Drown – Interview

UK emo-grunge outfit DROWN are causing a stir with their energetic alt-rock. The rising grunge punks have revealed their blistering new single and video, Butterflies. Watch the video, here – https://youtu.be/YqwRUwqQEZc . With all of this in mind, we had a chat with the guys to catch up:

What is the full band line-up, who sings and who plays which instrument?

Billy Hills – vocals, rhythm guitar
Sam Harry – lead guitar
Will Whitehead – bass guitar
Ben Harrison – drums.

How and when did the band form?

We formed in late 2021 after each being frustrated with our previous efforts at being in bands. Sam and Billy had been writing together over the lockdown, and Ben and Will had each been in and out of playing music for a few years.

When and how did the band really start gelling and solidifying?

We’d played for a few weeks before we wrote More Life, which felt like the first truly collaborative effort. As a jumping-off point, More Life helped us understand where each other were coming from and helped us settle what we liked and didn’t like. Since then every song we’ve written together has been stronger than the last.

Who are your musical influences?

Deftones, Title Fight, Reuben. Any non-ska Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater band. Anything that critics would sneeringly label post-grunge. Anything that critics would lovingly label ‘grunge revival’. Grunge in general.

Where did the name of the band come from?

It refers to all of our favourite bands at once. To Will, it’s the name of a Smashing Pumpkins song. To Ben, it’s the name of a Bring me the Horizon song. To Sam, it’s a Counterparts song. I think Billy thinks it’s a Three Days Grace song.

How far back does your history with each other (the band members) extend?

Sam and Billy have known each other for years, since playing in local bands in and around Cambridge. Ben and Will each knew Sam but not each other before the band. Sam, Will and Billy all played in bands on the same bill at the University of Essex in 2018 despite never having met before.

Are you friends from school or any family relations?

No, we all grew up in different places and happened to converge in the same-ish area at the right time. Divine intervention.

Where have you played or toured?

We’ve played Cambridge, Norwich, Hertford, St Albans, London, Hitchin. We’ve played with awakebutstillinbed and Jamie Lenman as well as recognised local bands such as Spirit Fountain, Prey Drive and Youth Illusion.

In your opinion, how is your band different from all the other bands out there?

We’re not afraid to wear our uncool influences on our sleeve. If we write a riff that sounds like Nickelback, we keep it in. There’s something to be taken from even the cheesiest 00s alt-rock and by admitting that, we don’t draw from the same five or six ‘cool’ bands that have been deemed good enough to influence.

If a deaf person were to ask you to describe the sound of your music, how would you describe it?

If Elliott Smith was a WWE wrestler, this is what he’d walk out to.
It sounds like crying in your car outside your girlfriend’s house.
Like hearing all your friends having a party that you weren’t invited to.
Like no one catching you when you stage dive.
If Deftones had erectile dysfunction.
It sounds like being out with your friends and remembering your dog’s about to be put down.
It sounds like looking at photos of yourself on a night out and realising you had ketchup round your mouth the whole night.

It sounds like you turned all the pent-up anger from your teenage years inwards.
It sounds like heartbreak you can dance to.
If depression was catchy.

Where can we find your social media sites?

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5jtJty0a0WTqR6to7vRE16?si=D8hYDrcQTtS6ek57oXTV6Q

Instagram: @drownbanduk
Facebook: @drownbanduk

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