INTERVIEW: Flat Worms | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by David Evanko

Los Angeles-based post-punk group Flat Worms released their energetic new album Into The Iris in February this year. They are now subsequently sweeping across the UK, touring with performances as dynamic as their music. The album continues their release history of palpably energetic tracks, incredible instrumentalism and some tasty, tasty fuzz.

Similar in recording method to their previous releases (“with Ty Segall at his home studio, basically tracked live with minimal overdubs” they explain), Flat Worms have a consistently raw sound throughout their discography. Though the new album has a unique grittiness and sense of cohesion which guitarist Will Ivy attests to “showing progress which came out of us playing together for longer” stating that “as we have spent more time playing together, the project has come into clearer focus, and we have become better able to execute the idea. I think we were able to be more dynamic and incorporate more of our influences. As we continue to play and write I continue to be excited by what we make, which is all you can ask for.”

As we continue to play and write I continue to be excited by what we make, which is all you can ask for

On recording with Ty Segall on the new album, Will explains that “Ty was able to capture more of our live essence, making it sound good while also keeping it sketchy. Ty is so prolific but is also so generous, especially with his time, recording us and plenty of other bands in addition to his own projects. We have a great working and personal dynamic with him so it is easy for all of us to work towards a common objective with the recordings, and we have fun doing it.”

For a band as motivated to release as Flat Worms, Will states that it is the “creativity and productivity compounding itself” that allows them to write, record and tour on a near perpetual basis. “The more you maintain a consistent practice with your work, the easier it is to sustain that mode. I think a lot of the time writer’s block is just a result of your mind being creatively un-energised.”

The easily identifiable and consistent sound that makes Flat Worms iconic is attributed to the trio’s common influences for the project, from The Fall and Swell Maps to SST Records and Joy Division. The band seems to work in a balance, as Will explains: “I think Flat Worms basically has a spectrum of sound, Tim [Hellman] is on the noisier, punk side of the spectrum, and Justin [Sullivan] is on the more melodic, pop structure end. I think I am more or less in the middle, and I think what differentiates us from other straight forward punk bands is an incorporation of both.” It is this chemistry and balance that allows the dynamic to work and for the creative process to come with relative ease.

The band take in Newcastle’s Cluny on Thursday 27th June as part of their UK tour and ultimately, to see Flat Worms perform is a chance to witness a band that has allowed three talented artists to collaborate on what Will describes as “a great opportunity for us all to produce something that is ours, that we are proud of, and that continues to surprise us.”


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