The Drones - Interview
For all those excited about welcoming local favourites The Drones back home this Saturday the 22nd at The Rosemount, we managed to get a quick interview in with these Australian rock titans before their celebratory performance of the 10 year anniversary of 'Wait long by the river and the bodies of your enemies will float by'.
1) How would you describe your creative process? Dynamic? Or do you have a particular method that works most of the time?
Yes definitely dynamic. Especially when we first started out. Gaz would sometimes bring in a song that could be anywhere from 99% complete to just a riff. The band all had free reign to do whatever we wanted most of the time, sometimes Gaz would have ideas for parts, a drum beat or bass line. With us anything could happen, it’s important to allow that. Live it’s even more dynamic, the band are very intuitive on stage so we all know when we’re fucking up
2) Could you name up to five bands that have had great influence on your work or style?
To limit it to five is hard, there’s so many. I can tell you what we were listening to in the early days. Gaz and Rui introduced me to so much music I had never heard, so I suppose it had already influenced them and certainly influenced me, still does. X got a hammering in the tour van in the early days. X-Aspirations was something Gaz liked to put on full volume, usually when we were stationary waiting to load in or at a petrol station. Townes Van Zandt was another songwriter who Gaz and Rui introduced me too. The songs are so dark but there’s also a celebration in the hopelessness that we could all relate to, I suppose it was empowering in a way. We all loved the Beasts of Bourbon, how could you not with so many fine musicians in that band? We played quite a few shows with Spencer P Jones, that was amazing playing with one of our heroes and then and Gaz and Fi went on to collaborate with Spencer and James Baker on the Nothing Butts record. The Dirty Three, the birthday party, HOSS…of course the stooges, dead kennedy’s, black flag….heaps of good stuff.
3) Which album would you say you have been most pleased with, or would recommend to folks to start listening to your music?
Start at the beginning…here come the lies. It’s such a raw record, I loved it when we first put it out but then couldn’t listen to it for years….it’s so aggressive. Loki and Gaz really pushed the faders on that one. But now I listen to it and fucking love it! Gaz is frothing at the mouth, Rui is bashing the guitar. We’re all trying to tell the whole world we’re pissed off. The live shows were fun back then, I would have liked to watch us play
4) How close would you say you are to finalizing the new album? And do you have any tantalizing tidbits about it as of yet?
Very close, stay tuned! We’ll be playing a few new songs on the tour…. if I can remember them. There’s some samples and electronic shit, we’re just trying to over complicate things for our soundman….make him earn his cash.
5) Over the years you seem to have had a bit of a mix-and-match sort of lineup, how would you say this has changed your style album to album?
The one constant has been Gaz. He’s got this relentless energy and always brought along band mates that share the same passion and they could always play real good. Wazza the original drummer, Rui, Brendan, Mike, Me we all lock in and play with Gaz, he’s the engineer on the down bound train….we’re all trying to get the fuck off that train but it’s too much fun.
6) How is it running your own record label and do you ever plan to get other artists on board?
Having your own label is great. For so many years we’ve been getting ripped off, if only we knew how easy it was to cross over to the other side. Now we get all the money and drugs. So yep, time to get some other artists on board to screw over. TFS records looking for bands to fuck over….apply within.
7) Finally, on a scale of 1-10, with one being very and 10 being incredibly, how excited are you to be touring back in your hometown of Perth?
I’d say 7, very sort of incredibly. I’m from Melbourne, so I’m really looking forward to getting out of this shitty cold weather and seeing some sharks in Perth. Are they still killing the Perth sharks? Hopefully that’s not happening anymore. Anyway we’re going to have a ripper of a show with Batpiss and the SMB and looking forward to celebrating Wait long…. And cracking a few tinnies with y’all.
So there it is, you heard it from the source, everybody interested should make sure they keep a close eye out for their latest endeavour, which now enters the realm of electronic experimentation. But until then, crack some tinnies and relish the opportunity to see such glorious home-grown talent in action.