"I've never really said this before because up until this album I've never felt free to say it, but 90 percent of what you've ever heard from The Drums was just me playing and recording the guitars, the drums, the bass, the synthesizers, the vocals, the backing vocals, the percussion and the mixing of it all and writing the lyrics," admits Pierce. "Most of the songs that you've ever heard by The Drums are looped and sample-based. That's how these records are made, including Abysmal Thoughts. I've always shied away from saying that to let the guys talk when we were asked about the recording process. I would talk a little bit but also stay a little quiet. I don't know why I did that."Pierce does have an idea of why he played pushover, and it seems to stem from his upbringing. Both his mother and father are Pentecostal pastors, which meant spending his formative years under the strict watchful eyes of what he calls a "very anti-gay" household. "Like to the point where my parents would lead anti-gay rallies and call for a town-wide boycott of this community bookstore that carried gay and lesbian literature," he adds."I never felt a sense of family, so I think part of why I wanted [the other members] to be so involved was because I didn't want to lose them," he explains. "For the first time in my life I actually felt like I had a family. To me, they were like my brothers. It felt beautiful, organic, and natural. There was so much love. People often referred to us as a gang, but I felt we were more like a family. Because of this I wanted them to feel as involved as possible so they wouldn't ever leave. And then of course, one, two, three left over the course of five years."
"People often referred to us as a gang, but I felt we were more like a family. Because of this I wanted them to feel as involved as possible so they wouldn't ever leave. And then of course, one, two, three left over the course of five years."
"With this album, I went for it," he says. "It wasn't scary at all. Like every step you take closer to being yourself is very exciting. Once you make the decision to really let it all hang loose, it actually becomes addictive. So to go back and write another song about surfing would be hard for me to do that with any degree of enthusiasm. It definitely wouldn't be genuine."Abysmal Thoughts is an album that finds Pierce finally facing and conquering his demons. He's managed to make the album he's always wanted to make, and on his own terms. This means if he wants to use a bloody new font to spell out the name or throw in some nods to drum and bass (no joke, they're in there!) he will. But of all the ways he's expressed his independence, it's the photo of his boyfriend on the front smelling Pierce's shoe in a Los Angeles garden that excites him the most."Yeah, I took a photo of my boyfriend smelling a dirty gym shoe and put it on the cover. And no, he was not just casually sniffing my shoe. We shot it in the backyard of my friend's place in Los Angeles," he says with a laugh. "It's an example of how I'm doing exactly what I want to do. It's invigorating. This photo is something I wanted to do but also something I felt I had to do. It was almost like a reaction to this unwritten law we had in the band. This album explores sexual and visual fetishes. It really is an album for fetishes, like my love for drum and bass, sports and athleticism, and my disdain for the rich. I wouldn't have been able to do something like that before, and now I can just please myself. It's really nice."Cam Lindsay writes all his articles in the same font because Noisey makes him. Follow him on Twitter.
"Every step you take closer to being yourself is very exciting. Once you make the decision to really let it all hang loose, it actually becomes addictive."