The Wellingtons Double Release Party At Ding Dong Tonight!

The Wellingtons Album & EP Launch At Ding Dong Tonight!

I had a chat with lead singer Zac Anthony from Melbourne-based power-pop band The Wellingtons before their big show tonight. Both the In Transit album and the Hey Hey EP have been released in Japan, Spain and the U.S for sometime now, but they will both be launched locally at this special show at the Ding Dong Lounge tonight.

For the uninitiated, tell me a history of The Wellingtons?

Formed in 2004, we started out as a three piece. It was me, Kate Goldby and Steph Hughes. Our drummer at the time went on to present on triple j radio and plays in loads of bands that readers out there may be aware of. Kate had never played bass in a band before and I don't think Steph had played drums in a band before either.

We made our first record, Keeping Up With The Wellingtons, which was completely ignored by Steph's future employer and played around town as much as we could. Someone in Rolling Stone Magazine said we might be the next Jebediah and major label folks were seeing us play in multiple cities, as we toured up the East Coast. Just as things died down and we figured we'd missed our chance, our Australian distributor told us that there was a mystery buyer in Japan ordering large quantities of the first record and we got the news that a sizable cheque was on the way to us. Things looked good, orders went into the 1000s (head buyer for Tower Records, Japan's largest music retail chain at the time, had been importing it) and next thing we know we had two or three Japanese record deals waiting in our email. Soon after the Australian distributor went bust. They had spent the money we'd made for them and only paid us about a quarter of what they owed us. The record soon came out in Japan officially and continued to sell well.

We made our second record, For Friends in Far Away Places, then toured Japan with a new drummer and keyboard player and had the time of our lives. We filled some great venues and felt like rock stars.

The third record, Heading North For the Winter, did pretty well for us. Commercial radio and pay TV rotation around the country, management offers came in and the record was received really well around the globe. It was released in the UK, Japan, Spain, the US and Australia. We toured the world and beyond, with Spain fast becoming another favourite place for us to play.

That's pretty much it, we've now toured Japan, Spain and the US three times, played a bunch of other places in Europe and made our fourth record in the UK, mastering at Abbey Road, which is called In Transit. Oh, and the newest thing is a 10 inch vinyl EP called Hey Hey, that we're launching along with the fourth album that until now hasn't been available in Australia.

The Wellingtons' latest album, In Transit originally came out overseas in July 2011, yet it is finally to be launched tonight at Ding Dong with the new Hey Hey EP. Why has this whole process taken so long?

We've been distracted by international activities where our music is generally better received by more people. Also, our Australian label seems to have fallen into a lull, and after initial enthusiasm for a local release, things came to a grinding halt from their end. Like I said, we've been looking abroad with most of our efforts of late.

Drummers seem to be in all of the news this week with four of them not performing at Soundwave. They're getting sacked, too afraid to board a plane or having motorcycle accidents. It all sounds very Spinal Tap! I noticed that the closing track from your Hey Hey EP is called 'Another Drummer Down'. What is this song all about, Zac?

This song is about the three drummers that have come and gone through the ranks of the band. Good drummers are hard to find and they're even harder to keep hold of. I'd make some drummer jokes if I wasn't one myself.

I know that you guys are big fans of They Might Be Giants, who are touring soon. What is your favourite They Might Be Giants song and why?

Actually we just got the Presidents Of The USA support a few days ago which is pretty exciting. It will only be the second time we've played with an American band here in Australia. Clearly we've not been kissing enough of the right backsides. To get back to your question that's a really hard one. They probably have about 50 amazing songs. 'Birdhouse In Your Soul', 'Don't Let's Start', 'Ana Ng' and so on. I really could go on all day, they've never made a bad record and probably never will. If you want one answer I'm going to go with 'Welcome To The Jungle' (no it's not a Guns N' Roses cover but an obscure mid-period b-side). Something about hearing They Might Be Giants makes me feel different to listening to any other band; it's an extreme happy/sad at the same time kind of thing. I just can't describe it. John Linnell all the way, but they're both great in their own right .

Finally, what does the future have in store with The Wellingtons?

Well I don't think I'll ever stop writing and recording songs but it remains to be seen how long we can keep on touring. I'm in no hurry to buy a house or start a career so let's hope we can keep touring and turn more and more people onto the group. It's really nice to know there are dedicated fans around the world that do look forward to hearing more music from us and while there are not enough of them to allow us to stop working, it still really inspires me to keep writing and touring and keep getting better at it as we go along.

Thank you Zac for chatting with

Catch The Wellington playing their catchy power pop tunes tonight at the Ding Dong Lounge. I highly recommend it as an ace way to start your weekend.

Ding Dong Lounge
Level 1/18 Market Lane, Melbourne
Doors open at 8pm.
Support from Dancing Heels & Cooper Street Exit
The Wellingtons are on at 11pm.

Order your tickets here:

'Keep Me Hanging On' is the first single from The Wellingtons latest album.

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