THE conventional wisdom in the music industry is bands or solo artists have a window of perhaps two to three albums to release what will become their defining material and biggest hits.
From there it's hoped nostalgia for those glory days can sustain interest in future tours and subsequent albums.
For English indie heavyweights The Wombats it was always assumed earlier songs like Let's All Dance To Joy Division, Moving To New York and Greek Tragedy were those sustaining hits.
But a funny thing happened. In January The Wombats released their sixth album Fix Yourself, Not the World, which became the Liverpudlians first UK No.1.
"I really like the album. I think it's good. It's just been the hard work we've done over the last 16 years," frontman Matthew Murphy says.
With the exception of The Arctic Monkeys, not many of The Wombats' British indie contemporaries from the 2000s are still around, let alone troubling the charts.
"We're very lucky in that respect," Murphy says. "A lot of bands, people we grew up with and came onto the scene with, aren't doing it anymore and we seem to keep on getting these new leases of life.
"We're trying to be grateful for those leases of life and do the best we possibly can when we receive them."
The hard work has continued since the album's release. Murphy and his bandmates Tord Overland Knudsen (bass, keys) and Dan Haggis (drums) spent the year playing in the US and Europe and then arena shows in Australia in June, before returning home for a UK tour.
There's plenty more coming, too. On Friday The Wombats release their six-track EP Is This What It Feels Like To Feel Like This, before returning for another Australian tour which includes a mix of solo shows and appearances at Spilt Milk festival.
The tracks were written during the making of Fix Yourself, Not the World, and rather than include them on an expanded album version, the band believed they deserved their own EP.
The record is filled with Murphy's typically clever wordplay, with song titles like the '90s-influenced I Think My Mind Has Made its Mind Up.
Murphy has hundreds of song ideas on his smart phone. Many are funny curiosities of the English language he's overheard or caught while watching TV.
"It's only once in a blue moon that a song goes perfectly well and falls out of you and it's done in a couple of hours," he says.
"That doesn't happen that often the older you get. Songs like that fight back and they're this kind of jigsaw that you have to finish.
"For me if there's a strong title or something I believe in, I'm willing to wrestle with the song to get it over the finish line, to just complete it. If the title or lyrics aren't resonating with me I don't have the drive to want to finish it."
The Wombats play Spilt Milk in Canberra (November 26), Ballarat (December 3) and the Gold Coast (December 4) and at Newcastle's Bar On The Hill (December 9).
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