The pandemic shook up the music industry in a lot of ways, but it also gave us a bunch of new music projects to listen discover. London-based duo Wargasm is one of the best things to come out of the pandemic.
The Travel Addict first saw the band live at Louder than Life in Louisville last fall and loved the punk rock energy. The band also hopped on ShipRocked to bring their high-energy sets out to sea where they quickly became a fan favorite.
The band is playing rock festivals across the US over the next week including Welcome to Rockville in Daytona Beach, Florida and Sonic Temple in Columbus, Ohio. We can’t wait to catch their energetic live sets at the festivals. If you are in attendance, don’t sleep on this band and head over to see them live.
We met up with the pair – vocalist/bassist Milkie Way and vocalist/guitarist Sam Matlock – to talk about bullshit double standards, their favorite haunts in London and why Fred Durst holds a special place in their collective heart.
What if your perfect day in London?
Sam Matlock (SM): We got a nice cafe. We love Dave at the Giggling Angel. Shout it up! The Giggling Angel in North London. We like to go for breakfast, brunch, maybe like 11.
Milkie Way (MW): I’ll go for a little walk in the park nearby or in Highgate. Highgate park is nice with the cemetery.
SM: Yeah, maybe come home to play some guitar. Do a little bit of songwriting.
MW: Then we’ll go to the local Italian place, Small and Beautiful, and then go to Garlic & Shots. Garlic & Shots is this metal bar in Soho with a crypt underneath it where everything is garlicky.
SM: Maybe go there, meet some friends, watch a gig. Host some obscene house party until the early hours of the morning.
MW: Usually happens.
SM: You lose control quite quickly in London. It’s hard to stay wholesome.
MW: But it’s fun though. I like it.
How long have you lived in London?
MW: I’ve been in London for five years now. Maybe six. Long time.
You won the UK Best Breakthrough Award at the Heavy Music Awards and Kerrang! Awards?
MW: I think we won a similar thing at both.
What was that experience like?
SM: We had to win two awards so we could have one each in our toilets. Two bathrooms, two awards. Makes sense.
MW: It was a bit of an eventful night at the Heavy Music Awards.
MW: People don’t like my nipples. They were streaming it on Twitch and I went out to do a performance with another band that had a male singer who was also wearing a mesh top with his nipples out. And as soon as I came out, the stream got shut down.
People were saying I did it on purpose and I was like, my mom didn’t even get to see me win the f*cking award. Of course, I didn’t do it on purpose.
SM: You looked great, though.
MW: I looked great. It was a great top. I thought my nipples were covered by metal crosses, but that’s not good enough. What can you do? Sometimes the nipples go where they want.
Well, next time you win, you know.
MW: Next time I’m just going to wear a top with the nipples cut out completely. I’m not even going to bother trying to cover them.
What was the highlight of the Limp Bizkit tour?
SM: Going on stage with Fred Durst at Madison Square Garden.
MW: Yeah, I concur.
SM: They let us do separate songs with them to feature on because we couldn’t agree on one ourselves.
MW: Yeah, you wanted to do “Take a Look Around” and I wanted to do “Full Nelson”.
SM: It was fun. It was nice of them and to do it at Madison Square Garden…Fred was just cool.
MW: It was also quite nice when we were chilling in our bandwagon and then they all knocked and just poured in, all of them.
SM: They brought us pizza. It was quite nice. Very lucky. All of it was a bit surreal. It still is.
My first ShipRocked, they headlined and it was Amazing!
What? Limp Bizkit on a ShipRocked? How the f*ck did that make sense? The boat must have sank.
Do you guys have any UK artists that you are listening to that haven’t hit the big stage in America yet?
MW: Oh, so many. Torquar Horror. Are Enter Shikari big over here or not?
SM: Yeah, they are.
MW: Nova Twins are badass. Knife Bride is great. We took them out on our last UK headline run.
SM: They’re a newer band from Brighton in the UK. They call themselves like, glitter pop sl*t metal as the genre, which is pretty accurate.
MW: They’re quite fun.
I Love it.
MW: Cassyette. She’s awesome as well. She does some great metal vocals. She writes very good, cathartic pop songs.
What’s the inspiration behind Explicit: The MiXXXtape?
MW: We like being sexy and explicit and we wanted to make a mixtape.
SM: No? Yes, but no. We’re about to just finish and drop our debut album. We didn’t want to rush it, though, because we kind of became a pandemic band. We kind of developed and found our sound in the pandemic. An important thing of what makes the classic bands so good and what I like about them is they have time to test out new songs live and shit like that. We didn’t get that opportunity
MW: We did a lot of virtual festivals during the lockdown, but it’s not really the same for people.
