Saturday, February 13, 2021

'Expect the unexpected', Georgina Shine dicusses all things new music with Drug Store Romeos

Hailing from Hampshire, musical trio Drug Store Romeos comprised of school friends – Sarah, Charlie and Jonny have been bringing their alternative, indie, dream pop magic to the world of music and brightening the ears and the lives of listeners. Through their career, the band have seemingly created their own ‘area’ of music with their own sound rather than slotting into a genre we already know. With the band making bold moves from the outset, it’s clear to see that they are passionate about what they love and who they are and Drug Store Romeos are definitely ones to watch.

After releasing their newest single Jim, Let’s Play in November 2020, I got the opportunity to have a chat with the band about their music, their February 2021 socially distanced tour and lockdown life.
(Sarah – S, Charlie – C, Jonny – J)

Your new single 'Jim, Let’s Play' is out and it’s brilliant. Can you tell me a little bit more background about the song and its creation?

Sarah – It’s kind of one of the songs that was pivotal to us on changing sound, where we kind of suddenly realised we could take out a guitar and it would sound totally different, we have the foundations of all the synths and we had the main element of instrumentation. It became the beginning of the band that we are now.
Charlie – we were very reliant on guitars to fill up everything and when we finished that song we kind of realised that it’s more minimalistic and synths and drums and vocals approach was quite satisfying.

You’ve had a couple of amazing single releases this year, so what has 2020 been like for you musically? 

S – I guess it’s just been a lot of writing because we can’t play so it’s been a lot of writing to get ready for our album and a little bit of collaboration.
C – We wrote a lot of songs during the start of lockdown. We had about 6 really solid songs that were kind of the sound that we knew we wanted and what we wanted to be in the album but we wanted to have about 6 or 7 more, so spent about 6 or 7 months writing, and everything that comes with writing and immersing yourself in the words you want to put into the album. I live with other musicians and spent a lot of time jamming and think I became a better musician from spending a lot of time improvising.

So can we expect an album release from you anytime soon? 

S – Yes.
Jonny – Sometime yes.
C – We probably shouldn’t say it’s coming out.
J – It’s definitely coming sometime 2021.

You’ve got a socially distanced tour scheduled for next year what made you decide to do a socially distanced tour instead of waiting to do ‘normal’ shows? 

S – We haven’t played in so long, and haven’t played intimate shows. What socially distanced shows give to a show is a more intimate feel and I think our music is quite good for that kind of listening. Also we want to have a bit of fun.
J – If we don’t do this now then we miss out on the opportunity and also you don’t know how long this is going to go on because it keeps being like a while, so if you try and feel it out and wait it could be years. So just get on and live with the life at the time.

Has the pandemic changed your approach to music and how you create? 

S – For me personally not, I’ve just been able to do it how I used to do it; where I just don’t really see another soul for ages and completely tunnel visioning myself and be able to saturate in that period which was great to get material together

What inspires you when you’re writing and creating?

C – For me it’s often a moment that I notice being created in other music, like I see it in myself or I see it in other people like I see a certain groove mixed with a certain type of way they play and it comes together to make this really unique moment that can make you dance a certain way or relax in your bed and I guess that’s what I think of when I write. Like during lockdown I’ve really been thinking of the moment I’m creating and what this moment is for and trying to think of when someone might put it on and then trying to enhance people’s reality.
S- For me it’s the intricacies of life, I like to give them a bit more a zoom and like a form of escapism and putting together words that create really interesting and specific and kind of abstract visuals. I’m very much inspired by a visual and a feeling and a memory aesthetically.
C – I think our music is quite introspective so I think a lot of it lyric wise and emotion wise goes with the self-reflective nature of humans and stuff and in a way an analysis of why we’ve done things, and our daily interactions and lives and how we deal with things, and react and interact.

Have you found any sources of inspiration during the pandemic and lockdown? 

S – I personally got really into a documentary called The Falls by Peter Greenway, and it was the most insane viewing experience and it already has influenced the music and I think it will continue to going forward.

When it comes to music do you go in to it as a creative outlet and hoping it relates to listeners or do you make music for yourself and what you enjoy and like and hope it sits well with the audience? 

C – I’m kind of doing it for myself and the listeners because I guess I’m creating something that for me would give me this moment, but I’m also aware of current trends in indie music or the dream pop world and it’s the stuff I love. So I’m using sounds or rhythms that are part of where this genre is at in 2020, but I also have a desire to make music and I envision other people not just myself listening to it and creating moments for them through my tastes. 

Do you have any goalposts going forward career wise maybe any collaborations you’d like to do or venues you’d like to play? 

C – For me, I don’t know when this would happen but some of the most important shows for me were at Heaven in London. And when you go there on a gig night it has got mist everywhere and it’s almost like a dungeon. But I saw some gigs there that really genuinely changed my life and my direction and where I was angling myself and it’s such a special feeling to me, so for us to headline there would be one of my main goals.

What about dream collaboration if you guys could collaborate with anyone – band or solo artist, alive or dead who would you choose?

S – There’s a band called Broadcast which massively influenced us which would be really beautiful to collaborate with them. But also it seems quite obvious so maybe not.
J – Angel Olsen’s new love cassette I’ve kind of listened to and loved like the drums on it are insane. Part of me since I’ve listened to it would love to hear somewhere between that sound and our sound
S – I’ve changed my answer, I’d say R. Stevie Moore but like back in the 70’s I think that wold be quite fun.
C - R Stevie Moore is a very eccentric strange 70 year old man whose put out loads of albums he is very influential. He’s kind of like the forefather of cassette culture and so he would be interesting.

Looking to the future apart from your tour what can we expect the future to look like for Drug Store Romeos? 

S – More band stuff
C – More albums, more music
S – Lots more albums
C – We are taking it pretty seriously so we are just gunna keep on trucking and do more band things that bands do
J – It could be anything
S - Expect the unexpected
Drug Store Romeos are on the up and up, and you can check them out and keep up to date with them on social media or check out their website

-Georgina Shine
Image - @drugstoreromeos Twitter

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