It’s a special time for music: not too much of it sticks and when it does, well, it usually isn’t everyone’s cuppa.
However, ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ hit the spot for millions of people world wide fifteen years ago, and the iconic American band Wheatus are touring again in the UK and coming to Thekla, Bristol, on June 1st with their infectious rock and of course, their famous signature tune.
“We really don’t run into people who don’t like ‘Dirtbag,’ including us,” Wheatus frontman, producer & songwriter Brendan B Brown says, whilst fiddling with a vacuum tube that reads, “Made In West Germany”. It seems that Wheatus do indeed still love playing their multi-platinum, ubiquitous 2001 classic ‘Teenage Dirtbag’.
“I grew up idolizing Rush & AC/DC. Bands that last forever…One of the fears I had when ‘Dirtbag’ kicked-off was that it would get old quick or be received as a fad…I was wrong to worry about that. It feels new every night. I think that’s because it’s hard to play correctly, but what the hell do I know? Every time we come over to the UK & Europe to tour I think, ‘Well, after THIS ONE we’ll take a break, make Album 7.’ It’s been 3 years saying that. We just keep getting asked to come back. The vibe from people wanting to come see us hasn’t given us any excuse to stay home…”
If Wheatus weren’t already established as a genre-less band, Brown’s next statement ends that debate:
“It’s gonna be fun – we’ll be an unsigned independent band with a worldwide Top 5 old-skool major label classic radio single making a heavy prog-pop record funded by One Direction cover royalties and Flemming Rasmussen will be the primary production influence. Right!”
The bespectacled Wheatus frontman is of course referring to the experience of being covered by the largest touring act in the world, One Direction. Throughout 2013-2014, the mega-platinum arena pop act included ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ in their live set and their subsequent concert film, ‘This Is Us.’ It was a boost for Wheatus.
“Ah man it was great – suddenly all these kids wanted to know what our songs were about…They started coming to the shows…I collaborated with Josh & Sandy. We have an EP due out this year, an actual side project. It’s all been pretty cool, for an older independent act to get a youth culture reboot like that. Josh introduced me to Janet Devlin & Ollie Green and I wrote some songs with them which we’ll be finishing up soon. And the Twitter thing has been awesome. Those kids are fun…And A LOT smarter than people give them credit for. I mean, they oversee Number One single releases for 1D. What the hell even is that?”
So yes, at least one band from before the days of iTunes & Spotify have found a way forward…
And forward they come, opening for Busted on a full arena tour of the UK & Ireland plus their own headline UK & Irish club dates too, including Thekla in Bristol on June 1st, where they will play their entire million-selling eponymous debut album plus songs from their 2nd, 3rd, 4th 5th, 6th & 7th albums. A night to remember for Teenage Dirtbag fans old and new!
See Wheatus supporting Busted around the UK, but also at the following solo dates: