Worriers: Playfully Heady

Worriers are a Brooklyn band I came across somewhere (I don’t actually remember where.)  They’ve been together since 2008 and they kick out fun punk rock jams inspired by...

Worriers are a Brooklyn band I came across somewhere (I don’t actually remember where.)  They’ve been together since 2008 and they kick out fun punk rock jams inspired by pretty lofty queer theory.  They’re very charming in the most intellectually cool way imaginable.  They’re playing a show this Thursday, July 10th, at Kung Fu Necktie with Kestrels, Adult Dude, and Field Mouse.  I recently got a chance to chat with Worriers’ frontperson Lauren Denitzio, who’s also a visual artist.  They’re one of the coolest people I’ve met this year.  Here’s what they had to tell me.

Izzy Cihak: So Worriers have been around for a while now, but there’s very little information available on the band.  Is there anything you think is especially important for fans and potential fans to know about Worriers?  What have been the highlights of the project? What would you consider to be your biggest influences?

Lauren Denitzio: I think the band started because Mike Hunchback and I really liked The Reigning Sound and Radon and wanted to have more of that grittiness. But I also can’t stop listening to basically anything ever written by John K. Samson or Neko Case. I think how they operate in the world of music is my ideal and they’re both incredibly smart. I appreciate being able to feel this range of pretty vulnerable emotions, and then be tough as nails at the same time. Is it okay to say that I’m influenced by Neko Case’s twitter feed? Because it’s amazing. Otherwise I tend to fly off into radical feminist/queer territory with my other interests. I end up reading a lot of feminist/queer/affect theory and have been thinking a lot about my own connections to that history. Writers like Lauren Berlant, Jose Muñoz, Jasbir Puar, and Jack Halberstam definitely have a big influence on my worldview, and what I want my life to look like.

Izzy: Out of curiosity, have you noticed patterns in the kinds of people who most like and best “get” Worriers?

Lauren: I wish! I can’t really tell, but it’s nice to talk to folks who are really just into punk or whatever genre we fit into, and then people who pick up on the references I make or share my politics. Or both of those things combined. I think I’d be freaked out if there was a “type” or if the audience looked the same all the time.

Izzy: You’re going to be playing Philadelphia at Kung Fu Necktie later this week.  What should we expect of the live experience?

Lauren: Well our new guitarist, our friend John, will be joining us for the first time. He has been in bands like Dead Dog and now Todd Killings, and is a total shredder. I don’t move around a lot on stage so I’m counting on him to be the one freaking out. Also, at some point Mikey will probably imitate Mick Fleetwood, so get ready for that?

[youtube http://youtu.be/rsJQTRtopOQ]

Izzy: And you’re sharing the bill with Kestrels, Adult Dude, and Field Mouse.  What are your thoughts on the rest of the bill?  They all seem super cool. I’ve actually been really into Field Mouse recently.

Lauren: We’re playing a few shows with Kestrels and Adult Dude, Kestrels being on tour from Canada and Adult Dude being our friends from Brooklyn. The first time I ever saw Adult Dude it blew me away, like, “Where did these guys come from?” I’ve known Field Mouse for a long time too but I don’t think we’ve ever played a show together. I think it’s a somewhat diverse lineup in terms of sound, which I think is always the best recipe for a show.

Izzy: What’s next for the band?  How are you hoping to spend the second half of 2014?

Lauren: We’ll be announcing some September east coast and Midwest shows soon and we’ll also be playing Pre-Fest and the Fest in Florida again this year. I’m hoping to record our next LP this fall as well, so I’ll be concentrating on that for a bit. Just playing as much as we can and getting ready to tour more next year, hopefully with a new record!

Izzy: Finally, I have to ask you about your other work.  In addition to Worriers, you do a ton of other really awesome stuff across several mediums. Anything you’re working on or have worked on that you’re especially happy with, that you’d like to tell our readers about while you have the chance?

Lauren: Thanks. As I mentioned before, Don Giovanni put out my artist book, “How Do You Like What You Have.” in April, which I’m really happy with and I think is a good place for folks to see the kind of work I make outside of the band. I’ve just been focusing on my own artwork and starting to research the work that the artist Claude Cahun did with Marcel Moore to resist the Nazis in World War II. They were queer and incredibly fierce and even refused to appeal their death sentence because it would mean apologizing to the Nazis – they only lived because the war ended. How incredible is that? What I’m working on is a project that’s evolving, but that’s where I’m at right now. Painting and drawing and reading a lot.

Izzy: Okay, nevermind, I have one more question.  Out of curiosity, do you consider your work in all the different mediums you work in to have a common goal, or do different things at different times seem more suited for a particular kind of statement/question/concern/critique?

Lauren: The projects I work on all have similar goals, but they work in very different ways. I get much different things from looking at visual art than I do from listening to music, so I think it works the same way when you’re making those things. They’re all cathartic but for different reasons. While I bring other, maybe more nerdy, influences to my songwriting, I try not to bring much specifically personal or romantic narrative into my artwork or other projects. So, it works to write songs about artists or theory but I’m not making paintings about a breakup. It all overlaps a bit though, so I just try to run with an idea, whatever form that needs to take.

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.