Interview: WOOM’s Sara Magenheimer
The story of how I “discovered” this two piece from NYC was through a friend who, in every sense of the word, has devoted his life to music. So when I asked him what he was listening to blaring in the background his response was an intense mixture of pure exhilaration and panic.
He told me he had a single track, but could not find anything else by this mystery band… although there was a bartender who apparently held to coveted copy of the album. I boldly ventured into Swig (the bar ) and snatched up what could be perhaps the most precious kept secret this city-neh- this country has to know.
WOOM, formerly members Fertal Crescent, are led by Sara on vocals and percussion and Evan on guitar. They have toured with such bands as Xiu Xiu and Deerhoof… and recently released their album and Badabing records in July of 2010.
THIS YOU MUST HEAR!- But before you do, you should know a bit about the lovely and darling Sara, who I spoke to mid winter dreary afternooon.
Sara is a drummer, percussionist and vocalist.
Eben plays guitar and lives in L.A.
Sara resides in New York City, where I spoke with her via the telephone. She has a cathartic voice, lovely and inviting.
So how did Woom come about?
Sara: Before WOOM I was in a band, called Flying. Though Flying never officially disbanded, we all started doing other projects, one of which was Fertile Crescent, which eventually changed to WOOM.
This is a signature question, I like to ask all of my interviewee’s, what is your favorite kind of cheese.
Sara: Right now I’m really into the orange squares of individually wrapped processed “American” cheese. Their texture is really fascinating and I love the entire process of peeling the wrapper, the tactile nature. It becomes a fetish object… it’s sexy. I also love how it’s a completely abstracted idea of “cheese” at the same time as being the real thing.Robots Vs. Dinosaurs?
Lately, I’ve been a brontosaurus with my four-year old friend, Thea So we have been eating leaves from trees and stretching our necks out, stomping around, etc.
Strangest venue you’ve ever played?
We don’t have a booking agent, which allows us to set up idiosyncratic events. Once in Oakland, CA we played in a cave made out of paper; at the end of the night everyone spontaneously tore it down and had dance party with the paper structure crumbling all around. No one got hurt despite all the potential for paper cuts.
If you had to carry 50 pounds of one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
I would probably carry cotton candy. Pink
Any records from childhood that inspired you?
My parents were school teachers, so our music collection was sort of small. But I would have to say Kraftwerk, Computer Love and the Canadian theme from Disney’s Epcot Center record.
If you were to write a book, what would it be called and what would it be about?
Well, I wrote a book of short stories when I was in school, called “Stories to Read In-Transit”. They were about everyday situations, but usually something strange or magical happened. They weren’t incredibly well-written, but I do enjoy writing and write every day as part of my practice.
You have toured with several bands, namely Pit Er Pat, Xiu Xiu and Deerhoof, how was that?
Sara: It is great to play with friends, because you really learn a lot from them, and the experiences that you have differ and add a certain flavor unique from the others. We played with Pit Er Pat in Chicago, and mixed our record at Butchy’s house in Los Angeles. Touring with Deerhoof is always incredibly inspiring and educational. They are all unbelievably brilliant musicians and genuinely kind and generous people.
When you go on tour what is one thing you don’t leave home with out?
Well this is not one thing I leave with, but I always get a bag of spinach while on the road. Since it is so difficult to eat healthy, it really comes in handy.
What is the worst advice you’ve ever been given?
Can I tell you good advice? I am paraphrasing my friend Greg Saunier from Deerhoof, He said,
“An artist always has an initial feeling of shame associated with creating. The more you just accept that feeling and create anyway, the more the shame diminishes.”
Remembering this advice gives me courage to trust my creative impulse, and persevere through the inner demons.
For a sample of WOOM’s music, click here.
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