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Interview: Drowningman

Drowningman
Questions Answered By Simon Brody (Singer)
11/25/00
Interviewed by Brian Webb

Related Links:
Official Website

PRP: Lets start with the basics. How and when did the band form?
Simon: Late fall '95. I had just moved home to VT from Boston after the band I was in down there broke up. I looked up some people that I had wanted to play with and started the band.

PRP: I heard that you are named after a U2 song. Would I be right in saying that your influences are not what one would expect?
Simon: Yeah, we are named after a U2 song. We do have some influences one might not be able to readily identify from listening to the music. Bands we like outside of hardcore and metal come into play on a more subtle level, lyrically, and to a smaller extent musically- as we try to incorporate some different elements into our song-writing.

PRP: So from the top of your head. What bands outside hardcore would you list as influences? and what influences have you drawn from the hardcore scene itself?
Simon: In our earlier years bands like Deadguy, Threadbare, Acme, Converge, and Shotmaker were huge influences on us. And I think from that point we developed a pretty strong root in the hardcore/metal areas which we developed into our own unique thing. All along we've been bringing in aspects of other music which, quite honestly, most of us listen to a lot more than hardcore these days-- bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, Radiohead, The Sea and Cake, American Football, Joan of Arc, and Trans Am.
Simon: I think incorporating this stuff with the more math-based hardcore has defined Drowningman's sound in the last few years.

PRP: Do you feel part of any scene? And was it helpful coming from Vermont.
Simon: We're not necessarily part of any scene. We've played with a lot of bands from Boston. Like Converge, Cave In, Isis, Piebald and we were identified by a lot of people as being part of that scene, which has always been cool with us. Being from VT only helped in that we had a harder time getting out of state the first year of the band which is probably a good thing because we weren't really anything all that special back then. 

PRP: You have just released your second full length - "The Rock And Roll Killing Machine". How does it differ from your debut on hydrahead and the EP.
Simon: The Hydrahead LP was a lot simpler and slower than the EP and new LP. It didn't have the melodic aspects that we've been using since either- that stuff is 2 or 3 years old by now and we don't play much of it anymore. The EP and LP were recorded a year apart and are fairly similar except the heavy stuff got a bit more technical and we started writing some more straight up rock parts where we might have used the emo-indie rock stuff in the past. 

PRP: A bloody tooth graces the front cover of your latest album. Did you later place it under a pillow, and if so, did the tooth fairy leave you any money?
Simon: Check the back of the CD.

PRP: How's life on Revelation Records treating you? How does it differ from hydrahead
Simon: It does differ. We're selling more records and more kids are into the band than before I think that's a combination of us being a better band now and Rev doing a lot more promotional and marketing stuff for us. There are times when being on a "bigger" label, the politics and money issues can be kind of a drag. But I think it's been good for us over all.

PRP: Life on the road must have its up and downs. What have been the high and low points over the last year. And more recently, how was the Glassjaw/Earth Crisis tour?
Simon: The tour itself was good. Our van sucked and we missed some shows. Life on the road can be stressful when you're touring in a piece of shit van. We're hoping next year is better for us and we make up for some of the money we lost.

PRP: Have any of the band ever had a mullet hair cut.
Simon: Oh yeah. I never have but I had some hair styles back in the day that I'm not real proud of.
PRP: Ever had a perm?
Simon: No. Thankfully not.

PRP: Do the band have any hardcore or straight edge ideals?
Simon: None of us are straight-edge. But all of us have been in hardcore bands for years. I run an all-ages club so a lot of my life revolves around underground-indie music.

PRP: Your song titles strike me as odd. For example "last weeks minutes from the meeting of the secret society of your friends who actually hate you" and "If God loves a winner, he is going to want to fuck me in a minute". Does much thought go into the titles? and are they related to the song matter itself or more of an afterthought?
Simon: Yeah I spend a lot of time thinking those up. They do have a lot to do with the songs. It's not the easiest to understand, most black and white way of naming a song but I think it works and it's how we like it. It can make writing a set list into a huge pain in the ass.

PRP: What can fans expect from your live show? I've heard that you are quite antagonistic and you like to wind up the crowd.
Simon: Yeah, I've been known to talk some shit. It's all in good fun. People need to learn to take themselves a little seriously.

PRP: Have you ever smelt the sweat from your ass crack, and if so, did it smell like vinegar?
Simon: If I'm lucky it smells like vinegar.
PRP:  How about urine smelling of sugar puffs?
Simon: Never experienced that phenomenon, but it sounds interesting.
PRP: Yes, yes it is. Moving swiftly on. Any future touring plans, in particular, do you have any plans to come out to Europe?
Simon: We're hoping to make it over in the spring. We're shopping for cheap airfare this month to hopefully come in late April. As for US tours we're waiting to hear back about an opening slot on a pretty big tour in March for the US

PRP: That about rounds things off. I'd just like to thank you for taking the time out to do this interview, its much appreciated. Before we end, do you have any shout-outs or know of any bands we should be checking out?
Simon: Umm. Check us out in December on tour for 2 weeks with Darkest Hour and 12 Tribes. Dates will be posted on Revelationrecords.com soon. Check out The Cancer Conspiracy who we'll have a split record with early next year. Thanks for the interview. Rock.

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