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Wormburner, ‘Somewhere Else to Be’ – Exclusive Premiere + Interview

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At the end of September, Brooklyn’s premier college rocker Wormburner released their latest record, ‘Pleasant Living In Planned Communities.’ Chock full of the indie rock we miss and still love from the ’80s — you know, R.E.M., the Replacements and the like — the new album is a must-spin for 2014. Today (Nov. 18), Diffuser is thrilled to debut Wormburner’s latest video, ‘Somewhere Else to Be.’ Check it out above.

In addition to giving you the new video, we’ve partnered with frontman Hank Henry to dive into the new LP, the song and the video. Check out our exclusive interview below:

Congrats on the release of ‘Pleasant Living In Planned Communities.’ How does it feel to have the record out to the masses?

It feels like it was a long time coming. We wrote and workshopped all of these songs over a period spanning more than 18 months. We never imposed a deadline upon ourselves until this past spring when it just felt like it was time to wrap it up and let go of the material. There has been a really warm response to the record, so that’s gratifying for sure.

What’s the idea behind the cover art for the record?

We sourced the cover art from a Bethlehem Steel executive recruitment brochure dating back to 1960 or so. My dad worked for Bethlehem Steel, and I found the brochure in a box in my parents’ basement. A lot of images in the brochure were pitching the lifestyle benefits of living in a planned community surrounded by other Bethlehem Steel families. It felt so antiquated, like some sort of time capsule. I’m not exactly sure how it connects to the music, but we’ve made a habit of using collages for the artwork on every record we’ve made. And when this Bethlehem Steel brochure fell into our hands, we couldn’t resist mining the images for album art.

How have your own personal experiences — now being openly gay, but previously not — influenced the music on this album?

The teenage years I spent in the closet were a real pressure-cooker. I’ve been out for a long time now, living happily and openly in a long-term committed relationship. But it’s hard for your subconscious to shake an experience as intense as the experience I lived in my younger years. Themes of hidden identity have been coming up in my writing for awhile now. I tend to gravitate toward characters who are misunderstood or are running from something that they may or may not be “guilty” of. This album just feels like the latest chapter in a long story arc.

What does ‘Somewhere Else to Be’ mean to you?

It’s a song about a transient gay hustler whose youthful looks are weathering with age. I can’t say that I actually know a real-life version of this person, but the notion of aging one’s way out of relevance is somewhat universal I think. It’s been said that it’s hard to confront your own mortality. But what about the part of life prior to mortality, when your usefulness in life starts to slip away from you? You could argue that that’s even scarier than death.

What was it like shooting the music video for ‘Somewhere Else to Be’?

Actually, no one in the band was on-site for the shoot. But we spent a good amount of time conceptualizing the video before shooting, and then we handed it off entirely to co-directors Chris Cassidy and Chris Kenneally. They’re friends of ours, and we knew we were in good hands.

What’s next for you — are you already thinking about the follow-up to ‘Pleasant Living’?

Scraps of new songs are already accumulating themselves, and I’m sure we’ll find ourselves back in the recording studio soon.

For info on Wormburner’s ‘Pleasant Living In Planned Communities’ — as well as details for their final show of 2014, their eighth annual Christmas gig at Mercury Lounge on Dec. 18 — visit their official website here.

Next: Bohannons, ‘Red, White, Black and Pale’ – Exclusive Premiere

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