It’s an exciting time to be in WOMPS right now. The duo, comprised of Ewan Grant (vocalist and guitarist) and Owen Wicksted (drummer) have just released their debut album ‘Our Fertile Forever’ via Displaced Records, receiving great reviews as their loyal fanbase continues to grow both at home in Glasgow and abroad, particularly in America.
Making waves with their angsty, raucous sound, their debut album was recorded throughout 2015 in Chicago with the legendary Steve Albini, who has previously worked with the likes of Nirvana, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and The Cribs. The result is an exhilarating record with a distinctly 90s feel; their unpolished pop melodies are soaked in post-punk and garage-rock influences, showing both a melodic and lyrical craftsmanship throughout.
After all, it’s not often GIGsoup hands out 5 star album reviews, but these guys managed it with Adam Stevenson writing ‘It’s not uncommon for bands to hit it out of the park on their first attempt but it’s certainly rare to manage it with an album that features no weak tracks’.
We caught up with the band to discuss ‘Our Fertile Forever’ and what they’ve got coming up…
Your debut album ‘Our Fertile Forever’ is now with us! It must feel great to have it out there?
It’s been a while since recording and it’s great to have it out. It feels like more of a relief than anything. There’s been a lot of ebbs and flows on this journey.
You recorded the album with Steve Albini. How did that come about and how was the experience working with him in Chicago? Was there any added pressure, given his legendary status?
Bob Weston from Shellac mastered the record my old band put out and I got friendly with him then it was simply and email and a phone call to Steve. The experience taught us a lot about attitude towards the music industry and being a better live band. He’s a great guy and has become a friend of the band.
We just treated him as we treat everyone we like. He got as much respect as we show anyone. He’s a big inspiration to me but I’m not going to put anyone on a pedestal, especially someone I didn’t know personally before recoding. He’s got the best manner and honesty for doing what he does and I think it really works well in helping deliver the best recordings we could achieve.
What inspired the decision to record live?
It’s how we play. We’re a band so it’s simple. Overthinking things often dilutes the song at it’s core with needless frills and embellishments.
Who would you say are your big musical influences?
The Smiths, The Pastels, Elliott Smith, Quasi, Steve Reich, Grouper are all the come to mind right now. Oh, and The Cure.
You used to be known as Algernon Doll. What led to the name change?
This is a new band with two members from Algernon Doll. We just kept the Facebook page when Algernon Doll died. That’s that and this is this.
There’s a lot of great bands coming out of Glasgow right now. What’s it like to be part of that kind of musical community?
I can’t say I feel like we’re really part of a community here. There’s some great bands here and lots of good friends but I’ve always felt like an outcast here as we don’t follow trends and just do what we feel like. We’re more accepted in New York to be honest.
Finally, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
UK and US tour plus writing and possibly recording the follow up to Our Fertile Forever. It’s going to be very different
This WOMPS article was written by Suzanne Oswald, a GIGsoup contributor.