Interview with DRAINLAND

You should already know by now that I love Drainland. Their first album is one of my favorite listenings of the last months and their split 10″ with Grinding Halt is an amazing addition to my collection. I had the opportunity to listen to some of their upcoming songs and, guys, believe me, they are going to kick your ass for a VERY long time!

I’ve sent my questions for this interview and Jamie, Cory and Aonghus were so kind to answer to them. Welcome to Drainland.

Q :  Hi guys and thanks for answering to these questions! Is everything fine?

Jamie: Hey Simone!Hah..well..there are thousands of cops in the streets today because the Queen of England is over for a visit and I guess the powers that be are expecting a riot/bombing campaign,which to say the least.The infamous “Dancing Priest” is actually outside where I work right now, boogieing away in protest in fact. But yeah, if you’re reading this then everything’s fine, and we’re not dead.

Cory: Terrible

Q : Can you give us a small bio for the band? Why the name Drainland?

J : The name was picked primarily as a reference to Swans (it’s the name of a Michael Gira solo record). Their attitude to self-annihilation through sound and complete disregard for what their audience wanted were markers for what we wanted to do, so we decided to go with that. It’s taken on other personal meanings since that aren’t really worth discussing.

C : I used to live next door to Jamie. One day he came over to have some coffee and probably sell me records, when he settled that we start a band. The line ups changed and so did the name.

Q : What are your stronger influences?

Jamie: For me it’s not really specific bands as much it is particular movements in underground music that have directly affected how we sound. While there are obviously individual bands who made an impression on me who are completely unique (Swans, Black Flag, Man is the Bastard, early Sonic Youth, Voivod), certain specific musical periods as a whole have seeped their way into our sound I think: For example, I could say Cattlepress or Acme had a direct influence, but it would be more accurate of me to say that it was the whole glut of bands coming out of the Pessimiser/Bovine stable or the Bremen scene more so than just those two bands (I realise there was a couple of years gap between the two but I discovered them together and  can hear parallels in the two). Similarly, the death metal/grindcore scene that grew out of tapetrading was hugely important to me growing up, so was the noise rock thing that sprung up around Touch and Go or AmRep in the late 80s/early to mid 90s, and so were the early experiments coming from the industrial and power electronics movement all over the world in the 80s. I think those have all filtered through to various degrees.

C : Swans and Disembodied.

Aonghus : Man is the Bastard, Black Flag, Celtic Frost, Wolf Eyes, Black Sabbath, Sonic Youth, Void. More and more I’m starting to try to integrate the same kind of sonics you’d hear from people and groups like Harry Pussy, Keiji Haino, Heather Leigh Murray, Derek Bailey and Les Rallizes Denudes in my guitar playing

Q – I really love your visual choices. Where those pictures come from and how they reflect your music?

J : Cheers, we do some of it ourselves (mainly fliers and shirts)using found images, other times people do it for us. I’m not sure the others always agree with me, but I have a definite vision of what goes with our music visually, and it’s a matter of just finding the appropriate image or person that can translate that. My preference personally is for photography that’s gritty and fucked looking, but we  use more hand drawn stuff when it seems more appropriate as well, so for different formats we use different means (eg : a drawing might look better on a shirt than a photo). Visuals are just as important to me as music, and often have specific personal meanings attached that may or may not be clear to outsiders. The images we used on “And So..” both relate to the record in different ways – the vinyl version is from “The Elephant Man”. There’s an explicit reference to Merrick in “Limb Template” and he’s kind of a symbol for some of the ideas on the record. The cd version..we don’t actually know the source of the photo, nor does anyone else we’ve asked (it was sent to us by a  friend who found it uncredited somewhere), but that photo was definitely more of an atmospheric choice than one with a specific meaning. It looks like the record sounds. As far as I’m concerned that’s the primary function of sleeve artwork. Much like lyrics (which I’ll get to later), part of what we do has deliberate intent behind it, part of it is an aesthetic decision. What we do is primarily for us, so other people don’t always need to understand every aspect of it as far as I’m concerned.

Q : Ireland is not famous for extreme music, at least not here, how’s the scene there?

