The Wormwood Scrubs
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The Wormwood Scrubs

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Rock Garage Rock




"CMW: The Wormwood Scrubs"

The Wormwood Scrubs opened up the first night of Canadian Music Fest at The Horseshoe Tavern with a bit of 60s/70s flavoured rock. The room was still empty in the back room of the Horseshoe with little more light than the spotlight on lead singer Steve Foy. Those who decided not to show up early missed out on one of Waterloo-Kitchener’s best new exports (excluding the Blackberry.) - WE NOM MUSIC


Canadian Music Fest got off to a great start on Wednesday night at the Horseshoe Tavern, with 5 great bands from all over the country, and the world. Opening up the night were The Wormwood Scrubs, the 4 piece from Waterloo bravely took the stage to a mostly empty venue but certainly didn’t seem to let that bother them. It’s no surprise they take their name from a Jam song, channeling a sound that was extremely reminiscent of the early 90’s British grunge invasion. Singer Steve Foy channelled his best Liam Ghallager as they played their way through a half hour set. They certainly did a good job of thrilling the fans they had brought along with them for the show. Click HERE for photos! - Live N Loud Magazine

"Diversity flourished within K-W music scene in 2010"

I’m positive that I say something to the same effect each year, but in 2010 the diversity within the K-W indie music scene really began to blossom. Artists working in a multitude of genres did some great work, so here’s a tip of the cap to 10 of them.

5. The Wormwood Scrubs – In a slightly more retro vein, this shaggy Waterloo quartet also made a big splash this year with their eponymous full-length debut album. Drawing from the dark side of psychedelic rock, and modern exponents such as Brian Jonestown Massacre, charismatic front man Steve Foy found a winning formula. - Night Life The Record-Jason Schneider

"The WormWood Scrubs Dig Deep"

By Jason Schneider

Before this tale of Waterloo rock' n' roll quartet the WormWood Scrubs begins, let me put somthing into perspective: their spiritual mentor, Brian Jones of the rolling stones, died approximately 20 years before any of the band members were born. Indeed, the bulk of the WormWood Scrubs' influences come from an era that even parents of 20-year-olds today might consider ancient history. That hasn't prevented the group, friends since highschool, form embarking on their journey into rock's deep past in an effort to craft a sound and image intended to provide an alternative to omnipresent mall-punks and new wave revivalists. "We started out learning how to jam together, and then drifted apart for a while into other projects" says drummer Shaun Foy.
"But we got this band together about two years ago just out of a sheer love of playing psychedelic-inspired music. It was the kind of thing we could all agree on, and we knew from the start we could take these sounds that we enjoy so much and put our own stamp on them."
The Scrubs' pool of influences is perhaps broader than might be expected, as it also includes more recent acts like the Stone Roses, Oasis and Ocean Colour Scene. But even the casual observer can notice that the common thread is that it all comes form the British Isles, as does the origin of their name, derived form the notorious London prison where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were both confined in 1967.
This love affair with all things British is reinforced by the pronouned accent heard in frontman Steven Foy's vocals on the half-dozen demos that they have posted so far on their MySpace site. While it may seem a bit over-the-top at first, there's no denying that songs like A World You Create and Those Years have an undeniable Charm, even in a primitive form.
"Those are basicaly the first songs we wrote together out of our early jams," Steven says. "We recorded those demos in our rehearsal space, just to have somthing to get us gigs. Our goal is to have a 10-track album out in the fall, and we're working on it right now in a friend's studio in Kitchener. Having more flexibility in that way has really helped us get closer to the sound I know we're capable of producing."
While that sound still may not conform to how contemporary rock and roll is defined, it hardly seems to worry the Scrubs, which along with the Foys, features Jay Dawe on lead guitar, Brandon Sanders on bass.
"The way we play and how we look isn't a put on, it's who we are," Sanders says.
"We take everything about this band seriously, and when the album comes out we're going to be ready to go on the road to support it. We haven't met too many other bands so far who are into the same things we are, but the scene in town is pretty thriving right now, and we want to be a part of it as much as we can."

Live. The WormWood Scrubs w/ pneumatic transit Saturday Aug 8 Maxwell's Music House, Waterloo, cost $5, doors 9pm. more info 519-498-5705 - NightLife The Record

"Indie Seen"

(December 3 2009)

Preforming December 5th at Maxwell's Music House alongside The Dirty Love Band is Waterloo bred Wormwood Scrubs. Forming in 2007, the band that is equally influenced by 60's psychedelic rock as they are garage, mod and soul, are earning a reputation as a high energy, electrified stage show complete with catchy pop riffs and lyrics. Gearing up for a release in 2010 as a follow-up to their live recordings and 'Demo Sessions' 2008, the Scrubs promise they're "writing a piss-pot load of material" out of their jam hall (a woodshop in North Waterloo). until its release, they're focused on the live show- a mash up of indie goodness, with music influenced form the Yardbirds to the Kinks and Oasis. As they put it, "we work on promoting our live show, developing who we all are as musicians, and as a band, while we are growing in front of the stage; we find our audience is increasing along with us." Humbling words from a band who's growing legion of fans follow them form gig to gig as they fast forward keeping their finger on the pulse of trends in the indie industry. "The KW area has a lot of talented musicians located and passing through," they say "But we find that the scene strives form within, the bands, and musicians are the fans, and the driving gears to keep us all moving" - Echo

