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A Dirty Dozen with JAY “JAKE” LINDSEY from BOOK OF WYRMS – April 2021

| 2 April 2021 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Occult New Age is Book of Wyrms at their fastest, slowest, loudest, and weirdest. Book of Wyrms is a four-piece heavy psych band who came together over their mutual adoration of Hawkwind and ZZ Top and put out a demo in early 2015. It got some positive attention and helped them find their record label for their first two records, Twin Earth Records. From the beginning, the band foraged strange ingredients for their sonic pot, balancing airy vocals over heavy sludge, cloaking progressive melodies in fuzz, and dropping surprise boogies under retrofuturist synths (people always ask if it’s a theremin). Thankfully, people dug it: 2017’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy was named one of the best debut albums on the popular website Doomcharts.” We get bassist Jake to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

It’s called Occult New Age, which is a continuation of naming our albums after sections in the bookstore. So there are references to the Wizard of Earthsea novels, the show Hellier, occultism and folklore, the Excalibur mythology, and the mathematics of chaos magic as expressed by bees. Musically, there are some neat little effects hidden around, and our buddy LJ played organ on “Speedball Sorcerer” which is the first time we’ve had a guest performer.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My family has always been very musical, and it was pretty normal to learn an instrument, but for wanting to be in a band, I guess it was when Nirvana broke into the super mainstream, which coincided perfectly with me discovering rock music. It was rock or sports, back in those days, or at least it seemed like it at the time. I wanted to be a singer, but when I finally heard a recording of my voice I realized that was never gonna happen, and since my friend already had a stratocaster, I picked bass instead.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Hawkwind’s Space Ritual and Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys are two really special live albums, and Lemmy and Billy Cox are amazing bassists who I learned so much from. The dub music of King Tubby, Sly and Robbie, and Lee “Scratch” Perry had a huge impact on my taste in recording. I like building atmosphere with delays and reverbs feeding back, and lots of bass, and the muting and soloing of instruments for dramatic effect.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Black Sabbath, Soundgarden, Hawkwind, ZZ Top, and Iron Maiden.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

If we’re talking all time, I pick Bernie Worrell from Parliament/ Funkadelic (and the Tom Tom Club). He was a genius who could incorporate jazz and classical into his unique synth work and was so funky that people still think the bassline on “Flashlight” was Bootsy Collins and not Bernie on keys. Basically, he was a musician’s musician known for making everything he played on better. I’d also probably learn a lot just from hanging out with him.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I say Space Metal and hope it rings a bell, but really it’s fuzzy 70s metal with space sounds and a little bit of a psychedelic soul influence.  I’m usually pretty stoked when a reviewer compares us to someone else, I mean whoever they compare us to is bigger than we are. I guess in general the use of the term stoner rock isn’t my favorite, seeing as how most rockers have, historically, been stoners. I don’t think it’s very descriptive, but it’s not like I don’t also use the term out of convenience.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We actually don’t do any of those! When we’re together, Chris or Sarah usually bring bananas and Kyle brings coffee and I bring seltzer and we all share. On the road we all just sort of graze on snacks and pizza, except Kyle, who brings like granola and almond butter and just stays healthy. I’ve seen Chris eat a hoagie that he left in the van overnight, and I can’t talk shit because I have gone all day on just Combos. Chris and Kyle don’t drink, so really unless we get free beers some place, there’s not much drinking going on. I used to drink a lot of beers but then you have to pee instead of sleeping the whole van ride. It’s just better to sleep. And thankfully nobody pulls out an acoustic guitar but we all sing along to Iron Maiden and Faith No More tapes in the van. Oh and the Crow soundtrack – we’ve probably let that play through like six times in a row before.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I’ve actually never met anyone famous. One time I went into a bookstore right after Justin Timberlake had left, and everyone in the store was really emotional and excited. They made it sound like I had almost bumped into him, but I never saw him. Once when I was a kid I met everyone in Cypress Hill except B Real, and I made a total ass out of myself by asking where B Real was. Anyway, if I met someone famous I hope I wouldn’t freak out but I guess you never know until it happens to you.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

There’s a sort of altered state you can enter when you play, what some people call flow or the zone. Getting into that trance in the communal setting of a show is a really powerful feeling. I guess my dream job would be anything in a forest. I don’t know what I could get paid to do there but I’d be into it.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

In general, I like questions about food and movies. The answers are “I am mostly vegetarian but will instantly break that rule for jerk chicken,” and “Terminator 2 is the greatest movie in history, followed by Ghostbusters and Trading Places.” People always ask how we started and I understand why, but it’s just always “well we jammed and then got more serious.” Sorry, no cool origin story.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Never pull a trailer full of gear through the mountains with your Honda. Trust me on this one.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Definitely Sabbath Bloody Sabbath I mean they were all freaking each other out in a haunted castle and Rick Wakeman was playing synth (he wasn’t at the castle, but he did get paid in beer). What an adventure that would be. That record means a lot to me – a lot of people prefer the ones prior to it, or Sabotage but the mix of progressive and heavy sounds, the variety in the melodies and tempos, to me it’s just the band at their peak, and it’s been a huge sonic role model for me. I think this record calls “bullshit” on anyone who thinks metal has to sound just one way. It[s also an inspiration because they all had writer’s block and burnout, and were able to turn that around and make one of the best metal records of all time.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

Not touring has been hard, but not going to people’s shows in town has been even harder, I think. It was just such a sense of community and of catching up and just being stoked about each other and everyone.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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