When someone uses the word “tape” followed by the word “worm,” what is the first thing that immediately comes to mind? Most of us would think that the person is talking about tape worms. But, that is not the case with the band whose name is Book on Tape Worm. The word “worm” used in this instance refers to “book.”
Songwriter and guitarist, Scott Shepard, who is also the frontman for the group, admits that he often regrets naming the band “Book on Tape Worm,” and says, “But for better or worse, that’s what it is.” So, how did such an unusual name for a band whose music the Salt Lake City Weekly referred to as “slumber-pop” come about?
When the group was just getting started in 2009, Shepard was working a data entry job and had not yet come up with a name for the group. During his first three months on the job, he spent his entire eight-hour shift listening to music. Deciding that he did not want to just listen to music all the time, he switched to listening to books on tape. After a few years, he realized that he had listened to hundreds of books. He told the Herald Extra, “I was like, ‘Man, I’m kind of a book worm — a book on tape worm.” He continued, “And for better or worse, that’s still who I am because I still listen to tons of audiobooks. It’s an addiction of mine. I love stories, and being told stories. And it kind of feels like someone telling you a story that’s 15 hours long.”
That idea filters its way into Book on Tape Worm’s music. The band, comprised of Shepard, Ciera Walker, and Catherine Williams specializes in what the Herald Extra calls “intimate, somewhat whimsical singer-songwriter folk ballads.” Though that is not the way Shepard had originally planned it. Before forming Book on Tape Worm in 2009, he was into hard rock, fronting the math-rock/hardcore band The New Nervous. It was during that time, however, that Shepard found himself amid a “cliché singer-songwriter scenario.”
The band will be playing the Rooftop Concert Series on Friday evening, 4 August 2017, in Provo, Utah. In addition to the core members of the group, they will share the stage with five other musicians. Shepard commented that this is indicative of where Book on Tape Worm’s sound is heading. At the beginning, the group was strictly organic and acoustic. In time, they have embraced drums, bass, electric guitar, synthesizers, woodwinds and horns, all displayed on the band’s most recent release, the 2017 EP Songbirds of North America. Shepard further stated that the band is hoping to release an expansive full-length album by fall 2018.