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“We made this one in a very piecemeal way” – An Interview with Worriers

Having already released one acclaimed album in 2023 (the home-recorded Warm Blanket), Worriers have followed up with their first studio record in years. Trust Your Gut (on Ernest Jenning Record Co.) features twelve new tracks from songwriter Lauren Denitzio (they/them) documenting an honest and often witty journey through heartbreak on its way to strength. Although Worriers is primarily a solo project, Trust Your Gut was recorded with touring band members Atom Willard (Against Me!, Social Distortion), Franz Nicolay (The Hold Steady), Frank Piegaro and Cayetana’s Allegra Anka.

One of the best records I’ve listened to this year, Trust Your Gut nods to pop, rock, indie, and folk and features recent singles “Top 5”, “Cloudy and 55”, the title track and “Hold My Breath”. While each song is part of this unapologetic journey to self-acceptance, each has a distinctive sound all its own.

Worriers are about to head out on a nationwide US tour in support of the album before heading over to the UK for a co-headlining tour with Scottish band PAWS.

Visit the Worriers website to grab a ticket to one of the shows near you.

We caught up with Lauren and asked them about the new record as well as favorite touring destinations.

Hi Lauren! How’s everything going right now?
Everything is going well and I’m just trying to be everywhere all at once as we get ready to release this record and leave for tour!

What classic album cover is your current mood?
London Calling. I could use some time to bash a guitar around right now!

Your fantastic new album “Trust Your Gut” is out on September 15th. When and where did you write and record it?
It was written primarily in Los Angeles between 2020 and 2022, both in my own home and in a few friends’ apartments when I just needed a change of scenery. We recorded between Nashville, Los Angeles, the Bay Area and upstate New York. My bandmates and collaborators live all over the country and we made this one in a very piecemeal way over the course of almost a year.

You’ve already released one great album in 2023 (“Warm Blanket” in March). Did your move from the east to west coast spur this creative burst?
The emotional trajectory of moving across the country definitely gave me a lot to work with. Being away from my usual bandmates also gave me more incentive to not wait until we could all get together in the same room, and to keep writing and fleshing out songs on my own. I spent a lot of time learning how to record at home and produce and arrange things on my own. Living in Los Angeles has definitely changed my creative practice for the better, which I’m very thankful for.

If you could only listen to one record, what would it be?
The Weakerthans – Reconstruction Site

What do you know now that you would tell your 2013 self that was getting ready to record “Cruel Optimist”?
Wait a week then go back and edit it! No, but seriously I’d tell myself to slow down a bit and just play more shows, have fun, find the right people who will play with the band for a long time.

You had open heart surgery when you were only 25 – is that the origin of the name “Worriers”?
It’s certainly an impactful event that shows itself in my songwriting quite a bit. It didn’t necessarily influence the band name, but it put me in a place of existential dread and precarity that I had to learn to work around. There have been a number of things in my life, like anyone’s, that have taught me you never know what could happen next, or where you’ll be a year from now. How you deal with worrying about all of that can have a huge effect on your day-to-day life.

You’re heading out on tour at the end of the month with some great bands in support. Are there any venues/cities you really enjoy playing?
Outside of New Jersey, which we’re not playing on this tour, I always love playing Portland, Minneapolis and Chicago. Headlining Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids is a pretty big deal and if nothing else I’m just going to play a lot of pinball (they have over 20 of them, I think!) I don’t think we’ve ever played the Pinhook in North Carolina before and I’m really looking forward to that!

What would go on your signature pizza and what would it be called?
Ground fake beef, macaroni pasta, some parmesan cheese and hot sauce, which is actually just the Vegan Mac slice at Vinnie’s Pizza in Brooklyn but I’d call it The Pastability. (sorry, I’ll see myself out)

What do you have planned for the rest of 2023 and beyond?
We have about two months of tour and I’m hoping that 2024 just has more of the same. We spent so long working on new music and I just want to focus on playing that out for folks now. I can’t wait to be on the road a lot again. There’s a five-piece version of Worriers that I can’t wait to play, too.

Worriers became Lauren Denitzio’s main focus after the wake-up call of open-heart surgery at just 25 years old. The event shook them into leaving a toxic creative partnership and starting a band that could evolve along with them. That priority takes center stage on Trust Your Gut, as Denitzio’s 2019 move from the East Coast to Los Angeles found them collaborating with Atom Willard (Against Me!, Social Distortion)as a fun exercise, only to realize they had started writing the next album together. 

The sonic goals for the album led to the addition of Denitzio’s friend Franz Nicolay (The Hold Steady) after tweeting that they were trying to write in his style. His response was “Send me demos!” and the results are now foundational melodies layered throughout the album. With Frank Piegaro (whose signature guitar style was featured on 2020’s You Or Someone You Know) returning to the lineup, the final addition was Cayetana’s Allegra Anka on bass. It’s not every day an artist gets to share the stage with bands like the above, but Denitzio’s remarkable talent lies in their ability to turn admiration into meaningful collaborations. They credit these partnerships as a springboard to showcase their personal development as a songwriter. 

Pick up a copy of Trust Your Gut and some merch at the Worriers Bandcamp page and follow them on Instagram and Twitter for all the latest news and tour dates.

Feature Image Credit – Lauren Desberg

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