“Life's about living, about looking back and being able to say you've actually done something with it”
So says Andy Green, South African-born stick-man and one-fifth of Surrey's rock 'n' roll antidote to every cookie-cutter guitar-b(l)and you wish you'd never heard before. As these 20-something suburban guerrillas see it, there's too many people out there wasting their lives away in jobs they never wanted, paths they never chose. Worse, too many of those people are taking solace in comfortable, as-seen-on-TV guitar-refrains instead sticking it to the Man with
their music. These 20-something rock-worshipping minions want to change all that. Again, they're from Surrey.
“Of course no one hears 'Surrey' and thinks, 'oh, factory town ˆ they must have something to say'” admits singer Simon Griffiths. “Surrey's actually
worse because it's just so mind-numbingly boring. It pushes you into thinking that 'Shit, I was 18 yesterday and now I'm 25'. If we weren't doing this band I don't think I could live anymore.”
Sounds pretty dire, but Days of Worth are about more than their philosophy-in-a-nutshell moniker. Sure, there's the subtle social commentary and self-directed piss-take. But the notion of making their music count for something has been with this quixotic quintet since 2001, when band-mates Simon Griffiths, Chris Gane and Kerry Lambert shit-canned their punk outfit in the interests of starting something worthier of their talents. Enter Alex Jarczok, Griffiths’ officemate at a playground company. They'd been trying at forming a band for years, but the time was nigh, and they set to finding a drummer with talent to match their ambition. He came in the form of Andy Green – an explosive rock drummer via the band's manager, and Days of Worth mark 1 were born.
But it wasn't as easy as that. Like so many ready-to-rock bands, they speed-wrote a slew of punk-by-numbers material just to fill a gig-slot. But things didn't work out that way, because they soon discovered that their sound was - cue organ music - “just like everything else out there”. Their suburban escape-route was failing, and they were sinking into the very same sort of anonymity that being in a band was supposed to save them from. It was then that the real meaning behind their name became clear as an undistorted power-chord.
“That was when we realised we had this one song that was wildly different from everything else” explains six-stringer Alex Jarczok. “It didn't sound like any other band we'd heard. We knew then that was what we wanted to do, so we scrapped everything and started playing music we'd actually want to listen to.”
And what that is, is a driving, guitar-fuelled rock 'n' roll explosion tempered by ethereal, Janes-addiction style refrains spearheaded by Griffiths' gifted sense of lyricism. And nowhere is that more evident than on the band's pyrotechnic debut, 'The Western Mechanism', currently being mixed by the stellar Ben Gross (Marilyn Manson, Filter, Auf de Mar, etc.) Two parts rock 'n' roll with a dash of rocking disaffection for good measure; it's a potent antidote to the pop-scourge sweeping the nation. As musically diverse as the Incubus back-catalogue and as rocking as a G 'n' R jam sesh' Days of Worth aren't taking any prisoners...Chalk it up to the moment the rock-gods reached down from the clouds handed Jarczok with a blueprint for the makings of a band set to go the distance.
“We went to a festival” he says. “There loads of bands, the sound was shit, and we were really pissed off because we couldn't get anywhere near the beer tent. All of a sudden someone played some AC/DC and it was the loudest, clearest sound you could possibly imagine. It just grabbed us by the scruff of the neck and went, 'look how amazing things could be.”
It was that precise moment of musical clarity that continues to fuel Days of Worth's sound. But that's not to say they're all of one mind when it comes to the direction they should be taking their individual influences include the likes of Bowie , Cave In, Will Haven, Tool, The Doors and the almighty Led Zeppelin. But it's the productive tension between their disparate tastes that's supplies Days of Worth with a unique - albeit irrepressibly tuneful sound. That's because each of their influences has one thing in common, and that's the drive to play what they want without compromise. It doesn't get more rock 'n' roll than that. And that's what Days of Worth are all about. It's in the lyrics...
“There's safety in numbers he said/as he and the crowd plunged over the edge..”
Days of Worth aren't playing it safe. They're seizing the day. They're making music that counts. And as they see it, their time is now.
Days of Worth are:
Simon Ellis Griffiths: vocals
Alex Jarczok: guitar
Chris Gane: guitar
Kerry Lambert: bass
Andy Green: drums