interview: molly ringworm

Molly Ringworm might just be the coolest name you’ve ever heard muttered, from a band you’ll kick yourself in the back for not discovering sooner. Forged from the mind factory of New Jersey resident Sarah Holt, the four-piece Ringworm has been beaming with entrancing indie garage rock since 2015. In honor of their recent signing to Kidokoro Records and subsequent single release for a new version of their 2019 song “Timmy,” I sat down (telecommunicatively, of course) with Holt to explore the bounds of their creative ambitions amidst the imminent release.

 

Where are you all from and how did the band come about?

We are all from the South Jersey Pinelands — like literal Jersey Devil territory. Johnny (guitar) is my cousin; we’ve played music together since middle school. We both went to a performing arts high school where we met Andrew (bass) and wound up playing together and becoming friends in and outside of class. When I started writing my own songs it was like a given that they would also play them with me.

 

What’s Molly Ringworm, as a project, all about?

Ringworm is a healthy outlet for emotions and social critique. Most importantly it’s about having fun. That’s corny, but it’s true.

 

Who writes most of the songs, whether lyrics or instrumental?

I write the lyrics and chords. Most of the time I have an idea of the arrangement, like how I want drums to sound or where I want a bass line to come in, but all the writing is done by whoever is playing that instrument. Johnny and Drew have genius melodic brains.

 

Major inspirations?

90s angry girl music of the indie rock persuasion.

 

Coming off Good Ol Boys, what are some stylistic grounds you’d like to chart in your next release? Whether EP, LP or single?

We delved into the punk realms with the “Frank’s Frat” single, and will probably explore that more down the line. Johnny described one of the new songs we’re working on as “an 80s mall dream.” There’s also this cool acoustic driven track with an Elliott Smith vibe. I guess the main goal is not to stick to any one sound and cover any and all the grounds we can.

 

What’s the single, “Timmy” about and what are you bringing to this new version?

“Timmy” is about trying to settle for other people when you can’t be with the person you really want a romance with. The new single version is the same tracking from the original recording remixed and remastered by Oscar Suh-Rodriguez. The reworking of the mix does a better job of encapsulating the dynamics and energy we feel when playing the song live, and moves beyond our original production goals (or lack thereof) where the goal was to just sound like a band playing in a room.

 

Given everything’s been out of commission for so long, what’s the plan for Molly Ringworm coming 2021 or once shows return?

I think we’ll stay virtual for a bit, but maybe after we’re all vaccinated and an outdoor show comes along that is going to be safe, we’ll hop on the bill. For now, we’re recording more songs remotely and aiming to put them out soon.

 

Any favorite smaller artists you’d love to be on a show’s bill with? Same for large artists if the cards are right?

Zilched & Push Pop! They’re two of my faves; it’s like dire that we share a bill. The real big dream is opening up for Speedy Ortiz or Alex G.

 

What does signing to Kidokoro Records mean for your project or ability to continue your creative work?

It’s definitely taking me out of my comfort zone in a good way; I’m learning a lot and expanding my ideas of what it means to record music and what can be done with production. Everything will still be engineered and recorded by us, but Oscar has that big picture production brain—he has me thinking about things I’ve never thought about before, even if it’s as simple as doubling a guitar track or recording white noise and distortion to make a song feel bigger and vibey.

 

Speed round:

Favorite Pokémon?

Mewtwo — my [Super Smash Bros.] Melee main back in the day haha.

 

Worst Movie You’ve Ever Seen? 

Ma.

 

Which monster, fictional or otherwise, are you most terrified of? 

Leatherface.

 

Best fast food chain? 

Taco Bell (POTATOES ARE BACK).

 

Favorite 2010’s pop artist and why is it LMFAO? 

Okay, but how did you know I put “Get Crazy” on the jukebox every time I go out with my friends (pre-covid)?

 

Follow Molly Ringworm on Instagram here and listen to the new version of “Timmy” below:

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