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Single Review: The Drums – Money

 
By on Thursday, 14th July 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

The Drums have now started talking up their second album, ‘Portamento’, to be out on 12 September on Moshi Moshi. Our first taste of the new material comes in the form of single ‘Money’, just leaked to media this week (it will see its official release as a single on the 5th of September). It’s so often joked by reviewers – and indeed, even by the bands themselves – that the second album is always “difficult”, so I was wondering where this band would go for album #2. And remember, physically they’ve changed: they lost a limb (guitarist Adam Kessler) during their autumn North American tour last year. But they appear to have bounced back without so much as a scratch: as of May 2011 they’ve picked up Chris Stein and Myles Matheny (also of Violens) to round out their live personnel to a nice five-piece.

So what do I make of ‘Money’? After interviewing singer Jonathan Pierce and drummer Connor Hanwick when they were in Washington last September, it was infinitely clear to me from the visual influences on their music make this band much, much more complex than their first toe in the music scene, ‘Let’s Go Surfing’. What’s still present: upbeat tempo ala ‘Let’s Go Surfing’, driving guitar and a quasi-falsetto from Pierce. What’s new: maybe it’s just on this one track, but I’m expecting ‘Portomento’ to be very different. Instead of running around in jeans, trying to go to the beach, this time they’re willing to trade nonexistent cars and guns to buy their love something special. Have they matured? This single seems to indicate this. However, they haven’t gone 180 degrees on us, which is a good thing. ‘Money’ shows the Drums still know how to pen a catchy tune.

8/10

The Drums’ newest single, ‘Money’, will be released on the 5th of September, with the new album ‘Portomento’ released a week later, the 12th of September, on Moshi Moshi.

 

This Week’s Gonzo – series closes with visits from Mark Ronson and the Drums

 
By on Thursday, 2nd December 2010 at 1:00 pm
 

This Friday marks the last episode of this series of MTV Gonzo, but don’t be sad: some special guest appearances are planned for the show. DJ and producer Mark Ronson, who released the album ‘Record Collection’ with his Business Intl. in September and recently worked with Duran Duran on their new album, stops by to talk with Alexa and shows her his drum pads. (No, that’s not innuendo for something else.) Now sporting shocking platinum blonde hair ala Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro, he comments, “I’m worried my hair might fall out from the bleach”. But rock ‘n’ roll is all about taking risks, isn’t it?

The Drums from New York also make an appearance, no doubt to talk about their amazing success this year. Everyone’s favourite American jokers (and rockers) We Are Scientists phone in for what is sure to be a comical video chat. Mat Horne, who guested on last week’s Gonzo, suggests a new band to watch: you’ll have to watch the show to find out who he’s tipping. On the video front, Gonzo queues up Paramore‘s ‘Playing God’ as well as the new promo video of White Lies‘s ‘Bigger Than Us’, and the London post-punk band is in the studio to talk about what went on behind the scenes of its filming.

Watch this series’s final episode of MTV Gonzo tomorrow night, Friday, at 7 pm on MTV Rocks, with a repeat at 9 pm on MTV.

 

This Week’s Gonzo – Slash and Brooklyn’s Sleigh Bells stop in for a chat

 
By on Friday, 19th November 2010 at 11:00 am
 

On tonight’s episode of MTV Gonzo, Alexa welcomes a legendary rocker…and possible future legends. Slash, formerly of Guns ‘n’ Roses but now a successful solo artist in his own right, visits the Gonzo studio. We’re not sure what prompted the following quote – “it’s not about the lines I use on groupies, its the lines they have to use on me” – but this particular statement has certainly got me curious! Sleigh Bells, a noise pop duo from Brooklyn, New York, also make an appearance. No doubt you have heard their song ‘Infinity Guitars’ and been wowed by the instrumental cacophony. Judging by the blogosphere blowing up with nothing but kudos for this act, they very well could be on their way to becoming legendary. Continuing the electropop theme, London’s Is Tropical come in to introduce themselves.

The Drums, going on tour starting next Tuesday in London are featured in the Gonzo Video of the Week. And Oxford’s Foals give their commentary on a director’s cut of their new video for ‘Blue Blood’. Sounds like a good night to stay in and watch telly.

Watch this week’s MTV Gonzo tonight at 7 pm on MTV Rocks, with a repeat at 9 pm on MTV.

 

Video of the Moment #378: The Drums

 
By on Thursday, 28th October 2010 at 6:00 pm
 

Here is the new promo vid from the Drums (now a three-piece) for ‘Me and the Moon’. The famous red satin jacket makes a reappearance! Eee-oh-eee-oh.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygs5DSfFACU[/youtube]

For more insight on what makes the Drums tick, read Mary’s interview with Jonathan and Connor of the band here.

