What a year it’s been for brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless, better known as drop-D grunge duo Drenge. The Castleford pair have enjoyed a storming year so far, working off the back of their phenomenally energetic debut album. In typical grace, the brothers took The Cockpit by the scruff of the neck during their headlining Live at Leeds spot. Following their bludgeoning show, I caught up with singer and guitarist Eoin to talk touring, recording and fans.
Drenched in sweat, yet feeling the night time cold, Eoin and Rory Loveless stand outside the back entrance of The Cockpit, Leeds, and reflect on their headlining Live at Leeds Festival slot. Falling nowhere near short of expectations, the brothers raged through a jam-packed setlist that included such favourites as ‘Dogmeat’, ‘Let’s Pretend’ and ‘Nothing’. After a lavish day off from the stresses of everyday life, the people of Leeds had s rare 24 hours to drink, relax, and enjoy a large helping of brilliant music. But how did the gig fare in the eyes of Eoin Loveless, himself?
“No, yeah, it was good. It was a cool show”. That’s probably underselling it a little. Having spent the day reviewing the festival, Drenge certainly stood out as one of the top performers i’d been fortunate enough to see. One of the many turning points during their show was the, and I cannot stress this enough, excessive stage invasions and stage diving from members of the audience. Quite simply, much like the music, it was hectic, to a point where rock ’n’ roll could well have tumbled into violence; the parallels of anarchy becoming blurred ubiquitously. Seemingly, Eoin took it all in his stride, as he always does: “ It wasn’t too bad. We kinda did a gig in Bristol, yeah, at the Fleece and it was just relentless with people coming on stage. But it doesn’t unnerve us, no”.
While the quick-fire music of the concert was herniating, Drenge have recently expressed their desire to move away from writing ‘pop’ songs. Speaking to NME earlier in the year, the Loveless brothers admitted that writing pop songs “tired” them, and they were looking to work on “darker and more moody” songs. Accordingly, I pondered whether the bands live shows gave them more freedom to turn their music into something more palpable and satisfactorily adherent to their own criteria. “ Yeah, I dunno really. When you’re playing live you just try to make as much noise as you can and try and have much fun as you can. I’m not trying to think too much about the actual show, I just kind of, like, want people to have a good time”.
Before their headlining slot at Live at Leeds, the previous night Drenge had played a late show at Liverpool Sound City Festival, and Eoin explained how life on the road tends to take its toll on you. In fairness, Eoin did seem pretty shattered. “Yeah, I am. You know it has been a long day. We had a late gig in Liverpool last night. Yeah, it was cool. It was good fun, but then again this was pretty good fun as well, but it does just leave you pretty knackered doing late shows. You go out and you can just tell that everyone in the venue is just up for it, so it does knacker you out”.
Despite his fatigue, Eoin seemed up beat about the bands future ventures. In bloody brilliant news for Drenge fans, Eoin confirmed that Rory and himself are back in studio working on their second record. “We’re gonna a bit of recording this month and get another album done”, he told me. With regards to any expected release date or exclusive information, however, it’s not such good news: “Urm, I’m not… I don’t work at the label so I can’t really tell you anything else, but hopefully we’ll have something sooner rather than later”, he laughed.
And with that, a thumping good chap, left a thumping venue after a thumping good gig. Working a string of festival dates over the summer, which includes T in the Park, Optimus Alive Festival and Benicàssim, Eoin and Rory Loveless continue to serge through what has been a blindingly successful year for them. More of the same please, boys.
*Originally conducted and written for No-Title Magazine at the Live at Leeds Festival 2014*