Wormburner was founded in 2002, brought to life around a handful of songs written by Steve "Hank" Henry. Hank partnered with friend and fellow New Yorker Terry Solomone, a multi-instrumentalist who shared an enthusiasm for jangle guitar rock and indie pop. Hank and Terry recruited a young Alec Senese to play drums with them in loose weekly songwriting/jamming sessions. His solid drumming provided a platform for creative expansion. By beginning of 2003, Wormburner had found a bass player in John "Hazy" Hastings. An early buzz about the band landed them a gig at New York City's celebrated Mercury Lounge. That very first night, Wormburner shared the stage with local art-punk heroes Vic Thrill.
Creativity flourished, much of it inspired by subsequent performance successes at The Knitting Factory, Don Hill's, and an unforgettable Saturday night at CBGB. Fans devoured the unpretentious onstage vibe, proudly outfitting themselves in the band's t-shirts bearing the pirated Wonderbread logo. In the Fall of 2003, Wormburner began work on their first proper recordings. The self-produced effort was supervised by engineer Phil Palazzolo (Radio 4, The New Pornographers, Modest Mouse, The Bogmen). The resulting five-song EP, Joy in Mudville, mixed by Godfrey Diamond (Lou Reed, Coney Island Baby), was self-released in early 2004.
XM Satellite Radio afforded the band nationwide radio airplay by catapulting two Wormburner songs into heavy rotation. XM Radio also spotlighted Wormburner on The Radar Report, a weekend countdown show featuring notable unsigned American bands. Sirius Satellite Radio hosted Wormburner for several on-air interviews and live performances. In June 2004, Wormburner headlined the esteemed Block Island Music Festival. Later that month, Wormburner was named one of twenty New York bands competing in an Underground Garageband Search spearheaded by Steve Van Zandt.
That summer also saw the amicable departure of bassist Hazy Hastings. Hazy was replaced instantly by Jim Spengler, a/k/a Jimmy Jangles. Jim's harmony vocals are now an energetic component of Wormburner's live performances.
The band marked spring 2005 by self-releasing a CD single, "Autographed Copies" b/w "Wicked Game" (a high-octane cover of the Chris Isaak tune). That spring also brought the addition of Paul McDaniel on guitar. A longtime friend, Paul's punk rock pedigree includes primary guitar roles in The Behoovers and Toss. Paul adds harmony vocals as well; his arrival frees up Terry for more Moog synthesizer expression, and Hank now assumes more of a microphone-wielding role as Wormburner frontman.
A five-piece lineup in place, Wormburner was flabbergasted to learn that their music had reached cult legend David Lowery (Cracker, Camper van Beethoven). Wormburner accepted an invitation to record in Richmond, VA, and studio sessions for the band's full-length debut got underway with Lowery producing. The debut album, A Hero's Welcome, has just been released by Dive Records.