INTERVIEWS

Cosmic Rock

Tonight we have Sarah Moore Lindsey and Jay Lindsey from the band Book Of Wyrms. A popular fantasy/sci fi themed heavy rock band from Richmond Virginia, Book Of Wyrms is working on a new album, coming single and video plans. We sat down with Sarah (vocals) and Jay Lindsey (bass) to talk about their history, influences, thoughts on the music scene and more. Check out this great interview with Sarah and Jay.

 

1.   Hey guys how are you today? Good to catch up with you.

Sarah: hello! We are great, thank you. We are excited to answer some questions! Thanks for asking these; this was fun.

 2.Really cool and anytime. Right on. Tell us a little about your background. Are you guys from Richmond VA and how did you get into music?

Jay:  i've always been into music. it was a big part of my family - my grandad was always listening to classical music loud as f*ck so it's just always been present and part of my mental world. so when the nirvana thing happened it was sort of natural to just obsessively listen to loud rock but the same way. i ended up playing bass because the kids i started a band with called dibs on guitar and drums. the only bassist i could name was krist novaselic and i had no idea what a bass did. once i started playing it was more of the same - just this immersive world i could get completely lost in, but now i got to help build that world.

Sarah: I’m from Richmond; Jay is from Virginia Beach but has lived in Richmond for over 20 years. I sang in church choir, took piano lessons, etc when I was a kid. My parents had this mixtape they made me which spanned the 50s-70s with Musicians like Tennesssee Ernie Ford, Buddy Holly, and the Supremes. I would listen to that over and over. I was obsessed with Thriller when it came out. It scared me, and I learned from an early age how it can manipulate emotions.

 3.Really cool. Any classic albums or concerts you saw back in the day that inspired you?

Jay:   i borrowed the Sun Ra singles from the library the same week i got my mail order of Sounds of the Animal Kingdom by Brutal Truth. I remember being struck like "wow you're allowed to be as weird as you want."   shows are different. i guess it wasn't really until i started going to underground type shows in richmond that i really got it, that anyone can do this. but my first show ever was a two-fer: i saw meat puppets unplugged in the afternoon and then i saw them open for primus that night.

Sarah: front row steely Dan in 2003. I was 22 and had been super into the Dan for 3 years. There was a downpour while waited for the gates to open and everyone got drenched for the Dan. But it was worth it, bc the sky during the show was the best light show anyone could have done. I just remember the magic of the night and how I wanted to feel that all the time.

 

 4.That's great guys. How did you form the band? Did you have other bands before starting Book of Wyrms?

Sarah: Jay and I started jamming with Chris DeHaven (drums) in the summer of 2014. We had a few guitarists play with us, but Kyle joined in 2015 inadvertently through Craigslist. Kelsey Miller played guitar on our demo. He was in Jay’s other band, Bearstorm. Jay was also in a country rock band The Hotdamns in the mid-late 2000s. I’ve been involved in a few projects but never anything official where we played shows, etc.

 

5.What inspires your lyrics and artwork? I know you're big fantasy, sci fi fans.

Jay:  yeah we love fantasy books and graphic novels. right now I'm reading the Books of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuinn. It's got weather-magic, which is my favorite for some reason. It's got a lot of dragons, too. whenever i can't think of a book to buy i just grab something from Terry Pratchett's Discworld or anything by Anne McCaffrey. we both are really enjoying the Rat Queens graphic novels, and i'm about 2/3s through the whole Transmetropolitan series. it's all really great for firing up the ol' imagination-station, but we aren't so much of a band where our stuff directly references works. the books affect our style and outlook, but in terms of stories and characters, i think sarah comes up with her own shit.

Sarah: I once saw a clip of Jimi Hendrix where they asked him this question, and i really took it to heart. Songs can be about anything because the imagination is unlimited. You can make up your own world if you want to. So I take words that really stoke my imagination and put them together. Then I come up with its background story.

6.Fantastic Sarah yeah for sure. You guys have a new album out soon and a new single. What’s the news?

Jay: YES!  the record is called "Remythologizer" which is a combined nod to JRR Tolkien and ZZ Top. It's coming out on Twin Earth Records, just like last time. The single should be out soon. I think we're going with "Spirit Drifter," which was Kyle's contribution to the record. this record was a long process. that's just how it goes sometimes. we don't like to go into the studio until we're 100% on every song. that means touring with those songs before we record. that way, we can go in and just play together by feel. recording can be tricky so the last thing you want is to gum up the works by still figuring stuff out when the tape's running. the sound on this one is a little different. it's still heavy but we wanted a little more dreaminess to it. it's gotta be something you can put on and get ripped to.

 

7.Any video plans?

Jay: we are talking about it. we know it's a good idea but i don't think any of us are stoked about being on camera. if anyone out there wants to rotoscope us into a spacedragon battle for free . . . 

