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It’s hard to believe Wheatus’ debut album is 17 years old this year.
Like so many worldwide hits before and since, “Teenage Dirtbag”, the band’s ode-to-adolescence and inescapable breakthrough, seems timeless. Dateless. As if it’s always existed. It’s certainly reached subsequent generations to the one that moshed to it first time around.
“That’s probably the most astonished I've ever been on-stage, when those kids sang back to us every night,” says the band’s Brendan B Brown.
He’s referring to his experience on tour with Busted last year, when those old enough to remember the early Noughties sang away with much newer fans. Regardless of age, they all knew “Teenage Dirtbag.” “I thought it would be good, but I wasn’t prepared for the crazy reception we got. It was extraordinary for a support act to get that kind of love.”
Brendan, always singular in his vision, is now also the only member of the line-up remaining. It’s nothing new, he says, but also couldn’t be happier with the current situation - “I spent quite a few years writing & demoing the first album by myself. When I consider the line-up changes over the years it's 98% 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.”
“Album seven is halfway recorded, so we'll try to finish that in time for Christmas. Then, in 2018, we've got some re-organising to do. I have a plan for a retrospective box-set style re-release of everything we've ever done and then some... Finally we’re gonna get the album one vinyl package together along with everything else re-released on vinyl – in some cases, remixed and remastered too. Lots of work to do in 2018. And then, after that, we'll be gearing up for the 20th anniversary tour.