Laneway Presents is pleased to confirm that Brooklyn-via-Florida outfit, THE DRUMS, are set to return to Australia. Having undergone line-up changes, internal disputes, critical acclaim, worldwide touring and a whirlwind career, their return comes off the back of their latest offering, Encyclopedia.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Supported by Noisey and Triple R
Saturday, 29 November - The Hi-Fi, Brisbane (18+)
with special guests Rolls Bayce & Tempura Nights
Sunday, 30 November - Metro Theatre, Sydney (All Ages)
with special guests The Upskirts
Tuesday, 2 December - The Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
with special guests Sunbeam Sound Machine
Along with today’s announcement is the worldwide exclusive premier of their latest clip for their second single 'I Can’t Pretend', a slower effort, relatively direct in structure, leaving no doubt that the emotions underpinning every word are genuine.
To love The Drums is to love contradictions, and Encyclopedia only further explores this notion. Whilst retaining the perfectly executed surf-pop sound of its predecessors, celebrating the kind of nostalgic indie-pop that makes people want to jump for joy – it also offers a sound paradoxically melancholic. Maudlin lyrics brought to life by the group’s familiar doo-wop-pop see a makeover when the listener is taken into an embrace of warm mellow melodies teamed with faintly nourish lyrics. “We were feeling very angry, confused, and alone when we made this album, and we wanted to be very honest this time around, even if being honest meant making some people uncomfortable. We've left the beach for higher ground, always searching for hope,” says Jonny.
Founding members Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham became friends as children at summer camp, and some years later, in 2008, came up with the concept for The Drums. “Jacob and I were born losers and outcasts,” Pierce says, recalling how The Drums were received upon the release of their debut EP Summertime! nearly six years ago. “We didn’t really have friends growing up. We were both home schooled. We both grew up in poverty. We were both very confused little boys. We met each other and connected because we were losers, pretty much in every category. Suddenly, to be on the cover of NME and have The New York Times praising this little EP we released, you suddenly feel the opposite. I think we really enjoyed that.”
Of course, the enjoyment was fleeting, as befits Pierce’s morose outlook on life in its entirety. There were two wildly successful full-lengths (The Drums and Portamento), there were hits (Let’s Go Surfing, Best Friend, Money and more), and for a moment, there was even the possibility of happiness. Then, managers left, band members departed, and The Drums nearly disbanded. Yet, Pierce worked through his bitterness with the kind of revelation only an artist truly in harmony with melancholy could contrive: they were better off broken than stuck in a rut. The two carried on, in their original form, the band of Jonny and Jacob.
“It was a beautiful moment for us, and also a scary one,” Pierce recalls. “But we’d always rather do something that feels risky than do something that feels safe. That’s the dangerous area for us; when everything feels like it’s just chugging away on cruise control. We’re back where we started and the slate is clean. Jacob and I were the brains behind this in the first place and we can make any decisions we want right now.”
With Encyclopedia, The Drums have become experts of themselves, inching ever closer to perfection even as it scurries around the next corner. Reduced to their essence again, Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham have never known themselves better and song after song resounds with this new confidence. And, of course, the beauty of it is that it also sounds as if it could all come crashing down in a light breeze.