Soundsphere sits down with Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows‘ (D.R.U.G.S) members Nick Martin and Matt Good on the back of releasing their self-titled debut album. They discuss their love of the new project, the directions that they plan to take, upcoming news for the band, and more…
“We just want to spread the word on D.R.U.G.S”
S] So D.R.U.G.S is a brand new project, how are you all feeling about Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows?
NM] “It’s amazing, I’ve never loved my environment and the people I’ve been with this much. The best part about it is that obviously the music is amazing but I think above that we’re all just great friends, which makes for a much better experience for being in a band together.”
S] You’ve all come from a medium level rock band background. This project seems bigger and more powerful than anything that’s come before, is that how you guys are feeling it?
NM] “I don’t know. I think we kind of walked into the situation wanting it to be at the highest level possible but that is not ultimately what our goal is. Obviously any successes that we have are amazing but we know that we made a great record when the people around us love it and I think that means the world to us. Anything after that is just icing on the cake really. But yeah, that goes for any job that anyone has in life: of course you want to be the best at it and you want to work your way up and reach as high a level as possible. That’s what we’d love to do, if we could be the biggest rock band in the world, yeah, let’s do it! If not, we still love what we do either way.”
MG] “It is funny, I think in particular with the heavy rock music scene the fans have this weird way of wanting you to constantly settle for mediocrity, I don’t know why. They say, That band were cool until they got big’. Why the f*** aren’t they cool now? You should be happy for them, they’ve worked their asses off, they’ve spent years on the road, missing the people they love and working as hard as they can. To obtain the same goal as you’re doing in your life, just in a different medium. I don’t understand where the criticism comes into play, it’s never made sense to me.”
S] You’re right, there are loads of bands like Avenged Sevenfold whose old school fans have vanished because they’ve grown and made new music and ultimately become a massive rock band!
MG] “Exactly, they’ve made it just because they were smart. I still love that band a ton!”
S] So, for any fans of your previous bands – what’s different about D.R.U.G.S for each of you?
NM] “It’s a completely different vibe and ultimately it’s just different people. You’re surrounded by a completely different environment to what you previously were which is, at least for me, a lot better than what I was in before. I feel like everyone really pushes 110 per cent in this band whereas in my previous project it was imbalanced with how much people actually committed to the band. I feel like with this one, everyone is fully on board so it makes for a much crazier experience because everyone loves it just as much as you do – it makes for being in a more awesome band with more awesome dudes.”
S] You gave gradual teasers to the fans, hyping them up via the internet videos so that they were ready to explode for the album – a few weeks on, has the reaction on tour been the one you were hoping for?
NM] “It’s been extremely effective. We wanted to push the marketing standpoint of the band as hard as possible. Every facet that we could whether it was on the internet or every other social medium we had access to, it’s been successful. The kids have been very responsive and they definitely love all the material we put out for them, anything that someone can walk away with and be stoked on and make them come on out to shows is perfect. I think it’s definitely helped us a ton. We just obviously wanted to do the best we could to hype the band.”
MG] “We knew we had to deliver, and we wrote the record that delivers what we wanted to do.”
S] Would you say that most of the people coming along to the gigs are fans of bands you’ve been in previously or has something dragged them in from elsewhere?
NM] “Yeah, it’s a great thing. I think we were worried that kids weren’t going to be as receptive, because the bands we were in previously had fizzled out. But all the previous fans from the bands we were in have been really awesome. We’ve definitely been noticing it at all the shows, kids coming up and saying they love what we did before but they really love what we’re doing now.”
MG] “Definitely, as for all the internet hype, it was only so that we could all pick up where we left off right away so that we could start moving forward rather than taking steps back and catching up again. All we were really doing was telling people we were in a band. All it really was us saying: “Hey we’re in a band together and we want you all to know about it.”
NM] “We had to build some anticipation into it. It’s good to be smart about the way you do things. We didn’t want to blow our load immediately, it’s like a slow f***.”
MG] “Without the prior fans from our previous bands we wouldn’t have had such a strong start, which is cool but we’re definitely hoping that we can start transcending that bubble and keep growing. I want to be the CEO of alternative rock music.”
S] That doesn’t sound like a fun job; it sounds like a desk job?
MG] “No, no, I mean in comparison, as opposed to where I was before. I felt like a branch manager but I want to be at the top.”
NM] “I want to be the Chairman, he’ll be the CEO.”
S] The new album we described as an “out of the ashes, phoenix of an album” in a recent review. Is that how you felt about it?
NM] “Yeah, most definitely – we have that kind of mentality. I don’t even know what to say to that I think that is the best way to put it.”
S] What was the writing process like for you?
NM] “We all ran the gambit of songwriting together. It was two guys in a basement with a couple of acoustic guitars just writing together. Everyone was very equal on the writing parts. Yeah, Craig [Owens, vocals] wrote all the lyrics and we helped him with that a little bit, and the melodies and he helped with some guitar stuff. We all tried to be as hands on as possible with it and it worked out really well in the studio.”
