When you’ve once been hailed as “the glorious love child of Joan Jett and Kurt Cobain”, you’ve got a lot to live up to. On Yes Regrets, the sophomore album from theWorst, there’s plenty of intensely blistering punk to make that comparison seem less frivolous.
Consisting of powerhouse vocalist Brooke Binion alongside bassist Will Bradford and drummer Craig Sala, the trio hail from Portland – not that one, the Maine one – and have been unloading their raucous blend of melodic punk and alternative rock on unsuspecting ears since 2016.
Their 2017 debut album, the wonderfully-named Jane Doe Embryo, was followed earlier this month by Yes Regrets, a curiously presented album not for the fainthearted: chronologically detailing the downward spiral into drug and alcohol addiction, followed by the recovery process and newfound sobriety, Binion is unsparing in her approach.
Amidst a hailstorm of distorted guitar lines and pounding drumming, her voice grows hoarse singing these raw and vulnerable lyrics; nothing is held back, and Yes Regrets is better for it.
And while the band don’t shy away from intense subject matter on the album, they crucially never wallow in the mire either. Instead, by being so honest, Binion and co. allow acceptance to those listeners who may find themselves in a similarly difficult situation.
“This album was written over a very critical couple of years for me, so I wanted to have the album flow chronologically,” Binion explained. “The first couple tracks were written before I got sober, then the middle of the record was written while I was in the process of getting sober, and then the end is sort of where I’m at now.”
To celebrate the album’s release, we caught up with Binion as part of our Get To Know series to find out more about the band and their lives.
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theWorst’s Yes Regrets is out now on RascalZRecordZ.
How did your artist name come about?
There’s a lot of conflicting stories about how it came about but all I know is that it wasn’t me.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
I would probably lie to my grandma and tell her I wasn’t in a band because they were both very sweet, and I don’t think they’d like to hear me scream.
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
My personal favorite tracks on the album are probably ‘Hurt Forever’ and ‘So Far Away Reprise’. I’m sure the band wouldn’t agree with me. ‘Hurt Forever’ is about an experience I had where I had some conflict with a person and couldn’t trust my brain to even decide who was in the wrong.
It’s also about caring a lot about someone or something while not caring at all, and also about navigating chaos. ‘So Far Away’ is about being super close with someone at one point, and not being able to access that intimacy and all of a sudden it’s just gone.
What do you love about your hometown?
I love a lot about Portland (Maine), from the size and geography to the art scene and the people. It’s on the ocean but still kind of gritty. There’s an incredible amount of talent and really unique artists. I used to run sound at venues and when I moved to Portland, the first local band I mixed blew my mind.
Career highlight so far?
Both U.S. West Coast tours we did (in 2016 and 2018) were some of the best times, especially the Seattle shows, and our first time in LA playing at the Whisky A Go Go was pretty memorable.
Fave non-music hobby?
I work with (sometimes challenging) dogs for my day job and although that’s not a hobby, it’s my biggest non-musical interest. Not big on hobbies.
What’s on your dream rider?
I just want to have a dog-friendly hotel room for myself. And socks. I’m sure our bassist Will would agree on the socks.
Dream music collaboration?
It would be cool to do a tune with Richard Ashcroft and Nick McCabe from The Verve.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully still alive, successfully touring comfortably. Lots of dogs.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
I don’t really participate in karaoke but I always check my mic with “Build me up, Buttercup”
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Not really career advice, but as far as life advice goes, when I was taught to focus on the comfort and happiness of others first, it was life changing.
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
Electronic music is something Will and myself have a lot of background and interest in, we just haven’t ventured that way with TheWorst. Yet. I think Craig would be down, too.