Battle of the Bands 2018 Q&A: sweat workers

By Maria Lubanovic, Copy Editor
[Photo by Joe Medlen]
Q&A with lead vocalist Dani Wasserman of sweat workers.

How would you describe your musical style?

Dani: The words “bedroom pop” seem to come up a lot. I guess ’cause a lot of it was made in my bedroom. I don’t really know; it’s hard to describe our style I think, but I draw inspiration from a lot of pop music and rock styles, so some kind of pop rock, I guess. Sometimes it gets a little emo lyrically, but we try to keep it upbeat and fun, mostly.

Who and what are some of your biggest musical influences?

Dani: Biggest influences for me, personally, are probably They Might Be Giants, Ben Folds Five, Parquet Courts and Car Seat Headrest. Those first two acts were really formative for my taste because it was the stuff I listened to growing up, and the second two I’d say gave me sort of a metric when I started making music of current artists who I could really look up to and admire.

How long have you been performing together?

Dani: I started making music and storing it on my laptop under the name, “sweat workers,” since early 2017. Then it was just kind of me writing alone and recording this stuff basically on a MacBook Pro with a microphone from a Rock Band video game until just this past August when I booked our first house show gig, and I asked my good friend Emma Campbell to play with me. Then it was just Emma, me and my laptop basically until like two weeks ago when our band went from two people and a laptop to six people and a laptop.

What sets you apart from other bands?

Dani: That’s a good question. I’m not really sure I can answer it accurately – it’s hard to tell from the inside, you know? But if I had to speculate, I think we like to keep it light and fun. I’m not saying other bands don’t – just that when I write, it’s often about kind of darker stuff, and then we play it over these bright, major chords and kind of approach rock music like jazz improv a little bit. Like, I use a lot of major-7 chords. I also really like wacky music that doesn’t always make a lot of sense at first but can sort of work because of how abstract music lets you be. People will understand what they’re hearing, even if they might not get what you’re saying. So I’ll sort of throw something weird in there, like a song about only eating chicken, or a lyric about how I can’t stop biting off my mustache hairs. It can be strange, but it catches the ear, and it’s got just enough context to work with the story of the song.

Where can we find you online?

Dani: We’re on Bandcamp, as well as Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music, Facebook and Instagram, and you can find all of our music videos on our YouTube page. Plus, if you want the really weird stuff, we also have a Soundcloud.

Catch sweat workers’ performance at ACRN’s Battle of the Bands 2018, Friday, Nov. 16 at the Union. 

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