Drenge - Press Photo

From Top 20 albums to an extensive European tour, the British brother band show what guitar music was missing: DRENGE. Following up their self titled debut with an equally explosive second album Undertow, DRENGE sound like a band 20 years their senior. From Letterman appearances to speaking frankly about harassment at music shows, the Derbyshire based duo are set apart from their guitar wielding peers. NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION interviewed Eoin, half of the Loveless set up, and found not a typical 20-something year old but a quick-witted and measured musician determined to stick firmly to his Northern roots. And if you love what you hear you can attend the Band’s upcoming German shows. We’re giving away one pair of tickets for next week’s shows in Berlin (April 27) and Hamburg (April 28). Just send us a mail to win@nbhap.com with the subject ‘Drenge’, your full name and city of choice and you’ll have the chance to win them. Good luck!

Congratulations on being number 14 on the album chart.
Thank you very much

How do you feel about that, that people are buying your music?
Really humbled, it’s quite a strange thing, thinking a couple thousand people went out and picked up our record this week. Our last record got to number 42 in the charts and we were a bit kind of annoyed because we were 30 copies off being in the top 40.

Looks like the new position is a big jump then.
Yeah we’re really blown away by it, couldn’t ask for anything more.

You added a bassist to the line up, do you think this has changed your dynamic of relationship dynamic as a band?
We’ve known Rob ,who started playing bass, for like 13 years. I met him when I was about 10. He has constantly been a figure of integration. He’s always been there educating me on music, telling me what books to read, what films to go see, he’s always been a figure in my life

You sing about being for a small town quite a lot and MJ from the band HOOKWORMS discussed in an interview he got told to move to London to make it, and he described this as a ‘load of bollocks.’ Obviously he’s still based in Leeds. How do you feel this relates to you as a band? Do you feel like you’ve had to break away from your small town or did it helped you in any way?
We finished about two years of touring in August last year. We starting paying ourselves an actual living wage and we both moved to Sheffield, it’s the nearest city to where we’re from. That’s the town we used to go to to see gigs. Even though we moved around a lot as kids, we were from the south then moved up to the north and I identify more with the north and Northerners and have a very northern view on the world. You see a lot of a bands get swept up and that first payslip comes through and they all move down to London and start hanging out with other bands who’ve done the same and you see people lose all grip on reality. As soon as they move to London and start existing within the music industry bubble and that’s just not interesting to me at all on any level, on a creative level, on a personal level and living in the North is really beneficial on a creative level.

Drenge - 2015

I’m from Leeds but I lived in London for a few years and when I moved back I realized the music scene in Leeds was so much better because there’s bands like HOOKWORMS and EAGULLS. The Leadmill recently did a whole streaming of your album, do you feel like more pride with it being so local, that club picked up and played the entire thing.
Yeah, it’s not like there were other venues in the country doing that and that’s really region specific and we’re playing the Leadmill this Friday and its such a massive honour more than any other show that we’re doing and we’re doing some really incredible shows on this two week tour and that show at ‘The Leadmill’ will always stick in my mind because that where me and Rory used to see gigs as teenagers and its been incredibly influential on our awareness of live music and live performance. I’m a bit nervous and obviously really looking forward to it.

Sweet, so you played Letterman at the beginning of this year and EAGULLS did too. How do you feel about this as a platform to up and coming bands?
It’s really incredible that in the States they have chat shows and on chat shows they have 3 or 4 guests and they might be promoting really awful movies or book but at the end of each show there’s room for a live music or band. America has it sorted, you can watch four or five different bands on American TV and there’s no equivalent in the UK apart from like Jools Holland which is on twice a year for like 6 weeks. It was an amazing thing for us to do not only because it was like the states but televised live music is incredibly important and massively ignored in UK.

‘We’re passionate about playing live and being the best we can.’

You are vocal on social media, especially recently, about guys being inappropriate to women at gigs do you feel like your input helps with this?
It’s not just like guys being inappropriate to girls, it’s the other way as well. I’ve been groped at gigs and it’s not just guys on girls, for majority I guess yes it is. We want to make clear that it’s not acceptable at all, and we want our gigs to be safe places and I guess a lot of bands and people are talking about it because it awkward. Its like something you don’t want to admit happening but venues don’t wanna talk about it, bands especially don’t want to talk about it but it happens and it needs to be dealt with appropriately. It’s an uncomfortable thing and shouldn’t happen in the first place, as long as we can raise awareness and call people out who think its ok to be like this, I think that’s the best we can do. When we’re on stage I’m too busy trying to concentrate on playing the music to look out for it. It’s not just our shows, its been really weird people started selling tickets because they’re so scared they might get groped at our shows but that’s not what it is, people get groped at most shows, where there’s like a pit. The response has been really amazing but very kinda depressing, people opening up and talking about. That’s the most important thing, we just need to stamp it out.

Finally what do the words Hope and Passion mean to you?
Hope was a little village we lived in before we moved to Castleton, it resembles all the shitty things about growing up and being a teenager and wanting to get out of there. Passion is believing in what you do, we’re passionate about playing live and being the best we can.