“Political activism has always been a part of my experience with music.”
Lauren Denitzio, leader of the Brooklyn-based punk band Worriers, is here to challenge norms, to defeat the despicable. It’s been a life of zine-making, leftist-feminist organizing, and shout-along chorus-writing for Denitzio, whose latest album is a must-listen. Survival Pop, out tomorrow (Sept. 29) on SideOneDummy Records, slings hooks aplenty while fighting for social justice and internal peace.
“I think about the record as a whole as songs for self-preservation,” Lauren D says. “Regardless of the kind of rock music we make, I really like pop music and I place a lot of value in that.”
That’s long been apparent in their choruses. Worriers’ previous album, 2015’s Imaginary Life, featured “They / Them / Theirs,” an anthem for rejecting the traditional male-female gender binary; “You are floating between two ends that don’t matter,” it goes. “For me, it was written from a place of not wanting to over-determine my own identity.” says Denitzio, who identifies with gender-neutral pronouns. “Within the queer community, [there’s a] feeling you always have to have this overdetermined label for yourself and I don’t really feel like I have one.”
Our talk with also covers what it was like to collaborate with Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace (she produced Imaginary Life), a how-to guide on zine-making, and how growing up in suburban New Jersey shaped Denitzio’s art. Get ready for a lot of mall talk.
And as usual, the episode comes with two great interviews, opening with a visit from Billboard rock charts manager Kevin Rutherford. Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still” continues to improbably climb the Hot 100 and Rutherford comes with insight on how high it could climb (hint: even higher than its current No. 10 position). And for the Brand New fans, he’s got encouraging news about their Science Fiction single “Can’t Get It Out.”
#AlternativeFacts is a weekly Billboard podcast devoted to all things alternative music. Click here to subscribe to the #AlternativeFacts Podcast on iTunes. Let us know what you think on Twitter (@cpayneonaplane) and by rating the podcast on iTunes.