DRGM are a trio from East London who create a unique blend of commercial beats and electronica that puts them in and amongst categorisation with the likes of Rufus, The XX and Disclosure. Out on Thursday (16/3) EP Etc somehow manages to be powerful, energetic and morose all at the same time.
The band will be putting on a handful of dates this month to support the release of the EP. You can catch their launch parties in London (16 March), Portsmouth (24) and Brighton (31). But before they hit the road for those, we caught up with the band to find out a bit more about their intriguing sound…
SYNC: Please tell us a bit of the background to DRGM, including how you guys got together… and the attributes that each of you brings to the group!
GREG: Goosey and I met touring as session players and started producing a few tracks together, just for fun. A sort of side project. He knew Ellen from the scene and we thought her voice might sound good on one of our mixes. It did! We put out a little mixtape, just over a year ago, to see what the reaction was. We managed to get quite a lot of airtime from that record and from there we decided to knuckle down and get a solid EP recorded. We produce all of our own media: mixes, masters, photos, graphics, music videos, live sessions etc. so it’s a lot of work to get from an idea to a fully fledged launch, but we hope it’s been worth it.
SYNC: Websites like ours love to categorise bands but it’s pretty hard to ‘allocate’ your sound to a narrow genre. How would you like to be described, and who/what has influenced you to develop to where you are now?
GOOSE: It’s hard to really pin down who our main influences have been. Everything from electronic sounding bands like Rufus to jazzers like Miles Davis. Our sound is pretty layered and we’ve tried to make each part as unique as possible. I write beats which can be quite linear and angular, which tend to complement the guitar sound Greg’s coming out with. Ellen’s got a real jazz voice, so we try to bring that out in the chords. There’s definitely an emphasis on modern electronic sounds, like Disclosure or, to an extent, The XX, but we hope we’ve managed to make something new with this record.
SYNC: How has the EP come together? Has it been a long time in the making?
ELLEN: We’ve probably been working on the project for around nine months. We work differently from other bands in that none of the writing is really done together. Greg writes the music and then he and Goose tweak the project before adding drums. They then send me over demos and then the tracks sit with me for a while whilst I write the lyrics. EP Etc is four tracks, but we must have written at least twelve over the summer – some which worked, some which didn’t. We ended up choosing four tracks which we really felt complemented one another. We wanted the EP to feel like one piece with direction, as opposed to four seperate tracks, and we’re really pleased with the outcome.
SYNC: What are the plans for live dates, and what can people expect when they come to see you?
ELLEN: We’re hosting a series of launch parties, the first being in a Dalston basement on the day of the EP release – 16th March. We’re following up the launch with parties in Portsmouth and Brighton. We wanted the launch parties to have a relaxed feel, and this is how Greg has designed the set. It’s meant to be a fluid 40 minutes of entertainment where we take you through our EP, some other original tracks and some covers of artists who we admire, in our own style of course! We have a couple of other surprises to share at the parties, but the main emphasis is on having as much fun as possible.
DRGM – Felt