Coronavirus update: View cancelled events here

Allusondrugs interview: It's weird to be normal

We spoke to Allusondrugs' guitarist Drey about the band's Am I Weird EP, their upcoming Scuzz TV tour and Independent venue sustainability in today's social climate.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 5th Dec 2016

Image: Allusondrugs 

It seems as though Allusondrugs have gradually been amassing a masterplan to impact 2016 with a meteoric hole. Heralding a frenetic output that feeds off an intelligently crafted alchemy of growling grunge and psychedelic rock, the Yorkshire five-piece have garnered an unshakable reputation as a must-see live band.

Last year they toured with Enter Shikari and more recently We Are The Ocean and Tall Ships. Now they're ready to unfurl their recently released Am I Weird EP when they embark on an alternating headline tour with Max Raptor and Press To Meco across the UK. 

In wide-eyed anticipation of that, we spoke to the band's guitarist Drey Pavlovic about their belting new release, the all-conquering tour itself and the current state of venue sustainability in today's social climate ahead of Independent Venue Week.  

 

You released your Am I Weird? EP at the end of last year. Do you feel it's given some of the older songs a new lease of life? 

Yes definitely. It's nice to be able to round-up those digitally released songs on a proper physical CD. People can play it full blast in their cars now!

I understand Allusondrugs to be a metaphor of the ignorance or unawareness we have towards certain social issues. Could you explain why you choose Am I Weird as the EP title in relation to that? 

Initially we didn't want to call our second EP anything. We wanted another self-titled EP, but that would have just caused confusion as our debut EP was self-titled. We didn't want to call it anything like "Allusondrugs2" either so the opening title 'Am I Weird' just seemed fitting.

I think today’s society and social pressures can make you question yourself a little bit - I imagine a lot of people feel like they are the odd one out. We believe that it's ok to be a little weird - the weird ones are always the most interesting, and if anything - it's weird to be normal!

You’re revered for your live performances, do you angle your songs to work that way or is it just the way the band hits the stage?

There’s a lot of energy, passion and adrenaline at play when we perform live. This all comes naturally to us. Sometimes though when we write music we purposely create sections in our songs that are designed to enhance our live show.

It's not something we always do - as concentration on actually making a good song comes first - but this sort of 'tuning songs for the live environment' thing has been happening a lot more recently, especially with our new material. 

How’d the tour with Max Raptor and Press To Meco come together, we imagine things are gonna get crazy? 

We were invited on the tour by the lovely folks over in the PTM camp. I believe it was an idea that their people had. How could we say no? It just seemed like the perfect thing to do considering the stage we're at now.

Also with Scuzz TV firmly behind the idea we knew there was going to be some interesting TV stuff involved too. We know Press To Meco and Max Raptor very well and this upcoming tour will no doubt be one to remember for us all.

What’s the thinking behind the alternating headliners - does it change the way you approach things from set to set?  

I think there's a really cool vibe when you don't know who's going to headline a show. It forces the crowd to turn up early and check out all the bands.

We are either all going to play a headline set each, or depending on time constraints from venue to venue the headliner of the night will probably do a full set while the other two bands play for 30 mins each? I dunno.. You'll have to come to a show and find out. 

I saw you posted "F*ck Gentrification, F*ck The Right Wing....Don't Get Mad, Get Even” on your Facebook page. Could you expand on your thoughts in that vein in relation to the current trend of local venues being closed down? 

This quote was the last bit of text originally typed by the folks over at The Owl Sanctuary in their initial status update. When we shared the news to our band page I thought it would be appropriate to copy and paste this bit of text as this quote speaks volumes in regards to our personal views.

It's basically saying fuck the 1%, fuck those that use money as a form of power, shamelessly driving over and crushing anything with no regard or empathy to what they are fucking up.

I fear this kind of thing will happen a lot more in the near future as the smaller venues struggle to keep up in today’s climate. Put it this way - the last venue we played at (Bar 1:22 in Huddersfield) has just closed down for similar reasons.

It seems like AUOD are ready to really push on now - is the plan to thrash the sh*t out of 2016 until the time is right to think about a debut album? 

Yep - you nailed it. 

Thanks Drey

UK dates below: 

Birmingham - The Rainbow Venues, Monday 22nd February 

Glasgow - Broadcast, Tuesday 23rd February 

Aberdeen - The Tunnels, Wednesday 24th February 

Dundee - Buskers, Thursday 25th February

Carlisle - The Brickyard, Friday 26th February 

Edinburgh - Sneaky Petes, Saturday 27th February 

Newcastle - Think Tank, Monday 29th February 

Manchester - Deaf Insitute, Tuesday 1st March

Derby - The Vic Inn, Wednesday 2nd March

Tunbridge Wells - The Forum, Thursday 3rd March

Milton Keynes - The Crauford Arms, Friday 4th March

Norwich - The Owl Sanctuary, Saturday 5th March 

Read: Are You Supporting Independent Venue Week?