an end of 2009 interview w/ The Drums
by Bill Pearis
Making their debut during this year's NYC Popfest back in May, The Drums appeared fully form out of the gate and made an instant splash thanks to their insanely catchy '80s-inspired songs (download two above) and tambourine-crazy, bouncing-off-the-walls live show. The band took a break from shows but return in 2010 to play Bowery Ballroom on January 13 before heading off on a European tour. Frontman Jonathan Pierce, guitarist Jacob Graham, drummer Connor Hanwick all contributed to our year-end questionnaire...
You released a record in 2009. How'd that go?
Jacob: I think it went very well. It was actually just an EP, but who's counting?!
Jon: It seemed to go really well. It made some top album of 2009 lists, which is odd, I think, for an EP.
Adam: We released an EP called "Summertime" sort of late in the Fall, which seems wrong but felt right.
What was your most memorable musical moment of 2009?
Connor: Probably the time Jacob almost killed me by blindly throwing his tambourine at a show of ours.
Jacob: Meeting and recording with Mike Joyce (The Smiths).
Jon: Dancing and drunk with all my closest friends in my bedroom with the lights off. We just played Bridal Shop's Coming Real a thousand times. It really was perfect.
What about non-musical moment?
Connor: This summer as a whole, although that was comprised of a bunch of "music related" moments.
Jacob: I don't know that there were any non-musical moments for me in 2009.
Jon: My dog bit my closest friend, and it made me cry.
Favorite place to play in NYC?
Connor: The Beacon. Or Don Hills
Jacob: The Cake Shop
Adam: I really enjoyed our residency shows in June at the Annex.
Jon: Bowery. But most fond memory was Cake Shop.
Best new NYC-area band?
Connor: The Hairs
Jon: The Hairs -- half Knight School, half Pains. They have this song called "Duh x 12." Perfect pop!
What's the best and worst thing about being in a band in NYC in 2009?
Connor: The best thing. Being in a place where people are constantly searching out new music. And everyone around the world still looks to NY as the foremost authority on good, new, and interesting music. The worst thing -- See above
Jacob: It rained a lot in the summer. Always on days when we had shows. Best thing would be the food.
What were your favorite albums of 2009?
Connor: Antony and the Johnsons-- The Crying Light. The Fresh & Onlys - Grey Eyed Girls.
Jacob: My Maudlin Career by Camera Obscura and Our Temperance Movement by Cats on Fire
Jon: I think my fav two albums of the year were A Place To Bury Strangers - Exploding Head and JJ's debut. Both have some great songs.
Connor: "Moon Dreams" by Desolation Wilderness, "Tonight" by The Smith Westerns
Jacob: "French Navy" by Camera Obscura. What a song! It's just crazy. And then a bunch of songs that we discovered that were released a long time ago. "17 Berlin" by My Favorite. Also very crazy.
Adam: The Raveonettes - "Bang" and "Wine"
Jon: "Things Will Never Be The Same Again" - JJ
"Swim" - Surfer Blood
"Duh x 12" - The Hairs
"Make Out Point" - The Young Friends
What was the best show you saw in 2009?
Connor: The Raveonettes at Webster Hall. Francis and The Lights at Zebulon
Jacob: Definitely Cats on Fire at the NYC Pop Fest. That was actually the best show I've ever seen in my whole life.
Jon: Cat's on Fire at Don Hills. Sorta took us all by storm.
Favorite Michael Jackson song?
Connor: "Never Can Say Goodbye"
Jon: "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough"
Adam: "Black or White"
What is the proper way to incorporate "meh" into your band name?
Connor: Ill leave that one to you or to the infamous comment section of this website.
Shitgaze, Glo-fi or Dark Wave?
Jacob: Probably Glo-fi, but I don't think I understand the question. I just think that sounds the nicest.
Plans/predictions for 2010?
Connor: Tour. A lot. Record another album. Work.
Jon: Touring and releasing the record. I hope to fall in love.
Jacob: Just to keep doing what we're doin. Work hard and play harder. ...that sounds stupid. I meant play as in "playing shows" which is actually work. So just lots of working. Though shows can be fun, so I guess the lines blur a little. I want to shine a bright light into the darkness.
The Drums - 2009/2010 Tour Dates
Dec 31 River East Arts Center Chicago, Illinois
Jan 13 Bowery Ball Room New York, New York
Feb 4 O2 Academy Newcastle
Feb 5 Glasgow Barrowland Glasgow, Scotland
Feb 6 Manchester Academy Manchester
Feb 7 O2 Academy Leeds
Feb 9 Rock City Nottingham
Feb 10 UEA Norwich
Feb 11 O2 Academy Birmingham
Feb 13 Cardiff Uni Cardiff, Wales
Feb 14 Bristol Academy Bristol
Feb 15 Brighton Dome Brighton
Feb 16 Bournemouth Academy Bournemouth
Feb 18 Portsmouth Pyramid Portsmouth
Feb 19 Cambridge Corn Exchange Cambridge
Feb 20 London Brixton Academy London
Feb 22 Talking Heads Southhampton
Feb 23 Academy 2 Oxford
Feb 25 La Maroquinerie Paris
Feb 26 Bitterzoet Amsterdam
Feb 27 Lido Berlin