Riff Radar is back for Download 2020! We’ll once again be bringing you the freshest new bands on the line up to sink your teeth into.
What do you get when you mix chunky nu-metal style riffs with a big dose of punk rock grit? London duo Wargasm – aka Sam Matlock and Milkie Way.
We interviewed Wargasm to find out how they got started, what went down at their first show and what it means to them to play #DL2020.
What does it mean for you to play Download 2020?
Milkie: When I first got the email through, we were just about to soundcheck and I just screamed REALLY loud, like: “f**k!”.
Sam: For Download to be taking a chance on a band as fresh as us, it’s really heartwarming and encouraging. You have a chaotic energy going on at your festival and that’s something we definitely draw upon. The fact you’ve got people running around there with these f**king mental helmets on and s**t, it’s very in keeping with what Wargasm is about. It’s exciting to share that at Download.
Have you attended Download Festival as fans? What was it like?
Sam: I’ve been quite a few times. Iron Maiden at Download is gonna be amazing, I think the last time I saw them was at Download.
Milkie: I’m from Northern Ireland, so I didn’t grow up in England, and I didn’t really get the chance to go to many big music festivals. Now that I live over here in England, being a part of something like this, it’s really nice to be included.
Sam: I think the best thing about Download every time I’ve gone has actually been the people.
What went down at the first ever Wargasm show?
Milkie: Well, we arrived at the venue, it was this tiny little venue in Paris. We look up on the wall and we see a decibel counter, and we’re like “hmm, that’s not a good sign!”. The venue manager comes and says “hi guys, nice to meet you, by the way, there’s a 102 decibel limit”. In French.
Sam: 102 decibels is about the volume of Milkie screaming without a microphone.
Milkie: So I get on stage, shout “WOO!” and the counter hits 103. So that’s how our first show went.
How did Wargasm start their journey as a band?
Sam: I used to play in another band, and my manager hit me up one day and said “Have you seen this thing called ‘Girl In The Pit’?”. I was like “what’s that?”, and it was quite literally Milkie Way in a moshpit with a disposable camera. So we started asking her to come to some shows, and we met through that.
When that project came to an end, I still wanted to make music, so the first thing I did was hit Milkie up and say, “Yo, Girl In The Pit, can you play any instruments? Can you sing?”. There was never really any intent for the project to take off as quickly as it has, it was just two of us having fun and seeing what we could create.
Describe your sound in three words.
Sam: Can we put two words together? Eye of-the storm.
Milkie: Yeah, hyphenate it.
Sam: Wargasm sounds like the eye of the storm.
Who inspires Wargasm?
Milkie: Well, female punk is something that always inspired me. L7 were one of the first bands that I got into that opened my eyes to the whole female punk world, and they have a song called Wargasm so that’s where we got the name from. So yeah, the whole riot girl movement is something that’s very close to my heart.
Sam: In terms of the writing, it’s mostly like movies and conversations I overhear.
Milkie: Lots of pop culture references.
Sam: Blade Runner, Terminator, all the old Tarantino movies. I’ve always found that to be quite inspiring. A lot of galleries, too. I think we both follow an obscene amount of artists on Instagram.
You’ve only released two songs so far – can we expect more material soon?
Sam: Definitely. I think with the way music’s being consumed at the moment, streaming and everything, it’s weird: if a band releases a song and they nail it, it seems to only be relevant for 14 weeks. That gives us quite a lot of artistic freedom to explore a sound. Wargasm’s doing cool things and it’s moving very quickly, but it often takes bands 4 or 5 years to actually develop who they wanna be, so we don’t wanna rush that process. We’re definitely gonna keep dripping out singles as and when, but we don’t see the need to rush the creative process.
In ‘God Of War’, you say nu-metal is definitely coming back – who’s your favourite nu-metal band?
Sam: There’s too many. Overall, gonna have to say Limp Bizkit. There’s a funny thing about Limp Bizkit…
Milkie: People pretend to hate them! But when Limp Bizkit comes on at 3am at a rock night, no one’s unhappy about it!
Why should Downloaders watch Wargasm at #DL2020?
Sam: I think we’re a bit different to the rest of the line up. I think the duality of the characters we’ve got going on, this fire vs fire element, is actually gonna bring something fresh and original in terms of the younger bands that are playing.
Milkie: Also: support women in music!
Who are you looking forward to seeing at #DL2020?
Milkie: Deftones, oh my GOD, I’ve never seen them before and I’m so excited.
Sam: Obituary, for sure. My friend gave me an Obituary shirt – didn’t really know who they were, finally got round to checking them out.
Milkie: Babymetal as well!
You live in London – if you had to take the Download Dog anywhere in London, where would you take him?
Milkie: Yes, we were there last night, we’d take him there!
Sam: He probably lives there.
Where do you see Wargasm three years from now?
Sam: On a bigger stage at Download.