The Drums are back. The Brooklyn indie pop duo are back with their new album Encyclopedia (their first in three years), and a return to Australia later this month. There have been some changes along the way. After the departure of drummer Connor Hanwick, childhood buds and original members Jonny Pierce (vocals) and Jacob Graham (guitar) found themselves back at square one. Luckily their square one is a solid base of poppy hooks and buzzy melody.
We recently spoke to Jacob, who in true team spirit stepped up to the phone when Jonny was sidled with a sore throat in a hotel room somewhere on their US tour.
NOISEY: How does it feel to be back as the original partnership of you and Jonny?
Jacob Graham: It feels good. It’s allowed us more freedom with recording. There was no record label and we could focus like how we did when we first started. Jonny and I like working together and making music together. So it was good to get back to this.
You are like a gang, a two person gang.
Yes but our membership is dwindling (laughs)
You say your band was birthed out of naivety. You have seen a fair bit of change recently.
Yes there has been changes but I think we’ve managed them well. When we started we were so ignorant to how the industry ran. We were naïve in how things worked. We are still I guess but we’v been able to adapt to the changes.
I really like the satin jackets Jonny is wearing in the “I Can’t Pretend” video. You are known for your particular style.
Yeah Jonny has some nice jackets. They are pretty cool and yes we have cared about our image since the beginning. I know that’s not what you are supposed to say. You are meant to act like you just got out of bed or something but we always wanted to have a ‘thing’ like the Ramones had a thing. We wanted to have something whether that was through our hairstyles or jackets. A look, a style.
How is Jonny going? Reading his Twitter feed while researching this interview I realised that I’m one of those irritating people who sit down but don’t take off their backpacks.
Haha he was probably talking about me when he wrote that. But it’s funny that you mention that you have had to look at his Twitter feed. The new album hasn’t been getting much press. Not as much as our previous records. When we first started we were getting a lot of hype.
And that’s changed?
Yeah I guess so. We’ve always said our career has been us shooting ourselves in the feet (ha!) We were late 20s when everything started to take off so we can’t really use age as an excuse but we like to think of ourselves as a people band rather than an industry band. We connect more with people rather than the industry. It often feels like we get the cold shoulder from the industry to be honest.
I like your lyric You Tube videos you’ve put up. They seem like a good way to get the crowd singing along at your shows.
Yeah that was our manager’s idea. We didn’t really know that these were something that was big but apparently they are. Yeah if more people know the words to the songs the better. Of course you don’t have to know the words. Just come to the show and have funs regardless.
Laneway Presents and NOISEY present The Drums:
Brisbane - Saturday 29th November at the Hi Fi . Tickets available from the Hi Fi
Sydney - Sunday 30th November at the Metro Theatre Tickets available through Ticketek
Melbourne - Tuesday 2nd December at the The Corner Hotel. Tickets available through the Corner.