In our latest interview we were able to chat on the phone with Rory Loveless from Sheffield indie duo, Drenge. The pair of brothers are about to embark on a UK tour with female rock duo, Deap Vally and have recently been recognized for making their own music videos for some of their songs, including ‘Dogmeat’ and ‘People In Love Make Me Feel Yuck’. Rory talked to us about their future plans, their musical upbringing, and some of their own favourite upcoming bands.
“We just play drums and guitar and sing”
We asked Rory how the guys were feeling about their upcoming UK tour with Deap Valley. “I don’t know, a little nervous I guess ’cause we haven’t met them yet, but from what I’ve heard, they’re pretty hardcore and we’re just two kids from the country who just you know do nothing apart from play guitar and drums and they seem pretty all out rock ‘n’ roll.”
Drenge seems to use a combination of different sounds to achieve a successful and awesome result so we asked Rory if he thought any of their influences came through in their music. “We listen to all kinds of stuff really and I don’t know what comes through and what doesn’t. Like, I listen to a lot of jazz and I don’t know how much of that comes through and people tell me the drums sound a bit jazzy, but then we get people saying, ‘Oh you sound like Fugazi but I’ve never listened to any Fugazi, and I don’t know, my brother listens to more soothing music so yeah I guess it does for him, but for me I don’t think it does.”
Rory describes the inspiration and thought-process behind the band’s self-made video for ‘Dogmeat’. ‘There’s a lyric in there that goes, “West Street girlies dance like this”. West Street is this street in Sheffield that’s got all the clubs and bars and it’s just full of drunk people. So we just thought, we’re going to go out and film that for our music video and we did. We went out and it was a bit too early so there were either people who were really drunk and most people were just sober so we got about two minutes of footage which is about the length of the song. We managed to stretch it out.”
Rory explains his and Eoin’s upbringing and how they got into playing music together. “Our dad plays sax and listens to a lot of jazz so I stole a couple of his records, our mum not so much. We used to go to piano lessons together when we were four and five years old and just kind of played music ever since then, so it kind of grew up from there. Eoin went onto guitar and I went on to drums. And just continued playing music together really and we’re still doing it now.”
Although Drenge only have a few songs out at the moment, we asked what influences the writing process for the brothers. “I think Eoin usually gets in a bad mood and goes ‘I’ll just take this riff that I come up with now and put some bad mood lyrics to it and just be in a bad mood’, and sometimes we’ll come up with like a really happy song. There’s no real formula for writing songs I don’t think. They just seem to happen in different ways.”
Rory explains the differences and similarities in the boys’ musical tastes. ‘We mostly agree on what’s good and what’s bad, but now and then I’ll play something to Eoin and he’ll just leave the room and I’m the same for Eoin as well. There’s some pretty bad things that we listen to, that we just can’t agree on. There’s this song by Drake called ‘Say Something’ that Eoin just harps on about and I just, I’m not into that.
We asked if, being brothers, the guys have any hobbies that they like to do when they’re not playing music together. “Yeah we make a zine, which hopefully we’ll be making a few copies for the tour. I don’t know, I mean watching like box-sets is pretty awesome, I guess but it’s not really a hobby is it? We’re just boring people and it’s all we do. We just play drums and guitar and sing and watch box-sets and make zines and do nothing else. I do a bit of drawing but it’s not really serious.”
We mentioned that we weren’t going to ask any questions about the Gallagher brothers (Oasis) and Rory seemed relieved. “Oh no, that’s such an awful question,” he says. However we asked if they had a favourite famous duo, related or not. “A famous duo? I was gonna say The Chuckle Brothers but they’re not actually that good are they? That’s just like a quirky answer, they’re actually pretty awful. The Two Ronnies. Laurel and Hardy; we’ll settle with that, Laurel and Hardy.”
Drenge just finished two weeks of recording so Rory explains to us when we might be able to hear the result. “I think the end of may or early June, something like that but that is like a really flexible answer. We actually have no idea but hopefully they’ll be out before summer is in it’s full swing.”
We asked if there were any up-and-coming bands that they guys are into and would want to share with us. “There’s a couple from Sheffield; Blood Sports they’re like a three-piece like African vibes punk noise band who are pretty cool doing their own thing. Flaming Skulls who are a bit metal and are just rock and roll as hell. Desert Motel Club are what Eoin recommends. I haven’t seen them but from what I’ve heard they’re pretty good. That’ll do for now.”
Finally, Rory explains what’s next for Drenge. “Hopefully we’ll be playing a few festivals but I don’t know which ones I can say we’re doing. We’re doing Bestival but we haven’t been announced for any others I don’t think like Great Escape in Brighton, and Beacons. Yeah just playing a couple more gigs and then who knows? Hopefully there will be a new album out!”