SM: When you play a new song live somewhere these days, it’s like a decent recording’s up on YouTube after and it takes away the impact of a brand new song. The mixtape was our last time just pissing around and experimenting with the sound and being like, oh, we could do a bit of this, a bit of that before the album.
MW: It was kind of a way to bridge the gap between the singles that we’d been drip feeding before and the album that was to come.
What’s the timing on the album?
MW: End of this year at some point.
Milkie, you were a concert photographer, you were a model, but what was the moment where you knew you wanted to do this as a career?
MW: I never thought that I would actually have a career in music. I did modeling professionally for ten years. Then I met Sam and I’d never actually written music. I’d written poems and prose and stuff, but never music. It’s funny how you can easily translate those kinds of words into music when you have someone like Sam enabling you. But yeah, it wasn’t until I met him that I actually thought, oh, this could be a thing.
What did you see in her that made you think she could do it?
SM: One of the things was, I didn’t want to be in a band. I used to be in a band with a bunch of guys and I didn’t want to work with guys again. I’m sure you can relate. It’s not fun working with guys all the time. I like Riot Grrrl music. I like to work with the feminine voice. I really like that Milky was just going around, this girl in the pit, taking pictures. She was really cool.
I remember one night, I was miserable over losing my old band. I just got really drunk, not in a good way, bad drunk, in one of my little downstairs bathrooms and sent her some really crappy emo acoustic songs I’d written. And I was like, for the love of God, tell me you play an instrument. And she was like, I do, but we’re not doing these songs.
MW: You write some better ones than those.
SM: We just came back from working in Japan one day and we just went to a concert and we just clicked, you know. It was very natural. At first it was like, you wanna come over? I’m having a party. And then it was like, I’m coming over, but can I play you something before the party? And then it was like, right now, before this party, can I bring my microphone and my speakers, just cycling about London with this recording shit on my back.
It got to the point where I was like, right, well, instead of the party, now you’re going to come over to my place, where everything’s set up and we’re just going to start writing some songs. I think everything should happen naturally. It’s totally cool putting a musician’s wanted ad up, but I just always prefer relationships creativity to happen by accident.
You’ve been all over the world from modeling, touring, just traveling. What’s your favorite place to visit? Any hidden gems you’ve found?
MW: As Sam said, when I was working out in Tokyo I went to this little underground bar called the Beat Cafe there. We’re playing in Nagoya, but I’m hoping we might be able to make it up to Tokyo for one day, just so I can go to that little bar.
As far as hidden gems, Garlic & Shots in Soho. I love it there. My favorite place that I’ve been in America, one of the venues I played when I was a session musician, was Stubb’s BBQ in Austin. There was a tiny little queer dive bar across the road there called Cheer Up Charlies. That was a beautiful little hidden gem there.
I’d love to play ACL or South By Southwest, as long as I can go back to Texas. It’s a special place.
What does 2023 have in store for you guys?
MW: Touring a lot. We’re doing more shows with Limp Bizkit in the UK. We’re going to be touring America at some point this year with some other bands. Hopefully we might make it over to Australia at some point. Writing shit tons of music.
SM: A headline tour again at the end of the year.
Did you enjoy ShipRocked?
MW: It’s pretty fun. After we got over the sea sickness, it got fun.
SM: And the crushing fear of the ocean, something so vast and so misunderstood.
What was your favorite moment?
SM: I liked having a little inflatable donut in the sea.
MW: Yeah, I enjoyed being in the sea in the Bahamas.
SM: We had one of those inflatable rubbery donut things, trying to see who could stand up on it. I think I won.
MW: No, I definitely won.
SM: I was holding it for you. I wanted you to feel like a winner.
What are you guys looking forward to at Rockville and Sonic Temple?
SM: Who’s playing Sonic Temple?
SM: Seriously? I’ve never seen Avenged Sevenfold. I grew up listening to them. My brother loves them. Our old tour manager loves them. He still comes over to our flat sometimes and is like, you wanna do anything? We’ll drink wine and listen to Avenged Sevenfold CDs. It’s a good f*cking time.
MW: I’m pretty sure we’re playing the same day as Queens of the Stone Age, so I’m very excited to see that. I’ve never seen them before.
Where’s Rockville again? Daytona Beach?
Yes, but it’s in the Daytona speedway.
MW: Can I go drag racing?
You can ride on golf carts on the racetrack.
MW: Okay, that’s where you will find me.