Chase Walsh still has his Lollapalooza wristbands dating back to 2016 from the times he attended the Chicago music festival over the years.

Come August, he'll be adding another wristband to his collection. This one, though, won’t say “GA.” It will say “Artist.”

Walsh, who’s from the south suburbs of Chicago, is the frontman of Worry Club. Walsh describes the band’s sound as “bedroom punk.” It’s the perfect description. Literally.

Walsh started Worry Club as a solo project in his bedroom in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (He went to Western Michigan University for production and audio engineering.)

Walsh released the Chase’s Hands EP in 2020 mere months before the pandemic shut everything down.

“I had a ton of time to just keep making music in my bedroom, because it's literally the only place you could be at that time,” Walsh says.

When things started to open up again — music venues included — Walsh knew exactly who to call to get a group together. He reached out to people he had previously worked with, including Dominic Gould and Gabriel Clements

After the trio played their first live show together at Chicago’s Downstairs at Subterranean with Gould on lead guitar and Clements on bass, they knew they had something special.

Worry Club. Photograph courtesy of Worry Club.

Walsh starts the music-making process single-handedly, from the lyrics to the instruments. It’s when the group is getting ready to play a show that Gould and Clements come in to rework the music to better fit a live sound.

“We have two lives to us,” Walsh says. “... someone comes and sees us live and it sounds different. You get the best of both worlds.”

Now, all roads lead to Lollapalooza. The group will play a 30-minute set at the Bacardi Stage Thursday at noon. Walsh remembers seeing acts like Louis the Child, Jean Dawson and Alex G perform at that stage.

“Because I was always the only dude who played instruments or made music, [my friends and I] would always have a joke like, ‘One day, you're going to be here,’” Walsh says. “And honestly, I'd be like, ‘Yeah, I am going to be here one day. I am going to play it.’”

So, how does it feel to play the music festival you went to growing up? 

“I mean, I'm very nervous,” Walsh says. “You only get a half hour to do it so I want to inject some fun into it for me.”

That means potentially bringing back some older songs that people have been asking for. It also means unveiling a new song that Walsh describes as a "radio ready" track with "a good jumping tempo."

A general feeling of anxiety is present through much of Walsh’s creative process. 

“I usually finish a song the same day that I sat down to write it. I’m super ADHD, nervous guy, so I'm like, ‘If I stand up right now, it'll all be gone and I'll lose this spark,” Walsh says. “That's been the process for literally every single song.”

For Walsh, life may be full of worry, but he says he’s come further out of his shell since that first show. 

“I've dealt with extreme anxiety my entire life, to the point of not leaving my house and skipping weeks and months of school over nothing — over just worrying,” Walsh says. “Being able to make this music and get it out there and have people identify with it has been huge.”

In Worry Club fashion, Walsh has a tentative name for his upcoming album: I’m Freaking Out.

“I think it’s basically a self-title,” Walsh says. 

The band is considering self-releasing the record as opposed to going through a record label. Labels can slow the process down, Walsh says.

Worry Club will also be joining Bear Hands on tour this fall.

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