Photos by Travis Splain
Baltimore teenager Drew Owen is Sick Thoughts. Over the last couple of years he's churned out hyperactive punk faster and more often than most guys his age jerk off.
But don't call him prolific. Owen didn't know what the word meant until someone explained it to him earlier this year, and by his own admission his frantic release schedule is due in part to a short attention span.
His third ever gig was opening for garage rock legends the Oblivions, who along with Jay Reatard and bands like the Carbonas are noticeable influences on his sound. But shut the door and listen closer and you can also hear stuff like the Pagans and GG Allin blasting out of the chaotic mess.
Owen's released stuff on a swag of small but cool labels such as Ken Rock, Goodbye Boozy, Zaxxon and Bakersfield, California's Going Underground who have just put out his latest 7". To be honest it doesn't matter what label releases it, with a Sick Thoughts record you can expect two things; speed and hyper blown out production.
We chatted to Drew about the new record and playing super fast and super loud.
Noisey: The production on the new album like most of your records is blown to fuck. The only lyrics I can make out is that you are "coming over" and you are "looking for some fun".
Drew Owen: If you're banned from someone's house, party, show or girlfriends place just tell them that you're 'coming over'. They'll have to get a bunch of people to drag you out or call the cops. Don't let a bunch of pricks tell you where you can and can't go. The lyrics are;
"Hey you I'm Coming Over, Better Look Over your shoulder, Stupid to think that I am done, I'm still looking for some fun, All I've got is a broken heart, but now you've got a head start. Your just piece of shit, your just a stupid dick, Got the real stuff baby you don't care, when the time comes you'll live a nightmare."
I like that for a song that goes for a minute and a half you find time to throw in a guitar solo.
Thanks. I got the attention span of a fly. When I'm writing I just try to pick the right amount of choruses/verses and solos and stuff to balance between the song being too short and too long.
I'm reminded of Jay Reatard's wild fury and impatience to everything. Would you say that you are impatient? The number of records you put out seems to suggest so.
Yeah Jay was obviously a big influence on my music early on. As I said I barely have an attention span. I put out all these records because I was writing tirelessly and trying to mould a sound. I didn't really have a sense of quality control, not bad records, but I think if I took more time, not a 7 inch a day, id be happier than I already am with the result.
People always talk about your age and being so prolific. How old are you now and how many records have you put out?
I turned 17 in March. I think I have so far six 7inches, one 12"EP, one LP, and a couple of demo tapes (12"EP vinyl press). So somewhere around eight records.
I really like the track "Floppy Disc" from your other band Timecops. Lyrical genius! What's up with your other bands like Timecops, Selfies and Deformities?
Haha thanks. I didn't even know anybody knew about that band. My cousin and I listened to a Kraftwerk record and then recorded this demo. Deformities are on hold for a bit; maybe a 7 inch soon, Nick lives in LA. Selfies is on hold too, some 7 inches were talked about with labels but we haven't done anything lately. Timecops was a fake band that never existed. The name was funny so we recorded a demo. Dan lives in Brooklyn. I've worked on other bands demos too like the Bathroom Boys, HOROR, Glue Traps, and Caught, but nothing has surfaced yet.
You do the artwork for your releases and recently for Finnish band the Achtungs. Is this something you look to continue?
Yeah I'm really glad Joni wanted me to do the art for that record. I'd like to continue doing art for bands or just in general. I just did some new logos for Windian Records. Talking to some bands right now about doing art for their records. It's calming and gets my mind off things. Something I don't rush or have OCD with.
What was the last band that you saw live that really impressed you?
Gary Wrong Group at Total Punk Fuck Off Weekend this past March really surprised me. I had heard of the records and never looked into it, but I after I saw them I got really into them. I started using synths more in my stuff to add some noise after watching that band. They sounded huge and Chad is probably my favorite front man right now.
"Coming Over" is out now on Going Underground records.
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