Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009


An Interview with Worriers' Lauren Denitzo / Q&A

By C. FRANCIS O'LEARY // "I love touring. I love being on tour. But, also, I think that’s just how you do it. If you want people to know you, you have to get out there and play." -- Worriers' Lauren Denitzo

Brooklyn-based Pop Punk outfit, Worriers, is touring the West Coast of the USA and Canada, including two stops in Oregon. The first was last Tuesday in Portland, but, if you missed that one, you’ll have one more chance. The band will be playing in Corvallis on Tuesday, June 25. Oregon Music News had the chance to catch up with singer/songwriter and founder of the band, Lauren Denitzo (Pronouns: they/them/theirs), to talk about what attracted them to Punk, life as part of a relentlessly touring band and how Punk has changed in the 20+ years since they started listening.

How did you turn out a punk? Why Punk music?

I started listening to music when Green Day and Rancid were on the radio and I think that’s when things sort of started to open up. I lived in suburban New Jersey and there were a lot of house shows. Friends would bring me to shows and I started getting into it through that.

Why Punk, though, of all the genres?

I’ve always been political and interested in politics. Punks seemed to the only ones out there talking about it. I listened to bands like The Clash and they were talking about things that were important.

What compelled you to start a band? What was your first band?

Once I was in the music scene it was only a matter of time. I had been playing instruments for a while but I started learning guitar just so I could write songs. That’s how it works, you wanna write songs you gotta play guitar. Then I didn’t have much luck getting people to play with for a while. When I was 19 I some friends approached me about starting a band and that’s what it took.

Was that The Measure [SA]?

Yeah, The Measure was my first band.

How did you land on the name Worriers?

There’s not really a cool story behind it. We had a couple of sillier names we bounced around, but Worriers felt the best. It felt like a good name for a Punk band and it suited us.

Becoming and staying a touring musician is hard. What is it that compels you to continue?

First, because it’s fun. I love touring. I love being on tour. But, also, I think that’s just how you do it. If you want people to know you, you have to get out there and play. Of course, it’s possible to record music and not tour but for people to listen they mostly have to see you. Sometimes it’s true that touring makes it hard to record – we’re working on a new album now and it can be tough – but to get people to listen you have to tour.

You’re working on a new album. Are you playing any of those songs on this tour?

Yeah, there is one that we play.

It’s cliché to say “I make music for the outcasts” or whatever, but do you have an image in your head of the people you make music for?

I think it would be a little weird to listen and not be at least a little bit of a leftist, but there’s not really a type that I think we make music for. Of course, the crowds look a certain way, but it’s not like everyone looks the same. It’s not like you have to be a punk to enjoy the shows. It’s not like you have to be part of a certain scene.

Speaking of being a little bit of a leftist, on twitter you posted a “fan” review that called Worriers a “buncha commie SJWs.” How do you feel about that?

I don’t think we’re a bunch of commie SJWs but a lot of our fans read it and were like, “yeah, alright!” A lot of the people who listen to us are pretty okay with that. The interesting thing is that the guy who posted it followed it up by saying, “but they’re good and you should listen to them.” He was legitimately a fan. The music was enough that he was okay with the message. I think that’s the really amazing thing about music. It can get through to people.

Let’s talk for a minute about Survival Pop. That’s an evocative name. Will you tell me about what the album means to you?

To me, Survival Pop is like a genre. It’s the music that helps you get through things. So, yeah, Survival Pop is an album but it’s also a whole type of music.

Would you say writing is therapeutic for you then?

It is, but Survival Pop is more than that. It’s going to shows and singing along to the lyrics that meant something to you. It’s the feeling of being around other people.

How has “The scene” changed since you were introduced to Punk music?

I think it’s a much more diverse and accepting scene over all. It still has quite a way to go, but when I first started playing in bands I never thought that I’d get to do tours where most of the bands are not all men, or not all white people. I think that the make up of people has changed in a great way, whether that’s straight up Punk or Indie Rock, house shows and DIY stuff, there are now folks that go to all sorts of shows. It’d become a more accepting place, or a more comfortable place for all sorts of people. I didn’t necessarily think that would happen, but it’s been really cool.

If you could give a piece of advice to everyone who reads this what would it be?

I just want to say something cliché like learn to play an instrument, start a band and don’t let anyone stop you from doing it… but also register to vote. That’s my advice to everyone.

To learn more about Worriers check out our previous coverage here, or keep up with the band by following them on twitter at @worriersmusic and be sure to catch them on Tuesday, June 25, in Corvallis for their last show of their West Coast tour. Doors at 7. Suggested donation $7-10 for the touring band, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. For location, go to CorvallisDIY.org or DM @bitterhalfbooking on Instagram.

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