Much Worse talks DIY touring as they pack up to hit the road with Brain Tumors
Photo by Nicole Kuntz
Much Worse started about five years ago and have become mainstays in the local hardcore scene. Sharing members with Frontier, Blue Ox, and Hunter, the four-piece group pulls from a lot of sources, focusing most of their creative output on high octane anger. After playing an August 22nd gig at home, the band packed up their gear for a two-week trek across the country with Brain Tumors. Gimme Noise caught up with their frontman, Max, before they departed to ask how they were preparing for the tour.
Gimme Noise: What are you most excited about on your upcoming tour?
Max: Playing shows to new crowds and new faces; avoiding responsibilities while our musical fantasies and delusions manifest in front of us; all the BBQ and Philly cheesesteaks I can get my hands on; taking in the spectacle that is the American landscape and being able to do all of this alongside our sex trophies, Brain Tumors.
Have you played in these towns before?
Yeah. This tour follows a similar circuit to our tour last year with addition to some new towns like Brooklyn, Raleigh, and Nashville. Considering how haphazardly our tour last year was booked we plan to have less unplanned days off this time around.
Dan is playing in both bands on the tour--what are the challenges of playing two sets every night?
Brain Tumors were inconsiderate enough to coax us into touring without our own drummer [Steven] with the offer that Dan would be willing to play for both bands without quarrel. Dan can play two twenty-minute sets so long as he gets a cigarette break in between. We even played a "test gig" with Dan last month which generated a lot of positive feedback in regards to Dan's more primal and barbaric style. We're excited to get out there with this lineup and kick some shins.
The tour is mostly house shows. What do you enjoy most about that kind of setting?
From a purely economic standpoint it can be the ideal venue for a touring band. All of the resources, be they food, cash, or a place to sleep, can be directed towards the touring band(s) with minimal efforts. It's always exciting knowing that you could be showing up to a situation where you're playing to a handful of hillbillies in a shed.
Our sound can be most effective in a large, well-engineered venue but regardless of the setting, we aim to crush no matter the circumstances.
Most reviewers liken your sound to Japanese hardcore, sometimes to a fault, most often with praise. How do you feel about the comparisons?
We've always aimed just to make the most exciting form of live punk rock we could imagine. I guess the comparison is flattering, but I can't say we didn't intend to give nods to Japanese hardcore, on the first record especially, as they kind of raised the standard of musicianship and emotional intensity in punk rock. But, at the same time, we are enthusiastic about hardcore/metal/grind/rock from all over the known universe. I just like records that convey many shades of emotion, especially rage. The more realms we try to work into our thrash, the more it seems to become a feast for the senses.
The Twin Cities have a longstanding hardcore tradition/reputation. What do you think has kept the fire burning across musical generations?
Besides all of the devoted people who have been in bands and setting up shows for 20 plus years, showing younger people how it's done, Extreme Noise is really an invaluable resource for exposing the Twin Cities to the world of underground extreme music. More vaguely I would venture to say that the size and isolation of our city makes for a pretty fertile breeding ground for a friendly and competitive bunch of bands with a disdain for mediocre music and indie poserdom.
But really, having a realized setting for DIY music and good record stores are the key elements, then it just depends on what people decide they have something to contribute. For better or worse.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.