Drifter: An Interview from the Dark Matter Tour
Drifter has only played a handful of shows, and they’ve already opened for the likes of The Word Alive, While She Sleeps and I Set My Friends On Fire. Based out of Riverside, California, Drifter is beginning to make quite impact due their raging metalcore anthems and intensive live shows. We caught up with the members of this up-and-coming collective at The Observatory right before their set opening for The Word Alive on their Dark Matter Tour. Join us for a dope as f*ck interview in the parking lot with the super talented lads of Drifter. Read on…
We’re here with Drifter, introduce yourself and tell me what you do in the band.
Kenny: I’m Kenny, I play bass.
Austin: I’m Austin and I do vocals.
Mike: I’m Mike, and I play the most bitchin lead guitar you’ve ever heard.
Lane: I’m Lane, I play drums.
Where are you guys based out of and what do you think of our local music scene out here?
Austin: We’re based out of Riverside, kind of, California area. It’s cool, I joined these guys and we jumped into the local metalcore scene, metal scene. It’s been pretty cool experience. I like it.
Kenny: There’s a lot of bands, a lot of shows that go on constantly. There’s always something to do or a show to go to.
Lane: I think it’s growing, but maybe not as fast as we need it to, or as it should be growing. Like Kenny said, we are able to go to shows almost every weekend. When I feel like it should be more frequent event. You should be able to – if you have nothing to do, go to a show tonight. Like, what show is happening tonight? Let’s go to that.
Mike: I feel like the scene is on a comeback, on the rise again. So, it feels good. There’s a line of people out here, so that’s cool, right? Just a few years ago this wasnt happening. So it’s cool to see people coming together again. It’s nice to see and it’s good. The scene is popping again.
What can one expect from a live Drifter show tonight?
Lane: Energy and intensity and hard-hitting.
You recently played your first show at Malone’s. What goes through your mind when you’re playing the first show with a new band?
Mike: Don’t screw up. That’s what goes through my mind, a lot of nerves. Nerves and is all our equipment going to work? Is our computer going to crash? Is the sound guy going to not turn the mic on? Is everything going to work the way we need it to? Because if it doesn’t, we’re sitting ducks. We’re going to be screwed. If none of the stuff works, you don’t get your full experience of us and our personalities. It’s a nervous wreck every time. It’s definitely fun and exciting, that’s why we keep doing it.
Kenny: For me, it was real nerve wracking because I’ve been trying to do this band for so long and now I have the lineup I want and everything works. With the video that we did on Rock Sound, we built that up two weeks ago then we had our first show. It’s like, I don’t want to say we had hype, but I feel like we had a lot to show. I’ve built this up for so long and I don’t want it to be bad live. I wanted everything to go really well, and it did. It was super packed.
How did your second show with While She Sleeps go and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
Austin: The show went really well. It was quite a few kids that came up to us after the show and told us we were really sick and we’re going to check us out. While She Sleeps is really cool, we hung out with them for a little bit. They played, talked for a bit, told us how different the music scene is out here and how comparing the two, England and here. They said it was real cool to see the difference between the two. They watched us too!
Oh, they watch you?
ALL: Yeah, the singer watched us.
That’s cool. I think they play the night after they opened up for Asking Alexandria. So what’s the inspiration for the lyrics behind the first single?
Austin: Devil/Saint, when I was writing that one, I really dug it. I was sitting with Mike and – instantly I was like, OK, I need to write something that is really hard hitting and kids can just hold onto and grab onto it. It’s the whole concept of a duality of this is telling me I’m right and this is telling me I’m wrong. Which part am I? Honestly not letting things control you and being the best that you can, in the moment, in whatever situation. I am my devil, I am my saint. I am the person I am right now. You can judge me all you want, but I am the person I am at the end of the day.
Select any other song you’ll be doing tonight, what inspired the lyrics?
Austin: There’s one called Wide Eyed that we do right before Devil/ Saint. That one, we’re actually working on – we’re shooting a video for it. That one is kind of more personal instead of hey, we all share this. The main chorus is, “you don’t know the nights I’ve spent alone. Wide Eyed looking at the stars alone.” So it’s more of, I’ve been in some moments where everything in the universe is telling me how small I am and how what I’m doing does not make a difference. You just have to get so low into that sinking feeling, it makes you just want to not do anything and it just grinds you and makes you feel like shit basically. Just making you realize, hey, even though all this shit happens, I’m still here and it’s still worth living because I’m alive right now.
If Drifter could open for any band either now or from the past, who and why?
Mike: I think I can speak for all of us on this one and that band would be Slipknot. When I was maybe 10 years old I got introduced to the band and how crazy it was. My dad thought it was super Satanic and I wasn’t allowed to listen to it, so I wanted to dig deeper. I also have a Slipknot tattoo on my arm, it kind of speaks for itself. that would be the band and I think everyone would agree with me. They can be entitled to their own opinion.
Lane: I think we can all agree. Bands with that caliber. Bring Me The Horizon even, bands that are that big. But for me, it’d be a band like Northlane. Just because they’re from Australia and they’re really big on the scene right now. They are one of the biggest bands that have influenced me the most in my musicianship and I’d be more than honored to play with a band like that.
Kenny: I’d have to agree with Mike and Lane. Slipknot and BMTH and for me, a band that’s impossible because it wouldn’t make sense but Motley Crue, any sick 80s glam band. I love that stuff. It makes zero sense, it just is cool and I like that stuff and that was the first stuff I got into because of my dad.
Austin: I’d have to go with Kenny and I would want to go with AC/DC or RUSH. That would be amazing, even though we don’t fit into that sound at all. I’d be like, amazed if we ever got on a tour like that.
Kenny: If Steel Panther ever sees this, I’d have a heart attack if I played with Steel Panther. If they ever see it.
How close are you guys to releasing another song?
Kenny: We don’t really have a time frame on it, but the guy that did our first music video and our artwork Aaron Marsh. We’re shooting another video with him soon. We haven’t really scheduled anything so I can’t really say. Then he’s also done the artwork for the second single. It’s the song “Wide Eyed” and we play it In our set. We’re just trying to get a cohesive piece and just flesh out the idea of what we want to do with the video too.
Do you have any messages for people out here reading this who now should check out Drifter?
Austin: Check our Drifter because we’re dope as fuck.
Mike: I think people should give us a chance because I feel like we’re all really passionate about what we’re doing, and like Austin said, we’re dope as fuck. We are representing passion for music and what bands should do and how bands should feel about their fans, playing shows and creating music. We’re just as passionate about it. I think people will recognize that when we continue to put out material and do our visuals and do the shit that we say. Sometimes it sounds weird, but us saying we’re dope as fuck is funny to me. I guess getting a laugh out of people too is good because we are in the entertainment industry. We’re here solely to entertain, people pay to come to our shows. They’re going to be entertained. I think that’s why people should check us out. Ultra fun.
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)
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