A : I don’t care for ‘extreme’ music over any other type of music nor do I feel that I’m part of a particular scene. Drainland is the first heavy band I ever played in, the music I made before and the music I currently make outside of this band hasn’t a huge crossover with the XTREME music scene.  I’d rather play music with and to a wide range of people rather than one particular subculture. However, this isn’t meant to be negative, I guess I’m just trying to say it’s important not to have a blinkered view when it comes to art, music, or the people you hang out with. Ireland has some great musiclans, bands, and labels, a list of some bands and labels that spring to mind; Electronic Sensoria Band, Council of Tanith, Paul G. Smyth, Wolflinge. Slomatics, Cian Nugent, De Novissimis, Boys of Summer, Dave Lacey, Melodica Deathship, First Blood Part II, United Bible Studies… and labels; Stitchy Press, Invictus Productions, Munitions Family, DotDotDot records.

J : I think what Professor ArtoFarto up there means is that he doesn’t like punk/metal/hardcore so much.I actually compiled a mixtape of some of the better hc/metal bands here recently if anyone wants to check it out : There are tons more I could name but I’d be here all day – I must mention Bacchus, DeNovissimis and Putrefaction (who all have LPs coming out this year),Haud Mundus/Myrkr, Siorai Geimhreadh and Altar of Plagues. Also check out Legion of Two and Melodica Deathship who both operate in the dark electronic/hiphop influenced realm, and anything involving experimental arists Brian Conniffe, Laura Sheeran and Vicky Langan.

Q : For a stupid Italian like me Ireland is the land of drinking, brawling and folk dancing. There is another side of the coin?

C : No.

J : In much the same way that Italy is the land of pasta, Giallo movies and Eros Ramazotti right? [LOL VERY good answer man! ndPete]

Q : I’m seeing that you’re having very good feebacks on your work, how do you feel about it?

J : Hugely indifferent. I honestly couldn’t fucking care less if the other 4 like it most of the time as long as I do. They’re far more concerned with these things than I am.

C : It makes me anxious to see what they make of the new stuff that is currently being pressed. We’re all glad on how the last record came out and quite shocked at the response. People were very into the last record and it seems daunting to live up to the expectations of and so my troubles…. I think we’re just excited that our records are being listened to.

A : It’s nice to feel people are supportive of what you do. However, my favorite reviews and pieces written about us are ones where I can see people have engaged with the music rather than listing off bands and genres they think we sound like or were influenced by (which half of the time I’ve never even heard).

Q : What are the plans for the future?

J : The immediate stuff..we’re doing some gigs in Holand and Germany around CMAR fest next month, should have the split 7″ with Cellgraft out for that, then some local shows with Tombs and The Secret in August and a split LP with Trenches out for that..split 7″ with Crows before year’s end,split somethingorother with Enabler around then too. We’ve started writing an album which I expect will be out next year, so that’s going to be our main focus I think between now and December.

A : Keep trying to write better music. Records and tours often depend on what we’re offered so no imminent rock operas unfortunately.

Q : I can see almost only (if not just ONLY) vinyl records in your discography. It’s just a case or a clear choice?

A : The internet has made cd’s feel a bit redundant, I think it’s easier to sell vinyl to the type of people we play to.

J : Vinyl suits us better in terms of artwork definitely.Plus, our stuff is all quite short and I don’t see us doing a cd again unless we actually have 75 minutes worth of stuff to put on it.Seems like a waste otherwise.

Q : Can you explain your vision on the lyrics? I find them being very dark, is it an hatred against society or more a personal one?

J : Basically neither.  I suppose I just tend to write about things I’m interested in, which could be anything from some religious cults to body image to natural disasters to whatever.. It’s  important to me that the lyrics I write compliment the mood of the music, as music, lyrics and art should all be related. I’ve become more interested lately in writing fictional scenarios in that regard. I always try and write from an amoral perspective where I just present a situation and you have to make up your own mind about it. The idea is the reader should feel uncomfortable enough that they’ll  think about what I’m saying or investigate the subjects  further for themselves. As with everything we do, there are certain things in there that have specific  meanings to me/us that other people probably won’t pick up on, and that’s a very deliberate thing.

A : As a band I don’t think we particularly hate society or people, shit things exist and great things exist too, the shitty things are inevitably more metal.

Q : Ok, thanks for answering and end as you want

C : Thanks for the interview, we’ll be on tour from the 21’st till the 26th of June in Europe

J : Cheers for the interview Pete/Simone. Hail Lucio Fulci, Maurizio Bianchi, The Secret and Ass Ache. We can be contacted at


~ by petetheripper on May 30, 2011.

One Response to “Interview with DRAINLAND”

  1. grande!

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