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Q&A: Allusondrugs

by Kyle McCormick
Kyle McCormick
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on 14 May 2014 in Features

[Feature by Dave Beech.]

With Leeds being a city on the up, the amount of exciting talent emerging from its industrial inners is on the rise too and whilst Allusondrugs aren't technically from Leeds, they're close enough to be considered part of the ever-growing wave of acts the city has to offer.

Playing what's quickly becoming a quintessential Leeds sound and essentially having an appreciation for all things heavy, the band, whilst describing themselves as the catch-all term - alternative rock, fuse together grunge and indie in an incendiary blend of both nostalgia and the contemporary.

We caught up with guitarist Drey for a chat about their most recent single, and their plans looking towards the end of the year.

Allusondrugs is a pretty explanatory name, having gone to uni in Leeds, I can say it's pretty indicative of the city and it's respective music scenes but has having a name such as yours posed any issues in terms of booking gigs, or do people expect you to sound a certain way because of it?

We seem to get a fair few gig offers but the band name has given us a little bit of trouble in the past. We once got a funny reply from an e-mail we sent to a gig promoter. All it said was “Sorry lads, don’t do drugs.” Also, I can’t imagine how many opportunities we may have missed out on because of our band name. Some people will take it seriously while others will understand it’s just a silly band name, a funny combination of words. Besides, how many bands do you know that sound and act like their band name?

How was it that you all came to meet? Was it the usual being part of other bands and inevitably crossing paths or is there a more rock 'n' roll story behind it?

A bit of both! Me and Damian [guitarist] have been making music together in bands for 7-8 years. We have always been aware of Jason [vocals], Connor [drums] and Jemal [bass] as musicians in other bands but we never thought we’d all end up in the same project together. A band me and Jason were in (Lover Octave) came to an end when Jason wanted to start something totally new with a bit of edge. He already had a drummer lined up (Connor) from a previous project. I am joined to Damian musically by the hip, so all we needed was a suitable bass player to complete the line-up. Jason basically left my band and we started a new one – all in the same phone call!

Your music is pretty typical for a band from Leeds, at least in terms of it's how heavy it is at times. What do you think it is about Leeds that makes bands from there sway to the heavier, grungier side of things?

It’s a bit different for us because some of the songs we are playing are actually 7-8 years old. We had them penned well before Leeds was establishing itself as a “heavy” scene ever since Pulled Apart By Horses set the tone and everyone wanted to be like them. We always did our own thing. We aren’t even from Leeds to be honest, but it’s the closest city to us and we wanted to break into it.

Similarly, you must've gigged with your fair share of bands coming up around West Yorkshire at the moment, anyone you'd like to big up that you think our readers should be listening to?

NARCS / Forever Cult / Lost Ground / Keeper / Brawlers / Koala / Marmozets / Probably more I’ve missed.

What's the scene in Leeds and West Yorkshire like when compared to those found dotted around the rest of the country?

The Leeds scene is pretty solid to be honest, some great venues and promoters are keeping it alive and it’s hard to find such a strong buzz elsewhere. Maybe we just haven’t been to enough places. London is pretty exciting too but the crowds seem a bit stiffer.

You've just released your current single 'Nervous'. How has that gone down with both fans and critics?

Really well - it’s the most successful release we have done so far. The fans are enjoying it and all the reviews are saying really nice things. It’s selling really well too. We have one bad review but I’m sure there are bound be some mixed opinions… I’d be a bit worried if not!!

Given the name of your new single, are you generally a nervous band? Do you get pre-gig jitters and if so how do you deal with them? What other kind of things make you nervous?

’Nervous’ was written by Damian. It has nothing to do with the band as such - it’s more of a personal delivery. We wanted to release it as a single because the song sounded great to us. In terms of pre-gig nerves we have got a lot better at channelling this into excitement and adrenalin instead.

Being from the Leeds area, are you familiar with Matt Johnson? The ubiquitous producer whose name seems to be everywhere at the moment? Ever thought about working with him?

Never heard of him - he can’t be that good then, haha! Only kidding…

Your Facebook page sees the five of you sharing a rather small looking bed. Is this something that happens often on tour? Who's the worst person to sleep next to?

That was just some crappy promo photo we did because we were out of ideas. The worst person for sleeping next to is our tour manager and driver Middi. He can go from awake to deep sleep snoring in seconds. He’s a great guy!!

Your drummer seems to be fairly well inked, as is the drummer of Leeds-based Humans As Ornaments. Is this something that's inherent to drummers or is just a West Yorkshire thing?

I would say neither in our case. Connor just likes tattoos… he’s been getting them for years.

We've heard a bit about you as a band, but what about you as individuals? Who makes Allusondrugs the band you are? And though you've probably been asked this countless times, are you all on drugs?

As soon as you take away one existing element from this band it will no longer work to its full potential. We mainly manage ourselves. It’s probably the main reason we have come so far in such little time without being held back by any old geezer having a crack at band management. And no we are not all on drugs! Though our name may suggest otherwise, we are actually very passionate, disciplined, hard-working musicians on a mission.

You're on the line-up for this year's Live At Leeds this coming weekend, how does it feel to be sharing a bill with some of the most talked about bands of the last twelve months?

It’s good to be on the same bill with some excellent bands. It’s our first Live at Leeds appearance and we’ll be playing at Leeds University Mine at 12:30pm on Saturday 3rd May.

With festival season rapidly approaching, apart from LAL, what festivals can we see you at this summer?

Huddlefest, Long Division, Live in Barnsley and hopefully more as soon as they are confirmed!!

Also, any plans for the latter half of the year? New releases? Tour plans?

We are toying with the idea of spending some time in London and making full use of our contacts there. The plan is to release an EP, tour like crazy and expand our fan base.

Finally, any exclusive news you'd like to share with our readers?

Clue Records are a great label and we love them dearly. Keep your eye out for our upcoming EP due for release in June/July.

Thanks guys, it's been a pleasure.

Below is the video for the band’s new single ‘Nervous’ discussed above, and you can keep up to date with Alluson drugs through Facebook and Twitter.

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