Featured Artist: Will Wood and the Tapeworms
Will Wood and the Tapeworms has become an absolute force to be reckoned within the world of experimental rock music. Formed in May of 2015, Will Wood has received an awesome amount of recognition, worked with big names in the industry, and already have a large following of loyal fans. What makes him even more remarkable is the passion about his craft and how truly humbled he is by all of his success thus far.
Will Wood is a dynamic vocalist, entertainer, and artist. His creative vision is that of an innovative technique to tell a story through his music. Each song, each lyric, represents a different key point of his life, all expressed through the art of drag, face paint, and some seriously funky melodies.
M365: Right off the bat, most listeners would find that your music is very unique. What is the inspiration behind the sound of your music?
Will Wood: Head injuries, sleep paralysis, neurochemical disregulation, blackout fugue episodes where I wake up half-naked in parking lots carrying bags full of cornbread and little boxes of alka-seltzer. Each little chunk of whatever you call what I do is made out of different things. Some songs are made out of red velvet curtains, fishnet stockings, and fishbones. Other songs are cobbled together out of distorted psychedelic memories from a brain-frying past, toenail clippings, dead dogs and plastic flowers from the dollar store. One of them has a piece of the fact that I found a first-pressing copy of Mein Kampf in my uncle’s bedroom last November wedged into its gears somewhere. Each song is a different machine, each designed to complete different tasks and out of different materials. To answer that question in a more satisfying way, you’d have to have me lie down on the couch with a clinician present. I don’t know.
M365: Every band has a unique story all their own about how their groups have formed. How did the group start?
Will Wood: I’ve pulled human hairballs with xylophones out of gutters and tried to shake music out of them. I’ve stuffed clarinets down strangers’ throats and pushed them onto stages yelling “attitude comes before talent” and kicked my keyboard until the music was either good enough to say we’re trying or bad enough to call it avant-garde. I have stumbled in and out of the loveliest and the ugliest sons-of-daughters’ lives half conscious, begging them to let me pilot their brains without a license. There have been nearly three dozen Tapeworms since I first waded out of the void that was my early twenties. I don’t even know how I started. But I know Mike Bottiglieri, guitarist, is the only guy who’s been on stage since I first came to and discovered I was on one wearing the name Will Wood. Like most of my life, I have no idea what’s going on, and asking me to tell you is like asking an accountant the best way to fix a crushed spinal disk. I don’t have that kind of education.
M365: You guys are pretty up and coming, but the amount of coverage you’ve been receiving is remarkable and rapidly growing. Talk to us a little bit about the big names you’ve worked with or projects you’ve been involved in, collaborative or solo.
Will Wood: You ever drop a knife and try to catch it before it hits the ground? If you have, you’ve probably just jumped out of the way and tried to stop it from landing in your foot like an arrow since then, right? You dig on that metaphor, mate? Meaning I’m dying to drop some names on you but I better get out of the way when I do because I’ll really look like an ass hurting myself like that. Members of Foxy Shazam, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Frank Iero’s (of My Chemical Romance) solo project all worked on SELF-iSH. Mark Jaworski, filmmaker for Fueled by Ramen’s The Front Bottoms just did a music video with me. Tom Petta of Bigwig is unofficially managing me. New Noise Magazine has called me one of the most magnetic entertainers in recent years. I’m doing terribly well for myself. And here’s where I pull my foot out before crushing it with all these heavy names. I’m terrified of this. I’m not doing this because I want to be associated with big names or because I want to be a big name, I’m doing this to make a living and fulfill my responsibilities as a member of society and the unfortunate tool that must be used is the very sharp, very easy-to-drop knife you call notoriety. For the love of God, how I wish I could pay the bills without it. I don’t like being recognized, I just like playing music. Wait. I don’t like playing music either really. Why am I doing this?
M365: Tell us about your fans. Every band has a very loyal group of followers, and I understand your fan-base has been evolving all over social media.
Will Wood: My fans tell me things about what my music does for them, and then when I tell them that my music is just music, and whatever they draw from it is within themselves, they tell me I’m wrong. My fans are bizarre little creatures that either call me a cryptid (comparing me to El Chupacabra?) or call me dad. I send them teeth, hair, and glitter bombs in the mail and they still send me money back. And why? Perhaps some extrasensory connections or post-conscious interactions channeled through the vibrations of the defining parameters of my existence and how they meet theirs. Perhaps they’re not fans. If you ask me, the use of the word fan is a shortcut to describing what they really are. As any word, I suppose, must be. I don’t know what words Oxford or Merriam Webster has for what these beasts should be considered. But it’s something more than fan. I look forward to exploring the fringes of reality and seeing if they’ll come with me.
M365: What can we expect from the band’s future projects?
Will Wood: The Real Will Wood. What You See. What You Get. August 11th at Roxy & Dukes, I and the Tapeworms production team are putting on the largest show in this theseus-ship project history, and what I will tell you is set to be the biggest musical/theatrical event of the summer. Part Two of my sold-out concert series, “The Real Will Wood.” The concert film/live album recording events that will lead up to a release later this year and the next big step in this creepshow’s evolution and psychic elevation. VIP tickets are just about sold out. General admission is still available, but flying out the door. This will not be a concert. I hate concerts. This is a show. I love shows. Anyone who’s not there must hate music even more than I do.
M365: What message do you aim to deliver through your music and lyrics?
Will Wood: If I tell you, it stops working.