It’s been almost three years since we last heard new music from Sheffield-based sonic pioneers, Drenge. Following a tour of the country earlier this year, the band arrives back with new single ‘This Dance’, itself an explosive piece of experimental rock. Damian Robinson caught up Eoin Loveless to find out more about ‘This Dance’, the possibilities of a new album and the next steps for the band.
Your new single, ‘This Dance’, is an explosive way to return to the music scene: it’s an intense-sounding record, and possibly even the most intense sound to come from Drenge to date. Where did the idea for the track come from?
It was bizarre how the song came about, to be honest. We don’t normally write material on a computer, but for some reason, Rory wrote his drum part directly onto software and we ended up building the track around the drums, which we did using the software. When it came to recording the track though, we re-recorded the drum part with live drums, so the track almost came full circle in the end.
What’s the ‘dance’ you talk about?
I suppose the dance could be any moment where you forget what’s around you and live fully in the moment. In particular, the song is about when we were at a friend’s wedding and just let ourselves go on the dancefloor – we don’t normally dance. More importantly, this is a song about the unnecessary manoeuvres we often make in life which we do to make others feel happy. Sometimes it’s worth remembering that life is so short and you should use your life as fully as you can without playing a dance to make others feel okay.
The video is pretty spectacular as well…it looks like some crazy Chemical Brothers style of imagery…
Perhaps in the past, we’ve been too pure and sterilised when it comes to our videos and visual presentation. After our time away we felt like we wanted to come back and be more experimental, both musically and visually.
There’s a really interesting guitar sound on ‘This Dance’ which I couldn’t figure out how it was created. What guitar are you playing and what effects are being used?
Off the top of my head, it’s hard to remember exactly what we used and when. We did about three versions of that track, each time making slight adjustments to the tech. Style-wise, I know we used a lot of drive effects pedals to create a sound which felt like a buzzsaw or an animal. These were the sounds which we felt would grab people’s attention and have a feeling of a really horrible nightclub, the type of place where you may actually lose your inhibitions.
There’s plenty of images and noise suggesting you’ve been hard at work in the studio working on a new album. Is that true?
There’s certainly new music being made, yes. It feels a little like we’re playing four-dimensional chess at the moment though as we’ve been away for a while and there seems to be a few more hoops to jump through. Streaming has also totally changed. When we went away music fans were streaming but not the general public – now, everyone’s streaming. It’s good to see but it just means we’re taking baby steps as we try to understand everything. I’m happy to say though that the new material is sounding good.