DrowningBoy

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Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with Darcie from unsigned Brighton/Worthing band DrowningBoy to find out more…

Who is in the band, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
Hey, we’re DrowningBoy, we are Darcie Thompson, Lewis Foord, Lucas Baiz and Luke Taylor. We are based in the Brighton/Worthing area, Darcie being from Brighton and the rest of the band from Worthing… We mostly all met at college in 2017 (apart from Lewis and Luke who knew each other from school). We started the band in the summer of 2018.

We initially called ourselves DrowningBoy because we wanted to have a name that was polar opposite to the sound we were making. We started out by making very upbeat indy pop and by having a name that was so gloomy, it gave a nice sense of juxtaposition… As time has gone on however, we have started to move further away from the dream pop vibe and closer to the moody style, that fits the name. A later thought that came to mind is that ‘Drowningboy’ could mean drowning Buoy, which also has a nice poetic irony to it, in a way.

Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Darcie: Some of my favourite bands when growing up consisted of Radiohead and Pink Floyd to Supergrass and early music by Kings of Leon. From a very young age, all these bands inspired me to play music.

These artists all stuck with me throughout the years, Supergrass to this day are one of my biggest inspirations for me when it comes to songwriting… newer bands such as Hippo Campus, Alt J and Two Door Cinema Club are some of my favourites at the moment.

Lewis: Growing up, I listened to lots of different music, mainly Alt Rock, Grunge and Pop Punk. I think the artist that influenced me the most was Foo Fighters because their songs were easy to learn and play along to when I first started learning to play the guitar. At the moment I’m really into the current indie/alt rock scene. My favourite bands right now are The Night Cafe and Last Dinosaurs.

Lucas: My earliest influences were of Latin culture and R&B/Soul, which comes from the influence of my parents. I first started playing drums with my older brother, listening to Foals, a lot of early Coldplay, The Kooks and The Temper Trap which really have inspired me to progress as a drummer. My siblings also introduced me to House & Techno, which I still pursue today, producing my own tracks with synths, alongside Djing. The Foals are still to this day one of my biggest inspirations for me, but newer bands such as Sticky Fingers, Alt J and Beach Fossils are some of my favourites at the moment.

Luke: From a young age my parents would always have 80s music playing in the house. So my early influences in music, and probably what got me so involved in music the way I am now are probably because of bands like Ultravox, Thompson Twins, OMD, Level 42, Paul Hardcastle, and Def Leppard. In my teenage years I started to listen to various metal bands which made me want to play guitar, and helped me be able to play to a good standard. Now however, I still retain my liking of 80s music, and one of my hobbies is to create songs that mimic the sounds of that era using synthesizers.

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How would you describe your sound?
I’d say our sound is a happy sad mix of early 90’s alternative rock mixed with indy pop, inspired by bands such as The Night Cafe and Boy Pablo to Deftones and the Pixies... A strange mix but we try and make it work in our own way.

What is your latest release called and what was the influence behind it?
Our newest single recently dropped on June 14th, It’s called ‘SPACED’. This is definitely the first step towards a slightly darker sound, a sound that is a bit more unique and our own. Musically, the influences for this song are quite tricky to pin point. It definitely has a ‘Supergrass’ feel to the verses, ending with a very Kings of Leon ‘Because of the times’ era inspired solo.

What’s your local music scene like?
The music scenes are both great, in Brighton and Worthing. We spend the majority of the time in Brighton over Worthing, we played ‘The Great Escape’ festival recently in Brighton, this really helped us grow in the Brighton scene. I know that Worthing has a great scene and a bunch of fantastic bands, we just haven't got around to playing live there yet!

What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
We are currently starting to work on our first EP, we are putting all of our time and our heart and souls into making it the best thing that we have created so far… we will hopefully be playing a few London shows next month, as for the rest of the year, we have some really great things lined up and in the works but can’t announce anything just yet!

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Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
We are all massive fans of the producer Philippe Zdar who has produced some fantastic albums, our favourite being ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’ by Phoenix. It would be a dream come true to make an album with him.

Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
At one of our first gigs, at the ‘Green Door Store’ in Brighton, when doing our soundcheck 10 minutes before we were supposed to go on, Lucas (the drummer) realised the ride stand and snare stand were both broken, we frantically tried fixing them with a few rolls of duct tape but ran out of time as the doors opened and people started to come in. Luckily the tape held up for the most part, and only lead to a few frantic tape fixes in between songs… definitely a learning curve for us, always bring spare drum hardware to the show!

What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
Although our name suggests that we are a gloomy bunch of sad boys, in reality our music isn't that depressing and we’re pretty sure you could have a good ol dance at one of our shows!

You can find out more about DrowningBoy on their website via Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, Spotify or Twitter.