Amongst much else, this band have toured as special guests of Editors, scorched festivals with their intense showy presence, Summer single ‘All Broken Down‘ received BBC Radio 6 play and they’re about to hit the mighty Reading and Leeds Festival’s BBC Introducing Stage over the Bank Holiday. Photojournalist, Gareth Burroughs, got beneath the surface just before their Tramlines Festival show in July, with this revealing interview (and also took all the photographs);
October Drift, if you’ve somehow missed them, are a four piece band with Dan, Alex, Chris and Kiran. They are going from strength to strength with their lively performances (they are a bugger to photograph as they don’t stand still for long). The amount of energy they have on stage will blow you away, and along with that, their music is full on brilliance.
I have photographed a lot of bands, and OD are joint favourites along with Avalanche Party. They are down to earth and the nicest lads you could meet, and one of the hardest working bands out there. I was privileged for the band to spare some time to talk to me. Amongst other things, we discussed the new single and their upcoming album, The Editors, tattoos and papier-mache heads.
Welcome October Drift! Today I’m talking to Chris (drummer) and Kiran (lead singer
G : “So how would you describe your style of music?”
OD : “Oh man, we’re trying to be National with fuzz pedals.”
“Would you call it heavy indie?”
“You can call it whatever you want. I’ve heard it described as dark post-punk, indie. It’s all rock at the end of the day.”
“You always support the support band. Why is that important to you?”
“We’ve been gigging since our early teens and it always meant something to us if the other bands watched us. And it’s important that the bands watch each other especially if there’s not many people at the gig. It’s as much a respect thing as an interest thing and we do want to see new music as well and that is obviously a big part of it. And it’s being on the other side of that, and knowing what it’s like.”
A lot of bands I come across in my photography don’t support the other bands.
“I get that, sometimes touring can be exhausting and sometimes you are knackered. You know, even if you’re on a twelve day tour and you’re on the last day, I think out of respect and interest, it’s always good to.”
“Do you have an album coming out?”
“We don’t have an album coming out, but we’ve recorded an album and we’ve tracked it.”
“Can you talk about that?”
“Yeah, we’re getting some of it mixed at the moment but there’s no immediate plan to release it. We want to make it as big a success as it can be when we do come to release it. We don’t just want to put it out, it needs to be the right time and done in the right way.
We’ve had it recorded since August last year (2017) and we tracked it ourselves in our studio. There’s not a lot of information we can give you at the moment, but it’s there. We’re really proud of it. We think it’s really good and most of it is unheard as well. There are maybe two songs on there that have previously been released.”
“You’ve just been on, essentially, a four month tour, some of which was with The Editors. How did that come about?”
“We have the same booking agent. He’s always thought we’d be a good fit, so he’s been pestering them for quite a while and eventually they relented. He put us on some of the UK shows. I guess we got on really well with them and we didn’t get in their way or their show, so we were lucky enough for them to invite us to Europe. Some huge venues across Europe and it’s going to be very surreal. We’re all really excited for it.”
Which cities were you most excited about playing at?
“Barcelona and Madrid! I went to Barcelona and went to the club we’re playing in and lost all my stuff in there. It’s a really cool venue. There’s also one in Milan that’s like huge, and that was pretty surreal. I think it was about 12,000 capacity. Anything outside the country is good and it’s all been new experience for us.
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has come to see us play over the last few months. It’s been incredible – the support we’ve been shown has blown us away.”
“You’ve recently taken on a new manager. How’s that going?”
“Yeah really good, pretty well. So far so good. It’s early days and exciting times ahead. But you never know in the music industry. It’s quite up and down, particularly when we all have day jobs. When you go from supporting The Editors then back to our day jobs the next day, it can be a bit difficult to adjust.
I mean we played Glastonbury (2017) and within 24 hours of coming off stage we were back in work. It can be surreal and after this European tour … the come down after that is fucking horrible. Hmm. But you just deal with it. Things are going really well at the moment. That’s all you can ask for and if stuff goes even better and continues to grow, maybe we’ll be able to give up our jobs – which would be great.”
The video for your single ‘All Broken Down’ looks great. What was the inspiration and meaning behind it?
