In 2016 the UK’s Tory government seemed to be doing its very best to make the country implode, while looking like a wholesome place in comparison to America. The continent-sized most trigger-happy nation on earth has now become the sock puppet of an infantile, misogynistic, white-supremacist billionaire.
2016 was totally pants.
How will this affect the music scene? There seems to be a pattern with underground music that when the general population is immersed into a crap situation by its government, the untamed DIY music scene boils to the surface spitting and snarling with amps turned up to 11.
I have a feeling that Allusondrugs will be involved. They are a much-loved part of the UK underground music scene and they make a lot of noise.
I love their heavy shoegaze-grunge sound, their wild energy on stage, and the band themselves, who always make time to connect with fans at their shows. Voted one of the top 10 hardest working bands in the UK a second year in a row, Allusondrugs are dedicated to music, touring almost without a break for two and a half years now.
The departure of guitar and vocalist Damo before their last set of shows has forced them to make changes to their set up, with guitarist Drey taking on a mixture of both rhythm and lead guitar parts. Despite this, Allusondrugs have risen to the challenge with all the grit and determination associated with their DIY roots. The crew of rowdy Northeners from Castleford, Leeds has also grown in size with the addition of their friend, driver and guitar tech, Blue.
Allusondrugs have been one of my favourite bands for quite a while now, so I was pretty excited to see them play at Audio, supported by awesome Glaswegian metallers, Halo Tora.
Allusondrugs: Jason Moules (vocals), Andrey Pavlovic (guitar), Jemal Malki (bass), Connor Fisher-Atack (drums)
Drey from Allusondrugs talked to NHC about non-stop touring, plans for the bands future, and an album in the works…….
Hiya! How’re you all doing?
Hey! We're really good thanks, hope you are too!
You’re my first interview victims of 2017. How did you celebrate New Year? And do you have any big plans for this year?
Some of us went to Edinburgh, some of us went out locally and some of us stayed at home (I was one that stayed at home that evening, I didn't feel very well haha)
This year we plan to create some new music and release another example of more diverse sounds that we can create.
Any new songs in the works? Will there be an Allusondrugs album at some point?
There’s plenty of new stuff in the works - we’re experimenting a lot recently with new sounds so we may even drop a few more shorter releases before the debut album hits.
What inspires your music?
Many things really. Love, life and all the experiences it brings with it.. mainly that kind of thing.
As a band, how do you think your sound has changed since you started? And how has being Allusondrugs affected you as individuals?
When we first started we wanted to be a band that you couldn't really pin one sound on. We have always wanted to try a mix of genres and see what works best for us and the fans. I think we will always experiment with new ideas and new sounds - it’s really hard not to, unless the goal is to become primarily be a ‘grunge’ band, which isn’t something we want to be. As for being affected as individuals due to being in the band - it’s made us a lot more humble. You get to meet so many different people.. and the fact that they are all there for one thing - your show - really does make you appreciate what you do.
What are your favourite songs to play live?
Sunset Yellow, Happy Eyes and How High.
Touring for two and a half years almost non-stop must be exhausting! How do you wind down after a show?
We have our ways.. haha! Immediately after a show Me (Drey) and Jemal and will usually float around the venue and merch stall while we are still buzzing from the gig adrenalin and we'll use this as an opportunity to talk to as many people as possible and hopefully shift as much merch as we can. Connor and Blue will be packing down the stage and Jason is usually also floating around venue chatting. Everyone ends up back at the merch stall before long. When we get back to our accommodation we love nothing better than to annoy our Bassist Jemal while he tries to get some much needed rest. Jemal has a skill for falling asleep pretty much instantly - any time, any place! We’re all just jealous really.
When you’re confined inside your van for the best part of a day while travelling between gigs, how do you pass the time and still manage to get along with each other?
Music and having the most ridiculous conversations you could think of. I have to partake in this a lot because I seem to be unable to sleep in a moving vehicle.
The addition of driver Blue must have been relief from driving to the next venue straight after shows. Especially for Connor (drums), who used to do all the driving. When and how did Blue become your driver?
Blue actually first joined us as apprentice tech on the Enter Shikari Tour in 2014. He's mainly been doing his own thing since (he plays in some really cool bands) but as of recently we took him on as full time. Jason and Blue actually live together now. Not only does he help with general day to day driving and teching duties, he's actually really great for group morale. He knows us as people, helps keep our dynamic strong and it's always great to have him around to be honest.
Blue, what’s it like being a driver for Allusondrugs? What are the hardest and most fun parts?
For the most part it's chilled out, being on tour with your mates, it's fun. Traffic can be a bastard at times though, and fellow drivers... The most fun part of road life is just being stupid and having a laugh with anyone you meet along the way.
Band obstacles often boil down to money and free time. It’s hard to have both at the same time. How do you manage to balance this without becoming skint or exhausted?
This was a real challenge to wire up and personally for me it was harder than anything I've ever done in the band. I worked full time as an architectural auditor when we first started the band. As with any full time job you only get around 25 holidays per year. It eventually got to the point with the band where we were being offered tours that exceeded me having just 25 days off every year.. I needed a lot more time off. I took a huge hit financially and quit my job to do the tours.. we've been none stop touring ever since luckily. It just means that we've been able to say 'YES' to everything - no opportunity has ever really been blocked because of work commitments. Everyone in the band has their own ways of making it all work.
What do you reckon are the five most important things for a band to do or not do?
1 – Never 'Pay to Play'
2 – Never agree anything unless all band members are happy
3 – Be very careful when signing contracts – always have someone look over it
4 – Make time for practice and rehearsals and recording
5 – If you're serious and really want a career, put the band first
Success is relative. For some bands, “making it” means generating just enough money to get by, while creating music full time. For others, it’s playing Glastonbury. How will Allusondrugs know when you have “made it” as a band.
When someone recognises me in Morrisons? Haha, I dunno.. personally I've already got from this band more than I've ever wanted, so anything extra is just a bonus. I think we'll get bigger though - I can feel we're still growing.
After a well-deserved rest over the festive period, what are you most looking forward to about this new year?
The time off with our partners and families is something we've really been looking forward to.
Anything else Allusondrugs would like to tell NHC music?
Stay Allusinlove x
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