Q&A with Max Clarke (Cut Worms)

photo 2Coming off the recent release of the EP At Home and a move from Chicago to New York City, Cut Worms frontman Max Clarke is nothing short of busy as he works to move his music career further in NYC after having called Chicago home for six years. While Cut Worms is Clarke’s project, he’s extremely grateful for the help he received on the project from drummer Josh Condon (also in Chicago band, The Glyders) and bassist Andrew Harper, both of whom he said “were instrumental in giving me the confidence to play these songs live and helping me out of my self-doubting, reclusive nature.” It’s a good thing they did, because At Home is nothing short of excellent and suggests Clarke will be on to big things as he moves forward with his music career.

Ghost Track: At Home doesn’t sound like most contemporary music. It almost sounds like it’s from the ’50s or ’60s, is that where you draw a lot of your inspiration from?

Max Clarke: Yeah, definitely. I never want to be too much of a snob about contemporary music, but I really just don’t listen to a lot of newer bands. There are some new bands that I like, but by in large most bands I listen to are from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s. I also listen to a lot of music from the big band era and jazz.

Ghost Track: You’ve done several short albums, what was your thought process in releasing music that way?

Max Clarke: I set up a bandcamp where I had the idea to set up sort of digital 45 releases. I would record and release two songs at a time then. My idea was to eventually either compile them somehow or possibly if the opportunity arose to re-record them in a studio. They kind of took on a life of their own a little bit.

Ghost Track: How did you go about recording At Home?

Max Clarke: I’d had some of these songs for a while. I did most of the recordings by myself in my apartment with an eight-track recorder, recording digitally is great because it makes it so much easier to record and re-record. Then Josh Condon came in and did overdubs on drums for a couple tracks.

Ghost Track: The album was released in the middle of October, did you tour at all for the album?

Max Clarke: We didn’t do a proper tour, but played a lot of those songs live around Chicago. Bass player, Andrew Harper, and drummer, Josh Condon, played at those live shows with me. When I was still in Chicago I played and practiced those songs with them regularly.

Ghost Track: Are still planning on doing stuff for Cut Worms now that you’re in New York?

Max Clarke: I’m actually playing a show with a Chicago band I used to be in this upcoming weekend since they’re playing a show in New York.

Ghost Track: Are you going to be doing your set with members of that band then?

Max Clarke: I’m actually going to do more of a solo thing.

Ghost Track: Do you have anything else coming up?

Max Clarke: Yes, Randy Records in Chicago is putting out a 7” of two songs, “Don’t Want to Say Goodbye” and “Like Going Down Sideways” in the beginning of 2016, so I’ll be playing a show there around that time.

Read more about Cut Worms’ latest EP, At Home, here.

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