Meet The Agender Drummer Behind Your Fav New Punk Bands
Last Friday, as Felix Walworth took the stage with their band, Told Slant, at The Bowery Ballroom in New York City, they appeared at once exhausted and effervescent. The first thing you’ll notice about Walworth (who uses gender-neutral pronouns) is the meticulously messy and jealousy-worthy curls atop their head. The second thing you’ll probably observe is the commanding way in which they grip their drumsticks, which are, in a sense, their weapons of choice, used to create guttural sounds for three Brooklyn-based punk bands outside of Told Slant, Walworth’s personal project.
As a founding member of The Epoch, a self-described collective of friends who “were grown together, and are growing still,” Walworth is ceaselessly touring and producing music with emerging DIY punk bands, including Bellows, Eskimeaux, and Florist—all of whom Walworth plays drums for. Indeed, over the last year, the various bands that are part of The Epoch (save for Bellows) have been tremendously busy, each having released an album of colossal proportions—Eskimeaux’s Year Of The Rabbit and Florist’s The Birds Outside Sang—and each taking the punk music scene by storm.
With all this new material to absorb and take note of, it makes sense why music insiders would cite Walworth as the busiest drummer in indie-punk today. Given that the bands in The Epoch tend to tour together, Walworth can oftentimes be spotted on stage, drumsticks in-hand, for hours on end as different bands file on and off stage. Yet through it all, they manage to seamlessly weave together each bands’ set with their unfaltering and resounding drumming.
This past June, Walworth celebrated the release of Told Slant’s sophomore album Going By off of Double Double Whammy Records. The hauntingly intimate album contains 11 compact tracks that address the conflicting emotions and traumas that surface when moving past moments of stagnancy in life―a talking point Walworth has successfully executed before, on Told Slant’s 2012 debut record Still Water. While the sentiments laced through both albums may be similar, the authenticity never goes stale: Walworth simply has a knack for making vulnerability look easy and pleasant.
With their second release, Walworth has firmly placed themself as a no-nonsense singer-songwriter with a penchant for unfiltered lyricism in the bedroom-pop, punk genre. And with a strong desire to spill every thought on their mind―Going By reads as a confessional flood of thoughts on gender and the ability to love (e.g. the devastating lyrics on “Low Hymnal”)―Walworth is making sense of predicaments many 20-something-year-olds wildly resonate with, but are oftentimes too scared to even try to figure out, let alone voice.
Despite Told Slant’s recent summer tour’s conclusion―they shared the stage with alternative rockers The Hotelier, queer punkesters Loone and The Epoch’s own Bellows―Walworth isn’t stopping: they’ll be packing up the van (yet again) for a tour with Eskimeaux in September, which is followed by a Bellows tour with PWR BTTM in the fall.
Stay tuned to Milk for more new discoveries.
Images via The Green State