Worriedaboutsatan: From blank tapes to Vincent Cavanagh

worriedaboutsatan wearing black against a blue watery background

Worriedaboutsatan are a band with humble beginnings. “It was never very good, just a cracked copy of Cubase and a few ideas for chord progressions,” says multi-instrumentalist Gavin Miller about his early endeavours. But the experimental outfit now have a body of critically acclaimed work, a freshly minted collaboration with Vincent Cavanagh of Anathema and a soundtrack for cult filmmaker Adam Curtis under their belts.

Their musical journey wasn’t without hurdles. Miller and fellow multi-instrumentalist bandmate Thomas Ragsdale originally started as a heavy post-rock band, before making their brooding, electronic side-project worriedaboutsatan their main creative focus in 2005. But then, in 2009, they made an album that didn’t quite fit, according to their manager…

“We’d written an album and we weren’t really sure what to do with it, as it was a genre transition from worriedaboutsatan,” explains Ragsdale. “We had management, and they suggested we start a new project and give it a new name.” Suddenly, they had a new band: Ghosting Season. “That, it turned out, was a terrible decision. I guess looking back I dunno what happened, but it was a time when we were listening to other people and they were pulling us and pushing us… we’re a bit wiser now.” Miller concludes: “It was a perfect storm of us being a bit green about everything and some really lousy industry management kind of stuff. Put that all together and it created Ghosting Season. Not to say that it was terrible, it turned out alright. But it would have been nicer to have done all that stuff under the worriedaboutsatan umbrella.”

That strange chapter resolved, the duo are back with Blank Tape, the follow-up to 2015’s Even Temper, the electrifying first LP they put out after resurrecting the worriedaboutsatan name after a six-year rest period. It’s perhaps the duo’s most confident album yet, and will hopefully prove their most successful. Last year saw them playing stages at festivals like Jodrell Bank’s Blue Dot Festival, and new track This Restless Wing featuring Vincent Cavanagh is sure to expose them to a few new listeners. “I think we were on tour with Vessels last year, and I noticed this tweet from Anathema saying: ‘really enjoying Even Temper’,” Miller recalls. The partnership developed organically from there. “Vincent expressed an interest in our music and in working with us because I think he really likes electronic music… he wants to explore electronica a bit more,” says Miller. “He was super nice and on the same page as us musically, so it was really easy to put together, I think it only took one night because he made it as easy for us as possible.” Ragsdale agrees: “It was a bit too good to be true. We were laughing as it was a massive deal for us.”

When asked about motivation and what they love about music, the answers are clear. “The constant need to make a better album than you have done, or a better track, or explore a different kind of music or a different way of playing live,” begins Ragsdale, before Miller concludes: “There’s always something else, we both get kind of giddily excited when we happen upon new music or a new genre or band… we’ll investigate that and let it seep into our kind of music.”

PROG FILE

line-up

Gavin Miller (guitar, keyboards, programming, electronics), Thomas Ragsdale (guitar, keyboards, programming, electronics)

sounds like

Highly experimental electronic post-rock

current release

Blank Tape is out now

Visit the duo’s Facebook page for more.