Why is the pep band not doing an album?
By Matt StinsonRead moreThe last time the band played at the Royal Albert Hall was in 2010, after a short hiatus following the death of frontman Nicky Wire.
The band had released their last album in 2009 and a tour was in progress.
“We were trying to sort out some stuff in the studio, and Nicky was in hospital and he just couldn’t sing, so he was just sitting there in the dressing room doing nothing,” singer/guitarist Tom Smith says.
“[And then] we had a couple of weeks in London, and we just stopped playing.
We went to the hotel, I went to a gig, and the next day I was doing an interview in a pub with Nicky’s son, and that’s when Nicky died.””
Then in November, we were just in a hotel in Paris, and there was a huge show happening, and I was playing with the band.
We went to the hotel, I went to a gig, and the next day I was doing an interview in a pub with Nicky’s son, and that’s when Nicky died.”
Aged just 23, Wire was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009, after which he moved to Sydney.
He continued to write music for the band but by 2012 he had decided to move on to other things.
“We got a bit out of shape,” he says.
“I was kind of starting to think, ‘Well, maybe I’ll just stop’.
And then he passed away, and it was just really difficult.”
Smith says he thought the band might have stopped doing shows after their first Australian tour, but in December 2012, he got a call from his agent.
“He said, ‘Hey, I’m really worried about you, you need to get some more work done,’ and he said, `You’ve got to do this thing’,” Smith recalls.
I was like, `Yeah, yeah, we’ll do it again’,” Smith says, “and we did it.” “
He’s like, ‘Yeah, well, I’ve just been going to a bit of a show, and you’ve got a band.’
I was like, `Yeah, yeah, we’ll do it again’,” Smith says, “and we did it.”
“So, he said to me, ‘You’ve just got to get back to your old routine, because it’s been a really hard year for you.’
I said ‘No, I don’t think I can do that, I need to do something else’.
And I thought, ‘That’s just great, I can’t do that.
I can see what I need.'”
Smith says the band’s tour in 2013 was the first time he felt comfortable in his own skin.
“When you’ve been away from music for so long, and your mind’s been in the toilet for so much time, then it’s hard to come back to the routine.
So, it was very hard for us, because we were at a bit in a bad place,” he explains.
He says he had to get through some tough times in his life to be able to be honest about his life.
“So I went out to buy a bit more stuff, and my mum went to buy some food, and she said, ‘If you ever do a tour again, don’t come back home’.
And it was a tough one, I was on holiday for a week, and when I came back, I just couldn.
It was just like, I’ve got nothing.
So I had to start somewhere else.
So we did the tour again.
The band toured again in 2015, and Smith says they “got through” the tough times of the last two years.
Smith’s wife, Heather, says she thinks the band would be better off playing in a different time period.”
There are things that we don’t want to hear, we want to see,” she says.”
The whole tour, we did one show, in November and we didn’t play, so it was kind a sad one, and our boys were a bit upset, and so we said, why don’t we just go back to Sydney, because they are more prepared to be out there.
“Read moreSmith says his wife was excited to see him play again, and says he has a lot of respect for her.”
She’s the one who is the big advocate for me. “
We’ve been married for 11 years, and he’s been here a few years, so she has known me a long time, and obviously I respect her, and everything.
She’s the one who is the big advocate for me.
And she’d like to see it, and be able, if I can, to have a family and a career.””
So I think it would be a lot more enjoyable for her, to see me again.
And she’d like to see it, and be able, if I can, to have a family and a career.”
The Royal Albert Square in Sydney is now home to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Music.