He’s Australian, one of the funniest men in rock and roll, and he’s going to be playing the Masquerade in Atlanta on Friday, March 8.
You may not know him yet, but you soon will. I’m talking about Henry Wagons, the leader of the popular Australian band Wagons.
I found out first-hand that Henry is entertaining, even off the stage, as I spoke with him recently via Skype when it was early in the morning Melbourne, Australia time.
Wagons made some waves with the band’s 2011 album Rumble Shake & Tumble, and now they are going to be touring the U.S. in support of a new mini-album, Expecting Company.
Expecting Company came out in January and it features a parade of special guests, most notably Alison Mosshart.
As for what to expect in Atlanta, Wagons says it’s going to be a mix.
“I’ll be playing tracks off my new album, which is mostly duets, but a lot of my older stuff too,” explained Wagons.
Here’s how Wagons describes his music:
It’s kinda fat Elvis, crossed with a nearly dead Johnny Cash with dashes of the cheekiest Tom Jones.
In other words, expect the unexpected.
But the “unexpected” seems to be the norm with Wagons.
“I like songs that horrify, but also can pull on the heart strings,” admits the singer/songwriter. The fact is, his songs are great, and he knows how to put on a performance.
“This is a big opportunity for me, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
I love using Skype to interview people, and Wagons says he’s a big fan of online communication program as well.
“This sort of technology is what helps save my marriage,” laughs Wagons. “And the relationships to my dogs.”
As for other technology, YouTube and social media in general have been great for Wagons expanding his reach out of Australia.
“We use it for selecting support bands for out tours all over world,” explains Wagons.
Wagons also gets people coming up to him all time saying they’ve watched all their videos.
In his typical fashion, Wagons say he first apologizes to them, then he thanks them for being fans.
And he really does interact with fans on social media.
“It’s a great thing, but you really have to interact,” said a semi-serious Wagons. “Just don’t tell them where and when you are playing, but give them something personal and something that makes them feel included.”
Wagons also said something unexpected to me when he said he loves those long flights from Australia to America.
“I stay connected with my iPhone and iPad and all my gadgets.”
Wagons, it turns out also spent some time this January working as a reporter for the ABC, during the Australian Open tennis in his home town of Melbourne.
“If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you’ll see a few pictures of me at the tennis,” says Wagons. “They sent me down to the tennis as some sort of roving reporter, some kind of idiot roaming the grounds.”
Wagons got to report from the fastest serve competition and the family entertainment venues at the tournament. He said he was at the tennis, but he didn’t get to see much tennis.
He also says he’s proud of the event and all the family entertainment that is offered around the grounds.
Wagons will be hitting the American South on this tour, and he’s really looking forward to it.
“I’ve spent some time in Nashville, and looking forward to spending some time in that neck of the woods.”
“I had humble ambitions for this new album,” summed up Wagons. “But here I am doing a big tour around (America).
“It’s all very unexpected, America is the “promised land” for us and it’s a beacon of culture.”
Unexpected no more.
You can check out all the info on Henry and Wagons at http://www.wagonsmusic.com/ or on his YouTube channel.
Get your tickets at: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0E004A3C041BFAF6.