Interview with vocalist/drummer Timo Sivola | By Thomas Pizzola
Norwegian noise-punk duo Barren Womb made quite a splash in the United States last year with the release of their second full-length The Sun’s Not Yellow, It’s Chicken. The band garnered praise from publications both big and small, significantly raising their profile on this side of the pond. In fact, the duo—which consists of guitarist Tony Gonzahl and drummer Tomo Silvola, both of whom contribute vocals—were thrown for a bit of a loop.
“I mean, we did hope for some ruckus over there, since our label, [Spartan Records], is American,” Silvola admits, “but being used to coverage from mostly the underground community, we didn’t see that coming. It was also the first of our releases that wasn’t self-released, so we really didn’t know what to expect.”
Now, they’re back with their new album, Nique Everything, released through Spartan and boasting surprising touches of dark Americana and country music to go along with the noisy screeds, creating an exciting hybrid. Some people might be thrown for a loop, but according to Silvola, this was the band’s intention all along.
“There’s always a plan and we move in curious ways,” he says. “There is this shared love for dark Americana and country, and we used to talk about making songs which bring those into our lifelong love for noise. I guess we just had so much aggression left from the last band that the early stuff became pretty grimy and there was little room for twang. We always tend to pull towards something we haven’t tried before and feel it’s crucial for the creating process to throw ourselves in the fire every now and then. And you know what they say about children and fire in Norway.”
In addition to the new full-length, Barren Womb also teamed up and did a split 7” release with Connecticut noise-rock wrecking crew Grizzlor through Riotous Outburst Records earlier this year. The release coincided with the duo’s first ever tour of the U.S., which the band undertook with their split-mates from the Nutmeg State.
“We had an absolute blast touring the States!” Silvola exclaims. “Grizzlor are great guys and they absolutely shredded every night. We met a lot of interesting people and saw a lot of cool things, but driving through that great beast, we also saw the American Dream shattered by the amount of lost souls and the vast poverty-ridden areas surrounding every city we passed. But, every cloud has a silver lining, and one of those were all the amazing people we met, whom—to our surprise—often shared our opinion on the great oppressor. Even though a guy got shot in the face in front of our venue in Detroit, we’d still very much like to come back.”