The Drums interview
I must have seen that film The Sure Thing ('John Cusack travels America to hook up with fantasy beach bunny') ooh, years ago now but I will always remember The Macguffin ('the plot device', ya perv). "The Sure Thing". It meant an 'absolute dead cert'. 'Written in the stars'. The Drums are a 'Sure Thing'. A Sure Thing to ride the (trumpets please)...Poppermost of the Toppermost!... To ride it like Seabiscuit across 2010 and beyond!! A Sure Thing. But y'know a 'Sure Thing' in band form, not bikini-clad nubile form.
I caught a glimpse of the Sure Thing. We crossed paths on the great escalator of Showbiz life. A tiny, fleeting moment to be treasured, like some musical crystal snowflake...a tiny moment I will share with you now my voluptuous, sexy readers.
Hey Drums' singer Jonathan Pierce! Welcome to Chez Music Fix! So, what is the band manifesto and is there a Drums 'look' or fashion for keen fans to show their allegiance?
Our manifesto is "Old and True, Strong and Glorious"
Well, people should feel free to wear whatever they want to wear (within reason) but, I guess I wouldn't mind a world full of classic white t-shirts and classic cuffed blue jeans. Anything classic, nothing hip.
Lots of The Drums' tunes I've heard so far sound like wonderful lost gems from vintage Brits; The Smiths, The La's, Stone Roses, New Order – How did you discover these bands and what did they mean to you?
I was raised in a strict religious household, and we were not allowed to listen to the bands you speak of, so I really was exposed to The Smiths when I was 17 or 18 and had perfected the craft of sneaking secular music into the house without my father noticing.
Once I found The Smiths, my life changed, and you know, I think good music, against all odds, just finds you. It was a snowball effect. Sort of an overload of beautiful sad songs and thoughts and ideas being put to music that I didn't know was even possible to do. The inspiration started then and has not stopped.
Can you reveal any plot lines / themes / “soundscapes” from the debut album you're currently recording?
The full length is almost completely finished, and while the Summertime! EP was a shiny piece, the full length is also seasonal in its own right. The songs continue the theme of hopelessness found on the EP, but it delves a little deeper and I think makes more of a statement as far as spreading the eternal unrest we all share as a band.
We live in pretty grim times but The Drums' sound is quite uplifting, optimistic – what cheers up the Drums and what pisses you off?
Well, there is not a single 'happy' song on the EP, maybe some songs that sound happy, but all the subject matter is pretty grim, unfortunately. I have tried to write a joyous song, and the best I can do is write a sad song that can make you tap your toes.
A good pop song makes me feel great, and what upsets me is people who don't listen.
As well as the Brit influence there's lots of American Graffiti-style romance and optimism – If you could banish any things from today's world for their '50s equivalent what would they be?
Cars and tattoos.
You're fast becoming a 'sure thing' for success in 2010 – what would you like to accomplish by this time next year and are they any other artists' careers you'd love to emulate?
That's very nice of you to say, but I don't want us to get ahead of ourselves. I like what The Smiths did and I still think The Strokes are the best band to come out of the last 15 years.
We're waving 'au revoir' to the Noughties and 'bonjour' to the Twenty-tens – what have been your highlights / lowlights of the decade?
The Best moment for me in the last ten years is writing The Drums first song Best Friend, with my best friend, Jacob.
The Worst thing in the last ten years is (Jonathan's previous band) Elkland.
If one of our readers was to stay for a weekend at 'Chez Drums' where would you take them and what would you do?
We would probably take them to this cafe by our house every morning where we get coffee and smoke cigarettes. And then we would walk around Manhattan all day long doing nothing but drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. Then we would maybe go out for a bit to say 'Hello' to some cool friends of ours, and then come back to the house and try to watch a movie before we fall asleep.
Finally, if The Drums hotwired Marty McFly's Delorean what period in time – past or future - would you visit and what would you do?
I think that's pretty obvious.
...I'll get me coat. So, there you go folks....Brief?? Well I did say it was 'fleeting', not only a 'moment' but 'a tiny moment'. Well, that'll teach you to skip the intro waffle. Whaddya expect anyways? They're a Sure Thing. They're too busy for this 'Name Your Favourite Ice Cream' or 'Top Five Best Hannah Montana B-sides' malarkey. Now scram gettoutahere, I gots Winter sleeping to do.
The new single I Felt Stupid is out on November 23rd. Go MySpace.