This October Drift article was written by Nick Palmer, a GIGsoup Contributor
November isn’t the only month to have spawned a monster, October Drift’s crashing anthem, ‘Losing My Touch’ is our track of the day today. These guys formed in the South West in 2014 and spent most of 2015 touring and honing their indie rock/shoegaze sound. Machine gun drums in the vein of My Bloody Valentine and enormous Pinkshinyultrablast walls of guitars laid over a loud/quiet/loud dynamic have a created a suitably tasty sound from this four-piece.
October Drift announced their “coming out” with their debut EP, Stranger Days, on March 25th, so take a listen to one of its tracks, ‘Losing My Touch’, a song about whether this whole career-as-a-musician gig is really worth it. Songs like this seem to suggest that it is – It genuinely is a monster. For all the uncertainty and pessimism in the lyrics, the instrumentation is a celebration of perseverance in the face of adversity, with anthemic guitars and thundering, but also nuanced drumming. We managed to get a hold of drummer Chris whilst the rest of the band were busy.
You’ve been touring a lot over the past year – what’s it been like? Best and worst moments?
Chris: It’s been great. We’ve been lucky enough to play some awesome shows last year to some big crowds. Well, big for us anyway. Some of my favourite shows were the ones that were a bit off the beaten track. We played in a tiny village called Harworth in what is essentially the back room of a pub. Ended up completely packed and so loud that I could feel my retinas detaching. Dan also managed to trip the entire venue’s power off right at the end of the set, by kicking a halogen bulb as he tried to jump off the stage.
It kind of worked though – people seemed to love it. There was also another show where we were asked to turn down because we were starting to bring the plaster off the ceiling onto the crowd below. Those kind of things tend to stick in my mind most when we gig. We don’t seem to dwell on any of the lows. There’s no point. We usually end up finding it all pretty funny, just in a slightly tragic way.
Like one of the things that sticks in my mind was travelling back home after a show in Scunthorpe and the alarm I’d set for work went off whilst we were still on the M5. I was gutted, but still found it funny.
Your new single Losing My Touch deals with some quite heavy stuff for an artist – about wondering whether it’s all worth it – has there ever been a point where you guys thought about packing up?
Yeah for sure. This band has ended two long term relationships. I’m the only one with a girlfriend left. I read something the other day that said ‘if you’re having a bad time in life and things aren’t going your way, just remember that there’s a guy from your year in school whose still trying to become a rapper’. And as much as that cracks me up, I’m also thinking ‘I’m that guy’. I’m the guy who wants to be a successful musician. I’m the guy that’s ‘in a band’.
I sometimes wonder if we’re completely mental and see something that other people don’t. Is being in a successful band a realistic career goal? Or am I gonna be some washed up loser who at the age of 30 still needs his parents to sub him money for rent? But we believe in what we’re doing and are prepared to work hard to make it happen. So as crazy as it can seem from an outsiders perspective, that’s the thing that keeps us going.
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Biggest musical influences?
Kiran our singer listens to a lot of sad singer songwriters. People like Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen. I think his dad got him into that kind of stuff when he was younger. Alex and Dan seem to be really into douchebag bands from the 90’s. Bands like Pavement and Polvo.
They seem to find a load of obscure bands that I’ve never heard of. Alex showed me SparkleHorse the other day. Not sure if it was for me.
What’s a band/artist you wish you could have seen live while they were together/alive? (feel free to give individual answers)
The rest of the band are locked away finishing off recording the new tracks today so I’ll give you mine.
I think mine would be Queen when Freddie was alive. The video of them playing Wembley Stadium always makes me wish I was there. I just think Freddie was such a good frontman. Never seen anyone work an audience like him. He seems to have the perfect balance of personality on stage. Like he becomes an exaggerated version of himself, but doesn’t go so overboard that you no longer believe it’s genuine. It all seems really natural and, in a strange way, quite personal.
Others that I wish I could have seen are Nirvana in the early days. In like a really small sweaty venue. And Hendrix. Does anyone get into playing guitar for any other reason than to be like him?
Plans for the rest of 2016?
After the tour we’re going to be playing a few festivals and we have a couple acoustic sessions which we’ll be releasing. Then we’re planning on doing another release in the second half of the year and an even bigger tour. We basically just want to play as many shows as we can this year and beyond.