Drenge are a two-piece band of brothers – Eoin and Rory Loveless – out of the UK city of Sheffield. In case you’re not familiar with the city, it’s one of the largest in the UK and it was a musical destination for the brothers in high school. The name of their band rhymes with henge and it comes from the Danish word for “boys.” The sound of their new album, Undertow, is similar to their self-titled debut album – a bit brooding, dark and distorted. It’s not a bad collection of tunse but it’s the kind of album best enjoyed in a dark room or while driving at night, a little bit too fast, on a lonely highway.
The songs aren’t complicated (obviously because, you know, two guys – guitar, drums.), they don’t rely heavily on fancy lyrics or metaphors and they don’t pretend to be anything they’re not – the brothers write songs about what they know that express how they feel. It’s simple and something to appreciate. Their second studio album, Undertow, reflects the lives of young men and the things and people around them. The common tie that binds the album are the relatable stories that exist throughout the album – especially in songs like, “Running Wild,” “We Can Do What We Want,” “Never Awake,” “Favourite Son” and “Standing in The Cold.” The topics range from life as a teenager, the places people call home and relationships – things the every man can understand. If you’re feeling angsty, put it on and turn it up.
Recently, I was able to chat with Drenge’s drummer, Rory Loveless, about the band, their recent tour and who he’d replace his brother with if given the opportunity. His answers were brief but fun. I found out he’s a fan of the show, “The Wire,” he thinks Russell Crow is cool and he likes tacos. Seems like a well-rounded guy.
The brothers were just finishing their tour and Rory was having lunch in Baltimore. I asked him what he thought of Baltimore and he said, “I haven’t had a chance to get around it yet so I have no idea. The only thing I have for reference is from watching ‘The Wire.’” I asked if the show had an impact on his thoughts on the city but he hadn’t seen enough to have a formed opinion. We decided that it might be better to watch the show after leaving Baltimore. I asked about the tour: what were the highlights? “The food, the show in Brooklyn, meeting a few cool people.”
Out of curiosity, I was wondering how the brothers got their start. What made them decide to start a band. “We basically wanted to get out of Castleton and into Sheffield to start playing some shows. We had about 15 minutes worth of songs and we played at a few bars and then got on a bus to go back to school the next day.” How old were you guys when this was happening? “I was 17 and Eoin was 18.”
How would you describe your band? “I’d call it loud. Or guitar based rock and roll influenced music.” Why should pelople see Drenge? “Energy. It’s like watching young men, kind of like, lose calories on stage. It’s like watching a fitness instruction DVD – if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place. I haven’t gotten as fat on this tour as I was expecting to.”
If you could replace your brother with anyone, dead or alive, whom do you choose? “In terms of being a brother or as a band mate?” A band mate. You know, someone to lose calories with. “Umm, Russell Crowe plays a mean guitar. Or the evil guy from Game of Thrones. I hear he actually plays guitar as well and I think his personality would do well in this band.”
What’s the best compliment you’ve received? “We got compared to Joy Division which I don’t necessarily agree with but will go along with.” What show is Drenge playing in five years? Rory said, “Reunion tour. We’ve got two albums; we broke up in 2016 and realized that after having a few kids we’ve got no money so we go on tour.” Where are you playing? Hollywood Bowl? Glastonbury? “Yeah, um, the Hollywood Bowl sounds realistic.” Since I interrupted his lunch for the interview, I asked: what’s for lunch on the day you play the Bowl on this faux reunion tour in 2020? “That’s a tough question. I guess, I don’t know, tacos or something. They always hit the spot.” I agreed.