The Drums has exploded like a hi-hat hit really hard or a kick drum beaten to death. These guys played their first show in May and have been garnering much-deserved buzz ever since. Originally from Florida (woah) and now Brooklyn based, the foursome play summery pop without the haze. They sound kinda like vodka mixed with lemonade- but with a side of maraschino cherry sweetness. The Drums songs are tender and fun, and although summer is now over, their debut EP, Summertime!, just hit the “shelves.”
You just recently formed. Did you expect so much attention so quickly?
Jacob Graham (gtr): No, not at all. We actually didn’t expect any attention. But it’s so nice to think that other people are in tune with what we’re doing.
Jonathan Pierce (vox): We weren’t expecting anything really, other than to stay in Florida and finish flight school.
You mentioned the Tough Alliance as an influence on your MySpace. But you also mention The Smiths. How did you find these two different genres and blend them?
Jonathan: Both of these bands made me feel amazing at a time that I felt stupid.
Jacob: I don’t know how we found found them (well, I know I found a Smiths tape at a library sale when I was eleven). But I think you just gravitate towards things you like. And are those two band’s really that different?
Jonathan and Jacob, you met at camp, how did the rest of the band come together (just 8 months ago, right?) How long have you all known each other?
Jonathan: It’s been a pretty exciting time, having Adam and Connor join The Drums. They were there from the very start, without any of us knowing it.
Adam: I’ve known Jon since I was 18, we played in a band together called Elkland. Jacob and Connor I met about 3 months ago, wow but it seems like much longer, I love them all dearly!
Connor Hanwick (drums): Well my brother (Adam- Guitar player for the Drums) told me about his new band. I heard and liked it alot, so I flew from Pasadena and begged them to let me audition. And then they did.
It was a Christian camp, was that forced on you by parents? Or are you both religious?
Jonathan: I don’t believe in much anymore…I barely dream anymore… we’ll see.
Jacob: I’m a nun.
What’s your songwriting process like?
Jonathan: I don’t really know how to answer that. It’s always a different process. I usually…
Jacob: A boxing match, fighting over every little detail.
How long have you called Brooklyn home?
Jonathan: I’ve lived in Brooklyn for a few years, and I stay home mostly.
Jacob: Three months, but I still don’t really call it “home.” I want cornfields and blue skies.
In “Let’s Go Surfing” it sounds like you mention Obama. Are you fans of his?
Jonathan: Actually, Obama is never mentioned at all. But, I’d say our President infuses more hope in my veins than say… that ass we had in the House for so, so, long.
Jacob: I think the lyrics to that song will always get confused.
Connor: I typically have very conservative morals but I think Obama is really terrific.
So what are the lyrics that sound like Obama?
What does a normal day look like?
Jonathan: I just try to relax as much as I can. Busy times lately.
Jacob: Well, the sun rises and people wake up. Everyone goes about his or her lives. Moms take their children to school. Construction. Arguing about money. Then the sun goes down and everyone goes to sleep but just before they drift off to that other world of dreamlike bliss everyone reflects on the day and maybe thinks for just a moment about their future, and just in that split second between awake and sleep, I think, everyone probably thinks about the person they love most in the world, or the sort of person they would like to love.
Adam Kessler (gtr): Today I hiked and climbed and swam and took a long motorcycle ride. Most days we’re just playing music. No job.
Do you all have jobs?
Jacob: Designing artwork for the Drums and also I play the guitar.
Connor: Yes. Playing music and answering questions.
What bands are you currently listening to?
Jonathan: BlueBoy, Starflyer 59, and Bon Voyage, The Raveonettes, The Vines’ first record, Joy Electric’s first and finest record
Jacob: The Field Mice, Blueboy, Days, My favorite, The Wake, Surfer Blood, Bonfire Kids, Church Library, Cats on Fire
Adam: The Raveonettes new album, In & Out of Control
Connor: Prefab Sprout, Joe E. and the Jeroldines, The Pastels, The Go Team, and Cool Rays
Brooklyn is truly collaborative by nature, who would you like to work with, jam with?
Jonathan: I hate collaborating with anyone. I am too insecure and usually, not always, other people’s creative ideas don’t interest me.
Adam: Um, just with The Drums.
Jacob: I don’t really know anyone here except the other guys in my band. I know there is a really cool band in Brooklyn called the World Atlas, but I haven’t met them yet.
Connor: I think we’d all like to work on something with Rod Serling.
“I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, come and stay with me, I wanna hear every beat of your heart” Those are certainly charmer lyrics. Are they written for someone in particular?
Jonathan: It was written about someone I have seen, but not met.
How do you generally perform? As a fourpiece? The NYTimes review said you are “two guys with a synthesizer and a drum machine.”
Jonathan: We’ve never played a synth on stage. Nor a Drum Machine. There are no electronics other than our reel to reel tape machine.
Adam: Aw, that is pretty wrong, we only play guitars and drums.
Jacob: Adam and I play guitar, Jon sings and Connor plays the drums. Then we usually have a couple lovely ladies singing backup. Pretty simple.
Connor: There is no Synth. There is no Drum Machine.
Best musician of all time?
Jonathan: I’ll never know
Jacob: Clara Rockmore
Adam: Oh I don’t know, Bo Diddley
Connor: The Legendary Marvin Pontiac
The Drums: “Let’s Go Surfing”
The Drums: “I Feel Stupid”
click the above links
The Drums: “Let’s Go Surfing”
The Drums: “I Feel Stupid”