How Brooding Band The Drowners Managed To Make A Fun Album
For a band that likes to eschew their style icon status, Drowners make for a very stylish group.
In the upscale rock and roll venue Rose Bar, the New York based band could very easily be mistaken for the leather jacket clad audience that make up the crowd. However, when the music starts, it becomes instantly clear why Drowners are the punk rock group of the moment, and it isn’t just because they have been Harry Styles approved.
Former YSL model Matt Hitt, Erik Lee Snyder, Jack Ridley and their newest drummer Daniel Jacob sat down with Galore at the Standard Hotel to talk about their new album On Desire, their upcoming tour, and how four brooding introverts still manage to have fun.
Galore: How does performing in London compare to performing in New York?
Erik: Uk crowds are rowdier. Londoners like to party.
Jack: In New York you just fold your arms and judge.
You guys just came out with On Desire. How does it differ from your previous release?
Matt: Slightly darker and a bit more mature.
Erik: The last one was just like bashing it out. This one is a lot more musical. It’s more structured.
Daniel: We had more of a vision with this record. Everyone’s personality shows through in it.
Matt: The first one was kind of a fluke. Basically, just a recording of our live show. We just kind of nerded out and experimented with this one.
Why do you guys consider yourselves post-punk?
Erik: It’s an easy way to describe coming out of punk roots. We all grew up with that influence.
Matt: It’s really just an easy way to state our common ground. Our live show is very rooted in that attitude. I would describe post-punk as punk, but with the brains injected in it. It’s more accurate than describing it as acid jazz. It’s good song writing, quality melody but rooted in a fuck you attitude. We just can’t get rid of that attitude. That’s very much within us.
Daniel: It’s hard to put a label on it. But we are definitely influenced by the punk music scene of the 80’s.
How did you guys meet?
Erik: Me and Jack met Matt separate.
Matt: I moved here 5 years ago. None of us were technically in bands at that point and we basically just went through a revolving door of drummers before Daniel joined. It was kind of like starting from scratch since we had never written together before.
Daniel: I joined the band at the tail end of the tour cycle of the last record. Eric and I are super old friends.
How would you describe each of your members?
Erik: Brooding Jewish introvert.
Daniel: Existential crisis.
Matt: Brooding Catholic Introvert.
Jack: Neurotic anxious person.
Matt: We all share that! We find that that sort of personality is best reflected in a minor key which is what most of this album is written in. We are all pretty dark people.
Erik: We all also like to have a good time and party though. We wanted to make a record that people can move to so that definitely got reflected.
Matt: That juxtaposition is what I like most in pop music. For instance, “He kissed me and it felt like a hit.” That light and dark thing combined. The Smiths do a lot of that where it sounds happy, but it’s actually sad. We are all very sad people with an appetite for fun.
What are your thoughts on your style icon status?
Erik: Very fashionable people tend to go to our shows. Sometimes we’ll just check the front row and do a little critique.
Matt: Right? Like we’ll go, “maybe the sandal is having a moment!”
Jack: I think we just dress like normal New Yorkers.
Matt: I also kind of like the idea of a uniform. Just an outfit that we keep coming back to. I don’t think we have a style, we just have a few items of clothing that we like to wear.
What’s coming next?
Daniel: Traveling, performing, and working on our next album!
Photographed by Amanda Lang at the Standard Highline.