Irish metal band is perhaps not a phrase you’ll hear too often, but Cork four-piece WORN OUT are out to loudly set that straight. With the emphasis on loud.
The band have made quite the stir on their local scene – alongside the equally mighty Bailer, who we interviewed back in March – with their energetic, often unpredictable live shows not only earning them slots alongside Palm Reader and Swedish hardcore act God Mother, but also the impressive tag of “the meanest band in Ireland.”
The band first began with drummer Evan Prendergast and bassist Brian Powell playing in a band of polar opposite sound, which inspired to go and what they knew best, as Evan describes it: “Start a band playing much heavier and angrier music.” He brought in guitarist and vocalist Isaac Riordan then lead vocalist Xander Coughlan began jamming with them, and the line-up was complete.
As Evan tells us: “It was a very organic process and stress-free. We hid away for the bones of maybe a year before we released our first single and announced our first show with God Mother so by that stage, we were very eager to share what we had been working on.”
And Xander adds: “I had always been onto Isaac, our guitarist, to start a band since he came back from living abroad a few years back. We had always been into the same music so we would be on the same page as to what the bands sound should be. Playing heavy music keeps the demons at bay.”
They’ve taken that focus on heavy and angry music, and completely obliterated the meaning of heavy and angry, in a wild, brutal hardcore sound. As Evan aptly summarises: “We sound like two Bus Eireann drivers arguing over the perfect temperature for a ham sandwich.”
The latest taster of this is their second single Circle The Drains, which opens up with huge screams of “Like a deer in headlights, This was always the way, Every waking minute of every day, I can’t find a way to break routine” over a looping riff. The unrelenting screams continue, ending on a cry of “Is it too late for me to let go,” of which the word ‘Go’ is the cue for heavier, pounding drums under more screamed vocals “The tension fills the air I’ve got nothing else to lose, But I refuse to play victim.”
Huge booming guitars kick in under huge cries of “I know you’re with me every single day but I must never look back.” It kicks back into the opening vocals, then a really cool section of chugging palm-muted guitars under the somewhat spooky sounding vocals “I feel the presence of it moving closer and closer to me, With nowhere to run is it too late to let go.” Then things get even more dark with the cries of “Death looms ever closer, Check out this intense track in the video below:
While their debut single With False Hope is potentially even heavier, kicking off with a huge booming riff that gives way to another huge darting riff over driving drums and brutal screams. A huge cry of “I’ll never feel the same way again” leads into a smash of huge screams over low-tuned drawn-out guitars before diving back into another lively verse. Check it out in the video below:
And on what inspires them to write music Evan, who tells us he first got into metal by picking out the coolest or scariest album covers in his local record shop, tells us: “It takes time. We all have different ways of writing and expressing ourselves. We all have different ways we feel most comfortable writing too. Trying to make everyone feel like they’ve got something of themselves in a song is quite important.
“For me, I feel at my best when hashing out ideas physically in a room together. Failing, failing, failing until something clicks and run head-on with whatever clicks. For the others, they tend to sit with their parts and record them and try to arrange that way. We find a balance between the two that seems to work for us.”
The band are particularly passionate about the rising tide of Irish metal bands, for which reason alone we’ll be pursuing a dedicated feature to the topic in the coming weeks. But for now, Evan tells us: “I’m so glad Bailer are the first you’ve met because they deserve every bit of recognition they can possibly get. We are a tiny little island going through some serious changes and I feel the music reflects that. The metal scene in Ireland is huge. There are such insanely high industry standard bands here like Zhora, This Place Hell, Chancer, Selkies, God Alone, Mob Wife and Murdock.”
And that topic loosely brings us on to the subject of the music industry, in Ireland and beyond. As Evan explains: “The first thing that needs to be done is support each other. Comment, Like and share each others’ music. It sounds so stupid to ask but with Facebook’s algorithms unless you interact with a band that you like then they will become lost in your news feed. You’ll be fed the same bullshit cat videos, life hacks and prank videos that makes you want to leave social media. Find what you like and support it. Buy a t-shirt. That goes such a long way.
“It’s always going to be extremely hard to make a full-time living from this kind of music. That’s why most bands never get to reach that level. It‘s not only hard financially but mentally and physically it’s extremely tough going and not everyone’s bag at the end of the day. Buying a band’s merch and music will always help. I can’t stress it enough. Watch the other bands you play with. Don’t be the dick that plays and sits in the smoking area drinking while everyone else plays complaining there weren’t enough people watching your set.”
There’s plenty more coming soon from Worn Out, with new music recorded and ready to go. Evan told us: “We’re currently in the process of making sure this music is expressed in the way it deserves. We are very, very excited about our next release, which in a way is why it’s taking a little longer to come out. We’ve got two singles out within four months, both recorded months apart, so right now we are focusing on making sure our best is represented that way release wise. Trust me. It’ll be worth it.”
The band are also playing the 20th edition of the Siege of Limerick, which is a full day event of the best in Irish metal – and it’s free, on 27 October. Find out more and see more of their upcoming gigs here.
And to finish, Evan tells us: “Isaac has a bucked tooth because Bailer.” And we didn’t ask anymore…