We’ve recently raved about the ripping new single from Glasgow duo WOMPS, which is the latest preview of their upcoming debut LP. A hard dose of nostalgia with each track, shades of 90’s alt-rock mixed with the woeful emotions of 00’s emo. After a blazing run at last year’s CMJ Music Festival and this year’s SXSW, WOMPS are poised to be one of the favorites of the second half of the year, with Our Fertile Forever (via Displaced Records). We caught up with the band’s guitarist/vocalist, Ewan Grant, via e-mail.
Why did you go with the name change rather than continue on under Algernon Doll?
This is really a completely new band. Algernon Doll was my (Ewan’s) solo project and I wanted to do something more inclusive and collaborative with Owen.
You were in the process of recording the 4th Algernon Doll record before the departure of your bassist and then eventually reforming into WOMPS, did any those songs make it to the recording sessions with Steve Albini?
Most were recorded and dismissed as b-sides. We went back as WOMPS and updated songs, wrote new songs that were more representative of where we were. We’ve been playing “Live A Little Less” for years now though!
What was it like working with Albini and how much have the songs evolved during the sessions at Electrical Audio?
He taught us a lot about believing in your gut and focussing [sic] on a good performance rather than on mistakes or anything like that. He’s more hands-on than you might think but still very much just there to capture the good and bad aspects of the band’s performances. I like the focus on forgetting about digital equipment. I think, if you can, then you should always aim to keep things that simple.
Ewan has always talked about his infatuation with America and mentioned his strong desire to eventually make the move. I noticed the band changed their origin on Facebook from just Scotland to Scotland/Brooklyn, have you guys made the move yet?
I am infatuated with the US. I love the people and it seems, to me, that people are more open to new art and experiences than they are here. I include myself in that though but I’m learning. I find it easier to be myself in New York and it feels like home when we come back but right now our label is based there and a lot of our listeners. We’ll make trips across as frequently as possible but it’s still cheaper for us to live in Glasgow and commute than it is to live in Brooklyn. We are cursed with missing the shittier things about Glasgow too. Owen, in particular, gets homesick and misses his Irn Bru and chippy sauce.
Who or what were your influences writing and recording the record?
Just finding our own sound. I think our sound has changed quite drastically since recording this too but that’s a good sign. Always moving forward and we feel it’s important to document each stage we go through. It’s nice to have an accurate depiction of where you were at any important part of your artistic endeavor.
Steve Albini’s culinary passion has been well documented the past few years, has he given you guys any cooking pointers or made any dishes you guys in between sessions?
He made the carnivores eat like a cow brain taco or something… I don’t eat meat but it looked particularly disgusting! I know he has a cookery blog but I can’t remember what name he goes under. For me, the fluffy coffees he makes are a revelation and his love for RC Cola…truly the kind of colas.
Pair your favorite cereal with your current or all-time favorite record.
I’m going to go with Lucky Charms, even though i haven’t eaten them since i found out they’re not veggie, and I’m listening to Philophobia by Arab Strap right now so that’s a nice pairing of sweet, capitalist America and miserable Scotland.
Our Fertile Forever is out on June 10th on Displaced Records.