Wheatus play Picturedrome as part of mammoth UK tour

Wheatus
Wheatus

Wheatus are back in the county in May to headline Picturedrome in Northampton.

After spending nine weeks in a van touring the US, the band are in the UK as part of a massive 31 date UK tour.

Last year, Wheatus supported Busted - an experience frontman Brendan B Brown describes as the most astonished he’d ever been on stage.

“I thought it would be good, but I wasn’t prepared for the crazy reception we got,” he explains.

“It was extraordinary for a support act to get that kind of love.”

As for the 17 years since the debut album’s release, for Brendan, it seems longer, but simultaneously, not that long ago; “I keep finding things from that crazy time,” he says.

“I’ve kept a lot of the first album paraphernalia and some of it is as it was.

“The reaction to that record has remained pretty fresh, which is both odd and wonderful.”

As in more recent years, which have included among other things, sales of equipment on eBay, it’s taken some creative funding to get the show on the road, but it’s a reality of the modern music industry.

No drama or panicking, just pragmatism.

“I've only ever felt the need to plan for the worst,” Brendan explains.

“Fortunately, we never got used to having money. Our first album was made on a shoestring and so it goes.

“We entered the music industry as the money exited. Perhaps some new efficiencies will come and make things easier, but, with few exceptions, I think what happened to jazz music has happened to the rest of music – only the people who love it to death can stay in the game.”

The biggest upside of self-funding is the days of being ripped off are over.

“That happened to us a few times with third parties involved,” he says.

“And you also wind up learning how to fix your own engine, so to speak.

“You get to see how the sausage gets made, what's needed and what's not.”

Brendan, always singular in his vision, is also the only member of the line-up remaining, but says he couldn’t be happier with the current situation,

“I spent quite a few years writing and demoing the first album by myself.

“When I consider the line-up changes over the years it's 98 per cent positive memories.

“There was only ever one true falling out.

“Currently, from a musical point of view, we're greasier with Leo Freire and Matthew T Milligan as the rhythm section than we've ever been.

“It's really starting to grow me in good funk mould. Plus we're all adults, so that helps.”

Wheatus are half way through recording album number seven with a retrospective box-set lined up for next year as well as some reissues on vinyl before gearing up for a 20th anniversary tour.

Wheatus play The Picturedrome in Northampton on Thursday, May 11.

Tickets cost £19.25 in advance. Via thepicturedrome.seetickets.com