maiden 😉

‘I do! They are on my wall and I see Iron Maiden every time they come to town if I can. I was invited by a friend to go see them with Alice Cooper but I’m not sure if I can go yet. You can rest assured since I was about 15 I always have in my possession at least two tickets to Iron Maiden.’


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