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Three Days In California With The Drums - Day 1

By Jaimie Hodgson

Posted on 22 Nov 09

 
 

I went to California last Wednesday to join The Drums as they went about three busy days in the winter sun, on their way to becoming the most talked about new band on the planet.

Jacob (guitar, tamborine) and Adam (guitar) picked me up with their manager Aimee from LAX airport. We drove straight from the airport to a town about an hour outside of Los Angeles called Riverside. There, Jon (vocals) and Connor (drums) were working on the drum tracks for their upcoming album with producer Jason Martin. En route we worked our way from A to F of the band's encyclopedia of twee '80s indie. When we got there we discovered that Jason lives in a special gated community, it was not like anything I'd really seen before.







In fact the only thing I've seen that compared to Jason's neighbourhood was the one in Edward Scissorhands

Once we got to Jason's we went up to his studio room and had a playback session. This was the first time anyone in or out of the band had heard recordings with actual live drums on them, previously they'd all been programmed. This is a brand new song called, 'The Future'. Jon said he wants it to end the album. If you listen carefully you can hear Adam clasp Jon's shoulder and say, "It's a great song" in a really cute, buddy-like manner and Jon reply, "Thanks man." It's actually a really touching moment.



The boys wanted to use Jason because as kids they were all obsessed with his band Starflyer 59. They're a long-standing underground indie-rock institution in the States, and have gone through various incarnations over the years - some shoegazey, some more discordant, some more downbeat and lo-fi. They're one of the pillars of the Tooth & Nail Christian label, who with bands like MXPX forged a vaguely credible Christian music scene in the US. As both Jon and Jacob were raised by devout Christians, they were one of the few cool bands they were allowed to play at home. As we were leaving Adam brought Jason over a vinyl copy of the first SF59 album that he'd packed especially for him to sign. Seriously, the cute-o-meter was kicking into overdrive by this point...



Afterwards we went to a Mexican restaurant called Don Jose's for some food. Jon ordered some really noisy sizzling shrimp. I ordered something called the Ultimate Chimichanga - it's the intimidating looking log at the start...



Then we all went back to our LA hotel. We all crammed into Eren and Ruthy, their backing singers' room. The gang had to pack for tomorrow's midday outdoor university show. They actually have one giant communal 'kitbag'. Like, Team Drums. Suddenly there were lots of clothes absolutely everywhere...



 
 
 
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