Across from Nathan Philips Square at a Tim Horton’s I sat down with Ajax, Ontario’s Womb for an intimate interview just after a performance at a Battle of the Bands for local charity the Toronto Trek for Teens. I first got word of this band from their audition for this particular event where a friend of mine had been a judge and simply said, “You gotta hear these guys.”
The band, a group of three, consisting of Chris Woozle, Guitar/Vox, Joey Slegtenhorst, Bass, and Ray Cara, Drums, have been together for just about a year. Originally a four-piece coming together in high school the loss of a band member slightly derailed the band’s progression. However, while pursuing other options, they kept playing together which led to an eventual reformation of the band’s remaining three members and birth of Womb.
The band’s small, three song, EP entitled Basement Filth was recorded lofi by Woozle in his basement. Heavily influenced by the Southern California desert rock scene the band tells me that their influences include bands like Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age. However, the band does seem to elude a specific genre incorporating elements that reminded me of some grunge bands and Rage Against the Machine as well as blues elements. Chris went on to say that a fan described the music as “Your music is like when you’re stupid fucked up and you’re trying to get home and you’re trying to get to your bed and you just want to get to your bed and you can’t get to your bed.” We all shared a laugh over that one. The music mixes straight-forward drumming with some noisy guitar and bass with what I’d explain as blues and grunge inspired elements. Nevertheless, whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing the band seems to believe that their unique sound is helpful is standing out in an oversaturated music market.
When touching on the subject of social networking in respect to promotion with the band they said they take a grassroots approach to expanding their networks. The band admits that they tend to make more fans playing live shows than they do trying to make a dent on the internet. The band went on to explain the internet seems to have too much information for them to be notice amongst the masses. Cara commented “There’s a lot of shit out there but you know the best of it rises to the top.”
Although the band is from Ajax Ontario they tend to play a lot of their shows in Toronto. So I asked the band what they thought about the Toronto music scene from an outsider’s view. The band agreed that while there is good music in Toronto the scene seems “scattered” and that there is no tangible scene. The band strongly feels that to bolster progression and success in this musical climate it’s necessary to facilitate a community or a scene. This creates a market for them while at the same time being able to put together shows where they can benefit from other bands both in fans and musicianship. Slegtenhorst said when playing in a scene “I’m excited to be there and I get to play”. He admits that even if he wasn’t in a band he would be hanging out at the shows the band currently plays.
When we sat down we also discussed the DIY ethic which is common to a lot of local bands. Womb seemed to be supporters of the ethic explaining that it seems to make sense for them as it allows them to have more control over the process. They explained how they’ve seen many bands go the route of trying to find a manager and promoter to help spread the word but the band feels they haven’t reached a point where they couldn’t do that work themselves.
Future goals for the band are quite ambitious. Firstly, the band is looking to record some of their new work together. Second, the band hopes to tour outside of Toronto and possibly outside of Canada and if that wasn’t enough there last goal expressed by Slegtenhorst is to have “Bob Dylan open for us”.
If Womb sounds interesting enough to you make sure to take my recommendation to check out their music online and if that tantalizes your ears just enough you may want to check them out live for $5 at Rancho Relaxo here in Toronto. (information and links below)
Do it Yourself. Do it Together.
Womb Suggests: Mother Leads and Slaves to the Groove
Album Download: Basement Filth http://wombofficial.bandcamp.com/album/basement-filth