MG] “Nothing worked best, all the different techniques of writing landed us with a song which was equally good to use. Whatever felt right in the moment.”
NM] “It was just about catching the right vibes at the right time with whatever means we were doing to write it, that’s what makes for a great record. I think if we had done it one way only, I don’t think we would have been able to get all the great ideas together.”
S] So when you were making this album what were your own personal influences at the time, what were you listening to?
MG] “Metal. Dubstep.”
S] Anything in particular? Enter Shikari are a pretty unique blend of both metal and dubstep.
NM] “I love that band.”
MG] “I like that band a lot too. They are probably the closest thing to a hybrid of metal and dubstep. I listen to Periphery a lot and as far as dubstep goes I was listening to Scream. Dubstep has a lot of crazy names, I just have a playlist of stuff I like. The band used to make fun of me because when we were staying at the hotel by the studio I would fall asleep at night with the craziest metal blaring in my headphones. It was great.”
NM] “For me, when I’m about to go into the studio environment I try not to listen to a whole lot of other stuff as I don’t want to feel like I might get too influenced by it. But, if I told you what I was listening to, you’d think it has nothing to do with what the sound of our record is. I try to not listen to metal, I try to listen to anything but, to be inspired and somehow filter that through the music in a weird way. I just want to be inspired in as many different ways as possible.”
S] Did you come up with the concepts to your videos and artwork? What kind of artistic input did you have into the process?
NM] “Yeah, we had a sit down meeting in a coffee shop for an hour and thought about the weirdest craziest shit that pertains to the songs and the song titles. We gave it to the artist and he portrayed it perfectly and created this insane painting thing of this crazy world.”
S] Is that the same kind of input with the videos?
NM] “A little bit but I think Craig takes more of the reins on the video stuff because he’s very much into the visual stuff in movies. He loves studying that stuff and watching tons of horror films and things that emotionally stir him a little bit. He likes to bring that over to the video aspect of the band. We have a say in it but he’s definitely the head honcho when we’re doing videos, he always has really great ideas.”
S] I was going to ask you about the tour bus and the stories from it, but you only have a little van parked out back?
NM] “Yeah, we’re punk rock. We want to keep the egos and costs down as much as possible. We all have rent and car payments.”
S] Are there any great collaborations you guys are keen to work on? You guys are on the same label as producer/singer-songwriter Butch Walker – any opportunities for working with him?
NM] “Yeah, our management handles Butch Walker. I’d love to work with him; he’s a great songwriter.”
MG] “I don’t know. I’d love to work with as many musicians and bands as possible.”
NM] “I was always really inspired by this guy [Matt]. I loved everything to do with ‘Heroine’ [From First To Last’s album]. When me and Craig were writing before we even got Matt, we listened to his old record to try and get inspired.”
MG] “Really? That’s cool.”
NM] “There’s definitely some rip-offs going on.”
MG] “…but From First to Last was just a rip-off of Slipknot, Nine Inch Nails and some other stuff.”
NM] “It was a good rip-off, and then we tried to rip it off and then just said fuck it, let’s just try and get him in the band.”
MG] “Honestly, the only people I’d want to work with I wouldn’t work with because it would just be embarrassing. It’d be cool to work with Matt Bellamy [Muse] but Matt Bellamy s**ts all over me as a musician, so I don’t really know if I want to go there. Thom Yorke of Radiohead; the same thing, Maynard [Tool]…same thing.”
S] So perhaps just sharing the same stage with them?
MG] “I don’t even know if I’d do that! When I was in From First To Last, Wes Borland played bass for us for over a year and I remember when he came up to do the record, I was so nervous. The first night we got hammered and we had a solo dual-off on the stage in the studio we were recording at. I smashed my guitar on the ground and destroyed it and we hung out. Then we became great friends and he would say things like “I think you’re so great and you’re a great writer” and I would be like ‘What?!’ Dude I used to listen to Limp Bizkit while I played 1080 Snowboarding on Nintendo 64.”
NM] “I play Limp Bizkit at soundcheck nearly every day.”
MG] “But he taught me how to play the songs the right way. So with that in mind, maybe I could just say Matt Bellamy.”
S] Just in case he’s reading this.
MG] “He’ll be like, “who is this joke? I’m not doing that.””
S] You’re set for a few festivals in America over the next couple of months for which the line-up looks awesome including Black Veil Brides, Enter Shikari and I See Stars. Is there any chance we’ll see you on stage at one of our British festivals this summer? Download or Sonisphere perhaps?
NM] “We have some things lined up but we can’t say anything just yet. Nothing in Europe just yet but we are looking at stuff.”
S] So, what have we got to look forward to from the band? Straight back in the studio or touring like crazy?
NM] “We’re just looking forward to touring. That is our main priority right now. We don’t even want to think or focus on anything else. We just want to play as many shows as possible across the world. We just want to spread the good word on D.R.U.G.S.”
For more information please visit the official website.