Worn Out Interview: “Mary Harney seductively eating a packet of chocolate digestives”

Worn Out

Debut single ‘With False Hope’ out now.

As anywhere with ears in their head will know, the Irish metal music scene is vastly under rated. Which is a major pity as it is brimming with exciting and visceral bands that push and pound in equal measure. One such group is Cork’s Worn Out. Brutal and unrelenting, the foursome thrash and pummel their way through their debut single ‘With False Hope’ with reckless abandon.

We spoke to Evan (drums), Xander (vocals), Isaac (guitar/vocals), and Brian (bass) about how the band came to be, what inspired the aforementioned ‘With False Hope’, and discovered who is the band’s favourite Irish group. Oh and there’s something about Mary Harney in there too. She scares me.

Overblown: You’ve just released your debut song, ‘With False Hope’. Tell us a bit about the song. How was the music written?

Evan: The song actually came together pretty quickly from having all of us play with one initial Idea in our rehearsal space. After we had the bones of the song done that’s when we look into certain sections individually. We change how we write from song to song. Sometimes we record our ideas down and piece them together on a laptop before we physically play it as a band. Sometimes it’s easier to get your idea across that way.

Isaac: We actually booked the recording before the song was even finished to light a fire under our asses. We didn’t second guess much and just left it flow naturally so it came together pretty easily. We just wanted to write a few heavy riffs and I think we did just that.

Brian: I started playing with the lads about 2 weeks after they started jamming, there were some ideas already being thrown around and Isaac had been toying with the main riffs which I gravitated towards straight away. The song and arrangement came together really quickly over the space of a few weeks, we’re pretty democratic in our writing so if one person hates an idea we’ll generally scrap it after a short argument. We come from differing influences and styles so we know we’re onto something if we’re all agreed.

Overblown: What about the lyrics? What is the inspiration behind them?

Xander: It would take ages to talk about exactly what the inspiration for the lyrics are because it is about so many different things. But generally, frustration. The frustration of people turning on you for doing the things you want to do. The frustration of being given the belief that there is room for change when you know its already fucked. Say it like is it.

Overblown: The video is super professional. Who created it? Where did the concept come from?

Brian: Again it came together pretty quickly, we knew that we’d have a limited amount of time and resources to do a decent quality video so we’d need a simple idea or visual metaphor that would tie to the song and could be expressed easily. I came up with the idea to have 2 guys fighting over an empty or mysterious box, we passed the concept back and forth and knew what we wanted pretty immediately. We got in touch with Rob O’ Halloran from Mint Video, he had some locations in mind, brought in Kieran Fitzgerald to handle the camera work, and we took it from there. Everything went pretty smoothly. I’d definitely work with them again. It was a pretty chill atmosphere while shooting, we did have two random guys staring at us and laughing for the entire time we were filming the live shots though, which definitely made us self-aware about how silly we probably looked moshing around in a shed in the middle of nowhere.

Overblown: What’s in the box?

Evan: A tiny Mary Harney seductively eating a packet of chocolate digestives.

Brian: Gwyneth Paltrow’s head.

Isaac: A very sharp lemon.

Overblown: I really love the design on the t-shirt you just released. Who designed it? What’s the story behind the design?

Evan: Kelvin Doran from Serpent Tusk Studios designed the T-shirt for us. Kelvin’s work is amazing and he is a seriously great guy to work with. He’s a great drummer too. I think being a musician himself he really knew what would work for a band and how to communicate. The guy has been seriously helpful. Kelvin had this to say about the design.

“The concept behind this was based on the band’s name. It depicts an old tired character holding up a giant skull. The skull represents depression, life or whatever you may be going through. The snake represents negative people and how their words can bring you down. The arrows are being stabbed in the back by certain people and finally, the candles in the eyes symbolise the small flicker of light that may remain from you dealing with all of this and trying to push through.”

Overblown: There’s a gig on the horizon with God Mother. Psyched?

Evan: Yeah we can’t wait! It’s been almost a year of us preparing and writing so for us it’s going to be a great release to finally get out doing shows. Being able to do our first show with God Mother is pretty special too. We’re in Waterford with Bailer the week after in Central Arts and then onto Dublin with Hero in Error at the end of February. We have more shows still to be announced too. We made a plan early into the band and we’ve stuck to it. I’m looking forward to our announcements over the coming weeks.

Isaac: I can’t wait. I’m anxious to finally get on stage and shake off the first gig cobwebs. God Mother are sick. They just got off tour with the mighty Dillinger Escape plan so they’re no joke. I’d advise to check them out if you haven’t already.

Brian: It’ll be a laugh to finally try out the tunes and see what works and where it falls apart. Ideal lineup for a first gig too… God Mother are awesome, they weren’t really on my radar until the gig was booked but dying to see them live now. The Dillinger Escape Plan are heroes of mine so God Mother being picked to play one of their last shows is a big deal.

We’re good mates with the Bailer lads and I’ve been bumping into and playing gigs with the Ilenkus guys for a long time now so it’ll be a good night whatever happens.

Overblown: Tell us how the band came together? How did you all meet?

Evan: The idea for the band came from my frustration with another project at the time. I wasn’t getting what I needed and I didn’t feel fulfilled. I wanted to play something completely different to what I had been playing at the time. Initially, myself and Isaac talked about starting something that would hold influence from Alice in Chains. We jammed with no real intentions or ideas at first and it was the most fun I’d had writing and playing in some time up to that point. It progressively grew from there with Xander jumping in on vocals and Brian joining the band later. It was a pretty organic process, fortunately.

Isaac: I wanted to get back into playing after a few years of fucking around and I knew of Evan through some mutual friends. I then drunkenly took out a loan from the bank and kitted myself out with a new guitar and some pedals. We got together and played a few tunes then and it grew from there.

Brian: I’d been playing in a band with Evan for a while, he was getting pretty frustrated and wanted to play heavier music. I rarely have free time so couldn’t really commit to much but the guys met up and jammed a few times in our practice space and asked me to join after about 2 weeks once they knew they were vibing well. Then I ruined everything.

Overblown: Who is your favourite current Irish band?

Evan: Bailer. For sure. They are absolutely killing it. They’ve also been extremely supportive and helpful to us. I’m a big Meltybrains? Fan too. I’m delighted to see Chemical Addiction are gigging again. Those guys are sick. Hornets are class. Overhead, The Albatross are class. Harbouring Oceans are class… I think this question deserves it’s own piece! We have amazing music on this little island

Isaac: Bailer. No question. Big things on the horizon for those boys. Check them out. Now.

Brian: It’s hard to narrow it down to one band or genre, Bailer are doing great things at the moment. Ten Past Seven have been releasing varying shades of deadly stuff for years. Horse are also scratching a major itch. Outside Cork, Murdock and Hands Up Who Wants To Die have new music coming which I’m pretty excited about, No Spill Blood are one of the best live bands going, Ilenkus go hard, Katie Kim’s still releasing really consistent tunes. Percolator finally got their album out and are getting some praise, which is cool. There’s some unreal electronic stuff too like Trenchurian and Roam.

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