The Waifs: Ironbark’s 25th Anniversary Regional Tour

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

The Waifs: Ironbark’s 25th Anniversary Regional Tour

It’s been a huge year for the Waifs, celebrating being together for a quarter of a century this year. The celebrations began with the release of their eighth full length album, ‘Ironbark’ and then going on to complete a sold out national tour. But the celebrations don’t stop there, the band just announced that they will be returning to some of the regional areas they didn’t get to visit on their tour earlier in the year. Forte spoke to Josh Cunningham, Waifs guitarist and vocalist about the upcoming tour.

Hi Josh. It’s been such a big year for The Waifs – an album, a national tour and now you’re coming back for a regional tour, is this something the band has been planning for a while for your 25th anniversary?

Earlier on we had thought that we would do something again before the end of the year because the previous tours were quite extensive and you know, different people had different things going on, we actually had put that idea on the shelf and just thought that we would keep it at one for the year. But as we’re getting to the end of this milestone anniversary year, there was a bit of collective sense of ‘wouldn’t it be nice to get out there and go to some of the places that we used to go to that we didn’t make it to on the last tour’.

What’s it like to have such dedicated fans, some of which I’m sure would have been supporting you for 25 years?

Yeah that’s right, a lot of them have and you know a lot of them have had children as well so they’re coming along now too, and even in some instances they’re having children of their own, so we’re getting to the third generation of Waifs people. It’s really very gratifying. It’s humbling because it’s not just ‘hey isn’t that great that we’ve had people that have been buying our albums or coming to our shows for that long’, it’s more the fact that the music has sunk into people’s lives to such an extent that they’ve wanted to maintain that connection and it’s meant something to them to the point where that bond is strong and them coming to see us play and listen to our music is really a positive thing in people’s lives – it’s great.

Experiencing a few little hiatuses, is it different or hard coming back after having a break for a few years?

It’s actually not really. It’s probably a bit of a cliché but it’s like riding a bike. You know all the history and relationships, and all our shared experiences are so deep and rich, so it’s kind of a very natural dynamic when we’re back together it’s just like we’re picking up where we left off, like no time’s elapsed in between.

I read that while recording Ironbark you recorded 30 songs in two weeks, what was that process like?

It was very non-premeditated, we didn’t really know what was going to happen. We just had a couple of weeks to get together and make an album that would be a release that commemorates 25 years of history. We converged at my place, which I’m still building, we just set up in the main part of the house and our recording engineer sort of set his equipment up around us and said go for it. Before we knew it we had that many songs, it just kept going, so it was obviously a good way to work for us. Here we just relax and sit back and let it flow. I think that’s much more in keeping with the kind of people that we are too.

Is there anything that you would have done differently over the last 25 years?

It’s hard to say that you would. I mean maybe things apart from the band but as far as the journey of the band has gone, here we are 25 years later, still together. A group of people, we love each other, we’re really proud of what we do, we make a significant contribution to the world and people are being touched by our music and we’ve been able to make a life out of it and bonus, it’s been a livelihood too. I guess you can’t really question any of it because that’s where you’re meant to be, it’s great.

What do you see coming in the future for not only the Waifs but also for yourself as well?

Well this house that we recorded in, I’m still working on it, it’s still not finished so I’d love to get that done. As for the band, like I said we feel like we’re doing something positive and people are responding to it and all over there’s that desire and motivation to do it and we feel like we are putting something out there into the world that’s important and I think we’ll just keep going. We’ve never really over thought things to this point, so we’ll probably just keep going by feel and seeing where the journey leads.

When & Where: Theatre Royal, Castlemaine – December 3 (sold out) & December 4

Written by Jasmine Turner