“Don’t try and open that rabbit hole. We found an old manor house (a perfect venue for it) and asked this guy, Stephen Glaister, to do it. He agreed. He’s a mad genius.
It was basically a case of inviting everyone we knew to come to the house and do something on camera. We brought a load of props and just filmed lots of stuff all day. Stephen Glaister rang (He’s got a really thick London accent) and asked ‘What do you want to do?’ We spoke for like half an hour, and he said, ‘Right Fuck it, just fill your van full of shit and we’ll just get a load of people to a big house and see what happens.’ We were like, ‘Yeah, yeah. Ok.’ There was no master plan or inspiration, or metaphor behind it…”
“…So where did the heads come from?”
“We made them out of papier-mache. There was a bit of a Frank inspiration and the heads kind of look like him. So we just made four of them. We spent days making papier-mache, I fucking hate papier-mache. They freaked my house mates out as we made them in my kitchen and then went off to work and when they came in, in the evening, there was four big heads on the table staring at them!”
Which unsigned bands are you listening to?
“Ah man, there’s loads. Obviously Jekylll (who we can hear playing upstairs). Avalanche Party, which are an amazing live band. They’re on our Spotify playlist. Sheafs are really good – we’ve played with them a few times.”
“Where did you come up with the idea of the logo as it’s very unique?”
“The logo was designed by a guy called Mark Donaldson and he’s a really great graphic designer.
We went to meet him in London and chatted about what we wanted to do with our image and branding. We wanted it to have a really strong symbol and we wanted to make it look like a cult/religious type thing and make it really easy to imitate as well.
He was great and he basically got us up to London and he got us really pissed. It was just me (Chris) and Biz (Alex, the bassist). We just basically sat in the pub with him and got absolutely battered.”
“Michelle, my friend who’s here tonight, has just had a tattoo of the October Drift logo.”
“Holy shit really? She’s the third person. Well two and a half. Our mate Sam loves having random tattoos and I tattooed him while drunk so it was a bit wobbly. It’s shit. Everyone was battered as it was a house party.”
“Where did you come up with the name October Drift?”
“We had shit-loads of names and put them in a hat. ‘October’ was one of them as well as pretty much every other month of the year. And ‘Drift’ on its own was another one. We literally just put it in a hat.
We were nearly ‘Krane’: ‘crane’ but with a K! We said, ‘Fuck no what an awful name.’ And we had a passionate hatred for bands that use to change one letter. Oh god, if we’d gone for that!
‘October Drift’ for whatever reason seemed to fit and the thing is it’s so fucking hard to choose a band name. Everything looks shit on paper. I don’t reckon the Killers were sitting down and going that’s a great name, or like The Beatles. The Beatles is a shit name but it’s The-fucking-Beatles so it’s a great name. We got to a point thinking is it Google-able? Yeah. Is it easy to write down? Yeah. Okay, let’s go with it. “
“Which festivals have been your favourites and which are you looking forward to?”
“There’s so many! But we’ve just done Bearded Theory and Camden Rocks, and this year’s Tramlines Festival, Sheffield has always been a city close to our hearts.”
“What’s next for you?”
“Time for a few weeks off gigging and then straight into the studio to work on the next release. See you all again very soon maybe.. . .”
Stream new single ‘All Broken Down‘ on Spotify or watch the video here;
Reading Festival is sold out. Some Leeds Weekend and Days available via https://leedsfestival.com/tickets
I want to thank October Drift for their time, and wish Chris and his wife Addie, all the best as they have just got married!
Gareth Burroughs is a Sheffield based, reputable, freelance, (frequently published) band and gig photographer who tours with bands and works with all size venues.
Zeenagers; October Drift are a band from our story. In February 2015, they left me (Caffy) gob smacked. I reported “big rock songs. actual tunes, singing and musicality.“. Previewing their 2017 Camden Rocks Festival appearance, I reported on Tramlines 2016; “They give it their all and are a properly uplifting and full on newer wave rock smack in the face. It was love at first bite.”. Fast forward to 2018 and they’re reaping their rewards. Here’s to the ongoing rise of Britain’s #NewerWave
TheZineUK Events Dept. Love Pirate at Rocklands Artbeat / RocklandsTV. PR stands for Punk Rebel. Mad Old Bat (Deluxe) or Vintage Rock Chick? You decide.