After my first time hearing “Let’s Go Surfing” by the Brooklyn born indie pop band The Drums I was hooked. Their sound is simple, catchy and addictive. Their debut self-titled album (Released in 2010) received a lot of buzz and they are now on the verge of releasing their second album Portamento (9/12). I recently had the chance to catch-up with guitarist Jacob Graham before they take to the road for a slew of shows in support of their upcoming release.
Dan Cordie: How did each of you meet and when did you begin making music as The Drums?
Jacob Graham: Jonny and I met when we were kids, over a love of old fashioned electronic music. We started making recordings songs under the moniker The Drums in the fall of 2008. We met Connor at the beginning of summer of 2009 when we moved back to New York to start playing concerts as The Drums.
DC: What artists have had the strongest influence on your sound?
JG: I’d say the biggest influence comes from the little known Factory Records band The Wake. In the past we were very influenced by stuff like The Shangri-Las and The Zombies. But these days I’d say things that seem a little more abstract, like The Durutti Column.
DC: How did you decide on the name The Drums?
JG: The name was actually the first thing we decided on. We just wanted something simple and to the point. People are so clever with band names these days, we wanted to dumb it down a little.
DC: Could you describe the experience of creating the video for your song “Money”?
JG: I don’t know if I can. The whole day was such a blur. It was actually the first video we’ve made that we didn’t demand full creative control. So the entire experience was extremely nerve racking for me, not knowing what every shot is going to look like.
DC: Do you have any crazy stories from the road?
JG: Not really. I think we’re a little too old for that sort of thing. If there is anything too crazy we should feel rather ashamed of it. I do however keep thinking about this crazy-good sandwich we had at an airport in Switzerland.
DC: Who are 3 artists you can’t stop listening to right now?
JG: Firstly I’ll clarify that these are three artists I can’t stop listening to right now. This doesn’t necessarily reflect the taste of the rest of the band.
1. For Against – They’re this great sort of post punk band from Nebraska in the 80′s. It’s so amazing to imagine them in the middle of America at that time, making this sort of music. Honestly, their music is kind of bland, but that’s actually something i really like about it. I suppose being immersed in pop constantly the way I am, it’s nice to tone it down every now and then. A couple tracks I like:
2. Little Nemo - A French band I just got into. I don’t like a lot of their stuff, but there are two songs I can’t get over called “Fickleness” and “Au Milieu Du Ciel”
3. Xeno & Oaklander – A duo from Brooklyn. They make amazing electronic music with all those great instruments from thirty years ago. favorite songs are “Sentinelle” and “Rendez-Vous d’Or”. And I’d like to give an honorable mention to the Summer of ’42 soundtrack.
DC: What has been your favorite or most memorable show that you have played to date?
JG: We get asked this question a lot, and probably always give a different answer because it’s so hard to say. I loved our record release show in London because Clare Grogan of Altered Images sang a song with us. She is so amazing.
DC: What was the process for writing and creating your soon to be released album Portamento?
JG: We recorded the whole thing ourselves in our apartments. We just get together and work on music then Connor and I go away and Jonny works on the lyrics and records the vocals. Usually just work on one song a day.
DC: Where did you get the album name Portamento?
JG: It means to travel from one note to another and the space between them. It’s also a feature you find on old synthesizers. But mostly we just like the way it sounds. It’s just a beautiful world. Sort of rolls of the tongue, don’t you think?
DC: What do you hope to accomplish as a band in the upcoming year?
JG: Nothing really. Just releasing our album and playing a bunch of concerts.
DC: Do you have any final thoughts for our readers?
JG: Yes. I’d like to remind everyone that they are wonderful and unique in all the world. It’s important to remember because we’re all working towards something. You know, whenever I think about the future I also imagine those huge, cinematic, swirling string crescendos. I think it will be great.
You can stay connected with The Drums on Facebook and Twitter.
Pick up their self-titled debut album at iTunes.
Be sure to catch them live at a venue near you:
09-30 Montreal, Quebec – Evenko
10-01 Toronto, Ontario – The Mod Club
10-03 Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop
10-04 Chicago, IL – Subterranean
10-05 Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
10-06 Des Moines, IA – Vaudville Mews
10-10 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
10-11 Vancouver, British Columbia – Venue
10-12 Seattle, WA – Crocodile Cafe
10-14 San Francisco, CA – The Independent
(Treasure Island Night Show)
10-15 San Diego, CA – The Casbah
10-18 Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex
10-20 Tempe, AZ – Sail Inn
10-22 Dallas, TX – The Loft
10-23 Austin, TX – The Parish
10-24 Houston, TX – Fitzgeralds
10-26 Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder
10-27 Orlando, FL – The Social
10-28 Miami, FL – Grand Central
10-31 Atlanta, GA – The Drunken Unicron
11-03 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
11-05 Philadelhia, PA – Making Time at Voyeur Night Club
11-06 Washington, DC – The Black Cat