“There’s not enough help”: Drenge on their third album and the state of DIY music in the UK

"Wherever's there's people who are interested in music, there will always be DIY scenes."

Drenge have discussed how their third album proved to be one of their biggest challenges to date – and why the UK government risks destroying the country’s DIY music scene.

Ahead of releasing third album ‘Strange Creatures’ later this month, drummer Rory Loveless explained how a severe case of writer’s block resulted in a gap of over three years since their last LP.

“When we finished touring the last album we’d run out of ideas. We had no ideas for songs and didn’t know how to write any more because our tastes had changed,” drummer Rory Loveless told NME.

“We were at a loss and it took a while to get through this writer’s block before we slowly started working on demos and just getting nowhere. Eventually, we found studio time with Ross [Orton] producer and it didn’t feel right. It felt like a slog but we got there eventually and here it is! Ready to be born into the world.”

In May, the Loveless brothers will head to Live at Leeds Festival.  Asked for his tip of who to check out at the city festival, he replied : “I’ve been listening to Goat Girl. They’re playing there and I’m really into them.”

Drenge

But while Live at Leeds might show there’s still a healthy appetite for city festivals, Rory warns that the closure of independent venues could affect city festivals – and the UK’s music scene in general.

“Wherever’s there’s people who are interested in music, there will always be DIY scenes and music going on. But I’ll say that councils and the government definitely have a duty to protect and engage with these scenes because it’s what makes these cities great,” he explained.

“Especially places like Sheffield, where they’re not getting enough help and it’s getting harder and harder to keep these things going. But it’s always been that way, venues get set up and then they’re shut down.

“Bands just always find new little places to start up in. We need some more help with it because there just isn’t enough being done and there’s so much emphasis on building super flats in Sheffield at the moment, but you then lose light of why people want to come here. It’s mainly for the fantastic labels and venues that have been set up here and the sense of community and DIY spirit.”

Rory also remains hopeful about the state of UK music in general. As well as championing Goat Girl, he says that small steps are being taken to ensure gender diversity.

“I don’t think the challenges are over yet, but we’re definitely getting somewhere. I saw that Primavera line-up and they have their 50 percent of female acts. I thought that was cool. You need to make an effort rather than make it happen naturally or say that we’re in a post-sexist world,” he explained.

“You need to put the effort in and shout about it. We’re definitely getting there and it’s been so refreshing seeing so many cool and genuinely talented female bands. It’s really exciting.”

Live At Leeds take place on Saturday May 4. You can buy tickets here.