Drainland are a band based in Dublin, Ireland. They play loud and intense down-tuned hardcore. Al cornered Jamie and Cory who were nice enough to answer a few questions for us. Listen while you read! www.myspace.com/drainlanddublin
Who makes up the band, how long have you been together and what has been the main driving force behind the music?
Jamie: I think as Drainland we’ve been together since maybe October/November 2006, though Cory and I have been playing together since February that year. We were originally called “Eight Types of Destruction” and played one gig under that name before scrapping all those songs, getting Aongus on guitar and changing the name. Colin replaced our old drummer Bushie in February 07,and we had a singer called Liadain who we parted with in February 08, which led to Cory and I taking over on vocals. So right now we’re Jamie-guitar and vocals, Cory-bass and vocals, Colin -Drums and Aongus -guitar and vocals.
Cory: I asked Jamie if I could join in early 2006 while having coffee in my house…. we were neighbours.
Jamie: Driving force? emm. I dunno really. We’re not like some bands who have a political agenda to push or something like that. Possibly being really, really angry all the time is a driving force I suppose, haha.. We’re definitely all using this band as a form of anger management I think it’s safe to say! I think what’s driving us nowadays is an interest in trying to create our own little personal aesthetic, by trying to ensure that the music, lyrics and imagery we use all compliment each other and mean something to us – it’s something we’re still working on to be honest, which I’ll go into in more detail later on. We don’t want to be a cookie-cutter hardcore band ticking all the little genre boxes, singing about the same old shit and having the token black & white photos of war/riot porn/shorthaired lads rubbing up against each other to sing along with some twat in shorts. Personally, hardcore has become hugely uninteresting to me over the last few years because of it’s increasingly formulaic nature, and the fact it’s become very polished, soulless and genre specific. It feels very much like a popularity contest at the moment or a pissing contest maybe. I got into it out of feeling alienated, and feeling like an outcast, and quite frankly the majority of folks involved in it nowadays are the kind of people I got into hardcore to get away from. So for me, what drives me is making music that’s got that weird, ugly, outsider kind of feeling to it and that makes “scenester” type kids feel a little uneasy or alienated by it. Which is all very petty I know, but it’s true. I don’t know if the other three will share my sentiments on that front.
Tell us about your upcoming releases if you will, your doing a number of splits, how did they come about?
Jamie: Okay this is the upcoming (i.e. recorded) stuff so far: Split 7″ with Battle of Wolf 359 Split Lp with Cradle Is Casket Split 7″ with Dead in the Woods Demo reissue on cd/tape
The cd of the demo is being done by Test Subject from Australia, which is my friend Pete’s (who plays in the godly doom band Whitehorse) label for grind/hardcore – he asked if he could do a proper cd of it and we said yes , and have added original versions of two songs we recorded with Lid before she left (which we rewrote lyrics for and re-recorded for the BOW split after she left) and a remix thing by our friend Brian Coniffe which is a 14 minute dark ambient piece he constructed out of samples of us. Our mate Graham from Limerick is doing a tape version, which we approached him about because quite frankly, tapes are great. In most cases the splits came about because the other bands asked us!BOW359 came about from me mailing Sam & Derek back and forth about random shit and just really liking each others’ bands – I think we kinda joked about it then it was like “well, let’s actually do it”, and I’m delighted to be sharing a record with them cos they’re amazing both musically and as people. We played the UK with them twice and it was a joy to watch them. CIC came about via some myspace banter after hearing them and mailing Chas back and forth, and Dead in The Woods I actually asked Henry about because in addition to thinking they’re superb, Henry and Andy have been friends of mine for a very long time and bands we’d been in had talked about doing splits before but it never worked out.
We’ve a few more splits planned, with Harasser and Cold Grey Dawn amongst others. We like splits. A lot. So generally if someone asks us, unless it’s a band we just don’t like, we’ll say yes. We’re also really into the idea of doing splits with bands from outside the punk/hc scene. Personally, I like the collaborative/community sense of working with people on releases, it’s what DIY is about. Having said that though, we would like to so some stuff of our own too, to have a bit more space on record to fuck around with. So we’d like to do a full length of some sort in 2009 fingers crossed.
You’ve played around Ireland a couple of times and been to the U.K. Where have some of your favourite gigs been? Strange tour stories?
Cory: strange tour stories… Colin telling some guy named Luas that there was a tram named after him in Dublin… Jamie’s obscure order and tripping with Aongus after a gig in Boston, England.
Jamie: My favourite gig was Curmudgeon in Leeds last year, hands down. Great mix of hardcore and noise bands, great atmosphere, and we played alright I think. Playing Colin’s birthday last month to approximately 7 people in his house on a Sunday afternoon, and getting to do noise during parts of the songs instead of playing guitar was also a lot of fun. As far as strange tour stories, none really. I could write a thesis on Colin’s incessant (and worryingly loud) farting, Cory’s inability to shut the fuck up while I’m sleeping and Aongus’ propensity for pissing on cars, but I won’t.
Your lyrics seem to me, to deal a lot with the idea of “failing humanity” and our absurd attempts to change what we cant. Could you talk a little about your influences and inspirations.
