Interview, Music

‘Chemical Tardigrade’, Barren Womb fifth album out today

Photo: Hanna Fauske

And it’s almost a crime to miss this one out. The Nordic heavy noise rock duo Barren Womb (Timo Silvola & Tony Gonzalez) in its best form ever and it’s easy to hear on each of the album’s eleven songs,

I had a nice chat with Tony Gonzalez about the new release, the band’ upcoming big tour and a bit about the other projects these extremely talented people are working on. Happy reading!

‘Chemical Tardigrade’, what is behind the album title?

A tardigrade, also called a water bear or moss piglet, is a micro-animal found in every region of planet earth. They have endured all five recognised mass extinctions and can even survive in outer space, meaning they are virtually indestructible. So, we figure a chemical tardigrade is a creature that can survive any type of drug use known to mankind. This fictional dope fiend unexpectedly reared its head when we were writing lyrics for ‘Bachelor of Puppets’, and was both weird and striking enough to be the perfect title for the album.

The album is already called by many critics as your best album so far. They also say that it is in every sense much stronger than your previous album from 2020. Do you agree?

Yes, I do. Although I love the way ‘Lizard Lounge’ (our previous album) turned out, this new one feels catchier, stranger, heavier, and at the same time, more coherent. 

Is there anything special about the recording of this album you would like to tell me about?

This is the third time we record with the exceptionally talented Eirik Øien at Fjøset Lydstudio, who just gets our band and what we should sound like. Because of conflicting schedules, the session was broken up into three separate parts. Outside of that, the session was nothing out of the ordinary, just the usual mixture of a lot of fun and a lot of work.

The mini documentary “Squat Walker” by Carl Christian Lein Størmer, featuring your music, was on the program of Sonisk Music Film Festival, Trondheim and Tromsø International Film Festival. Was this an interesting experience?

It’s been a blast for us to sneak into these festivals through the wonderful work of Carl Christian. We are very proud of how “Squat Walker” encapsulates a moment in the history of Svartlamon and catches the spirit of this unique area that means so much to us. Watching people react to the documentary has been a real thrill.

Since the release of Barren Womb latest album both of you have worked a lot on your other projects – you on Velcro Dog and Timo on Twin Serpent. You both also play in Treholt band. Are you going to continue all these projects in the future as well?

Yes, all these projects will continue running strong. In fact, Treholt’s first club shows are coming up next weekend and I’m sure there will be more of that in the future. Right now our focus is centered on promoting ‘Chemical Tardigrade’ and all things Barren Womb, but we have a new Twin Serpent album basically ready to record, which we’ll do as soon as there’s time. I also have a handful of new Velcro Dog songs written and intend to write more throughout the year, so there will be a second album somewhere along the highway with that project too.

A big tour is planned in support of the new album – Europe in March, Norway in April and May. Murder Maids band will be your special guests on the European part. Any special guests at the Norwegian concerts?

We won’t be touring with a support band in Norway, but we will have kick-ass local support on all these shows. Check our website and socials to get up to speed on who will join us where.

‘Chemical Tardigrade’
All music and lyrics by Barren Womb
Recorded and mixed late 2022/early 2023 by Eirik Øien at Fjøset Lystudio
Produced by Eirik Øien and Barren Womb
Electronics on track #1, #6, #7 and #11 by Eirik Øien
Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Music

Listen to the new album or get your copy on vinyl here: