WHEN The Wiggles were recording a cover of AC/DC's Thunderstruck for their ReWiggled album, Lachlan Gillespie, aka Lachy Wiggle, admits he was trepidatious.
Australians love their Acca Dacca. Turning one of the Young brothers' most beloved pub rock anthems into a droning piano-driven ballad aimed at children could be considered brave. Others might call it sacrilegious.
Any nervousness Gillespie felt evaporated the minute he heard a packed audience at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena singing Thunderstruck loudly in unison before a Wiggles OG (original group) concert two weeks ago.
"I'd never heard something so loud," Gillespie says. "They all sang at the top of their voice to the point they had to leave it. We were already running a bit late, but they let it just finish."
There's a wealth of love for The Wiggles right now. In January their cover of Tame Impala's Elephant topped triple j's Hottest 100 and this week ReWiggled is No.1 on the ARIA charts.
The double album features bands like San Cisco, The Chats, DZ Deathrays and Polish Club doing Wiggles covers, before the children's group return serve with renditions of famous songs like Thunderstruck and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.
The Wiggles have also begun their first national tour post-COVID, which also doubles as the debut of new yellow Wiggle, 16-year-old Ethiopian-Australian Tsehay Hawkins. She's replaced Gillespie's ex-wife Emma Watkins.
"If she [Hawkins] was feeling [pressure] - and I'm sure she was at first - she hasn't shown it," Gillespie says. "She's incredibly mature. She's done so much performing outside, not in this world, but in dancing worlds.
"Even the way she goes about everything and way she speaks. I was saying to someone yesterday, we've almost already taken for granted the skills she has. We don't even second guess now when she gets on stage and takes an intro or is talking to a child in a meet and greet."
There's been plenty of changes in Gillespie's personal life too. In September 2020 he and his fiance Dana Stephensen welcomed twin daughters Lulu and Lottie. Just recently the girls realised Dad was a TV and music star.
"They absolutely love music and they can look at the TV now and have started putting it together, which is kind of special," he says.
Gillespie says becoming a father has also given him a greater appreciation for The Wiggles' importance to children and their parents.
"I've found a real difference in the way I even go to talk on stage," he says. "I suppose I'm doing that so much more at home.
"Not in a drastically different way or over the top, but I think it definitely spurs your creativity more and you're constantly coming up with little songs or little games around the house.
"It opens up a whole new world and it makes the live show so much more, because it's more in context than it ever was. You know what the children are feeling through your own children."
The Wiggles play the Newcastle Entertainment Centre (April 2), Wollongong's WIN Entertainment Centre (April 3) and the Canberra Playhouse Theatre (April 4 and 5).
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.