Thursday, March 9, 2017

Interview: Druids "We've Known Each Other For 60 Odd Years"

Every so often there comes around a band that's so big and bold, that you know they're going to be huge.

It's not clear if Druids are that band, but our new shirtless friend tells of their secrets and speaks often about removing bits of clothing.

He's got a great beard and has a certain, shall we say, bias for bass players.

Just remember, all I did was ask the questions....

And without further ado, Big Shirtless Rod of Druids... Wait, I mean, Jay Goodrich.

Glacially Musical: Thanks for taking some time for us today.

Druids: The pleasure is all ours - no problem at all. It's funny you should mention time though... Time is track 4 on our album. It's really fizzy and it mentions flowers and spring time and speed.

GM: You guys seem to be a bit on the young side, what brought you to the seedy underbelly of rock, 80's glam metal?

DR: Clearly our age reducing moisturiser is working well. Rich suggested we try cucumbers on the eyes too which has worked wonders especially on Joel. He now looks like he's only 27. Oops, there's me waffling and giving away our beauty secrets again.

Anyway, well in essence we got together, last summer I think it would have been, and we started fooling around with some ideas. Mainly iPad demos I'd worked on at home with San Miguel and Dr. Greenacre and we then injected some realness into them in the studio.

We've know each other for 60 odd years or so anyway, so playing together and creating the sound we have came very easily.

GM: Tell me about the first record that ever really struck you as more than just something that sounded cool.

DR: I remember the first album I played fully was, The Game by Queen. I remember track 2 or 3 being Dragon Attack and listening to that continuously trying to understand the riff.

I didn't have a bass at the time (track 4 on our album by the way... Time) and this track really gripped my inner bass-person. They say everyone can write a book or something like that – that's nonsense... I believe everyone can play bass. Just listen to Dragon Attack, rip yer shirt off and air bass it, man!

Also, geek alert – grab your headphones and you can hear when Mr Mercury sings in the verses, the riff isn't playing but you can still hear it – headphone bleed or something or other in the studio.

I texted my mum to tell her. She hasn't replied.

GM: Pictures and poems tell tales. What's the story behind the album cover and more specifically, that red U in Druids?

DR: I asked fellow human being and bass-person, Alex Body about album art and he steered us in the direction of Lois Cordelia.

The idea was generally we wanted a nebula type image, with our name bursting out of it. Lois is wonderful and I could stare at the image she's created for almost an hour without blinking. James Baker helped an awful lot with the logo, which I had sketched out with crayons.

The red U was supposed to represent fire and the other letters in the name were meant to look like branches. It looks nothing like that now, which is fine because frankly, my sketch wasn't errm, it wasn't errm... it was hopeless!

GM: The idea of an Indie band interests me almost as much as Napalm Death on "What's That Noise" hosted by Craig Charles. Tell us about how that happened.

DR: I haven't seen it, but I did stay up and watch Wrestlemania live last year. I've almost recovered. As soon as I am completely recovered, I'll watch it and let you know.

GM: What's life like in Suffolk? Are you big Hadleigh FC supporters?

DR: Did you know, Johnny Depp supposedly owns a house in Suffolk!

I mean, if he's visited and decided to visit again, life must be cool here! In all seriousness, it's beautiful in parts and culturally diverse and ever-changing too. I like that very much. I'm unsure that's the overall consensus though.

Musically, I'd recommend listening to the BBC Introducing podcasts. Graeme and Richard really are superstars for putting in the effort they put in and being the voice for independent artists who, without them, would be very lost.

Graeme also presents the football show, so I would have to ask him about Hadleigh FC. I couldn't even tell you what colours they play in!

GM: Take a track off your album, and tell me what it's about.

DR: Pulling the Trigger – it's quite apt for today really.

With the main sentiment saying how, you, me, your friends, family, my cat, my great aunt... no of us are in control and at any minute, boom!!! It's over. Quite what it is that's “over”, I'm unsure. Life may be. Woah, getting deep, I know.

To be super honest, without wanting to put people off the album, words and songs haven't been what I get off on - It's always been about drums, and bass-persons. However, Pulling the Trigger came quite easily to me.

GM: The promo shot sent to me with you guys huddled around an iPhone was something I really liked. Was it a conscious effort to meld a modern aesthetic with an older sound?

DR: We have a philosophy of working together and trying to do everything ourselves, from initial logo designs, to videos and recordings and photos too. We got together with a camera and played around with it.

We have a song called, Reflections (track 3 on the album – go listen now or forever, I dunno, be sad and starved of cheese) so the idea of using a mirror was suggested by Joel. I got serious, took my shirt off, Rich almost did too and there we have it.

The full photo actually has “Druids” written on the mirror in eyeliner.

GM: After the writing, the rehearsing, the recording, and the mastering. What was it like to hear your debut record for the first time?

DR: We had a mini break of around a month or so where we completed chores such as ironing and baking, after which we got together to shoot a video for, Reflections (track 3 on the album – go listen now or forever be socksless).

It was then we all said something like, “woah, that's not so bad”. In all seriousness though, the first time I actually heard the completed album, I felt proud. It's the first time I, like the others, have had such creative input into something musical.

George Perks has done such a fantastic job recording our first three tunes (Mission, Jog On and Honey Pie) and then mastering the final mixes, we wouldn't have sounded the way we sound without him, Ian Crow, Garfy and Joe Bailey at Punch Studios – all of them offering advice and helping out. So, I guess when I first heard it,

I thought of how its had been created and how together it all felt.

GM: On which formats is it available?

DR: It's available everywhere digitally such as Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and also in hard copy form at our gigs. CD only for now but may be we will do some vinyls too.

GM: Answer a question I didn't ask.

DR: Watford Valves – around 12pm.

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