Mind-bending karaoke: Worrier heads off to Japan
One of the standing jokes in the music biz -- right up there with "the check is in the mail" and "we can fix it in the mix" -- is that your band is "big in Japan."
But some Wisconsin bands have been lucky enough to actually crack into the Nippon market. Add Worrier -- which has deep roots in Fond du Lac and is now based in Milwaukee -- to that list.
Formed by guys with long music resumes -- Grand Forks, N.D. native Cd Boleratzky (Forsake Ya to the Snakes, Sigliosi, Twigs Tricycle), Britain's Scott Anderson (Free Diamonds, Polar Bear), Jerome O'Callaghan (Forsake Ya to the Snakes, No Dice Fine Wine) and Sean Wilke (Forsake Ya to the Snakes, Kill for Your Love, Bind, Redd Boks) -- Worrier has inked a deal Japan's Parabolica Records. The band already has a deal with the U.K. Richter Collective imprint.
With its debut disc, "SOURCEERrORSSPELLS," now out on two continents -- it came out in Japan in February -- Worrier is headed to Japan to unleash the record there.
"SOURCEERrORSSPELLS" is built on driving (think The Strokes), sometimes quirky rhythms (think early Kings of Leon) and bubbling African-influenced guitar runs (think Vampire Weekend), but manages to create a sound all its own.
We caught up with Boleratzky and Anderson to find out more about Worrier.
OnMilwaukee.com: How did Worrier get together?
Cd Boleratzky: Jerome, Sean and I were all in the band Forsake Ya to the Snakes (on Supermedic Records) out of Milwaukee and Fond du Lac and Scott was in the band Free Diamonds (Deep Elm Records) based in Newcastle (England). Our bands toured together here in the States and the U.K. and E.U. a number of times -- Scott and I have been long time pals.
Our last tour together in the U.K. our drummer met Scott's sister and eventually moved to Newcastle to be with her and at the same time Scott's band was coming to an end, so he came to visit and I was off work, having cracked my shoulder wake boarding, and we had nothing but time to make noise ... and so Worrier was conceived.
OMC: Can you tell us a bit about making the record?
CB: The process of making the record was Scott and I holed up in my studio, Soar Dead Swans, here in Bay View, overlooking the frozen arctic wasteland of Lake Michigan every day on end for about three months, some days over 14 hours. It's really a wonder that there's anything upbeat on the album at all ... or that we're even still friends.
We recorded, produced and mixed everything ourselves and left the mastering up to (Aloha's) T.J. Lipple of Silver Sonya (Studios in Arlington, Va.).
We got the idea to have group choirs and would throw parties and at around 3 a.m. we'd wrangle everyone up to the studio to sing on our tracks. It was a rather tricky process and after the first few rounds of wrong lyrics, wrong keys, jokers with new lyrics, etc. We always got what we wanted, just people singing like mad lunatics -- somewhat in key and mostly correct lyrics.
OMC: Then the U.K. label deal happened?
CB: We gave some demos out to friends and got asked to play a show, so we recruited Jerome. Which progressed to the three of us touring the States and overseas. We were just starting to get the ball rolling -- playing with the Foals, talking with Isaac Brock about being on Glacial Pace, signing onto Richter Collective -- when Scott had to head back to the U.K., putting us onto unwanted hiatus status.
Jerome and I started playing with Sean, as at that point the red-tapers weren't giving any clues as to how long before we would see Scott again, and after just over a year he returned -- but we were -- and are -- too hopelessly in love with Sean to be without him and he stayed on.
OMC: The disc is out now in Japan! How did that come about?
CB: We ended up on Parabolica Records through connections with Richter Collective, which we are on because of the first tour Worrier did in the U.K. and France. We played a couple shows with Adebisi Shank whose drummer runs the label and asked us to be on it. They were on tour in Japan and were playing our album in the van and Parabolica got a hold of us and asked if we'd want to release the album out there through them and come support it.
OMC: And now you're going over to play there? Is it a long tour? Will you do TV and things like that, too? What do expect it will be like?
CB: The tour will be 10 days, as you cover Japan rather quickly. As far as what to expect, we're just gonna play it by ear. We have been communicating with them about gear and album and tour details and though it has been a rather confusing series of e-mails, everything up 'til now has been handled spot-on.
It seems they have their proverbial "sh*t together" so we feel we are in good hands. We have been doing interviews for magazines and blogs out there and have a vague understanding that they are going to make and sell a video of the tour, but that's about all we know. All we're gunning for is video games and mind-bending karaoke.
Scott Anderson: Truthfully, your guess is as good as ours. We know for certain the venues will be a little bigger, the video games a little harder and the sushi a little fresher.
OMC: After Japan, you're back in Milwaukee -- what happens then for Worrier?
CB: We leave Japan May 2 at 5:35 p.m. and land in Milwaukee May 2 at 5:35 p.m. -- no joke. The way we see it we are time traveling and everyone knows from "Back to the Future" that only absolutely amazing things happen when you time travel.
We actually land and head to our practice place to get our gear to play The Mad Planet that night with Jaill and Harlem.
Less immediate plans involve finding, in our own procrastinatious ways, a keys, samples, etc. member. Getting more involved locally, and figuring out what's happening with the label situation here in the States. We are still talking with a few but have reached no conclusions. We will then be heading back to Ireland, U.K. and France in September to tour supporting the releases out there.
SA: We plan on finishing our new record, before the songs keep piling up and it turns into a concept album, working on our biceps for summer and practicing our French for September's tour.
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