Tory World on stairs in a red an black outfit with a guitar.

Tory World


Tory World is a songwriter/recording artist with a diverse musical sound pallet. He likes to refer to his music as "genre agnostic". His newest release is a retrospective album called, "Diaries of a Nihilist" and features music from 1994-2019. This collection is 50 diverse songs that range from Alt-Rock to Punk-Funk, the Blues, Hard Rock, Metal, and New Wave. Tory has been making music since the mid 90's. He is also a studio engineer and has worked at studios in New Orleans, Seattle, and his native Madison, Wisconsin.

A multi-timbrel musician, most of Tory's music is recorded solo. However, he has collaborated with other artists and musicians such as Barbie Anaka, Devon Lowe, Matt Nauman, and Vanessa Anderson, who is also his little sister. "Diaries of a Nihilist" is a combination of 5 albums and a couple of old tape demos. Although a multi-timbrel musician, Tory's music ability really shines with his guitar work. The decision to release this retrospective album is somewhat spontaneous and comes out of his need to, "pay respect to the previous work I've done before moving on to new music".

Take a Listen

Diaries of a Nihilist 1994-2019

Tory World & the Virgo Vertigo

Diaries of a Nihilist 1994-2019 is a retrospect album of 50 songs that Tory World has recorded in the first 25 years of his career. The album has four discs titled, "Cyan", "Magenta", "Yellow", and "Key". The full album is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube, and other media streaming services.

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Diaries of a Nihilist (Singles Version)

Tory World & the Virgo Vertigo

Diaries of a Nihilist (Singles Version) is a shorter version of the big 4-disc album. The "Singles Version" features all of the singles being released from Diaries. Each song on the "Singles Version" album will at some point have a visual presentation of the song. This album is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube, and other

Diaries of a Nihilist (Singles Version) is a shorter version of the big 4-disc album. The "Singles Version" features all of the singles being released from Diaries. Each song on the "Singles Version" album will at some point have a visual presentation of the song. This album is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube, and other digital media outlets.

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  1. Why are you called "Tory World & the Virgo Vertigo" when it's only you?
    Because of a technical issue with re-releasing songs on Diaries of a Nihilist and dealing with digital distributors. 10 or 11 years or so ago I used the name "the Virgo Vertigo" as a band name. But we played my music. I released some of the songs under "the Virgo Vertigo" name. So what I released now has to have my real name and "the Virgo Vertigo" name.
  2. Do you prefer performing alone or with a band?
    I absolutely prefer playing my music with a band! A full band is myself on vocals and guitar, another guitarist, two keyboardist that do vocals, a bassist that does vocals and synth bass, and a drummer with a hybrid kit who can lock with a backing track. That's six people. Eight if you add a sound assistant and my guitar tech to the mix. To pay musicians as a solo artist is expensive. If I pay a half-way decent rate, that's about $1,200-$1,600 per show. I've come to a point now where I don't want musicians that play free. It's my musical vision and I should be paying for that. I want to hire proper live session players; the kind of players that can rehearse 2 or 3 times and sound like the album. Even if it's just a drummer, having a different player than myself changes that sound in a good way. For now, I either play solo or with fewer members and a backing track.
  3. How do you pull off a solo live show alone?
    With magick! Just kidding. All of the parts are on a backing track. Most of the songs are slightly faster live. I use a Cubase rig with a Behringer XR18. If I have other musicians up with me, those parts are muted. I also have video and my guitar and vocal patch changes coming off the computer. Surprisingly, when it's a full band, very little comes off the backing track though. I think people are more receptive these days to bands playing with backing tracks or even seeing a decent one or two person show. I think part of that is the rise of big DJ Shows. The trick for me has been to use engaging imagery live.
  4. What do you want to do with your music career?
    First off, I don't think of it as a career anymore. This is a hobby. I just feel like the music business has changed so much with streaming that it is hard to make a living wage doing this. Although I wouldn't echo the sentiment of Gene Simmons that "Rock 'n' Roll is dead", I do think the business model has changed. I hear about bands who are getting air play and touring and they have regular jobs. Crazy! I guess my goals are "side-hustle" orientated; like a "ca-hobby". Build enough of a following to play with a full band always, tour for very very short recurring periods, and I would like to make back what I invest into this in regards to money and time. I have no illusions that I can make this an exclusive career. I do think those days are dead. Luckily, what I do for work is flexible.

