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Interviews : “People who like your band don’t look at the hate” – An Interview with Alex Reade and Laurence Appleby (Drown This City)

By on June 19, 2017

When you play in a band, internet-hate is just about inevitable. Haters are always out there, watching, waiting for their opportunity to strike, to unleash their relentless volleys of vitriol at any act that happens to fall slightly outside the narrow spectrum that is their own musical tastes. And when you play in a female-fronted post-hardcore act with strong electronic influences, the potential for trolling is even greater. But while Melbourne band Drown This City certainly cop their fair share, frontwoman Alex Reade and guitarist Laurence Appleby have a very mature and philosophical mindset when it comes to the lurking haters.

“It’s actually kind of a relief when you get to the hater,” Reade laughs, “it’s like ‘okay, there it is, there we go, now let’s move on’.”

“It’s so funny though,” Appleby adds, “you get some people that, they throw their opinion out there, but it’s not much of an opinion. They try to say something that is a matter of fact, but it’s just wrong. Like, we had one person who said ‘there is no clean singing’, but there is!”

“It’s like, did you even listen to the song?” Reade says.

“It’s quite hilarious, I actually love it!” Appleby states, laughing.

“People who like your band don’t look at the hate, they don’t look at it and say ‘oh, I believe that’, they look at your attitude and your response towards it.” Reade advises.

When it comes to their brand new single, Bend/Break, they need not be too worried about this anyway, as it appears that the reaction to it has been almost universally positive. “The reaction’s been amazing,” Appleby enthuses.

“There’s definitely a change between the way people used to come to us with their feedback up to now,” Reade says, “I think that shows that we’ve maybe created a step up with what we’ve put out there. It’s been 99% positive and 1% feedback that’s been negative.”

At this point, Bend/Break is a standalone song, however the band intend it to be part of something bigger down the track, they’re just not certain what form that something will take in these uncertain times in the music industry. “The sing is going to be included in something,” Appleby explains, “we just don’t know what it is yet. We’ve got heaps ready, we’re writing constantly, we’ve got songs in the bank, we just don’t know what to do with them yet.”

What is certain is that this band has its collective head screwed on the right way and will be ready for what eventuates. “And depends on what opportunities come our way,” Reade continues the thought, “I think what we’ve learnt over the past year is that we don’t know what opportunities are going to come along. So you need to have a plan for seven different directions, you need to have your shit together, your content ready, and that’s what we’re doing this year. We’re adjusting to the fact that we don’t know exactly what the next step is, so we’re taking tiny steps, tiny building blocks. Have things ready for the best case scenario, the next case scenario, and then doing it ourselves.”

The single itself has already brought them a fantastic opportunity, a national tour with one of their better known contemporaries in the post-hardcore scene, which begins on July 14th in Brisbane. “We are very lucky to have managed to convince Save the Clocktower to come along with us,” Reade enthuses, “I think that’s just outstanding to have such a spectacular quality band with us.

“And it is a local tour,” she continues, “a local, do it yourselves grind of a tour. We were hesitant about putting on our own headline tour, because we weren’t sure about our fanbase, but after the touring that we’ve done we’ve come to understand that it’s the playing of the shows that bring you the fans.

“You can connect with people online all you want, and that’s great, but it playing live that brings in the true fans.”

So what is on the cards for you guys for the rest of the year after you get back from this tour? “Roy (the band’s manager Roy Amar from Bear Parts Music) has always got two years planned ahead,” Reade reveals, “he’s got all these opportunities, we have reached out to many opportunities, we’ve applied for many opportunities, and we will take it one day at a time to see what we get back.

“Once we get back from the tour, we will probably start recording new material. However, if these opportunities come to fruition, we will not be recording new material!” She laughs, “we’ll just have to see what falls.”

“It’s all Roy’s master plan.” Appleby completes the thought.

Friday 14th July – Brisbane
Crowbar – 18+

Saturday 15th July – Sydney
Factory Floor – 18+

Friday 21st July – Adelaide
Enigma Bar – 18+

Saturday 22nd July – Melbourne
Workers Club – 18+

Friday 28th July – Hobart
Brisbane Hotel – 18+

Saturday 29th July – Launceston
Club 54 – 18+

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Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.