Bands on Bands: Chris Worth (Brainbow) on Low's Secret Name

Secret Name

At one time, Columbus Ohio’s Brainbow was the city’s premiere post-rock, instrumental band.  The group delivered slow-moving, acid-damaged guitar jams and wordless psychedelia that split the difference between Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, Earth, and Explosions In The Sky.
Though they’ve been basically non-functioning for two years, the band is finally unveiling a gargantuan second ablum. II will be out on double vinyl as of Jan. 19’s must-see release show at Ace of Cups, also featuring Columbus supergroups EYE and Connections.  Ghettoblaster recently caught up with guitarist Chris Worth to talk about another album that is worth mentioning, Low’s Secret Name. 

What is your favorite album?
Everybody knows it’s impossible to answer this, but there are a few that I always come back to and fall in love with again. Maybe Low’s Secret Name?
Do you remember when you received or purchased the album?
When I was in college, we used to drive down to Columbus for band practice, and I must have gotten it then. I probably got it at Mag’s or Used Kids, but I don’t remember exactly when. I’d been falling asleep to The Curtain Hits the Cast a lot, and Secret Name was a very, very different record.
What is your favorite song on the album?
“Starfire”, I think, although “Will the Night” is a close second.
What is it about the song that resonates with you?
Everything. It’s a beautiful song. The sound of it is immense, but the arrangement is simple and economical. It just moves perfectly — it goes exactly where it should, and somehow Alan and Mimi manage to make the trick of having a male voice sing the high harmony to the lower female voice sound surprising every time. Chilling.
Have you ever covered a song from the album?
Not specifically, but like anything you get obsessed with, it creeps into whatever music you make.
What is it about the album that makes it stand out against the band’s other output?
It barely does, honestly. They’re so consistently excellent. Probably just the pacing and sequencing. It feels like a tragedy to listen to the record piecemeal.
Have you ever given a copy of this record to anyone? What were the circumstances?
I think I make everybody I know listen to it at some point. Often very late at night. I don’t think you can really listen to it passively. That’s really important to me, actually. It doesn’t force you to pay attention to it, but it doesn’t reveal itself unless you do.
Which of the records that you’ve performed on is your favorite?
Brainbow II. It’s the closest thing to the record I’ve always wanted to make.
What is your favorite song on the album and why?
This changes all the time. Right now it’s “Canyon for a Cradle,” because I think we managed to get it to sound the most like how it sounds in my head.