June 11, 2015
[All images credited to Tom Martin]
Allusondrugs have been on the outer orbits of my brain for a good few years now.
A friend of mine started putting them on at Carpe Diem in Leeds where they always seemed to stir up a hugely positive response. Along with becoming known as notoriously ‘relaxed’ chaps to work with and always glowingly grateful for the opportunity to simply play their music in front of fellow humans. Skip forward a few years and they are back in the frame as I catch them on a spree of gigs supporting Enter Shikari around the UK. Bouncing and swaying around back stage with beaming smiles and ominous clouds of smoke emanating from their dressing rooms.
I caught up with the hair swaggling, no phone having, crunchy grooving rascals to ask them some questions ahead of their show at Wakefield’s Long Division Festival (12-14th June)
TSOTA: Hey guys! What’s going on with Allusondrugs right this very moment then? Any news? Any hot goss? Plug something new to us!
DP: We’ve just come back from recording some new tracks at The Chairworks Studios in Castleford with producer Tim Atack. The songs will feature on a very special release that’s going be out really soon – we’re mega excited for it!
TSOTA: Ah interesting we’ll be sure to look out for it. So you guys are from Castleford but you seem to have been absorbed as an honorary ‘Leeds’ band. People are always desperately keen to get bands pinned, labelled, tagged and tied down to a specific location. In the case of AUOD how do you think where you come from affects your identity as a band?
DP: Some people seem to think we’re from Leeds or even Wakefield – we’re okay with that, but we are indeed from a small town called Castleford (about 30 mins away from both Leeds and Wakefield, sandwiched right in the middle of them both) I guess people just tend to associate us with the nearest City because they will most likely know where Leeds is. There’s also a hell of a lot more people in Leeds, a bigger music scene, more venues, more things going on etc.. We had to gig there frequently in order to build our reputation. I guess that’s given us some kind of identity.
TSOTA: Your live shows are very energetic with lots of visceral, frenetic movement, but on record you seem more serene and groovy almost dreamlike at times. How do you find the right balance of energy between the live shows and then how things are going to be translated to the recordings?
DP: We’re a lot more controlled on record and in the studio – everything has to be right sonically. Our live shows are very different. We’re still playing the same songs but there’s a massive amount of extra energy and adrenalin present. We just get excited being on stage together and playing our songs in a loud and happy environment. We pick up a lot of good vibes from the crowd and this fuels our performance even more. We really enjoy what we do live and we’re not afraid to express that energy on stage.
TSOTA: A few months back I caught up with you in Liverpool and Jason (Vocals) was revelling in the fact that he’d been living without owning a mobile phone for the past few weeks. He was loving the freedom this had bestowed upon him, but also having an absolute nightmare at the same time just making arrangements. Tell us about that? Does he own a phone again yet?
DP: Nope. He is still phoneless and making arrangements still remains a nightmare. It’s nothing new though and we’re really used to it by now.
Talking about having no mobile phone led us on to getting into chatting 90’s nostalgia in a big way. Nostalgia can be a very powerful thing especially in music, how do you think it affects you as a band? Both positive and negatively?
DP: Positively, we love to draw on all our influences we love bringing them together towards our overall sound. It’s all inspiration. We all seem to meet in the middle with regards to our music tastes so there’s always something we like kicking about between all of us. However, lazy comparisons can sometimes associate us with bands that don’t really inspire us.
TSOTA: Indeed. You’re managed by enigmatic scouse mastermind Mr Ian Johnson, who is probably better known for managing some huge acts like Enter Shikari and The Darkness. It must be great to work with someone with that experience and I’m sure you’ve had all sorts of unprintable adventures with Ian: but purely in a professional sense what has working with him brought to the AUOD experience?
DP: Ian is a blessing really. We feel like there’s a whole new level of professionalism involved and we’re constantly learning about the industry from him. He’s opened up a whole new world of possibilities for us and he just makes us want to work harder.
TSOTA: Speaking of hard work… we are just about to start rattling through festival season for yet another year, anything in particular you are looking forward to? What have been your best and worst experiences of the festivals so far?
DP: We’re really looking forward to all the festivals we are playing this summer, particularly Download though as that’s the next one on the list and quite a big deal for us. Best experiences involve the food at festival catering and the live shows themselves. There’s always a special vibe at festivals and we love to embrace this. Getting to see our favourite bands is great too. Worst experiences are at an all-time minimum. They involve bad toilets and leaving our gear behind at gigs after we’ve gone home. We’re getting better though, ha ha!
TSOTA: And finally! You’re getting some really great attention from people at the gigs and in the music media. It’s obviously nice to get some hype going but every time I see you guys you just seem to be really, genuinely, enjoying being in a band. If we took all the industry ‘next big thing’ nonsense out of the equation what is it that you really want to get out of this? Where do you see AUOD heading in the future?
DP: We just want to keep making music, playing shows and working together as a band. It’s incredibly rewarding when we see how much people enjoy our music, so if we can continue to do this for as long as possible we’ll be happy with whatever outcome presents itself… As the saying goes, you only get out what you put in. Cheers
(Answers by Drey – Guitars)