"Indie Scene"

Back at it again, the Wormwood Scrubs take the stage at Maxwell’s Music House. And as a band who have routinely rocked this particular venue, they’re back this time to celebrate the release of their brand new album, Wormwood Scrubs. The Yardbirds and Brian Johnstown Massacre–influenced four–piece are rock by nature, breathing life into a genre that’s ‘60s by comparison and ‘90s in their delivery. Their mySpace is littered with live collections of their off–the–floor performances from Starlight to 100.3 SOUNDFM, but as you scroll through, their demo of song “Dirty Girl” will hold your attention. Think “Black Hole Sun” and Jefferson Airplane and you start to find an infusion of music only Wormwood Scrubs could create. In an email interview with the band, they talk about their journey in the indie community, saying, “To make it anywhere, not only the music industry, it takes hard work, dedication, professionalism, (and ) consistency, not only within the band and band members but also to your fans, supporters and friends. We are grateful for everyone who listens, appreciates our music, and comes out to support us.” As their fans grow in number from show to show, the Scrubs recognize that keeping their set fresh is essential to staying a step above. “(Our stage show is a) one of a kind stage presence with ripping guitar solos and four–piece harmonies, (and) along with comic relief and a few swear words, (it) will get you laughing and up to grove along with us!” Inviting their recent discovery, the Polymorphines, to join them on stage on July 3, the Wormwood Scrubs are intent on making the music for all music fans alike. So join them at Maxwell’s Music House for their self–titled CD release party. And for a sneek peek of what’s in store, catch them online at Their advice to new musicians? “Everyone is striving! You’re not alone! Never stop learning! There is more involved than just playing on stage!” - Echo

"The Wormwood Scrubs set to paint K-W day-glo with debut album"

Contrary to popular belief, the members of The Wormwood Scrubs like to refer to 2007 as “the summer of love.” That was the year the four young Waterloo musicians came together out of a shared desire to play psychedelic rock. Now after three years of honing that sound in local clubs, the group is ready to take the next step with the release of its eponymous debut album.

Lead singer/guitarist Steve Foy and bassist Brandon Sanders both describe the album as the best of the initial batch of songs they came up with as a band, adding that the process nevertheless took about a year to complete as they continually experimented with different recording techniques in order to achieve the proper overall vibe.

“Part of aim was to get a kind of throwback psychedelic sound, but we feel that what we do only happens when the four of us play together,” Sanders says. “We thought we were prepared when we went into the studio, but we quickly realized how many things come to the surface when you’re working in that environment, as opposed to writing by yourself.”

Foy explains that all of the members first developed their love of ’60s rock through listening to their parents’ record collections, but they have equally strong attachments to more modern Britpop artists like Oasis, and edgy neo-psych groups like the Brian Jonestown Massacre. All of that shines through on the album, as tracks such as Brianna and Sugar Dream possess a fuzzed-out swagger that no one else within the local scene has come close to successfully capturing to this point.

“I think what it all comes down to is we want anybody who likes rock and roll to come out and jive with us,” Foy says. “Pretty much all of the songs on the album we’ve been playing live, in some cases right from our first gig. We’ve been keenly aware all along of how people react to certain numbers as opposed to others, and that helped shape what made the final cut to a great extent as well.”

While The Wormwood Scrubs have established a solid local following, the album’s release has them stoked to start seeing what audiences outside of the area think of them. “We’ve felt for some time that we’ve been held back by the fact that people who come to the shows don’t have anything they can take home with them,” Foy says.

“Whenever we’ve opened for bands in London or Toronto, we always have people saying afterward, ‘I’ve never heard of you guys but I really liked you.’ So we definitely want to take it a lot further, now that we’ve got an album. Our shows are much different now too in that we’ve got such a wide selection of original material to play.”

Those intrigued will get to hear the Wormwood Scrubs play the album in its entirety at their upcoming CD release shows. It will be the start of what Foy puts succinctly is a plan to “kick southern Ontario in the face.”

You have been warned.

Live: The Wormwood Scrubs CD release w/ Odessa, Stone River, and Polymorphines; Saturday, July 3; Maxwell’s Music House, Waterloo; Cost: $10; Doors: 9 p.m.; More Info: 519-498-5705
- The Record


"The Wormwood Scrubs"
"Now Dig This"



“I first felt a fist, and then a kick; I could now smell their breath; they smelt of pubs and Wormwood Scrubs”. This lyric, from the 1978 song ‘Down in the Tube Station at Midnight’ by The Jam, resonated powerfully with the five Waterloo musicians despite their eclectic tastes. A mod, a rocker, a musical purist, a multi-instrumentalist and a punk have been together since 2007 and found their collective name: The Wormwood Scrubs. What better way to exemplify the gritty, high-octane sound than to reference a notorious prison in a rough London borough? The Scrubs sound is influenced heavily by the mid-60’s and early-70’s style of garage rock, and its roots in surf, psychedelic, Rhythm & Blues, and protopunk. Distorted fuzz-box guitars create a backbone that screams back-to-basics Rock & Roll. The Wormwood Scrubs nail it, and their appeal is instant!

Having released their self-titled debut album in 2010 and their follow-up 'Now Dig This!!' in 2012 to an ever-growing fan base they have been working at getting their unique sound out there and heard by as many rock n' roll fans as possible. If you are into rock n' roll... you'll dig The Scrubs.

Band Members