Ahead of their imminent EP release and Live at Leeds 2014 appearance, LMS caught up with Allusondrugs
With new music being released imminently and an EP to follow, there is a bit of buzz around Allusondrugs, both locally and in the music press. We did see a lot of them last year, with the highest number of gigs on LMS site, but expect to hear a lot more of this year. With a headline slot at the 360Club for Independent Venue Week and a confirmed place in the line-up for Live at Leeds 2014, they are off to a good start. I got the opportunity to see them for the first time, earlier this year and was totally blown away by their live performance. Eager to try find out a little more about them, I managed to catch them all together at Drey's house, one of the guitarists from the band. I am welcomed in to a much more civilized setting than their name would suggest. All the other members; Connor (Drums) Jamal (Bass) Damo (Guitar and vocal) Jason (Lead Vocal) are sitting around scanning you tube for festivals videos. I feel like I have dust dropped in to see some old friends, as we get down to a bit of chat, with a coffee in hand.
The band only came together about a year ago and after a few line-up changes; they have settled and managed to play just under one hundred gigs. Jason has high hopes and is aiming for two hundred this year. They are busy applying for loads of festivals looking to turn the band in to a proper job. He says "I'd rather do this than work in an office or something. I don't mind working, it has to be done. But I feel like I have wasted a lot of time working. I think about where I could be if I had put this much effort into the band when I was sixteen."
The sound that Allusondrugs create is very messy, fuzzy, grungy, but it works, it is not overproduced which makes it more interesting. Jason admits that he doesn't listen to anything past the 90's and really likes old music over new, which has got a certain polish and sound he doesn't like. However, as a band, they don't want to be pigeon holed and Damo is the first one to dispel the great genre debate "A lot of people call us psych -grunge, but it goes a bit further than that, with elements of shoegaze, I suppose you can put it under the umbrella term or rock." Connor agrees that there are different styles of music with in it. Drey chips in "We like a little bit of everything, but safe to say, definitely not folk, happy hard-core or house!" But, before he has finished, Jason joins the debate "I don't know, there is a folk influence, just transcribed in a different way, we just use what we've got because we can only afford cheap distortions"
This is probably the right time to ask, what do you argue about?
"Other musicians and slagging off bands we don't like, just to wind each other up" Drey admits and Damo replies with a cheeky smirk "Jason and I argue a lot about trust and understanding...I don't trust him and he doesn't understand me!!" You can feel the element of truth as the guys all laugh while Jason is shyly leaning forward and picking at the sleeves of his jumper. He adds "The last thing we argued about was the Eagulls, I really like the band and Jason berated them, then everyone else jumped on the bandwagon."
I jokingly ask if it is a marriage made in hell? Drey does allude to the close nature of the band and tells me that they really don't fall out. Damo agrees "Yea definitely (to Jason) I'm your confidant. We are more like brothers that argue, mostly about our own music." Jason backs this up, "Everyone has different ideas, but there is usually a compromise."
Damo is the creative one behind the band and has written a lot of the songs about seven or eight years ago when he and Drey were in other bands, but the coming together of this project allowed them to get out those songs again. In addition to this, Jason also has a hand in the writing and the rest of the band does collaborate, so everyone adds something to the final product we hear. Of songwriting, Damo says "It has to be a stream of consciousness, I tend to get a flow of ideas and if it's not working, I just throw it away and only about twenty percent of the stuff that formulates in my head actually becomes something, with only about three percent gets taken to the band. Once I have the bones of something, I bring it to everyone. They put the flesh on the bones, the nail polish and it becomes something that lives and breathes and makes its own decisions." I have these thoughts in my head and it slipped out before I have engaged the brain and I ask "Nail polish, who would be the one that put that on then?" It is no surprise, the admission comes from Jason, "Probably me, I used to dress like Marylin Manson everday. I remember one day, I got run over on my way to the off licence. My BMX went over this car. I was face down and this woman came over to see if I was alright. She was really shocked and proper screamed when she looked at me, I was a Goth kid, make up and everything and she was probably thinking I have killed a monster."
I could talk music all night, but if I want to hear their music, I can go on line or go to a gig, but it doesn't tell me about is their off stage personas. I wanted to find out a little more about what they like and I venture into the world of film. I ask each, in turn, for a film that has left a lasting mark on them, one that gives us a little more insight in to the multitude of characters and full intellectual capacity of the band.
Drey - District 9 was the last film to really blow me away. I think the chain of events in that film (minus the fiction) is what would probably happen in a real life situation. The government and military would be straight up in the high chairs. In District 9 they take someone originally on the side of the government and frame him for having sex with an alien. It shows you the manipulation and control that higher powers have and how they can step in by default and easily control the population. I like when a film manages to take a situation that hasn't yet happened and uses the concepts we are acting out around our everyday life to display the overall outcome. Cloverfield is a good one too! I have always liked sci-fi movies.
Jamal - The wolf of Wall Street...it's one of those films you have to see. It shows how being a broker and using money for all the wrong reasons can corrupt a human being. It doesn't take very much. It gives you an insight in to the world of a broker, but yeah it is just awesome! He's lying to a lot people about how successful his shares are and the people are stupid enough to give him more money. It becomes so out of hand. And I also like to watch Film4; they put on some great indie films.
Connor -Martyrs for me, it's brutal! It's a French film about a religious cult; they take people to the brink of death through horrible torture methods because they believe this is the only sacrificial way to see heaven. The story centres around a woman on this revenge mission who had previously escaped from the cult, she is followed by a dark matter throughout the movie while she is killing off the cult members and rescuing other victims.
Dammo - I'm in to gritty films and the last one that stuck in my head was Scum, it's about a group of boys in a borstal. One guy is shy and he doesn't really know how to handle himself. There is a really intense scene where he gets raped in a greenhouse by these guys and then he ends up killing himself. But the way it was filmed, it was really dark and it affected me for like a week after, I had nightmares and stuff. I like films that make me feel uncomfortable, not like scary uncomfortable, but more like a little wrong inside, the kind of stuff that stays with you for a long time.
Jason - Have you see a film called Kids? It's about a group of teenagers in NYC that discover a thirst for drugs and sex from a young age. One of them is HIV positive and throughout the film, several of the characters contract AIDS through their careless and unrestrained behaviour, they are all passing it around unknowingly. It's a pretty controversial movie that caused a bit of fuss back in the 90's.
It was a great chat and what should have been just a twenty minute interview turned in to a few hours. It was an absolute pleasure to chat to the lads. If I let you in to a secret, will you keep it between you and I? ...There are rumours of a little exclusive live session for LMS on the cards. So watch this space. In the meantime, if you haven't seen them live, put a date in your diary... you won't be disappointed!