Sarah: we are planning on making a video with our friends at Absolute Future Studios. We’ve talked about a few cool ideas so that’s exciting.

8.Aside from music talk, any favorite books or films?

Jay: The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman is flawless and definitely my favorite graphic novels. For normal books, Confederacy of Dunces and Cold Mountain. i could watch Ghostbusters, Caddy Shack, or Terminator 1 and 2 probably every single day and not get bored. i think the last movie we watched was Jason Goes to Hell. We really liked the VVitch and the 2018 Halloween was amazing.

Sarah: I just finished Tea with the Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy which i had picked up this past summer at this really great book/music store in Frederick, MD. We have a Big Lebowski poster in our practice space from my freshman dorm room. I might or might not admit to liking Joe Dirt. Chris is maybe the biggest movie buff in the band.

 9. Do you have other creative pursuits than music and film?

Jay: I tried writing some short stories, but it turns out that i hate writing dialogue so i sort of gave up. I love cooking and i never follow the recipes so that's kind of creative.

Sarah: I used to do a little more writing, music journalism for about fifteen years, a children’s book about rap music, but now my writing really centers around the songs we create. I also take pictures for and run social media for my mom’s gift shop, Cottage Lane.    I really should add something.

10.How do you feel music enriches your life?

Jay:   it forces me to leave the house and interact, it's my reason to try and stay healthy, and it's the thing i know best. knowing something on a deep level, whether it's music or chess or the woods near your house, is a huge part of life. if you can't lose yourself in something, you're missing a big part of the experience of being alive.

Sarah: being able to express emotions through music means more than the world to me. Everyone has their own unique explanation of what music means to them, and it brings us together. Music is an escape but it’s also life.

11.Yeah definitely. What is one life skill you think we all need to have?

Jay:  empathy. so many people suck and it's natural to react to that but life is usually better if you can keep interactions from turning negative. sometimes you even have to be ok with feeling like the other person is "winning." it helps if you remind yourself that they probably have some shit going on in their lives.

Sarah: listening is very important and underrated.

 

12.For sure yeah that’s right. Thoughts on the music scene and world today with the madness of social media and current times?

Jay: honestly, i've checked out: i no longer feel like i'm missing out when there's a new tech trend. things are going to keep changing and there are people who will adapt to whatever. but i've kind of put my stake in the ground here. i choose to read paper books and listen to physical records. i try to cook and to walk places. i like leaving my phone in another room. all of these things are, i guess, pointless gestures against progress, but you just eventually have to pick what feels right for you. so the music scene will change, and how it's branded and promoted will change. but i'd like to make art that isn't affected by that. i just want to meet people and play gigs in cool towns. it might be another pointless gesture against progress but if there's one place you should be allowed to make pointless gestures, it's in your art.

Sarah: I think social media is cool for letting people connect while giving us a platform to be involved in an online community, which hopefully spreads into the real world. We’ve met so many cool bands and people through social media.

 

13.Jay dude, that is totally right on. I read books, listen to records, walk every day, totally understand. But yes for sure Sarah I try to focus on and use it for positive reasons as a great communication tool as well. What advice would you give a new artist who’s just starting out?

 

Jay:  do what's fun for you. don't take positive or negative feedback seriously. treat people with respect but remember that you don't have to take shit from anyone.

Sarah: make music because you love living music. Create because you can. Live in the moment. It’s never too late to start something.

 

14.Wise advice. How do you feel about RVA and the scene there?

 

Jay: it's a humbling place to be from. sometimes it feels like everyone's in a band, and putting out just jaw-dropping records. you can go to a show almost any day of the week and get reminded that your peers are out there making amazing art, and that makes it really hard to just sit at home and not get shit done. it's harder here to make a dent than some other places, but when you do make a dent it means so much because people here see amazing artists all the time. richmond's going through some shit right now with the loss of Strange Matter, but what's inspiring is that people here don't lose a beat - there's shows popping up everywhere else. it's just not a place that makes excuses; people are going to make things happen and that's infectious.

Sarah: I love the scene because there are many scenes within the scene. It’s very multi layered and overlaps. It’s cool because you can usually small talk music with anyone, because there are so many musicians who live here. There are usually multiple shows to choose from each night, even in January.

15. Any other artists you’d suggest people check out?

 

Jay: oh geez! there are so many amazing bands out right now. i've been listening pretty obsessively to Kikagaku Moyo, from Japan, and Ternderlonious from London. Backwoods Payback, Disenchanter, and are bands we've been impressed by live, and we love their records.

 

16.Very cool. Anything you want to say or news for your fans today?

 

Sarah: I’ll close out the chat by saying thank you again so much for taking the time to do this. We are hoping to release our record this spring on Twin Earth Records. We will play GR Fest in Baltimore on 4/20, so we are counting down to that.

Awesome, good talking with you and keep us updated on your news. Rock on G