Oozing Wound Speak To Terrorizer About Next Week’s Debut UK Tour

By on 23 March 2015

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Oozing Wound are coming! If you’ve yet to acquaint yourself with the trio, better get to it as they’ll be playing their first ever UK show in Nottingham next Monday, before calling at Glasgow, Leeds, Bristol, London and Milton Keynes. Terrorizer’s Kevin Stewart-Panko caught up with the band to talk krautrock, life on the road and dealing with the 9 to 5 grind…

“If there’s anything you could possibly aim for as a band, that should be the biggest goal, or at least it has been for us: the ability to travel to different countries based on something you’ve created. We’ve been trying to do this forever and no one’s really offered until now. I’m kind of overwhelmed, actually.”

Zack Weil, guitarist/vocalist for Oozing Wound, is oozing – sorry, it’s early – with cautious optimism. There’s excitement ooz… erm… dripping from his pores, but it’s tempered with the fact that reality can crush dreams quicker than a mutant lizard hanging around downtown Tokyo. On the heels of the Chicago trio’s second album, ‘Earth Suck’, Weil and his co-conspirators – drummer Kyle Reynolds and bassist Kevin Cribbin – are set to hit the shores of the Old World with their edgy mix of quirky thrash, metallic noise rock and smart-alecky nihilism. Despite the excitement, you’ll have to excuse the cloud of apprehension hanging thick in their background. That’s because last year, on the heels of debut record, ‘Retrash’, Oozing Wound were hours away from stepping on a plane for a planned tour of Europe when, well, let’s let Zack pick up the story.

“There was a tour in the works with us and Black Pus, which is why we did that split record together. But, on the day of we found out that the guy who was responsible for booking the shows hadn’t actually booked anything! That was our first experience with European touring.”

Originally forming in 2011 out of the ashes of Windy City go-nowheres Cacaw, Unmanned Ship, ZATH and Bad Drugs, Oozing Wound satisfied a need for the creative expression of its members. Deep down, however, they never expected to escape playing the same circuit of basement/loft/art space/after-hours club shows to the same bunch of underemployed, Instagram-abusing hipsters and their aristocratic facial hair configurations. That is, until Thrill Jockey Records got wind of the band and released ‘Retrash’.

“The first album was recorded by a guy who interned at Electrical Audio with Steve Albini,” remembers Zack, “and he had a free day there. So, he used it to record us and we met Thrill Jockey pretty much the next day. Writing that [album], there was no real expectation that anyone was going to hear it. A year later, we’re working on ‘Earth Suck’. We actually had a few of those songs – the first half of the record, which is definitely more on the accessible side – finished by the time ‘Retrash’ came out; We went into the B-side knowing we wanted to do something a bit weirder and more towards our natural tendency for noise rock and jamming things out a little more. We’re listening to a lot of Kraut-y stuff like Neu! and Kraftwerk and it’s been inspiring us to ride things out and get more repetitive. The ending of ‘Earth Suck’ is probably the best idea we’ve had so far, just playing the same riff over for two minutes.

“From a lyrical standpoint,” he continues about the new album, “I generally try and come up with weird things or find weird stories I write around. Conceptually, ‘Earth Suck’ is more about a pummelled-by-the-bullshit-of-life feeling. We all work retail jobs – Kyle and I work in grocery stores and Kevin works in a sandwich shop – so part of the ‘everything sucks, make fun of it’ vibe is just dealing with the worst people all day. You have to get along with them, but you still hate them. I do it by being sarcastic and biting my tongue.”

In making the move from local obscurity to that of band in demand, Weil laughs before cataloguing the adjustments Oozing Wound has made. From simply finding time to meet up and play regularly and having to worry about juggling interviews with everyone from Terrorizer to the Chicago tribune to recording an exclusive track for TV network Adult Swim’s single series and filming videos for ‘Call Your Guy’ and ‘Welcome To The Spaceship, Motherfucker’, and new track ‘Going Through The Motions ‘Til I Die’, the trio has quickly found itself having to take into account the business and time management sides of being in a band.

“And we’re probably doing it pretty poorly,” he howls. “It’s still weird. What we’ve accomplished is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. It hasn’t been too different on some levels, but on others there’s a lot of taking people at face value and then there’s the whole thing about negotiating what you think you’re worth. Like, I offended some promoter by asking him for the equivalent of $800 to do some show we totally didn’t want to do and his response was awesome. He totally hated me!”

This sort of thing probably wasn’t what Zack was expecting to have to deal with when he penned sardonic anthems like ‘Hippie Speedball’ and ‘Colonel’s Kernel’ or ‘Retrash’s ‘Everyone I Hate Should be Killed’ and ‘Autopsy Turvy’. It begs wondering: did the necessary evils orbiting the actual creative process impact ‘Earth Suck’ in any way?

“Yeah, sort of. The process has been pretty standard, at least for me and Kyle because we’ve been working together for seven years, where I have a riff-log I pull from and we’ll jam out on them, and Kevin’s been coming up with more stuff recently. But for scheduling, it gets irritating because we can only meet for a few hours, three times a week. So, if we can’t practice because we have to make a video or rehearse for shows, that means we can’t work on anything for that amount of time. It can be frustrating and make it difficult, and then there’s doing stuff to keep people interested on social media. It’s hardly a lot of work, but it’s still there. But I guess philosophically, the big difference is that now when I tell people I have to go to band practice, they’re like, ‘Oh ok, that’s legitimate’ whereas five years ago, they would be like, ‘Band practice? What the fuck?! Just come hang out!’”

Words: Kevin Stewart-Panko

‘Earth Suck’ is out now on Thrill Jockey

Oozing Wound will play the following UK shows:

30.03.15 Nottingham, UK – Chameleon, with Ghold and Nadir (Facebook Event Page)
31.03.15 Glasgow, UK – Nice N Sleazy, with Ghold, Clocked Out and Droves (Facebook Event Page)
01.04.15 Leeds, UK – Key Club, with Ghold and Super Luxury (Facebook Event Page)
02.04.15 Bristol, UK – The Exchange, with Ghold and Pohl (Facebook Event Page)
04.04.15 London, UK – The Black Heart, with Bad Guys and Jøtnarr (Facebook Event Page)
05.04.15 Milton Keynes, UK – The Craufurd Arms, with Ghold and Merrin (Facebook Event Page)

You can find Oozing Wound on Facebook

About Kez Whelan

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