The Drums

Band-of-the-Summer launch debut album and gets ready to tackle the charts and summer festivals...

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There are sure things and there are sure things - The Drums are firmly camped within the latter. And unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last six months you can’t have failed to notice the musical invasion we’re currently undergoing at the hands of the New York four-piece. Now on the back of supporting Florence + The Machine for her three night residency at London’s Hammersmith Apollo, they’re busy promoting their self-titled debut album with a string of festival dates across Europe. We caught up with lead singer Jonathon Pierce to discuss influences, the darker elements of their music and how they’re dealing with being one of the most hyped bands around.

Dazed Digital: How did you all meet?
Jonathon Pierce: I met Jacob at a summer camp in Pennsylvania when we were just young boys and we both liked the same bands, so we became friends immediately because neither of us had ever known a single other person who liked Orange Juice or whatever. When you find something good, you hold on to it, ya know, and eventually we became best friends. About a year and a half ago, I moved from New York City to Florida because Jacob and I had decided to start a band. We called the band The Drums and then wrote our first song together, Best Friend, there in our bedroom. I started writing pretty furiously for the next six months and completed the Summertime EP and a little more than half of the full-length album, and we knew we had something very special. I dragged Jacob back to Brooklyn, which is where we met Connor who became our drummer. Adam was an old friend of mine who I used to make music with in my hometown in upstate New York and I called him and asked him to play in The Drums and he said yes. We played our first show the day the Jacob, Connor, and Adam met. I was the only one who knew all of them, but we instantly felt THIS WAS AND IS AND IS TO COME ... THE DRUMS.

DD: How's the tour going?
Jonathon Pierce: Touring has been pretty wild for us. We played our first show just a year ago, and you know, we just finished playing three sold out nights with Florence and The Machine at The Hammersmith Apollo in London, so to go from Cake Shop in The Lower East Side, NYC to Hammersmith Apollo in one years time, is pretty surreal. We are grateful for all of the enthusiasm surrounding us but remain focused on our unwavering vision for the band and that is to be selfish in all things creative. The world is fickle place and as long as we stay true to what we want to do, then there is no way we can be let down. Money and fame cannot be what drives you, it has to be your love for what you do and for us it is writing pop songs.

DD: How would you describe your sound?
Jonathon Pierce: You know some people call us Surf, because the only song they have heard is "Lets Go Surfing", but I think had we chosen any other song to be our first single, we would never get Beach Boys comparisons. We don't even listen to The Beach Boys. I think it's lazy of anyone to say we are a surf band. At the end of the day we are writing pop songs. So I guess we are a pop band. We draw influences from American girl groups in the 1950's and 60's and also from Sarah Records, and Factory Records bands. All the groups we love have one thing in common: they all have put out perfect songs. That's is what is missing all too much these days... songs. You hear a lot of tracks, but not a lot of songs, sadly.

DD: You cite Joy Division as one of your influences, what is it about their music that has affected you? 
Jonathon Pierce: I think the main thing I appreciate about Joy Division is the mood of it all. Their music and their image came together to create an overwhelming mood. Also there is something to be said about their potency as a band. When you heard Joy Division, you knew it was Joy Division.

DD: Is this a contributing factor to the dark subject matter in your music?
Jonathon Pierce: Maybe in a subconscious sense, Joy Division contributes, but I don't really think that is what it is about. I just have always been drawn to sadness and tragedy. My favorite songs and my favorite movies and my favorite photographs and even art that I love all tend to lean towards the darker side of life. I just can't relate to happiness. I don't think anyone really can, particularly if you are over the age of 12.

DD: How are you finding the 'hype' that is rapidly building around you guys?
Jonathon Pierce: We are just trying to enjoy the good things about "hype". Hype is basically a bad word for attention or praise and really we just don't have time to really even think about it. We are 100% control freaks and we insist on doing our own artwork, directing our own music videos, writing and producing our own music and also we are on tour all year, so you can imagine how we don't have a minute to even come up for air. It is good though, to be incubated. Then you are not influenced by modern music and you become an influence on modern music.

DD: What's next?
Jonathon Pierce: Lot's of touring and hopefully I can fall in love....

 The Drums debut is released on 7th June 2010
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