DRENGE have announced their third album, STRANGE CREATURES, produced by long-time collaborator Ross Orton [Arctic Monkeys, M.I.A, The Fall] will be released on 22 February 2019 via Infectious Music. Ahead of the release of the album and the subsequent tour dates, we spoke to Eoin from the band about touring with his brother, slime and more.
Drenge have announced their third album, Strange Creatures, will be released on 22 February 2019 via Infectious Music with tour dates to follow. As the album nears release, we got on the phone to Eoin from the band to find out more about the album and the year ahead.
1. Thanks for your time. The album is due out in a few weeks, how are preparations going for it?
“They’re going well. I’ve just been writing a piece for a newspaper about intergalactic conversations across the universe involving slime. We’ve been working on this video for our song “Never See The Signs” and we got really interested in slime so we created this parallel universe involving lots of slime. Don’t want to give too much away though!”.
2. Okay, on that note, you put out the “Autonomy” EP at the end of last year, is that a good indication of the rest of the album?
“A bit yes. I think this record is a bit more what we would like to call “normal songs” whereas, before, I think what we did was what we could call “not normal songs” and a bit more electronic influence in there as well. ”
3. What was the recording of the album like as it seems like there was lots of chopping and changing?
“Yes, we did chop and change quite a bit. Part of that was down to some interesting scheduling conflicts where we would be working away then realise that it was our last day in the studio and then it would be weeks or months before we could go back again. We’d hear the songs again for the first time after ages and some of it would work and some of it wouldn’t. I think it was great to be able to take a break, it wasn’t like we were working on it constantly so it gave us the chance to be a bit more reflective on the stuff.”
4. How does the writing process work between you and your brother?
“There’s a bit of working apart from each other then we meet and work through stuff like the structuring and all the boring stuff together then just let it develop in practice and get the band in to see if it works as a live thing then into the studio.”
5. Do you write material with the live show in mind?
“When we started the band we were just playing gigs in all the bars around Sheffield and that’s all you know. I kind of feel that is intrinsic to what this band is about so, even when we go into the studio, the songs may not sound like how they were when we went in, they still come out as songs we can play live.”
6. You’re going out on tour pretty much once the album has come out. What are the pros and cons of touring with your brother?
“Not a lot of cons really. We get on pretty well, maybe we should go in for the tabloid angle a bit more and set up these huge staged arguments in places where there will be lots of people and really play it up to the cameras. It’s quite good really, we just really like hanging out and having a lot of fun really.”
“On this tour, we’re going out as a full band. We’ve got Rob who plays guitars and synths and Ed who is playing bass for us. We did a few gigs as a full band last year but I think it was more to do with the kind of songs we were writing for this record needed an extra pair of hands to help really. It wasn’t a difficult decision to make even though it has only been the two of us, we don’t believe in sticking to the rules too much.”
7. Three albums into your career and it’s been four years since the last album. Why the break?
“I think probably touring lethargy and maybe we needed to take some time out to think about the next thing we were going to do was. It was a stop-start recording process then it was a stop-start promotional process so it’s all added to the time that it has taken and we’re raring to go?”
8. Over that time, how do you feel you’ve grown as writers and as a band?
“We’ve probably calmed down a bit and found what we’re comfortable with as as a band.”
9. Okay, as brothers you must have some interesting stories on each other?
“I think his collection of embarrassing stories on me is bigger than mine on him. It grows every week, I’m just a constant source of amusement on him. The only real thing I have got on him is him falling into a cowpat when we were on a walk once. It was one of those slow motion things where you could see him fall but he couldn’t put his arms out in time to stop him. I was too far away to help him as well and just had to watch the whole thing play out in slow motion. After that there was no amount of tissues in my mums pocket to get the cow poo off his face so we had to spend the next twenty minutes walking to somewhere with fresh water so he could get cleaned up.”
10. On that delightful note, thanks for your time, just to finish what are your plans for the rest of the year?
“We’ve got stuff lined-up but our calendar at the moment has things booked and then huge gaps so it’s an interesting looking one to look at. Last year we played a really nice festival near Thirsk called Deer Shed which was really lovely and small and family-focused and we got a lot more out of playing at that than some of the other ones we’ve played. Hopefully lots of good things lined-up so we shall just have to see.”
Wed 27 GLASGOW Garage
Thu 28 NEWCASTLE Northumbria Institute
Fri 29 MANCHESTER O2 Ritz
Mon 01 CAMBRIDGE Junction
Tue 02 LONDON Electric Brixton
Wed 03 PORTSMOUTH Pyramids Centre
Fri 05 BRISTOL SWX
Sat 06 BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute