With their debut album, Hookworms emerged as one of the most promising prospects in the land of psychedelia. A swirling mass of instrumentation, woozing and veering its way into brains across the country, ‘Pearl Mystic’ marked the five-piece as stand-outs in their field. Noisy but swooning, unpredictable yet comforting, wandering into its tracks was akin to getting lost in a musical haze, and still craving more.
The challenge in releasing such an acclaimed first full-length lies in its follow-up. “When we recorded the last album, we were just doing it for ourselves,” begins bassist MB. “This time we’ve got a bit of an audience that we didn’t have before. We didn’t think anyone would care about the last one, so the fact that there’s people waiting for this one to come out… There’s definitely pressure.”
Inspiration for the band’s second album was sparked somewhat unexpectedly. Following the release of ‘Pearl Mystic’ back in March 2013, they unveiled a standalone single in ‘Radio Tokyo’. “We put that to one side,” MB explains, “but then we realised, when we came back to writing the rest of the album, that that was the song we were enjoying playing most. We used that as a bit of step towards the rest of the songwriting.”
“With us working and stuff like that,” he continues, “we can only really record and play when we've got holidays or on weekends. So, the recording of the album was done over maybe three or four main sessions. With us having our own studio, it's not one of those things where we book in for three weeks and know we're gonna come out of their with a finished album. It's more of a work in progress really, but at the end of the day, if we have more time to reflect on the songs and listen back to them, we can self-edit, and we end up with better songs.”
As for the direction of this record, it's looking to be a little more lean than its predecessor. “It's probably a bit more upbeat. It sounds like us but with the fat trimmed. The songs are still pretty long, but I think they're a bit more driving, a bit more direct, definitely. It's all stuff that we can play live; we realised after the last record came out that we only that had three songs that we could do live, whereas we can do all of this record. It was a bit conscious, mainly down to us playing shows and how people react better to the more upbeat songs. We've enjoyed that and fed off that. I think, at the end of the day, we are a live band so we wanted to make it work as much live as possible.”
Taken from the September issue of DIY, out now. Hookworms’ new album ‘The Hum’ will be released on 10th November via Domino Records.