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April 2020
Feature

Get a Hobby: The Ninth Wave's Lewis Tollan on Amateur Zoo Keeping

Want to pick up a new hobby? The Ninth Wave have a suggestion for you...
Published: 1:34 pm, April 18, 2018
Get a Hobby: The Ninth Wave's Lewis Tollan on Amateur Zoo Keeping
We're super nosy, here at Dork. We want to know what bands favourite pancake recipes are, what they watch on TV, what they have on their bedside table - and what their hobbies are (so we can steal them and have all the fun).

This month, we take a look at amateur zoo keeping. Kind of. Who hasn’t dreamed of a house full of pets? For The Ninth Wave’s drummer Lewis Tollan, it’s a reality.

Hey Lewis, we hear you have a big collection of animals - introduce your pets.
I sure do, it’s been dwindling down the older I get, but I currently have; Wroofus - My Black Labrador that I also own with my girlfriend Louise [MacLennan], who is the synth player in the band. Next up we have Jaffa - my seven-year-old hypo rainbow leatherback Bearded Dragon, then we have Big Tam - my Panther Chameleon I just got him a few months ago, so he is new to the gang. Then we have mine and Louise’s Leopard Geckos - Big Boi and Wee Boi (they were temporary names that ended up sticking) we got them when we first moved in together. Last we have Barney - my pinstripe royal python which I’ve had for eight years.

How did you come to have so many, did you grow up with lots of animals around?
I don’t really know, I had the usual dogs and cats growing up, but I saved up my paper round money and got a red-footed tortoise when I was 11 or 12, then it became an addiction.

Do they all live together harmoniously?
The only ones who don’t get along currently are Wroofus and Tam. Wroofus tends to put his nose right in his face, to which Tam makes high pitched hissing noises. Working on it, though.

Who takes care of them all when you’re off on tour?
Luckily I have a flatmate who works locally and likes animals, but my mum usually takes Wroofus if it’s for a long time.
 
What’s a typical day like for you when it comes to looking after them?
Well, with the advances of technology and plug timers everything is kind of set. Tam, the chameleon, has the most advanced set up out of all of them, he needs humidity kept at a certain percentage and plants that are in his vivarium to be maintained.

Is it a social hobby, looking after all these animals?
Not in particular. I used to be into the old reptile forums but can’t be bothered talking to some of those people. The bearded dragon is a good animal to show off at parties.

Is a career with animals something you’d like to do in future?
If the band doesn’t make it, I would love to open up an exotic pet shop, but it’s sadly a dying industry. Well, at least physical shops are.
 
Have you trained any of your pets yourself?
I trained Tam to come down off his branch and eat worms from my hand, then other than that Wroofus can high five! I'm not very good at training.
 
Do you have any uncommon pets that you think are generally under-appreciated?
Bearded dragons are really good pet for people who want a slightly out there pet, but with low maintenance. They are also puppy dog tame. I highly recommend!

The Ninth Wave’s EP ‘Never Crave Attention’ is out 20th April. Taken from the May issue of Dork - order your copy below.





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