 

Interview: Jonathan Pierce and Connor Hanwick of the Drums

 
By on Monday, 20th September 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

Before the Drums’s first show ever in Washington, I had a nice chat with Jonathan Pierce and Connor Hanwick of the band at a little Latin café across the way from the 9:30 Club right before their show. They let me into their world of imagery and escapism and their ideas for their next album. Read my interview below.

Many thanks to Jonathan and Connor for their time and Aimee for helping set this up.

Mary Chang, Editor of There Goes the Fear, in my hometown of Washington DC with one-half of Brooklyn band the Drums. Hello and welcome to Washington guys.
Both: Thank you.
Let’s start by each of you introducing yourselves and what instruments you play in the Drums.
Connor: I’m Connor and I play the drums. In the Drums. [laughs]
Jonathan: I’m Jonny, and I sing.

So I read you, Jonathan, met Jacob (Graham), who plays guitar in the Drums, at summer camp and have been really good friends and were playing in this other band before you formed the Drums. Can you tell me more about what that band was like?
Jonathan: Yeah, actually Jacob and I have been friends for years and years. We’ve been all sorts of bands (together), whether we’ve been on our own or with each other. We’ve had a few different projects that we tried to make work over the years. But the Drums are the first band that we poured our whole lives into, giving up everything else to really make it happen.
How were the Drums formed? How did you develop the kind of sound you wanted to have, to what the Drums are today?
Jonathan: It’s just a project of lot of different points of inspiration, one big thing for us is imagery. Imagery is a big thing for us. For us, the music came last and everything else came before it. So even though we are inspired by bands of course, but even more so by the feeling you get looking at a good photograph or watch a great film. I think our greatest inspiration is that sense of escape, anything that sorts of takes you out of where you are at the moment, a good pop song does that, it takes you a different place. It’s instantaneous.
You mentioned photography and film…do you have favourite photographers or filmmakers? Or maybe specific films?
Jonathan: Yeah, we do. I’m a big fan of John Cassavetes and Gus Van Sant, I’d say those are my two favourites (filmmakers).
Connor: [nods] Nicholas Ray. Sam Fuller.
Jonathan: And as far as photographers, for me there are a couple photographers that I think are great. But I find the photographs that are most inspirational are those that you find just lying around at some unknown place that you find in an old shoebox somewhere.
Connor: When it comes to a photographer, it comes down to a stylistic thing, or a premeditated thing, or precalculated. Photos you find in National Geographic, or Life Magazine or at a yard sale, you know, they’ve already got a story built into it. When you see them, you don’t subconsciously link them to an artist or a person. Just a great photograph that has a story implemented in it.
Jonathan: Something random like that, but like photos you’d find in a photo album and not a coffee table book.

Continue reading Interview: Jonathan Pierce and Connor Hanwick of the Drums

 

Live Review: The Drums and Surfer Blood with the Young Friends at 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – Sunday 12th September 2010

 
By on Tuesday, 14th September 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

Most bands who go on tour together start out as acquaintances and then become good friends over the course of a tour. The Drums and Surfer Blood don’t have to worry about that; members of Surfer Blood have played with the Drums’s Jacob Graham, so everyone pretty much knows everybody else, which I think can only be a good thing. With autumn on DC’s doorstep, the two surf poppish bands stopped by as co-headliners to the 9:30 Club for a fun night of good tunes Sunday night.

The Young Friends from Phoenix were the opening act. I’m usually pretty sceptical about rock bands that have one guitarist (not two) plus a bassist, yet these guys made a good job of it. They have a very similar rock/pop sound to the Drums and Surfer Blood, so all things considered, they were a really good fit for support. The band itself is Andrew McKee (lead vocals / bass) and Brant Stuns (guitar) and a touring drummer. Now that I play bass, I can appreciate just how hard it is to play a rhythm instrument and sing at the same time. Songs like ‘I Won’t Break Your Heart’ indicate that even though these are a pair of ‘Young Friends’, they know what they’re doing when it comes to writing songs. Stuns in particular was hilarious to watch onstage because he reminded me of Peter Crouch, only shorter and trying to imitate Chuck Berry’s duckwalk.

The Drums were on next. I’d seen singer Jonathan Pierce’s red satin jacket in Phil’s coverage of their MTV’s 10 for 2010 show at Camden’s Dingwalls with Death Metal Disco Scene and Delphic and was quite pleased to see it would be making an appearance on their North American tour. When I had been waiting outside with a friend before the doors opened, we could hear the strains of ‘Best Friend’ during their soundcheck, and this was the bounciest of all songs they started their set with, drummer Connor Hanwick leading the way with his beats as club goers moved and grooved to the Drums’ brand of pop.

Continue reading Live Review: The Drums and Surfer Blood with the Young Friends at 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – Sunday 12th September 2010

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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