[Editor's note: This Q&A previews Worried Mothers' show on Thursday at The Bourbon Theatre with Cheap Girls, The Sidekicks and Good Show Great Show starting at 9 p.m. It's a Hear Nebraska Presents show with a $5 cover. RSVP here.]
by Krystal Sidzyik
The relationship between Dave from Worried Mothers and the world of computers isn’t so good. He hates them. Scared of them actually. He wants to destroy them like a “modern Neanderthal” every time he has to be on one. After an interesting attempt to interview Dave through email, Hear Nebraska was able to get the scoop on Worried Mothers through a more traditional route, the telephone.
Worried Mothers originally comes from Sioux City, Iowa, but all members live in Omaha now. The band is made up of Dave on guitar and vocals, Levi on drums and Brynn on guitar. Despite a four-year hiatus, and a few cast arrangements, Worried Mothers is back and ready to rock Omaha.
Hear Nebraska spoke with Dave about the band’s last two albums, their style, and how the band originally came together. Worried Mothers is playing in a Hear Nebraska Presents show on Thursday, March 22 at the Bourbon Theatre in Lincoln.
(The members of Worried Mothers didn't provide their last names.)
Hear Nebraska: How did Worried Mothers get started?
Dave: Worried Mothers started as a side project between Levi, the drummer and me. We were in a band together before and we, of course, clicked and were great friends. So when I left that band after awhile, we decided we wanted to play together, so we just started jamming out.
We decided we wanted to do something with it so we brought in Brynn, who was also in a band with us before. We also brought in Levi’s girlfriend at the time. She played bass on the first recording, Drinking, Smoking and Doin' It in the Basement.
We then disbanded from 2006 to 2010. We didn’t do anything together. Then I basically got really tired of living in Sioux City, Iowa, and I decided to leave. I figured I would just go to Omaha because Levi lived here. We started Worried Mothers up again and here we are now since last April.
HN: How would you describe Worried Mother’s sound and style?
Dave: First and foremost, it’s just a rock band. I would like to think that we carry in influences of experimental, country and a little bit of rockabilly. I feel like it's futuristic folk because it’s not really folk music in the sense that we have an acoustic guitar and sing all about life and the people or whatever. But it carries the same elements.
I think of a lot of music as folk music though. I think of the early punk rock music of the late '70s and early '80s, that was a modern folk music. I think it carries through and we’re trying to get our finger on the pulse of that again, and bring that element of folk back but make it in the now.
HN: Can you talk a little bit about the band’s two albums?
Dave: The first one we recorded in 2005 and it’s called Drinking, Smoking and Doin' it in the Basement. It’s the first thing I ever sang on and wrote songs for. It’s just more a rock album, very straightforward with bass, drums and two guitars. Our second one, Have Some Thread, we did in 2011. My girlfriend at the time played with us. She played piano and sang.
It doesn’t sound how we sound now. We don’t play some of the songs off that album anymore. I like it and I’m proud of it and I worked really hard on it and it took three months to record, but so much stuff happened during recording that it almost hurts to listen to. It’s a strange thing for me to work so hard on my art and finally get something where people can hear it and then I’m already convinced that I don’t like it.
I need to work on that part of myself; I’m self-deprecating in that sense, but it helps me move forward. I’m like, "Oh, I don’t like that, I better keep writing." Helps me keep striving for something that I’ll be happy with someday.
HN: How did you come up the name of the band, and since you're called the Worried Mothers, I have to ask what your mom thinks of your music.
Dave: We came up with our name through Gabriel Hart. He’s part of this band called The Starvations, from L.A. We toured a bunch as a different band, and we traveled to L.A. and stayed with him. There’s a lyric in one of his solo songs and he says something about a worried mother; Levi picked it up and he really liked it.
We’ve also had it applied to us. Sometimes we go on some misadventures, and we would leave town with $50 in our pockets and be going on a three-week tour in a broken-down van. I definitely have put my own family through some worry. So we just thought it fit and we really liked it.
My mother, I think she loves our band, and that sounds weird because usually you want make music that your parents don’t like. My mom and my family are so supportive over the years. She has come out to some of the shows, and she dances. She’s a pretty free-spirited woman.
HN: Is there meaning behind the name of the second album, Have Some Thread?
Dave: It’s an old saying. Levi looked it up somewhere, and it just means be prepared. Be prepared for anything, and it has a little bit to do with Murphy’s Law.
HN: Tell me about your main instrument. What's its story?
Dave: I guess that would be my guitar. I’ve had my guitar for eight years. I got it from a pawnshop in Sioux City and I just somehow made it last this long. I’d rather tell you the story of how I found it in some cave and found some person whittling it out of a piece of wood and then lightning struck a tree. It’s just so uninteresting. I was 21 years old and I wanted a guitar, so I went to a pawnshop!
HN: All right, let’s go with what made you want to play.
Dave: It comes from my father. He was in bar bands and stuff like that. So I grew up around people playing music, and I lived at the house where people practiced. That heavily influenced me.
Then I started getting old enough to be out a little bit later at night, so I would go down to the local underground shows that they would have. I seen these other kids that were my age getting up on stage and that really shocked me. I had never seen that before, I’d always seen older people in bad bands.
I realized that kids were doing it, and so I started a band just so I could get into shows for free. That’s all I wanted to do. We didn’t get paid, I just wanted to play every show just because I wanted to go to that show and not have to pay. Wanting to get into shows for free, that was my first reason to even pick up a guitar and be like, "OK, we’re going to do this, and gather people up." My first band was wretched. We were terrible, but I didn’t care.
Krystal is an intern at Hear Nebraska. She really digs the name Worried Mothers. Reach her at email@example.com.