Brooklyn-based melodic punks Worriers have a new album coming out. It's called "Survival Pop" and will be out this Friday via SideOneDummy. And if you are like us and already liked "Imaginary Life", their previous album, just wait until you get a load of this one! We caught up with vocalist/songwriter/mastermind Lauren Denitzio to talk about all things Survival Pop. (photo credit: Jamie Flynn)
PRT: Since the release of your last album, Worriers became part of the Side One Dummy. What has it been like so far to be a part of their roster?
Lauren: We’re happy to be able to put out a record with a really supportive label that also includes us in such a great roster of bands and friends. They’ve been great to work with and I feel lucky that they have our back. I’ve admired the label for a long time!
PRT: Speaking of family, you adopted one of our continent’s inhabitants in the form of the wonderful Lou from Caves. How did that come about?
Lauren: Lou and I have known each other for a long time through our previous bands. We put out a split 7” together years ago and officially met at Fest about 5 or 6 years ago. We’re partners and I somehow convinced her to move to the states with me! Sorry, UK!
PRT: “Survival Pop”, your first album for SideOneDummy, will be out later this Friday. What was your mindset like, diving into this one?
Lauren: I think this record was a long time coming, trying to figure out a lot of my relationship to music and songwriting and being in a band in general. I wanted to write songs for my past and current self, things that I would want to be listening to during specific and particularly difficult times. That was my starting point anyway, and it was an interesting thing to try to process and write about.
PRT: You’ve already had to overcome plenty of obstacles that life threw your way. But instead of letting them get you down, you seem to have overcome them and ended up stronger because of it. Is that where the concept of ‘survival pop’ comes from?
Lauren: I don’t really believe in the notion that hard times make you stronger necessarily, but they obviously do change you. I think more about that aspect of survival, who you are at the other end of it, how you live in the aftermath.
PRT: We were already big fans of “Imaginary Life”, but the new songs sound even better, more carefully arranged and diverse. Do you feel like you grew a lot as a songwriter in the two years since “Imaginary Life” came out?
Lauren: Absolutely. I feel like I’m always learning, or trying to build on the last thing I’ve worked on. I always want to feel like I can write something that I enjoy more than the last thing. Imaginary Life was a really formative experience for myself and I think the band as a whole, so I tried to really be conscious of that when working on Survival Pop.
PRT: You also work as an illustrator… maybe a weird question, but do you feel you can express different things in your music than through your drawings and paintings?
Lauren: I think I try to express similar things through both mediums but they serve different purposes for me. I think playing music is a much more social and collaborative activity, and visual art is a much more solitary, personally cathartic practice in my life.
PRT: I read that the album comes with a zine… is that something you’ve always wanted to do? And what can we expect from it?
Lauren: I really enjoy making zines, so it was a nice opportunity to be able to make something like that in conjunction with the record. It’s a mix of artwork and some writing in a black and white photocopy way. I tried to funnel some of the other things that I make into that format.
PRT: You recently posted that you were still looking for opening bands for a couple of the dates on your upcoming US tour with Thin Lips and Katie Ellen in October and that you would prioritize bands that weren’t all cis/straight/white men. Playing the devil’s advocate here for a second because I can get behind it… but where do you feel something stops being positive action and turns into something that could be construed as discrimination?
Lauren: Why do you even need to play devil’s advocate here? Why wouldn’t you want to talk about why prioritizing bands like these is necessary in 2017? Playing devil’s advocate: have you looked at the lineups of festivals like Groezrock lately? Here’s the thing, I am discriminating. I’m actively promoting bands whose lineups are not all cis/straight/white men when choosing folks to play shows with on this tour, and that hurts no one. Bands are generally free from major criticism or consequence for creating lineups of just their bros, their dudes, their boys. Some of my favorite bands are all-men. They’re some of the bands that I’d give my right arm to tour with. But you know what this one is? My tour. I get to pick. And I’m choosing angry queers and rad POC and tough ladies because. I. can. I love them and I fucking feel like it. And if anyone has even the slightest issue with elevating marginalized voices, or just actively choosing ones own environment, they can come see me.
PRT: On a lighter note… you played the Chris Gethard show the same day Method Man was a guest. Did you get to meet him? And if so, what was he like?
Lauren: Method Man was really nice and a lot of fun to watch on the show. He introduced himself to us after the show then ran off into the night shouting “Worriers!” like the Warriors (come out to play) and it was a highlight of my life.