Wednesday 30 September 2015

'Book Of Wyrms: Chapter One': A Conversaton with Sarah Moore Lindsey

By: Erik Sugg

Looking for a good, unsigned band who brings the heavy while also soothing your mind, body and soul? Richmond, Virginia’s Book of Wyrms may be the band for you. They describe their sound as “appalachian stoner rock” and “space metal.” Those tags alone may be enough to draw listeners into their heady realm of astral dreaming, but the band also claims a diverse set of interests ranging from the occult, to cheap beer, to Curtis Mayfield. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with these guys?

After listening to their three song, Garrett Morris-engineered demo, which consists of the hard-charging “Nightbong,” the eerie,
Sleep-esque “Sourwolf,” and ends with the slow burning “King Mildew,” I knew instantly that Book of Wyrms wasn’t going to be just another stoner rock band who gets lost in an endless cloud of smoke. This is a group of young people who know how to work their volume and instrumentation, while leaving plenty of space for their fantastic vocals and melodies. I spoke to with the band’s singer, Sarah Moore Lindsay, to learn a little more about them.

SL): So Sarah, you guys are a relatively new band. A lot of us may not know a whole lot about you yet. Mind giving us a brief run-through of how Book of Wyrms came together as a band?

Sarah: Our story actually begins with my answering a Craigslist ad (in spring 2014) which was looking for a Stevie Nicks-like vocalist. I sang with Sematary for a few months before I got the boot, which hit me hard as it was the first band I’d been fired from. So my bassist husband, Jay Lindsey, said, “You don’t need those guys to do what you want to do. You found what makes you happy. I’ll play with you.” So he started writing a few heavy riffs and I came up with lyrics. We asked our buddy Chris DeHaven to play drums, and then we’ve gone through a few guitarists since the beginning. We’re stoked with the current line-up of our two guitarists, Ainsley Coudriet and Kyle Lewis. Those guys have been playing together for years so they have an incredible rapport already.

SL): The group is based out of Richmond, VA., a great town that I used to call my home as well. These days Richmond has quite the reputation for being a metal mecca. Would you agree there’s a lot of creative energy happening with heavy bands in Richmond these days?

Sarah: Yes, definitely. I was just referencing the Ted Talk, which Mike Bishop recently gave, which addressed the history of Richmond and how that influences things to this day, including the music scene. It’s not that all heavy bands sing about that stuff, but you’ve got some unrest going on. Richmond just has all these people who are so brilliant and passionate that it’s no wonder that the music scene is fairly dank and dark.

SL): Your sound ranges from upbeat, hard rockers to slow and low heaviness. Do you guys have a particular dynamic that you prefer, or do you just write your tunes and let the dynamics work themselves out?

Sarah: I think we like to vary our dynamics to make certain parts of the music more impactful and to keep things from getting boring. It’s pretty exciting to have those moments of pure upheaval when you come out of a quiet part. I think it’s a rush for us and the audience. 

SL): What’s up with a song title like “Nightbong?” Do we have a memorable experience from a late night stoner session, or is it your tongue planted firmly in your cheek?

Sarah: Haha, yeah that song title originally started out as a joke. One of Jay’s and my favorite activities is coming up with funny or epic band names, so it was just one that we said which sparked something in my imagination. Then it took on a whole personality, and this “nightbong” suddenly had magic powers which I thought were hilarious.  The first lines are “Green machine/It’s loaded it seems” – basically it’s a story of coming upon a magical bong which packs itself and takes you places, turning your brain inside out.

SL): Generally we all see gender as something that never really needs to be brought up in a conversation about music. However, that’s kind of difficult when there are so many gifted ladies, like yourself, singing for heavy bands these days. It’s really changed the whole landscape for metal and what metal can be. Who are some of the front ladies in this day in age that you enjoy?

Sarah: Well, I’ve got to first mention Dorthia Cottrell of Windhand, because I admire her so much but also identify with her in a lot of ways. But I also dig Alia O’Brien from Blood Ceremony, Jillian Taylor from Ruby the Hatchet, Myrkur, Chelsea Wolfe, and so many more.

SL): What’s on the horizon for Book of Wyrms?

Sarah: We have a few Richmond shows this fall, and we will be trying to hit the road to Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Raleigh, Philly, and Baltimore in the next 6 months or so. I would really like to record again soon but we will have to see how that goes. We’ve got some baseball tees coming out soon and maybe some more surprises.

SL): Anything else you’d like to add in closing?

Sarah: Thank you for asking me these questions! I’m really lucky to be involved with something I love so much. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s never too late to go for it.

Band info: bandcamp | facebook