The Drums performing at the 9:30 Club in 2010.
|Genres||Indie rock, indie pop, post-punk revival, New Wave Surf Rock|
|Labels||Island, Moshi Moshi, Frenchkiss Records, Universal Australia|
|Associated acts||Jonny Pierce, Cascading Slopes|
|Past members||Adam Kessler|
The Drums are an American indie pop band from Brooklyn, New York with members stemming from the short-lived band Elkland (formerly Goat Explosion). The band is currently on the Moshi Moshi/Island (UK), Universal (AU) and Frenchkiss (US) labels.
Founding members Jonathan (Jonny) Pierce and Jacob Graham became friends as children, having met at a summer camp around age 12 or 13. Some years later, they formed the short-lived electro-pop group Goat Explosion.
Soon after they formed indie pop group Elkland, which quickly gained attention and was signed by Columbia Records. Meanwhile Graham formed 'Horse Shoes,' which was signed by Shelflife Records. Elkland disbanded in May 2006, after which Jonny took a couple years off from making music. In 2008 Jonny and Jacob came up with the concept for The Drums, and Pierce moving to Kissimee, Florida, where Graham resided at the time, so that they could more readily collaborate. They then moved to Brooklyn, New York, in the spring of 2009, where they hired drummer Connor Hanwick and guitarist Adam Kessler. The band had their first gig within a week of arriving in Brooklyn. In October 2009, the band released their first album, Summertime!, with 6 songs.
In December 2009 the band was shortlisted as one of the 15 music acts for the BBC Sound of 2010. Subsequently, they placed at No. 5 in this list on 4 January 2010. The Drums also appeared in Cliché Magazine's December '09/January '10 issue. The article featured an exclusive interview by Executive Editor Miguel Ángel Jimenez and drummer Connor Hanwick. In NME's first issue of 2010 they were named number 1 in the magazine's top tips for the year as well as in Clash Magazine's Tips for 2010. The Drums were also voted "Best Hope for 2010" in Pitchfork Media's 2009 Readers' Poll.
In February 2010, the band played venues around the UK on the 2010 NME Awards Tour alongside The Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club and The Big Pink, going on to play support band for Florence and the Machine's 2010 Cosmic Love tour. In June 2010 they played as one of the support bands for Kings of Leon in Hyde Park, London.
On May 7, 2010, they appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross where they performed "Best Friend". Their debut album was officially released on June 7, 2010, on Moshi Moshi and Island Records. The album contained the singles "Let's Go Surfing," "Best Friend," "Me and the Moon" and "Forever and Ever, Amen" as well as "Down By The Water," which had previously been released as part of the band's Summertime! EP. On September 16, 2010, it was announced on the band's Facebook page and website that guitarist Adam Kessler had left the band.
After the disaster in Japan, the Drums released the single "The New World" on April 11, 2011. On May 5, 2011, it was reported by the NME that The Drums had expanded their live line-up to include Chris Stein and Myles Matheny (of Violens). In June 2011 drummer Danny Lee Allen (We Are Scientists, Youth Group) joined the band, replacing Chris Stein.
For their sophomore LP, the band avoided slumping by recording it quickly, again self producing, often laying down tracks spontaneously in singer Jonny Pierce’s kitchen. They released Portamento, on September 5, 2011. The album title has a deeper meaning for Pierce, as he describes, “Jacob and I meeting as young boys with a shared love for Kraftwerk and Anything Box and Wendy Carlos, and these were all synth pioneers, and a common feature on old analogue systems was ‘Portamento’. The band has also revealed that they almost split at the end of June due to stylistic disagreements. Jacob explained, "I think our band is kind of fragile and probably on the verge of breaking up pretty constantly and I say that seriously and jokingly at the same time."
In 2011, Jonny Pierce co-wrote "In The Middle (I Met You There) with Brooklyn artist Matthew Dear for his EP "Headcage". His writing credits also include "You Gave Me Nothing" and "Lose It (In the End)" which are included in Mark Ronson's album "Record Collection."
The Drums are noted for their pre-newwave-tinged nostalgic pop, Pierce's dancing, stage motions, and angelic blonde facade, and the band's pre-flower power image.
MTV gave the band a celebrity chart special on MTV HD channel in May, 2012, where Pierce and Graham introduced their favourite videos and bands as well as some of their own videos.
After performing Laneway Festival 2012, Connor Hanwick left The Drums to tour with his girlfriend's band, Pains of Being Pure at Heart.
The band cite their major influences as The Wake, The Smiths, Joy Division/New Order, The Tough Alliance, The Legends, The Shangri-las, The Embassy and Orange Juice. Graham also mentions that reverb in general has played a major role in their sound: "...If reverb didn't exist we wouldn't have bothered trying to start a band."
Both members of The Drums have announced solo records in the works for release in 2013. Jonathan under the name Jonny Pierce and Jacob as Cascading Slopes. In December Pierce said in an interview with NME "I wanted to be as self-indulgent as possible with this album. This is pop done the way I think it should be done." In March Graham told MTV that his album Towards a Quaker View of Synthesizers would be released this year through Plastiq Musiq and that “The concept is to write very simple, personal, folk songs but to do it with only old, analog synthesizers".
- Myles Matheny – backing vocals, bass, guitar (2011–present)
- Chris Stein – drums (2011)
- Danny Lee Allen – drums (2011–present)
- Charles Narwold - Lead Guitar (2012–present)
- Johnny Danger - Lead Guitar (2012)
- Tom Haslow - Lead Guitar (2010)
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|2010||iTunes Festival: London 2010||—|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2009||"Let's Go Surfing / Don't Be A Jerk, Jonny" [A][B]||107||Summertime!|
|"I Felt Stupid / Down By The Water" [A]||–|
|2010||"Best Friend"||110||The Drums|
|"Forever and Ever, Amen"||182|
|"Let's Go Surfing / Don't Be A Jerk, Jonny" [B]||63|
|"Me and the Moon"||–|
|2011||"The New World"||–||Non-album single|
|"How It Ended"||–|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2011||"In Your Eyes"
(Edwyn Collins featuring The Drums)
- A – The tracks "Let's Go Surfing" and "Down By The Water" were later added to The Drums.
- B – Only the track "Let's Go Surfing" received chart placement.
|2009||August||"Let's Go Surfing"||David Fishel|
|2010||January||"I Felt Stupid"||Chris Moukarbel and Valerie Veatch|
|March||"Best Friend"||The Drums|
|May||"Forever and Ever, Amen"||Surround and The Drums|
|August||"Down by the Water"||Surround and The Drums|
|October||"Me and the Moon"||Surround and The Drums|
|October||"How It Ended"||Patrick Roberts|
- [dead link]
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