Frontman Hayden Thorpe talks to us about what's next for the band
Wild Beasts have announced details of a farewell tour and a final EP with new song ‘Punk Drunk and Trembling’. Check out full details below along with our interview with frontman Hayden Thorpe.
Yesterday, the band announced that they would be splitting up after 15 years together. Foals and Everything Everything led the tributes to the four-piece, after they decided that it was “time to leave this orbit”.
“We’re care takers to something precious and don’t want to have it diminish as we move forward in out lives,” said Wild Beasts in a statement. “Thank you for your love and energy and for helping us make it what it is. We consider ourselves remarkably fortunate to have lived out this dream.”
Now to mark their end, the band have shared previously unreleased song ‘Punk Drunk And Trembling’. Recorded during the band’s sessions for 2016’s ‘Boy King‘, it will be released as part of a new EP along with ‘Maze’ and ‘Last Night All My Dreams Came True’ – which were previously only available on the deluxe vinyl version of their last album.
The ‘Punk Drunk and Trembling’ EP will be released digitally on 30 October, before being available as a limited edition 10″ vinyl on November 17.
The farewell tour
Wild Beasts’ final tour dates are below. There will be pre-sale via the band’s website on Wednesday September 27 from 9am, before a general sale from 9am on Friday September 29 – when tickets will be available here.
February 15 – Dublin Olympia
February 16 – Manchester Albert Hall
February 17 – London Eventim Apollo
Why does now feel the right time to go your separate ways?
“I guess any band is a remarkable feat of human endeavour in that you function with this sort of synchronicity, you’re in clockwork with one another, you hold gravity on one another. We’ve always been a full-blooded band and we never really wanted to compromise. ‘Boy King’ [the band’s final album, released in 2016] was as provocative as our first record [2008’s ‘Limbo, Panto’], so we thought that this is our story arc. It felt a loving thing to do. It’s like watching the end of a sparkler finish up, it was as hot and dazzling as when we first got going. But rather than huddle around the glowing embers, we decided to extinguish it.”
Was the split a mutual decision?
“Absolutely. Although our stories are all individual, we all had the same love and care for what we had created. The way I see a band is as the coming together of minds and of people. If you look at our band, there was a certain sense that you couldn’t take one person away and it still be intact. That’s something I’m proud of.”
How has the response to the news been?
“The outpouring of appreciation and love has been incredible and it’s quite a thing to hold. I hadn’t foreseen that, in truth. This is the first time we’ve been able to zoom out and look at this world we’ve made. It’s overwhelming and pretty emotional. It’ll take a while to metabolise and process that.”
What can you tell us about your new song ‘Punk Drunk and Trembling’?
“It was never designed to be our parting song but in many ways it’s fitting because it’s the most highly evolved song of all of ours. It’s a song that started in fragments around the first album and it’s taken the entire journey of our career to come to the fore. There’s something beautiful and poignant about goodbyes and that song burns as brightly as when we first emerged.”
Do you have any special plans for your final gigs?
“All bets are off. We really want to celebrate the full plethora, colour and breadth of what we’ve created, so we’re very much open to all options. We feel like we’re on the top of our game more than ever and we want to capture that.”
Would you consider reuniting again in the future?
“I don’t think we’re that kind of band. I would have to change my whole belief system and my understanding of what a band is. I think a band is a beautiful, transient thing where a group of people’s love, losses, anger and hopes are all poured into this collective dream. If you’re lucky enough, you live that dream and then you wake up from it. If you try to fall asleep again and re-enter that dream, the essence of that dream tends to be lost. I don’t think cryogenic technology is quite advanced enough for us to be warmed up in 20 or so years and re-emerge the same.”
What’s next for you and your bandmates?
“At this stage, I very much don’t know. Our focus at the moment is on the final chapter of the band. But there’s something beautiful about not knowing what will come next.
“There is a sense of ‘what will I do without the gang?’ In many ways I feel like I need to go into the witness protection programme and try to figure out if I’m allowed to speak about what I’ve seen, done, the vast array of lifetime I’ve lived over the past few years. Being in a band has been a very visceral, spontaneous and powerful time.”