Latest release: Live from Hot Topic (Sire/Warner)
Michigan’s Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows brings together members of rock and post-hardcore acts from across the USA. Earlier this year, their debut album D.R.U.G.S. busted into the Billboard Top 100 at #30 ahead of appeareances on the Vans Warped tour and they’ve just released a live EP that was recorded at a Hot Topic fashion store. As part of the just-announced Counter Revolution shows, the band will be here for their first visit in this format. Loud took a call from singer/guitarist Nick Martin and chatted about playing in a supergroup and Aussie coffee.
Q: So Nick, you’re headed down to Australia to play on the Counter Revolution festival. Will this be the first time that Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows have visited Australia?
A: Yeah this will be our first time as a band. We’ve all been there before in our previous bands on different tours but this will be our first time over there as D.R.U.G.S., so we’re beyond excited; a little nervous but they’re good nerves. There’s a lot of amazing bands on the bill this year so we feel like we’ve gotta step up our game a little bit, but I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun.
Q: What are you guys expecting to come across in Australia for the first time playing as D.R.U.G.S.?
A: I don’t know what we’re trying to come across; obviously we just wanna go there and have a lot of fun. We just hope that the people will be super receptive to what we’re bringing. We’re definitely a very intense live band so hopefully everyone has as much energy as we have going into it ‘cos we’re going to be going pretty fucking crazy onstage so we’ll be hoping that the crowds will be just as crazy with us. Every other instance I’ve had in Australia playing in front of people there they’ve been out of control so, we will be just as out of control with them.
Q: You guys have a mass of experience under your belt. The band consists of members who’ve been in Underminded, Story of the Year, From First to Last, Matchbook Romance and Chiodos: do you believe that all this experience both musically and from a touring perspective has helped you become as big, or even bigger than the bands you were in beforehand?
A: I think it’s helped us out immensely. We’ve looked at those bands as kind of like our “college” years, you know? It’s kind of learning the do’s and don’ts and the right and wrongs of what we’ve done before and coming into this band with fresh ideas. Knowing exactly what it takes and exactly what it is we need to do as a band to succeed in every shape of that word. Everyone came in with very ego-less and clear heads and we just want to dominate, and as egotistical as that might sound it’s just us being very confident in what we do and what we want to achieve.
Q: Do you think that it also brings a lot of writing experience into the band and allows you to write better songs, or do you think it’s just different to what you’ve done before?
A: It’s completely different. I mean, everyone comes from these different backgrounds with their music, but everyone is very eclectic with their music taste so we all tap into these different areas of music that we’re all inspired by and I think that’s what’s given us an original sound and something a bit more progressive and ahead of the curb. So you know, having all these great musicians, at least around me; being surrounded by really educated musicianship has definitely raised the bar for our songwriting.
Q: “Supergroup” is a label that I’ve seen used to describe you guys. Do you try and avoid that label or do you find it makes people sit up and take more notice of what you’re doing?
A: It’s weird, I see it both ways. I see how it gives a moniker and kind of classifies who we are and where we came from as a band. I guess at the end of the day I also don’t really care what people want to classify it as, I just want people to listen to it. So if people want to call it a supergroup or whatever you want to call it, at the end of the day if people are listening to it you can call us whatever you like even if it’s something demeaning (laughs). If it drives someone to want to listen to our band then I’m appreciative of that.
Q: A few weeks ago, D.R.U.G.S. released a brand new EP entitled “Live from Hot Topic”; it contains five live tracks all taken from your debut album. How did you come to record a show in a clothing store?
A: It was really weird how it came about; that was actually the third show that we’d ever played together as a band, so we were still really fresh going into it and playing in a live setting. But what we did is we went to their headquarters in California, and they had this awesome venue built inside where everyone works out of. And so the show went so well that they asked if we were interested in releasing it under their name and having them promote it and whatnot and have exclusivity to it and we said, “Yeah, sure why not?” And the recordings turned out really well; it’s kind of really cool to look back on it now just knowing that that was our third show and how it turned out and how well we sounded, we were kind of proud of ourselves.
Q: How many people actually fit into the store for the recording?
A: It was actually a really big venue. I was surprised; I’d never seen anything like it in my life. It’s this massive warehouse and there’s hundreds and hundreds of people working in there, but they have this separate room off to the side and they had staging, lighting and this massive sound system and a sound guy and you know, all these camera crews. You could probably fit about 800 people in there, you know, it was huge.
Q: Do you think this is way for bands to get back in touch with people; playing unconventional shows like this one in unconventional settings?
A: I just think it’s smart. I think that at this point in the music industry I think being unconventional is a smart way to go about things. You know, obviously the conventional way of going about things in the music industry doesn’t quite work like it used to. So everyone wants to find new ways and new models to present your music and to gain a bigger fan base. So for us it takes those kinds of risks and those chances, we wanna do that. Even with a band name like D.R.U.G.S.; I think from the get-go we wanted to take chances, we don’t wanna play anything safe at all. I think by playing it safe you’re just gonna fall under what everyone else has been doing. We don’t wanna fail at what we’re doing so we want to push the envelope a bit more. If it raises some eyebrows, but in the interim gains some new fans, then so be it.
Q: And finally, what are you looking forward to most about coming back to Australia?
A: Oh my god. You know what, this is really weird; I’m this massive coffee lover and I try all these coffees across the world. I grew up loving coffee with my parents; my parents got me into all these coffees and teas, but when I was in Australia I had amazing coffee there. So when I’m there I’m definitely gonna utilise that and be strung out on Australian coffee for sure.