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Look Closer: CUT WORMS

Photography by Dilly Halstead

Taking over our playlists with lo-fi influences off his debut album, Hollow GroundMax Clarke (a.k.a Cut Worms) took some time to talk with us via email a while back. Currently working his way across the U.S. on tour, it’s evident that we aren’t the only ones resonating with his sound. Take notes, and open your Spotify, because this is an up-and-coming voice you need on repeat.

Enjoy our little conversation with Max, accompanied by photos from his show in San Diego at the Casbah.


First off, can you tell us a little bit of background about this project? What pushed you to start Cut Worms?

I’ve been writing songs (or trying to) since I was around 12 or 13. Since then I had it in my mind to have some kind of entity under which I could release these songs. I tried different avenues for this over the years, but this is the best I’ve done so far.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your music and music videos? They have a very old school, nostalgic air to them that I honestly haven’t heard many artists going after. I absolutely love.

I’ve listened to a lot of what people (used to?) call “oldies” ever since I was a kid. I listened to a lot of other stuff too but the feeling in those songs always seemed 1000% more relevant and current to me than anything I heard on contemporary radio. I didn’t consciously set out to make my own music sound like that, but I did (still do) want to make something timeless… like on those infomercials for the soda shop classic CD box sets from Time Life or whatever… they’re always talking about how “timeless” those classics are… and I agree, I think that’s a good word for it… “timeless”… There’s a lot to unpack there if you look close enough.


Is that the vibe you’re going for? If not, what are you striving towards in terms of an energy with you music?

See above Re: Timeless Hits

What would you say is the most non-musical thing, place, or person that influences the songs you write?

Other forms of media… Film, books, TV… but also just life and living.


Which song that you’ve written thus far are you most emotionally attached to? Which one do you feel like has the best story attached to it?

The only ones I have emotional attachments to are ones I haven’t written yet, or am still writing. Once they’re out there, I kind of just let it go… it has a different kind of meaning then.

What would be your dream vision for the future?

To not owe any money to anyone and have a space to live and work in that I own.

What advice do you have for young people trying to pave their own path in life, following a dream?

Don’t ever compromise your vision for anyone or any thing.


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