Henry Wagons loves his band and loves his breakfast. We catch up with him for some updates on his upcoming musical feast.
“All I’ve been doing is eating poached eggs, sipping on lattes and watching TV. I’m having my first time off in a while. It’s been pretty hectic making this album. It’s taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears so now I’m just enjoying indulging in my passion for wanky breakfast food.”
“I make heavy and sturdy demands when I ask for my poached eggs” he explains.
“I insist on runny yolks and crunchy bacon. Occasionally people are into it but most of the time people think I’m a wanker. I’m comfortable with that if I get good poached eggs.”
“I’ve also been doing a bit of studio work, doing some recording. I just came out of a recording session for a Melbourne band, Fur. Their singer is Jane Badler, who was the star of the eighties sci-fi series V. She was the woman that ate the rat on TV, I was just recording her vocals this morning.“
I don’t know who thinks poached eggs are wanky, but I’m pretty sure whoever does would prefer poached eggs to poached rat. Henry obviously has interests beyond breakfast foods though.
“I first started getting into music by recording it and I’m still really fascinated and intrigued and stimulated and motivated by being in the studio and recording songs.”
“Wagons first started by me just fiddling around in front of my computer playing everything. I recruited a few of my mates through those recordings, started playing live and next thing you know, I’m here talking to you and a whole bunch of other people asking me questions and I don’t have any obligation to ask any questions back.”
The band are currently a six-piece but occasionally perform stripped back shows as a three- or four-piece. Six guys on stage at once can be a bit close, so Henry often prefers to play with the smaller line-up, not least because that means he gets to pull out some flaming guitar solos.
“It does get crowded. It’s a big and vibrant motherfucker of a show. Everyone’s got their own twisted take on playing an instrument that isn’t in any way going to remind you of a bad primary school music teacher. Everyone’s got their own schtick and crazy way of doing what they do.”
“It’s a very strange and interesting show to see. We’ve got two percussionists, we’ve got an absolutely crazy soulful blistering lead guitar player. We’ve got three part harmonies, we’ve got a keyboardist whose name is Soft Moods. You can expect me to prance around and act like a dick as well, but in the best possible way.”
“I’m a bit of a dictator when it comes to writing and recording,” says Henry. “I write the songs and the guys come in and write most of their parts. The other guys don’t have that much to do with how it all comes together, but their input at rehearsal stage and getting the songs together is absolutely invaluable and contributes to the final sound of the song.”
Though the band has been together since the turn of the century they haven’t taken time out from their busy schedule of sitting in pubs to tour the country.
“Part of our deal is that we’d lived off the generous teat of the Melbourne scene for years and years before we really got out of the place. It was actually inspired a lot by a Rolling Stone interview for our last album, The Curse Of Lightning. They said some great stuff but then they said ‘these guys deserve to be bigger than they are but they haven’t provided a context for wider success cos they sit on their arses in Melbourne all the time.’ Basically, that gave us all a kick up the arse and that’s when we got a booking agent and started to tour.”
All that energy saved by hanging round in Melbourne pubs has been released into their new album, The Rise and Fall of Goodtown, so be sure to check it out.