Jaime: Yes, I’m chuffed you’ve picked up on that Al, thank you – at least somebody’s fucking reading them. To be more specific they’re very much about attempts to change personal situations, or personality traits – very localised and specific things rather than some, like, “the world is doomed and only we can save it” type of thing. I don’t deal in any kind of mass polemics like that (well. apart from “Rebuilding Salem” which was inspired by the West Memphis Three and the idea of the fact that media led witchhunts are horrific), and I also try and keep things as amoral as possible – there’s no “this is right, this is wrong”, more “this is what happened, what do you think?”. I only started writing lyrics for Drainland after Lid left, and I had a week to write them all. Consequently the first batch – the BOW and CIC split tracks – are a little bit scattered and rushed but they do for the most part all share a common thread of desperation.
A couple of them centre around the idea of taking an extreme measure to try and remedy a bad situation, and that measure backfiring really, really badly. Like “All Aboard the Black Ark” was inspired by a couple of suicides I heard about in Waterford when I was a kid, where some folks on E threw themselves into the water and drowned – it was death by misadventure where a need for escapism in this boring little town unfortunately led to them dying. Or “Limb Template” is another example – it’s about someone who’s unhappy with their own body to the point where they develop this compulsion to have plastic surgery, and it goes wrong leaving them sort of disfigured. That was inspired by the double whammy of seeing a documentary about people who are addicted to plastic surgery and re-watching “the Elephant Man” over the course of the same weekend. So in terms of inspiration, it can kind of come from anywhere really, mainly though from stuff I’ve encountered first hand or just weird shit you read about or see on TV. If you’re fishing for me to drop some names of folks whose writing or whatever I admire – well, my favourite lyricists are folks like William Bennett, Michael Gira, Lydia Lunch, some of Rollins’ stuff, Nick Cave, JR Hayes, Tim Singer, and (believe it or not) Blake Schwarzenbach. And in terms of writers I’m a huge fan of Dennis Cooper, Hubert Selby Junior, Raymond Carver, as well as books like “Apocalypse Culture” and things of that nature. I like things that are challenging. I’m getting ready to write new lyrics, so currently the stuff that’s been eye-opening (many of them for all the wrong reasons obviously): George Exoo, Candace Newmaker, the Baader Meinhoff Gang, Josef Fritzel, Armin Mewies, The Jersey Orphange, Issei Sagawa, child abduction, secret societies and doomsday cults, Trevor Watson’s bondage photography & weird amateur porn weblogs, old grindhouse/horror movies, the occult (specifically Israel Regardie and Aleister Crowley)..generally the darker underbelly of humanity. Generally these things leave me feeling uneasy, but also make me think and fascinate me. How all of them are going to be filtered through my brain and onto paper for the next bunch of songs, I’ve no idea. That’s part of the fun though. I can promise you though, these are not things I have any interest in either glamorising or condemning – just presenting.
Cory: the band struggling to stay alive after all the line up changes….it’s hard
Outside of Drainland what do you guys do to keep yourselves busy?
Cory: Play in other bands! but the rest of them suck!!!! HA HA…not really.
Jamie: I write for zines when I have time – mainly Bad Acid and the Devil on 45, and I’m in the throes of doing some of my own. I occasionally do OVER which is me making noise stuff with some pedals, a guitar, a mic and a very basic four track. I sometimes sell records at gigs and put out records on Knifethrower (upcoming: Mob Rule/Crowd Control 7″, Brian Conniffe tape and Carosah 10″) – but I’ll be stopping that soon probably, having neither the time nor money. Oh, also play in TARD (www.myspace.com/tardviolence ) with Aongus which is short, ridiculous fast hardcore.
Your plans for the coming months?
Jamie: We’re kind of on hiatus till later this year I think, as Colin’s going away to the States for the summer. So none, beyond waiting for records to come out and people being busy with their other projects. Come winter though, we’ll be writing. Lots.
Recommended listening: who has been splitting your ear drums as of late? List a few bands if you will that we should be checking out.
Jamie: Honestly, you’ll laugh at this, but I’ve been listening to a lot of Phil Collins era Genesis lately – nostalgia is a wonderful if not an embarrassing thing – ditto a lot of Nirvana, Veruca Salt, Chavez, Soundgarden and Swervedriver. New Harvey Milk is superb, one of my favourite bands ever. Besides that, mainly (primarily old) death and thrash metal for me at the moment – Sorcery, Wehrmacht, Gibbed, Carbonized, Macrodex, Beherit, Shub Nigurath, Goreaphobia, Rottrevore, stuff like that from the early 90s, and some newer bands (Dead Congregation, Karnarium, Funerary Pit, Necrovation)..Saw a band called Skeletonwitch last night who were great fun, so I’ll be listening to their album tonight.. other than that Burial Hex’s is amazing, as are all the recent Gnaw Their Tongues releases. Strict’s “Kiss” Lp is great too if you like harsh noise. I’m also completely obsessed with Blank Dogs at the moment who lay this kinda synth-based, melancholic post punk that’s amazing. hardcore-wise the only things that have jumped out at me recently have been the Baader Brains album, and that new Endless Blockade Lp “Primitive” -both of these are absolutely essential for anyone who likes to have their brain engaged as well as their ears. Grinding Halt’s LP is fantastic as well, and there’s a band from the states called SFN I really like too…Mob Rule from the UK, possibly one of the best hc bands in the world at the moment. Locally, I’d recommend some new(ish) bands: Exploding Birds, Trenches, Dwell in Sun, Wretch, On Pain of Death, These Are the Clouds, Ghundi, Carosah, Nephridium. I could go on all day. Listen to Voivod.
For more info or to leave abuse to go: www.myspace.com/drainlanddublin