After dropping their sophomore record Undertow, we recently had the pleasure of giving Sheffield “fraternal goofballs” Drenge a call. Comprised of Eoin Loveless and Rory Loveless, their record has already placed a spot in our Top Records of 2015 list and we can’t wait to hear more material from these alt-rockers. To learn more about the album, dive into our exclusive interview as we discuss their different music tastes, recording with an additional member, wild crowds, bowling techniques, and meeting Game of Thrones’ Littlefinger.
AMBY: Drenge! It’s so nice to finally have you on the website. Cheers for your time today.
DRENGE: Thank you.
AMBY: You recently released your second record Undertow, which was recorded in your hometown of Sheffield. For our readers at home, tell us a bit about the experience you had creating the new album.
DRENGE: It’s a bit of a departure from the first record and we’ve added some more sounds and instruments. We’ve gotten better at our instruments and better at song writing. It’s a bit more of a thought out record than an instinctive approach.
AMBY: On this record, for the first time you decided to feature a third member, Rob Graham. What was the dynamic like having an additional member?
DRENGE: It’s nice to have someone who cares about what I do on stage and in the room rather than just my stereotypical front-man brother who’s all about himself. It makes us a little bit more tighter and louder as it’s all supposed to do. Instead of trying to play loud and cover everything over two instruments we can relax and think about our parts a little bit more.
AMBY: You also joined forces with producer Ross Orton. How did he have an impact or influence on the creation of the album?
DRENGE: We worked with him on the first record and didn’t really know how a studio worked or anything like that so we let him take the reins. For this one we knew a little bit more about how a studio worked and we felt more comfortable asking the things that we wanted to happen and just to experiment a bit more rather than feeling scared we were going to do the wrong thing. It was more of a conversation with Ross about what we wanted the next time around rather than him sort of telling us what he was doing, which was helpful.
AMBY: Growing up together, what was your music taste like? Did you both listen to different genres of music or were you kind of on the same page?
DRENGE: We both got into things like Blink-182 and Green Day when we were really young and then I started listening to a load of weird stuff like jazz and played a lot of different bands that I remember. Eoin would listen to guitar bands. It has still kind of stayed that way now. Eoin still listens to mostly guitar stuff, where I will still venture out a little bit more.
AMBY: Do you think that helped with the recording process – that fact that you had those different nuances from each brother and that kind of made the recording easier?
DRENGE: Yea, I think so, it kind of helps build each song with the parts; coming to the song with different approaches. It makes it a little bit more unique as if we were looking at it in the same perspective.
AMBY: You’re currently touring in support of the album! I know all of my staffers who have gone to the shows have had a blast, but for you both; how have the shows been treating you?
DRENGE: Really, really good. It’s great to be back on the road because we haven’t toured for while. Its loads of fun to be back on tour and going to all these places we haven’t been to for a while and the shows really good. The crowds have been pretty wild. We’re just having a good time!
AMBY: Awesome. Something I love is how your Twitter account has you both down as “fraternal goofballs”. What does the band like to do for fun while touring and what are some jokes or goofy things that has happened to you?
DRENGE: We had a night off last night in Bristol and we went bowling, and I turned out to be pretty good. I actually won the first game which was a bit of a shock and a surprise to me, but a huge compliment to myself because I didn’t know I was that good! I actually got a strike, which I’m not sure has ever happened in my life, and I learned this special bowling technique this guy told me. Well, I didn’t learn it, but I leaned about it and it’s called “The Whip” [laughs]. You bowl straight and right at the end the ball whips in and you get a strike. But I can’t do that, but I’ll work my way up to it though.
AMBY and DRENGE: [laughs]
AMBY: A few weeks back, you Tweeted “never start a band if you like prime time television.” While gigging, which shows would you say you miss catching live the most when you know its Sunday night and your favourite show is on but you have a gig? Which are you missing?
DRENGE: I don’t really watch TV on TV, I’m more of a on demand person just because I’m a child of the twenty-first century. I’m excited about Game of Thrones but I don’t want to watch all of the leaked episodes yet because I think another drought, like a month long drought of Game of Thrones, would be really bad for me. I don’t know if I could deal with it so I’m going to try to pace myself a little bit.
AMBY: Do you have a favourite character on the show?
DRENGE: I don’t know! We met Littlefinger in real life, and he was presenting this music TV show that we had played on in Ireland and because I’m such a forgetful person I left my drumsticks there and he personally flew them back! So I have had Littlefinger’s little fingers all over my drumstick bag. But, I have lost it since because I’m that forgetful.
AMBY: Being that we are talking about television shows, if you could have your music featured in any show or film, which would you like it to be in?
DRENGE: I would be intrigued with Game of Thrones to be honest because they kind of thrust you up, don’t they? That one Icelandic band was on it, what are they called now?
AMBY: Oh yea, Sigur Rós.
DRENGE: Yea, that’s the one, well done! For that wedding scene didn’t they dress up and play a little tune? Well basically I’d like to dress up as some Dothraki band and play some Dothraki pop-rock at a Dothraki party.
AMBY and DRENGE: [laughs]
AMBY: Fantastic! I know that the band takes great pride with being from Sheffield. What’s your favourite thing about your hometown?
DRENGE: It’s just the perfect size, so you’ve got the best community there because there’s a load of people you know there. It’s kind of like a very big village so everyone the whole music scene is very close knit. So you can be walking down the street and bump into tons of different people who have got loads of different interesting stuff going on. It’s just kind of like the whole sort of vibe about it which is hard to explain.
AMBY: To get a gist of who you are listening to, if you could curate your own festival lineup, who would you like to be part of that lineup?
DRENGE: It would probably start with Kanye West and work downwards. Glastonbury is probably closest this year and I’m not sure how I feel about the Foo Fighters, I don’t know.
AMBY: You’re not a Foos fan?
DRENGE: I’m not sure I’m a fan actually. Everyone says Dave Grohl is the nicest guy but I don’t know if I really like nice guys. I like people like Kanye who make really bold statements.
AMBY: To wrap things up, what’s something about Drenge that most of your fans wouldn’t know yet?
DRENGE: Sometimes I think we run out of things to say about ourselves. Maybe all our information is out there. We’re way more boring than anyone could perceive, so I guess that’s probably already out there, everyone knows that by now.
AMBY: Well thank you for your time today, we really appreciate it.
DRENGE: Thank you so much for talking to me!
Thank you Drenge, for giving us your answers!
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Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout