Scottish lo-fi punk trio WOMPS have had quite an exceptional year. Ahead of their weekend jaunt to Amsterdam, which sees them supporting Kurt Vile, I caught up with frontman and guitarist Ewan Grant to speak about Danish post-punk, the importance of women in the world of music and working with legendary producer Steve Albini.
PressPlay: Things are really taking off for WOMPS at the minute. From your performance at CMJ, New York to your inclusion on 2016’s SXSW line-up. You must be really excited, tell us how the last year has been through the eyes of a WOMP.
EG: It started off with a lot of plotting and we’ve seen it all come to fruition recently. We have got some pretty big announcements coming soon but I can’t give anything away yet. It’s been a pleasure to travel so much with my best friends, doing what we love.
You recently worked with Steve Albini, a man who has recorded Nirvana, Pixies, The Breeders and countless other iconic bands. That’s a pretty impressive work partnership, how was that?
He’s great. Just a regular guy that comes from a similair DIY background to us. What really attracted us to him was working completely live and onto tape. I think it taught us to simplify our writing and how to play the songs the way they need to sound. He’s been very good to us ever since and helped us out of a jam or two. It means a lot to me because I’ve looked up to him for so many years.
I’ve seen you comment a fair bit on social media about the role of women in your life and in the world of music. I think it’s great that you’re speaking about this as a male musician and was wondering how you would like to see the roles of women in music shift?
It’s something I feel strongly about. I don’t really think my opinion matters when it comes to that. It’s something for women to carve out and decide and I’ll support in any way that helps. At the end of the day I’m not going to pretend I know what it’s like to be a woman in music but I listen and try to learn as much as I can.
Speaking as a man, I feel we need to be less blind to the prejudices that we may overlook and to stand against them.
On “Live a Little Less,” I hear shades of The Lemonheads. What would you say are the bands or things that influence your creative process?
Thank you. I don’t listen to that much of The Lemonheads but I do like them. I’m mostly influenced by visual art as my interpretation of that is always going to be original as a sound as opposed to being influenced by a particular band and subconsciously ripping off the sound. I love the movies of Lars Von Triers. We write as a band so a lot of what happens in the chemistry of both mine and OJ’s influences.
Moving forward, what are WOMPS’ plans for the next year?
We have a debut LP that we’re going to be releasing plus lots more touring now that we’ve done the groundwork. We always look to write and record though as that’s sort of the point of doing this.
Try to convince people to listen to WOMPS using just one short sentence.
I really don’t care.
Scotland has a pretty solid rock scene right now, which is something you guys are very much at the centre of, how do you see your position in that world and what do you make of the current music-situation in Scotland?
Definitely. Glasgow is a great place to be for music. I’ve always felt we didn’t really fit into one scene and that’s a hindrance and an advantage at the same time. The people that come to our shows are great. There’s some really great bands right now like Pinact, Catholic Action, The Sinking Feeling and Lost Limbs that all deserve to take on the world.
What are you listening to just now? Any bands you would recommend?
The Cure, always. The entire Sacred Bones Records back-catalogue and I’m really big into Danish post-punk like Var.
WOMPS are going places. Check out their brilliant single “Live a Little Less” below, and grab it on iTunes.