Drenge talks festival season, US touring essentials and touring the states!

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It’s not a well kept secret that I don’t bite at the bit to grab a few minutes with the onslaught of UK acts making their first few trips to the US. There’s something about their youthful energy, thirst for late night rock shows and talent roaring out of them that I can’t resist. So when I was given the opportunity to head out to interview the lead singer of Drenge, Eoin Loveless, I was there in a second.

Forming the band with his brother and playing as a live three piece, the boys packed out the most often opening spot for acts to play at Great Scott last weekend. Playing around a twenty song set, the band rocked on into the late hours and kept the audience captivated. A few hours before, I sat down with Eoin to pick his brain on his pretty basic tour essentials to the songwriting process for Drenge to advice he would give to fellow UK bands trying to make that first tour jump to the states work to their advantage!

 

To start, off three things that you must have while with you on tour to survive.

Three things that I must have on tour? A phone, wallet and passport.

Crucial.

Yeah, crucial. Yeah I don’t think I can go like five hours without any of those.

Then maybe how has the US touring been going for you? I know obviously you’re in this band with your brother. How has it been going for you in the US being so young.

It’s good! I mean like we’ve never kind of come over here and gone like straight out for like six weeks or anything. We’ve kind of done like a week on the West and a week on the East. This is actually like our third tour. It’s been our fifth time out here. We’re so used to kind of just doing a week in Seattle, LA and San Francisco then coming over here and doing Boston, New York and Philly and those places. So yeah I don’t know we kind of get a bit of each side. We haven’t really done anything in the middle of the states.

Oh really, you haven’t kind of gone to that area?

We did a show in Chicago and we did a show in Minneapolis and those were the only two we did in, what do you call it?

The Midwest?

Yeah, Midwest.

Then like I said, you are in this band with your brother so maybe how do you go about the writing process? Is it one person, more collective, do you kind of bring your own ideas?

Like I come up with the music and the lyrics, but we structure it together. Just so that the music that we’re making is enjoyable to listen to but also a challenge and enjoyable to play as well.

I know you put out an album very recently, but are you currently working on maybe even like an EP or an album?

I don’t know, we still kind of are touring this second record and we haven’t quite gotten into a set up. Our practice room is like always a mess and when we get back, we just load our stuff in there. Then usually, we have to load out like three days later to go to another show. So yeah the writing is kind of taking a backseat but I’m coming up with stuff. I can take fifty ideas to Rory and out of those fifty, we’ll probably come out with like five usable songs.

Really?

Yeah, like we edit it. Stuff that I really enjoy writing or putting together doesn’t mean that it is the right thing for Rory to play or for Drenge to put out.

Then maybe for you, I know you have a lot obviously going on, but the first CD or first cassette you ever remember buying as a kid then the first concert you ever went to?

I don’t believe that they broke much ground over here in the states but it was a UK pop group called Steps. They put out a Christmas double A-side and they put out a cover of a song called “Tragedy”. Which had a music video with a really popular dance move and it had all the dance moves on the back of the CD so you could learn how to do the dance like them. Then I think there must have been an instrumental version so you could sing along and then, the other A-side was like a Christmasy single. Where in the video, H (Ian “H” Watkins of Steps) who’s like the guy who is a massive party, he gets kidnapped by an ice queen and all her dwarves. Then the rest of the band come and save him. There’s lots of snow skidoos, dwarves, cheap graphics and stuff. Worth checking out.

Definitely want to watch it. Then I wanted to ask you, I interviewed this fellow UK band Until The Ribbon Breaks last night. As well as covering a lot of other UK acts lately. It’s becoming a lot more common for the young acts as well as yourselves to come over and testing the waters. Maybe advice to bands to keep coming back to the US?

It is incredibly expensive to tour the US. We make a loss every time we come over here. So from the business idea, it’s not great. You got to be loaded and like only rich bands or bands with a label can really do it. Certainly the reason we’re here, because we’ve got a label. If your parents are really happy to put up a couple like ten thousands, twenty thousands, yeah come over here. It’s an amazing country to be in and to play shows in but plus twenty one situations sucks massively. Unless you can sort out some all ages shows. You can tour the states really cheap. You can stay at some friends’ houses or whatever but it’s not easy. Just work hard in the UK and come over when you can afford it I guess is my advice.

Exactly then to end it off, what is coming up after this US run?

I think I got one day off this month where we go back to the UK. We’ve got a radio session then we go to Netherlands for a festival then we come back to the UK for a festival the next day. Then I’ve got a day off. Then I go to France then I come back from France and then we all go to Glastonbury because we’re playing. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say that but it’s a secret show. So maybe yeah, I don’t know. Yeah maybe I can’t but that’s what we’re doing. Yeah we’re all super excited about that and then just kind of festivals most weekends until October. When we come back here to support Wolf Alice.

That’s a good tour. They just headlined here like a few weeks ago or maybe a month or so now.

Yeah I mean they’re doing a lot of touring in the states.

That will be a really solid tour.

Yeah they’re having a sick time over here this year which is crazy. Yeah really trying to break it. So we’re supporting them.

Will be a great, great tour.

Yeah definitely. I don’t know if there’s a Boston date. I know there’s a Providence one.

I think there is.

Okay.

I think I remember seeing it pop up.

Is that music hall just down the road?

I think you’re right. I think it may be Brighton Music Hall.

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