Exclusive Interview with Craig Owens’ New band D.R.U.G.S.

America’s new post-hardcore super group Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, or DRUGS, is well on their way to dominating the alternative music world with their new music and the teasing way in which they release it. Comprised of Craig Owens (Chiodos, Cinematic Sunrise), Matt Good (From First To Last), Nick Martin (Underminded), Aaron Stern (Matchbook Romance), and Adam Russell (Story Of The Year), the band is signed to Decaydance Records and currently has two songs released, with their new album coming out early 2011. We had the chance to to talk exclusively to Nick Martin, guitarist for the group about the band, the new album, and their plans for the future.

State who you are and what you do.

My name is Nick Martin and I play guitar in the band [D.R.U.G.S.] and I also do some backup vocals.

So, how in the hell did you manage to get the @DRUGS Twitter account?

After we got the band together and got the name all set, management was like now we gotta try to figure out what the Twitter names and the Facebook URLs are going to be. And I guess somebody did own the DRUGS twitter account, but it was inactive, and if the account is inactive for a certain amount of days, like 180 days or something like crazy like that, it’s actually free range. It was actually the week that we were searching for our URLs, that account was being given up.

How has the band been? Has it been all smooth sailing, or has it had it’s own glitches and setbacks?

I think we fell in to it easily. It started on the first day we rehearsed, and it was beyond easier than what we expected; everything clicked really well and moved along really well; the tour’s been good and the shows so so far, and we sound fucking great together. I’m definitely stoked to see where we’re going to be a year from now because we’re already on top of our game and a year from now I think we’ll be even tighter which will be awesome.

Talking about a year from now, what have you got planned for the future? Any plans for Warped Tour?

This is a full time commitment from everybody, this is our main project that we’re doing right now; we’re not focusing on anything else, so we’re going to be touring non-stop on this record all next year. We’ve already got a bunch of tours booked and whatnot, and I can’t quite divulge any info on Warped Tour just yet.

What’s the idea behind the whole acronym D.R.U.G.S.?

Obviously it stands for Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, and the basic explanation on it is everyone in the band was in previous projects that ultimately have ended or run it’s course, and ultimately have been destroyed. Rebuilding is obviously what this project is right now; all of us have been doing this for about ten years, so it’s the process of rebuilding and knowing what it is that we wanted going in to this project and everyone being on top of their game and being better in the music scene. Until God Shows is kind of the pinnacle point of reaching the ultimate peak of what it is we want to achieve musically. That’s the basic explanation. It kind of goes with life too, the destroying and rebuilding of everything in life. Whether it be our relationships or technology and shit like that, it’s the constant cycle of life. It all ties in to what we’re doing as a band as well, and it makes for a cool band name.

Because the band is comprised of Craig, Matt, Adam, Aaron and yourself, you’re classified as a ‘super group’. Would you say that you’ve ever clashed or had any fights over song writing?

Well, that was my main concern going in to this. It’s not that we all have egos; we’re all just very opinionated because we were all pretty much the main drivers of our previous bands, so coming in to this I was very fearful. But there’s a humbleness that comes along with doing this for so long in other bands, and that humbleness, you carry it over to what you do next, and I think everyone really came in on the same page, on the same playing field, and all wanted to achieve the same goals. So it was very easy to write together. And when there was discrepancies in writing, like “Oh, no, I like this better,” it was very constructive. It definitely wasn’t intense or cruel at all to each other; we understood each other and had a very constructive criticism when writing the new music together.

Okay, so throughout the actual writing process of the album, did you mostly write together or separate?

It was actually all across the board; I had a lot of good song ideas, Matt Good had a lot of good song ideas, Craig had a lot of good song ideas. It was bring those ideas to the table, but it was also just getting together in the basement and jamming together and writing music. We tried to tap in to every single way that you could write music. It went from me recording things in GarageBand and sending it to the guys, to actually getting a room and actually jamming on ideas, so we definitely ran the gamut on song writing. We wanted make sure that we were able to achieve as much as possible.

What’s the biggest transition or change you’ve had to go through when coming in to DRUGS from your old band Underminded?

There wasn’t a huge transition for me because I never considered myself to be just a heavy hardcore music listener, so my whole life I’ve written everything. Underminded originally started out as a pop-punk band, so I was doing pop music when I was fifteen, and before that I was learning folk music with my dad and doing Bob Dylan covers. So, doing the transition was fairly simple for me, and I love the challenge of trying to every genre possible and trying to incorporate all of that together.

What was the deal behind the whole dark, demonic series of videos leading up to the first song release?

The whole thing with this band is to push boundaries, and that goes along even with the band name. We want people to feel emotion from it, whether it be anger or happiness; we want to invoke all that kind of shit and with the videos we tried to take an abstract route with it. You know, we could have done a run-of-the-mill video of us playing in a room and being filmed, but we didn’t want to take the easy route. We were like “Let’s push it,” and let’s make people cringe a little bit and make people think of it. That’s the whole thing behind that. And Craig and I are both inspired by, like, David Lynch films and just weird abstract shit that makes you go, “What the fuck was that?” And that’s what we want to do; we want to push the envelope. That’s the whole basis behind the videos for sure. I tell you, rock and roll has gotten so safe, and we want to be that band that pushes it a little harder and kind of take it to the edge a bit more.

To wrap it up, I want to know what gets you most excited for DRUGS? What are you most pumped about?

I’m most pumped about being on tour again, for sure. Our main thing is to be in a band with dudes that are like brothers, and we all are. I love these guys more than I’ve ever loved any of the members in other bands — and I say that in a humbling way. They’re just awesome dudes. It’s awesome to be in a band with guys that rule, but the main thing is that we want to be able to present our energy, and our love, and our stoked out mentality, and our emotions, and we want to bring it on stage and just show the world that we’re no bullshit. We want to raise the bar with what we’re doing, and keep on raising the bar for other bands and other music. That’s our main mission, and that’s what we’re looking forward to doing.