With Worn In Red, Richmond, VA has another damn fine band to add to its pedigree of damn fine bands. The sheer power that comes off of their latest release "In The Offing" is amazing and should be experienced with the volume turned way the fuck up. Make sure to check them out both on record and live...which will even be possible in Europe pretty soon! Read on to see what the band had to tell us via email.
PRT: First time I listened to "In The Offing", I was actually drewling and had my girlfriend wondering whether or not I'd suffered a stroke. Is that something you hear a lot about the new album?
WIR: Thanks! We are really proud of it and the feedback so far has mostly been super positive.
PRT: To me at least, it seems like you came out of nowhere which of course isn't true. So can you give me a quick history of the band written in less than two minutes?
WIR: Worn In Red was born in Charlottesville during our first practice in late 2004, and congealed over a shared love of Fugazi, Sleepytime Trio, Refused, Planesmistakenforstars, Sunny Day Real Estate, and Hot Water Music. From our inception until mid 2007, Worn In Red played a bunch of shows, did numerous short tours, and released a few things on DC-area labels like Exotic Fever and Rosewater.
In September of 2007, Joe, Brad, and Brendan parted ways with our original singer/bassist, and brought longtime Richmond, VA friend Matt Neagle on board to play bass and to share the vocal duties with Brendan. After only a few shows with this new line-up, we played The FEST 6. The 12-hour drive home seemed to take no time, and we realized that we’d found an exceptional mix of personalities that reignited everyone’s excitement about being in this band.
In 2008, we just tried to keep upping the ante. We did a 2-week tour that January, played a bunch of long weekends, pooled our “stimulus package” money to record "In The Offing", bought a beautiful 1998 15-passenger van, did another 2-week tour in September, played an incredibly fun show at The FEST 7, and did more long weekends. Var Thelin, mastermind of No Idea Records, came to see us play at the Gainesville shows, and we all realized that there was a real admiration for each other’s music and ethics. In February 2009 we did a 3 week tour of the northeast, and then in the early summer of 2009, (and just a month after the mixing and mastering of the full-length had finally finished) we got the call we’d been waiting for: No Idea was going to put our record out. Our record came out at FEST 8 (which was a blast), and then from January - March 2010 we went on a 6.5 week U.S. tour. That pretty much brings us up to now!
PRT: For people who don't know you yet, if Worn In Red was the lovechild of two other bands... which acts would've had sex and which position were you conceived in?
WIR: Randy Newman through a glory hole.
PRT: In my review I namedropped acts like Planes Mistaken For Stars, Quicksand and Modern Life Is War. Are those bands you can relate to?
WIR: Hell yeah! We celebrate their entire catalogs.
PRT: You all hail from Richmond and Charlottesville yet have found a second home in Gainesville. What's it like to be a part of two of the most awesome scenes around? Can you contain yourself or do you still have to change shorts a lot?
WIR: Joe doesn't actually own any shorts. Ha ha. Nah, we all love Virginia. Matt and Brad have lived here all their lives. Virginia is, and has always been, the context in which Worn In Red exists. This area is rich with a history of bands that motivate(d) listeners/participants by example. These bands also knew how to write a memorable fucking song. From Avail to Majority Rule, there are a bunch of examples of what a vibrant independent band should be: Honest, intelligent, relatable, passionate about the music they are creating, and fucking on fire when playing live. Our band exists in that same spirit, and are proud to be a part of Virginia punk rock. And we're stoked to have lots of road family in Gainesillve. It happened pretty naturally though...a lot of our good friends from college all moved down there around 1999 or 2000, and most of them have stayed. So we've always made it a point to get down there even before No Idea.
PRT: The more I read about your band, the more it becomes obvious that you are in it for all the right reasons. If there is one thing that you miss in today's scene, what would it be?
WIR: Well thanks again! Not sure what we miss, but one thing we love about all of this is meeting people and bands that are doing this because they just love playing honest music, and love contributing to this creative community. We've all formed meaningful relationships and gained longtime friends simply through playing in bands, and that pretty much rules!
PRT: On your MySpace page you have sort of a disclaimer... what's up with that?
WIR: Here's the thing on our myspace:
"Please don't send form letters trying to book shows with us, or anyone. The idea of having a connection like myspace should be a good one, not a launching pad for generic bands full of people with dollar signs in their eyes. That said, if you would generally like to play a show with us, are nice people, and have a sound we might be into, let us know. We will never respond to any form letters, and we hope that others will adopt this policy, because if we don't get rid of cookie-cutter bands touring just to feed their own egos, our scene will end up shit.
Also, there's just too much smarmy "networking" going on in general - that shit belongs in a business luncheon, not in a DIY music community. If you're a band or a company we've never met, and you dig our music, take 5 minutes to send us a message and introduce yourselves. It's really not asking that much, and it helps build a buffer against turning this myspace thing into a contest of "which band can waste the most time in front of their computer trawling for friends to artificially inflate the status of their band". We'll do the same if we randomly run across your band/company and we like it enough to say, "hey, let's be 'friends'". We're not trying to be dicks, we're just not interested in being all cold and "business" about music, and it seems that this simple request keeps the corporate-rock wannabes at bay, since they generally have no interest in making any kind of good-faith friendly connection. In other words, if our position on this pisses you off, then it was probably meant to. If you get it, then lets be friends!"
It's pretty self-explanatory...and it kind of acts as a barometer for who is actually interested in us...as in interested enough to read our page and respect that small request. It's not too much to ask, ya know?
PRT: The bad food, the endless drives, the sleeping on floors, the being away from home,... these are all (I suppose) downsides to touring. But what is it that makes it all worthwhile for you?
WIR: Well we don't really tour 9 months out of the year or anything like that...which goes a long way to help keep it fun and exciting for us. I think this year we'll probably end up doing about 3 months out of the year, and that's just enough without being too much. But the drive to share our music with new people, and knowing how much fun it will be to make new friends and visit all of our buds around the country provides a good amount of motivation to keep it up.
PRT: I read something somewhere about a European tour later this year. Do you already have an idea when that would be?
WIR: Yep! It looks like we'll be touring Germany, northern France, Netherlands, the UK, and perhaps CZ for most of November. Stay tuned for an announcement sometime soon. We also have a split 7" with our buds Mouthbreather coming out late summer / early fall on Rorshach Records (and it might be a split with another label). Stoked on that.
PRT: Any last words for our readers?
WIR: Punk Rock Theory rules! Oh, and Jesse Harrison: "Be the beast."