Drenge have burst into the indie music scene this past year. Their NME awards show at Tufnell Park Dome was so oversubscribed, they couldn’t fit their friends and family inside. The Edge managed to grab a few minutes of Eoin’s time to chat about the bands upcoming success and new album, Undertow.
How did you guys get interested in music? Was it something you naturally gravitated towards or was there help from an outside source?
It’s something we’ve always enjoyed as listeners and as players. It’s so instrumental to life; I don’t think I could go a week without music. I’m not even sure I could go a day without it. It informs everything I do and helps to realise and understand what’s going on in the world.
You grew up in Castleton, which is pretty isolated; did you enjoy growing up there? Your song ‘Backwaters’ implies it was pretty shit.
It put a hold on any social or professional life that we wanted to have. There are very limited job opportunities in Castleton and the surrounding area. The transport links to the nearest city are quite shitty, so playing/going to shows was quite difficult.
Did you fight over who was going to be the drummer and who was going to be the guitarist?
Haha, I’m really uncoordinated, so I can only just get my head around a guitar let alone a drum kit. I sort of bullied Rory into playing the drums when he was about 11.
When did you decide to seriously commit to being in a band?
Towards the end of 2012; I decided to pass up my studies at University.
Would you say there was a defining moment in your success so far?
Reading Festival has always resonated strongly with us. The two times we’ve played it there’s been an incredible energy.
What’s your favourite song to perform live?
I really love playing Let’s Pretend. We haven’t properly tamed it yet, so some nights it can be really brutal to pull off. Off the new record I really like playing Side By Side.
Do you enjoy having a lot of crowd interaction or are you just in your own world when you’re playing?
I am an appalling entertainer so I keep my words to a minimum when we go onstage. I cringe whenever I see a band and every song is punctuated by some attempt to interact with the crowd. Some people are natural at it, but I hate it.
We had come off a pretty heavy 20 months of touring, both moved to Sheffield and pretty much started the next record. We just worked away at it, taking small breaks to come up with new songs or lyrics for instrumentals that were just backing up.
And what made you choose We Can Do What We Want as the lead single?
It links in nicely with the first album; a bit of a soft introduction to the new record rather than going with something a bit more unusual. It’s also got a stupid chorus so maybe that’s why.
How do you approach songwriting? Do you start with lyrics or instruments?
It’s always instrument before lyrics, I feel like it’s easier to set the tone with the music and then let the words build on or expand the mood of what’s going on.
And, finally, what can we expect from Drenge for the rest of the year?
Touring and festivals and touring; hopefully people will like the album enough to come and see us live.
Written and recorded on tour last year, second album Undertow is released through infectious records on the 6th April 2015. The album is being led by the newly released single ‘We Can Do What We Want’ which is available for instant download for those who pre-order the album.