Psychedelia talk mosh pits and zebras with Drenge front man Eoin.
The mood is set with The Maccabees sound check providing background music below us, sat in a bright yellow rain coat is the brother of Rory Loveless, Eoin.
- Do you guys still get pretty excited/nervous to play big gigs?
Tonight, I’m not particularly nervous, we played here (Southampton Guildhall) a few months ago, with Wolf Alice, so it’s quite strange to be back at a venue you were at just last month and we will be back here in February.
So we’re kind of used to it now.
- I watched your Facebook video yesterday, throwing The Sun newspaper in the bin, are you quite political within your lyrics? Or is it just outside of your music?
I wouldn’t say we are overtly political but everything that I write about in our songs are about something, we live in the world, it’s more about situations where politics could impact on peoples life, or job perspective.
I dunno, political isn’t the word I don’t think, I mean it is but it’s not about The House Of Commons!
- So do you think it’s important to express your own views within your own lyrics? Or do you sort of try and steer away from being too ‘controversial’ would you say?
To be honest a lot of people don’t really listen to our lyrics.
Our band lyrics, I try and write from the perspective that the most possible amount of people could understand what the song is about and empathise with it, because rather than writing from a very specific, narrow point of view, with very specific references and stuff, I just feel more comfortable writing so I can reach to more people.
If you’re very specific about certain people, or places, or names and stuff it can sometimes get a bit weird, when I write I try and write with a very open vocabulary.
- So you’re in a band with your brother, do you find it quite hard if you bicker or is it easier as you have grown up together?
It’s very strange, most people when they’re in their early 20’s they’re very estranged from their brother. You only see them at Christmas, or weddings, but we see each other every day.
Its fun, I wouldn’t be in a band with him if we didn’t get on, we’ve been touring for three years so we’re used to it!
- I read in an interview that you guys used to play a lot of parties, do you still do that now, do you miss being able to do it if not?
I don’t miss playing just parties. I remember at parties people weren’t particularly interested, they would put up with it.
Now if I were to like pick up a guitar at a party, people would be like…’ugh’.
Id rather just chat to people at parties!
- How would you say from your debut album to your album Undertow, your sound changed, if at all?
We had never been on tour before, so we toured a lot and we also had a massive amount of time to record the second album, which we didn’t on the first record.
It just meant that we would go in everyday, if we didn’t have anything to work on, we would go back and work on something else.
I don’t know, I haven’t listened to the two records side by side… I probably should.
But I feel just as if the performance of the band got a lot stronger, I feel like the songs got more interesting and more listenable.
“It’s not just about beating everyone up and doing a weird type of dance.”
- I know i’ve compared you to Nirvana, and so have a lot of people, what has been your favorite comparison so far?
Damon Albarn compared us to The Talking Heads, which was like, he said one of our songs sounds like Talking Heads, I don’t think he was talking as in like ‘it sounds like Talking Heads it was more like, there’s things that happen in that song, that would happen in a Talking Heads’ song.
You wouldn’t see David Byrne on stage like… rocking out haha.
- I saw you guys at Wolf Alice and the crowd was pretty mental, what goes through your head when you see the crowd literally beating the shit out of each other?
Our music might not suggest it but I’m all about peace and love, I get really edgy whenever I see it, I’m like fuck! Maybe the next step will be an acoustic album!
The other thing is people get quite pumped up for our shows, it allows them to release energy and not have to like, buy tickets to go see Slipknot, a band you’d more associate with hardcore moshing I guess.
I guess you used to do that when you were younger anyway, finding yourself in the mosh pits!
I was always in the pit, and then I went into a mosh pit about a year a go and realized I was to old.
You’ve gotta have open arms, no fists, you’ve gotta make sure if someone falls over you pick them up! You gotta smile, you gotta look after everyone there, it’s not just about beating everyone up and doing a weird type of dance.
- I saw on one of your interviews that you’re a big fan of Robbie Williams, did you ever manage to get him on your guest list?
My girlfriend’s mum is Robbies biggest fan; his manager was at our label talking to our label boss, then someone went “Eoin! Your girlfriends mum loves Robbie Williams!” then because of that conversation, my girlfriends’ mum got tickets to go and see a dress rehearsal in like a big hanger, about 8 people there, Robbie did the entire show!
- Obviously you guys play big gigs, festivals and smaller gigs, which do you prefer or are they all similar experiences?
I think we get a really healthy dose of all three.
We never get bored of them, towards the end of festivals you’re a bit like… great…another big crowd.
There’s no sound check, you’re a bit like ‘what we gonna do with all of this time?’ Yeah small shows are really intense and fun. They all have massive plus sides and not many negative sides.
- Is there anything we can look forward to from you guys?
At the moment I’m on tour mode and that finishes on Saturday, ill get home, ill probably just have two days to just chill…
- And what do you do to ‘chill’?
I usually go for a walk, cook a bit, just normal stuff! Heroin… I get all of my zebras out… yeah.
Words by Ruby Tuesday Munslow