“Get into the mash pit!” with Wimps, Tonight at B&S

Last month Seattle trio Wimps, hailed by The Stranger as, “Almost-catchier-than-the-Beatles,” released their third LP, Garbage People, likely the best punk album of the year.  The album, which dropped courtesy of Kill Rock Stars, resembles many of the label’s most legendary accomplishments (perhaps none more so than Bratmobile), in addition to many of Lookout! Records’ greatest hits of the ‘90s (It’s worth noting that Bratmobile’s own Molly Neuman was co-owner of that particular punk label for quite a few years.)  It’s brash, it’s silly, it’s confrontational, and it’s ridiculously fun and easy to sing-along to.  Wimps are currently on tour and will be playing Boot & Saddle tonight, August 9th.  Last month I got a chance to chat with the band, who told me all about Garbage People and the kinds of things currently occupying their time and minds.

Izzy: You recently released Garbage People, which seems to have you delving into somewhat new sonic terrain.  How do you feel like the album compares to previous releases, whether musically or just in terms of the process of writing and recording it?

Wimps: We gave ourselves more time to write and record Garbage People than we have done with previous records (which we usually wrote in a few months and recorded over a weekend).

We spent about a year writing around 20 songs and then recorded the best 13 over a handful of weekends throughout the summer.  You’ll notice this is the first time we have intentional harmonies and extra instrumentation, and that’s all due to the relaxed pace we gave ourselves. We’re very proud of how this record turned out and hope people like it as much as we do!

Izzy: What would you consider to be the album’s most significant influences, both musical and otherwise? (Often the non-musical influences are more interesting.)

Wimps: I’d say some influences for this record included old punk bands, new hip-hop, the Seattle music community, the D bus that took me from work to the recording studio, nature books and podcasts, the Mariners, peanut butter pretzels, Waylon Jennings, the New York Times, and the Big Bopper.

Izzy: I realize this is a pretty big question but, considering that you’ve been a band for more than half a decade now, what have been some of the personal highlights of Wimps for you, so far?

Wimps: Touring across Japan last year was definitely a highlight for us. It was like a dream meeting so many amazing people and playing such killer shows. Also, playing with Thee Oh Sees early in our career, being asked to join the Kill Rock Stars roster, and getting kicked out of a garbage dump while trying to take our album cover photos are all memorable moments!

Izzy: Have you had any particular favorite reactions to your music, whether from fans, critics, or just friends?  Or, similarly, have you noticed patterns in the kinds of people who most like, or “best get,” your music?

Wimps: We have the best fans because they’re regular people just like us, who work multiple jobs, love all kinds of music and care about the world. My favorite reactions are when people say they can relate to a song or that going to a show cheered them up when they were having a hard day.

Izzy: You have a lot of upcoming live dates.  Are there any shows you’re particularly excited to play, or just cities that you’re especially excited to visit or revisit?

Wimps: Our two favorite things about touring are visiting old friends and seeing new places, and we’re excited to do both this tour. We’ve never been to Indianapolis, Santa Cruz, or Santa Barbara before and are looking forward to it!

Izzy: What can be expected of the live experience when you play here at Boot & Saddle?

Wimps: Lots of fast fun songs, the occasional jokes and hilarious banter and maybe people will, as my dad used to say, “get into the mash pit!”

Izzy: And what’s next for you, after these dates wrap up?  What are you hoping and planning for the remainder of 2018, whether related to the band or otherwise?

Wimps: We’re gonna be supporting this record throughout the rest of the year, both through this tour and a few one-off shows and weekends around the country. And then we hope to take a little break, vote in the midterms (You have a voice, please vote.) and then will start writing a new record, most likely.