Beating their own drums
The Drums are out to revive the indie pop genre with a fresh sound and rebellious spirit. The American band has become a worldwide sensation after the release of their self-titled debut album. Refusing to go with the current flow, The Drums have created their own sound, which brings to mind the 1980s New Romantics movement.
The line-up includes childhood friends Jonathan 'The Singin'' Pierce and Jacob 'The Stringin'' Graham, as well as Connor 'The Bangin'' Hanwick.
Having played in other bands, such as the short-lived indie rock group Elkland, Pierce feels The Drums have a much stronger vision and focus on what they want to achieve.
'I think the older bands I was in had a lot to do with me growing up and figuring out what I really wanted to do,' he says. 'Writing pop wasn't enough. I wanted to look, breathe, eat, and sleep pop, and I do that now with The Drums,' he adds.
'We started this band without knowing how to do a show, so we just put these ideas together of the type of show that we would think [worked best],' Pierce says.
'I think we're getting closer and closer to what we want with every show,' he notes. 'It still blows my mind that we've been travelling the world for almost three years and people keep coming to see us. It seems like the excitement is growing rather than getting less.'
The contrast between the band's upbeat, feel-good sound and lyrics that deal with serious themes creates unexpected layers to The Drums' music and adds to their unconventional appeal.
'It just came together in a really natural way. I guess most bands that I love all sort of do the same thing,' Pierce says. 'They write a good beat and can't help but write about being sad. I could never relate to a purely happy song.'
The band's memorable lyrics are somewhat autobiographical. The lyric: 'The less you own, the more freedom you have' is a philosophy Pierce tries to live by.
'I grew up in extreme poverty,' he says. 'My parents were devout Christians and trusted God for everything, but there were many times when their God didn't follow through on His promises.'
He ran away to New York City, where he got his first record deal. 'Things were better financially, but at a huge cost - I was losing passion for creativity,' he says. 'I find that creativity flows when I'm uncomfortable. When things are good, then I have nothing to write about. It's an interesting way to balance my life but it's the only thing that works for me.'
Judging by their debut, The Drums are here to stay. And despite their gloomy lyrics, they're upbeat about the future.
'It would be cool to have Mary Weiss from The Shangri-Las sing a duet with me,' Pierce says. 'She has the coolest living female voice and, man, what a legend she is.'
The Drums play at Kitec on Thursday