World News: The WL Interview

Purveyors of: Evolving electric circuits painting impossible colours in your mind.

File next to: Daniel Avery, The Field, Digits

Playing: Wavelength Monthly Music Series, Saturday April 13, 2019 @ Brothers Dressler. Get your tickets here!

There’s something about the music of World News that’s difficult to pinpoint — an elusive quality that only reveals itself to you when the show’s over, like a slow-building trance or a dream you wish you could return to. Curating their own ecosystem of synthesizers and drum machines, Tyler Cooksley and Will Bembridge (hereafter described as ‘World’ and ‘News,’ respectively) make psychedelic synth music in a decommissioned bank vault in downtown Toronto. With their 100% hardware-based setup, the duo construct an electrified live performance that’s impossible to look away from, and even harder not to dance to. Marko Cindric got in touch with World (and) News to talk tunnels, fake plants, knobs, switches, and more.

Hi, World News! Tell us the origin story of your creative partnership.

News: Oh hi there, thanks for chatting to us! We actually met via this back-page pamphlet thing they give out with the free paper.

World: That mullet caught my eye and we started chatting synths. I mean, how often do you see a mullet like that…

News: For me it was all about those baby blue eyes. You can get lost in those things, for real.

Describe your music as a physical space.

World: We’re probably like a subway network of some kind.

News: Yeah, definitely a tunnel system, perhaps under a rainforest though, I don’t feel like we’re 100% city?

World: Everything points straight towards the mouth of the river.

News: So like a tunnel river? Definitely not a sewer though, we’re way prettier than that.

What’s the best thing about using a hardware-only setup?

World: Not having to rely on computers. If we f*ck up, it’s our own fault.

News: Watch your language, there might be kids reading.

World: Kids can’t even read these days.

News: Yeah I guess, it’s a pretty harsh world out there. Anyway, I like the fact that it has limitations, whereas computers can feel a little endless sometimes…

World: And there’s more knobs and switches to play around with.

Tell us a bit about the Safe Sounds bank vault studio.

News: So, I’ve got access to this vault in downtown Toronto. The building used to be an old bank. It’s literally a concrete box with a really heavy nice door. It’s got a combination lock, but that has been disabled. It’s a weird space.

World: We recorded our first single, “A Bit More Mellow Back Then,” live off the floor in there – used room mics to catch the ambience and it sounded great. One of our good friends, Brennan, also shot a video in there and we rehearse in it sometimes, when we’re feeling reclusive.

News: I’ve filled it with fake plants… I have a bit of a thing for those, it’s embarrassing.

It’s the day of the show and you’re about to eat your first meal. What’s cooking?

World: Something hearty but not too greasy. You can never go wrong with a grilled cheese or a slice of pizza. But don’t forget to eat your vegetables… that’s really important.

What makes you feel nostalgic?

News: We played some really great festivals last summer, like Crystal Lake and The Oscillitarium on Wolfe Island. Camping, friends and music — it’s enough to being a tear to the eye of even the most stiff-upper-lipped Brit.

What’s next for World News, and what can we expect at the April 13 show?

World: We’ve just recorded new material for the first time in well over a year, so we’re working hard to get that together. We like to simultaneously jam and record in search of new textures and sounds. That’s a really fun part of what we do — everything we create starts from an improvised jam of some kind.

News: At the show you can expect a little bit of mayhem, a sprinkle of madness, and a whole lot of synthesizers and gear linked together. It’ll be a time for sure. Oh, and expect lots of wood working… this show’s in a DIY space at a workshop, so hell, it’ll be worth coming down just for the smell of freshly cut wood.