  5. What is your day gig?
    I'm a small business consultant with my own business. I primarily write business plans and feasibility studies for state government agencies. But I also do web development as well. The cool part is that I can work from where ever. This is part of the reason that I am seizing the opportunity to get back into music. However, with a wife and kids, running a business, and trying to restart my music "ca-hobby", I don't have a lot of down time.
  6. Is the song, "Redhead Girl" about your wife?
    No. My wife is a redhead. But that song was recorded long before I met her. It's LOOSELY about a stripper I saw somewhere in Montana on one of my random road trips. The song is an embellishment, as the stripper was fairly plain and like "give me money" if I remember correctly. It was originally called "Redhead Girls", but I changed some lyrics. So yeah, a random stripper <INSERT SHRUG>.
  7. Are most of your songs from personal experience?
    Very few. Most of them are observations. I've always used writing music as an escape from my personal life. I am more of a cerebral person in general. Even a song of mine that is truth, like "Gina Ann" or "the Great Escape" has an observational feel to it. Or I'll take it in an absurd direction, like my song, "the Gift".
  8.  Are you a nihilist?
    I have been accused of being an existential nihilist. But I don't think so. I do believe that in the big scheme of things, humanity as a whole has no meaning. The Universe will not shed a tear in the eventuality that humanity is no more, nor will the Earth. I see the nihilistic paradox though. I do believe that all human meaning is derived from the base need to first, survive and then, procreate or extend one's blood line. That is hard to see in our advanced world with all of our surrogated activities and how we have evolved to include members in our species who may at first appear to have no desire to make kids. But, we're all just responding to pleasure and pain. Our advanced brains don't have to focus as much on "survival" as much as we used to. But everything we do can be traced back to those two base needs. That includes religion, following trends, or even road rage or being a serial killer. So, the feeling of "meaning" is derived from your base needs; even if it feels like it's so much more. What you're feeling and desire is a natural momentum towards an easier and assured existence and continuation. 
  9. Who are your musical influences?
    Well there's a lot of them. For me, hearing a new song might give me an idea to try something different; even if it's a band that I don't follow. Case in point, I'm influenced by 80's New Wave/Romantic and pop radio hits. Until relatively recently, I didn't realize how much of an impact New Order and Kraftwerk has had on my sound. A lot of people will compare me to people I don't even listen to as well. But I don't get ideas in a vacuum. But as I was learning to play music and first starting to record music, there are albums that were there at the right time to shape how I do things musically. Some of the albums aren't even my favorite album by the band. Some of my favorite bands and artists aren't on this list (like Prince), but these 10 albums helped shape what I do musically.
    • Melon Collie & the Infinite Sadness by the Smashing Pumpkins
    • Violator by Depeche Mode
    • Stain by Living Colour
    • The Black Album by Metallica
    • Death Certificate by Ice Cube
    • Adrenalize by Def Leppard
    • Body Count by Body Count
    • Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails
    •  Are You Experienced? by the Jimi Hendrix Experience
    • The Judgment Night Soundtrack by various artists
  10. What are you listening to these days?
    It seems like I listen to the 100s of versions of Baby Shark almost daily. It is so much harder to make time to discover new music. I'm much more likely to listen to curated music lists on Spotify these days. I listen to an 80s Alternative, a down-tempo EDM station, and an Electronic Funk list. I also just listen to what my wife and kids listen to. I'll be the first to admit that I reached an age a while ago where I am slow to actively discover new music and pronounce names wrong. However, I try to keep my ear to the ground a little. I'm fascinated by Poppy because of how eclectic her sound is and she's so awkward to watch. I'm digging what the Weeknd is doing. I'm digging this project called, "Clown Core". I don't have a lot of time to really dig into finding new music. But, I'm noticing that the concept of "genre" is disappearing or it's more vague. I've been doing that for the last two decades myself and I love to hear others who are "genre agnostic".