Interview w/ Birmingham, UK Pop-Punkers You Know The Drill
Starting off your Tuesday with an interview featuring the up and coming Birmingham, UK based pop-punk quintet You Know The Drill. These newbies are causing a bit of ruckus over on the other side of the pond with their effervescent blend of youthful energy and lyrical honesty that is churning a musical wave right into the direction of America right now as we speak. The boys were kind enough to take some time out of their hectic schedules to do a quick chat as we find out more about them, their creative process when it comes to writing music together, and their hopes and aspirations moving forward. Here is the transcript from our chat:
Give us your names and roles in the band?
Benji - My name is Benji Yapp and I sing, as well as being the former rhythm guitarist! Luke - My name’s Luke Astley, I play rhythm guitar.
Brad - Brad Potter and I play drums and occasionally deafen people with my beautiful backing vocals
Damo – I’m Damo Darby and I play Bass.
Jim - My name is what? My name is who? My name is chicka chicka Jim McCormack and I play the lead guitar and do some vocals when the time is right.
Take us behind the origins of the group and how you all met?
Benji - I first met Damo in Year 7 at school and we’ve been best friends ever since. I met Jim later through skateboarding and then Brad at College on the same course as me. We all met Luke earlier when I decided I wanted to become a full-time vocalist, so Brad found him on a Facebook group, we auditioned him and the rest is history!
What were the groups that most inspired you when you were younger and how have they helped shape you personally?
Benji - For me personally it has to be bands like Blink, Bowling For Soup and Zebrahead who always had fun with their music, stage shows and music videos.
Luke - Blink 182 are the band that mean everything to me, I've been a major fan of every aspect of them from the early days to current. As I got a bit older bands like Neck Deep, The Story So Far, Real Friends and Knuckle Puck have really influenced me musically and have shown me the paths to even more amazing and upcoming bands.
Brad - For me personally, I used to listen to a lot of Avenged Sevenfold and Enter Shikari when I first started getting into music, so they’re my core bands when I think of reasons I started playing.
Damo - Blink is an obvious choice, being mine and Benji’s favourite band growing up we take a lot of influence from them, not just musically but also in their fun approach to music.
Jim- The main band that I was into was Metallica. They got me into the metal scene. But as time went on, I started to widen my horizons and ended up listening to anything and everything. I've got a major soft spot for ska/punk though, to the tune of Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger. I think they were the stepping stone for me going from metal to pop punk.
Give us a sense of how you guys normally operate when it comes to writing music together and how do you all contribute to the process?
Jim - Writing normally consists of us guys in a room just having a grand old time. Someone will make a riff, and it just kind of flows from there. There's a lot of language that only musicians would understand. For example, when writing Heads Up, we wanted the intro to go 'bada da da DA DAA daaa'. And Repose goes 'Buh nuh nuh nuh nuuuuh'. And the sad thing is, we understand that.
The UK music scene seems to be enjoying a resurgence these days, what is it like over there and how does it feel to be a part of it?
Damo - It's really cool, in the pop punk scene everyone seems to know everyone and it feel’s like we're slowly getting into that group. It's so cool back in the day I remember playing pubs with a cover band thinking this is cool it can't get any better, but now we're playing original music to people who want to hear it supporting bands who we're big fans off ourselves.
Let's go behind the recording process of your debut EP "Losing Streak" and what was it like for you?
Benji - Losing Streak was recorded over a period of 10 days at Steel City Studios in Sheffield with Drew Lawson. The first five days there were spent doing Pre-Production, which is essentially demoing the songs in the studio and then refining certain sections, adding drum fills here and there, trying different lyrics, just to make the songs perfect; We were even lucky enough to have Alex and Adam from ROAM come down for a couple of days during the pre pro stage to lend some thoughts and ideas.
What is your favorite song off the new effort that you're most proud of?
Benji - This is a crazy hard question because I have a favourite section from each song but my favourite overall has to be "Peer Pressure". I feel it’s the strongest lyric and has the biggest chorus on the entire record.
Luke - "Repose" is my favourite off of Losing Streak for sure. It has a huge sound, the lyrics can be related too in so many ways and it's an edgy view of the darker side of life.
Damo - "Repose". I think "Repose" is a bit of a hidden gem on the EP, the song differs a lot from the rest of the EP and has an important message in the lyrics.
Brad - I’d have to say "Less Than You". I just remember when Benji sent me a demo for the track and I was in Amsterdam at the time and all I can remember is just losing my mind because of how sick I thought it was (it was literally just the intro at this point) it gave me a huge smile for days and I must’ve jammed it a good 20+ times. Just reminds me of when we first started approaching this debut and gives me happy thoughts.
Jim - Personally, I think Heads Up is my favourite. The intro riff just comes in so hard, and the chorus gets stuck in your head for days. It's a really fun song to play too.
What can we find you guys doing in your spare time away from making music?
Benji - I love going to theme parks and on random days out with my girl.
Luke - I have a big place in my heart for reptiles, I'm running out of room with the amount I have and they do take a lot of taking care of. I also love to tinker with anything, especially my car!
Damo – Bowling.
Brad – I enjoy playing video games and I walk places quite a bit too. I study music so even when I’m not doing YKTD related things I’m usually deep in some other venture regarding music.
Jim - We normally just hit up the local pub and chill. We go bowling sometimes too.
What's on tap for the rest of the year, any shows coming up and could we see an appearance in the U.S. sometime soon?
Benji - We have a show on November 20th supporting ROAM, Like Pacific and Columbus in Birmingham which is going to be sick and then we’re planning a short run of dates for the end of the year.
Luke - I would love to play in the U.S. It's the one place I've always wanted to visit and there's a bunch of states I wanna see, so I'll speak on behalf of everyone and say we are totally down for any shows there.
Lastly, what does being in this band mean to each of you personally?
Benji - For me it’s an escape from the stress that comes coupled with life, as well as a really good excuse to spend endless hours with my best friends.
Luke - I've always wanted to find a band where I click with the members as much as the music, and these boys have made such a big impact on my life. I don’t see myself without it anymore.
Damo - It means so much, it gives me a goal and an outlet to be creative and something to work hard at.
Brad - I love this band to pieces, I’ve been in a few other bands before but i’ve never experienced a band like this before. We’re all like brothers and I’ve had the best times of my life during our time together.
Jim - Being in the band to me means having to work twice the hours and still having no money. I joke of course, I love this band. Love can't buy you a new TV though.
Thanks once again to Benji, Luke, Damo, Brad and Jim for being so rad in doing this interview! With the bevy of British pop-punk bands I've had the pleasure of featuring over the years, this one has a wealth of potential and is among one of the most energetic U.K. bands that I've come across in quite awhile. For more on You Know The Drill, please 'Like' them on Facebook over here to get better acquainted with the lads.