Interview: Woorms

Fans can definitely expect a departure, to an extent. We feel like the writing has matured and it was also our first full collaboration, if you look at the writing of the first two records.

Baton Rouge noise rock unit Woorms are about to release their third album Fatalismo and it sees the trio reaching new plateaus with their sound as well as their songwriting. Gavin Brown caught up with Woorms guitarist / vocalist Joey Carbo and he told him all about Fatalismo and its creation, including working with Steve Austin from Today Is The Day on the record. They also talked about the music video for album track ‘Quiet As Isaac’, split records and the heavy music scene in both their native Baton Rouge and Louisiana in general.

Ahead of the album’s release on May 13th, Echoes and Dust is also proud to present an exclusive premiere of the album track ‘Mezzo Mort’. which Joey tells us what the song is about here.

“The world is a shuffling mass of patients. Most of us have lost a slipper or forgotten how to wipe properly but we’re still somehow managing to breed “like rats”. The icing on the cake? There is no tragedy, self inflicted or otherwise, we wouldn’t rush to sign up for. Mezzo Mort, “half dead” (in Italian: mezzo morto) is used in Italian American slang, pronounced metsa morta, most commonly to express a feeling of existential dread but it can also refer to a sad, useless person, someone not worth the trouble. I suppose I was just saying that the problem with the world isn’t so much that the patients are running the asylum but that they built the goddamn thing and installed an all-you-can-eat buffet. Grab a plate! Buon Appetito!

You can check out the song below and look forward to the album coming out very soon. Find digital preorders at the band’s Bandcamp, and watch for physical preorders to post shortly.

E&D: Your new album Fatalismo is out next month. What can fans expect from this album and are you excited to get it out to them? 

Joey: We’re excited to get it out because it’s already quite old to us. We wrote and demoed it two years ago. Fans can definitely expect a departure, to an extent. We feel like the writing has matured and it was also our first full collaboration, if you look at the writing of the first two records. I think it definitely benefited from the way we approached it. We rented out a little house way up in the woods and, with the exception of a little case of “exhaustion” on my part, all we did was write these songs. This record is a little more chill and groovier, while still going plenty hard.

E&D: Steve Austin from Today Is The Day produced, engineered, and mastered Fatalismo. How was the experience of working with him on the record? 

Joey: Kind of intense. He knows how to get such a great sound and you just have to do your job and let him handle the rest. It’s not always that way, making a record and, for me personally, (for that reason) it can be difficult to relinquish control, but I always felt we were in very good hands. I felt lucky to be there, I really did, Today Is The Day is a big deal to me and has been for a long time.

E&D: What did he bring to the sound of the album and what did you learn from working with him? 

Joey: He gets great work out of you, and he knows everything about dope gear and mics and has a really, really impressive ear. As a producer and engineer myself, I learned more in a few weeks than I thought possible. Steve was very generous in that way. Steve also worked really hard to get us the gear we needed to sound like Woorms. People always say we sound very much like our records when we perform, and we can be kind of particular about gear. Steve is also a Mesa guy so that was cool. We flew up there with a lot of shit but he 100% made sure we had everything we couldn’t realistically bring. 

E&D: How is life on SuperNova records and how did you come to sign to the label? 

Joey: It all came from a really insane idea to drive 1500 miles both ways just to open for Today Is The Day because… fuck it. It’s been hard work but the record will be worth it. Steve has put together a great team and Woorms just wants to keep putting out beautiful works of art -from the center label to the last mic placed in front of a cab. Fans can always count on that.

E&D: Fatalismo is Woorms’ third album, how do you feel you’ve changed as a band since your debut album Slake

Joey: We just keep pushing each other to do different things and we try to make albums we would want to listen to. You have to remember, Slake was written before there was a band, as was some of Twitching. To me that makes it all the more impressive what Aaron and John have lifted this band up to in less than 20 songs. They are brilliant musicians and artists.   

E&D: You’ve just released the music video for the track ‘Quiet As Isaac’. Can you tell us about the song and the video?

Joey: The video is a “making of” sort of video from our time in Maine. It’s one of the groovier songs I was referring to. The title is a biblical reference – that really fun part in the story where God wants his most faithful servant to kill his own kid.  


E&D: You released splits with The Grasshopper Lies Heavy and Radiant Knife last year. How have those been received? 

Joey: The RK/W split may have fallen victim to Covid a little, as far as sales. Those were songs we didn’t feel fit on the records and those B sides were received positively. The 12″ split with TGLH is a 23-minute song that we consider an album unto itself, album 3.5. It was written and recorded the year after initial tracking of Fatalismo. So those two were released out of chronological order.

E&D: Who would you love to do a split release with in the future? 

Joey: Great question; see if you can hook these up! Deaf Club, The Munsens, Helms Alee, The Body, Eye Flys, Chat Pile, Orphan Goggles, HAAN, Child Bite, Pig Destroyer, Human Impact, Dalek, Street Sects, Pere Ubu, Dope Body, Gay Witch Abortion!

E&D: Who are the biggest influences on the sound of Woorms? 

Joey: We were teenagers in the early 90s so that kind of says it all. I think anyone in this genre has to admit that if it weren’t for The Melvins we’d all be playing music that would sound very different. But we listen to everything. There’s no one we are trying to sound like, but it’s bound to happen. I don’t pay attention to comparisons much but when I first started talking to John about his bass sound and in some of the early ideas we discussed, it was agreed that we wanted a backbeat like Jesus Lizard and Big Black.

E&D: You opened up for Soulfly recently. How did the shows go and what were the highlights?

Joey: We slayed. Otherwise, no comment.

E&D: Have you been playing a lot of material from the new album?

Joey: Probably about half and half. 

E&D: What are your touring plans once the album comes out?  

Joey: There is a three-week run planned for May and some fests and special bookings later in the year.

E&D: What is the heavy music scene in your hometown of Baton Rouge like at the moment and what bands would you recommend for us to check out? 

Joey: Your honor, I respectfully invoke my rights under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution on the grounds that answering questions may incriminate me.

E&D: Who are your favourite ever bands to come out of Louisiana? 

Joey: Icepick Revival was one of the best I remember from here. The frontman is still working today. His new band is Zyclops. Ryan is maybe a genius. Coincidentally, Stephen from Radiant Knife was in that band, and you just can’t fuck with that guy either. That band always made me want to sell my gear and shoot myself every time we played with them. They influenced me a lot, in certain ways.

E&D: New Orleans is always seen as a bastion for music, is there a similar vibe in Baton Rouge? 

Joey: I mean, we’re only like right up the road. As kids here you spend as much time there as not, especially if you’re a musician or even just go to lots of shows. The scene is definitely different from NOLA but when I was first starting out (when we all were, just not in the same bands) the Baton Rouge scene was really strong and crazy. It was all we ever did …shit, it still is all we really do but BR has changed a lot in 25 years and, musically most of all, I’d say. 

E&D: What have been some of the highlights in your time with Woorms so far?

Joey: Oh, it’s all chicken but the gravy. It’s so fun I sometimes forget to shit my pants. Playing shows is great, of course, but I really treasure our conversations, near fist fights, and listening to those guys snore. Some things you just can’t trade for silver and gold.

Exclusive premiere for ‘Mezzo Mort’:

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