q and also a :: Secret Drum Band
Portland’s own Secret Drum Band features members of !!!, Explode Into Colors, and Unwound. Well, Allan Wilson of Secret Drum Band sent us these answers to our questions in this next installment of q and also a.
q: What is the last song you (really) heard?
Yesterday morning in the tour van, we were (actually) considering trying to cover C & C Music Factory’s Gonna Make You Sweat. We were listening pretty closely until, mercifully, Lisa put the kibosh on the whole scheme.
q: What is the first album you remember purchasing?
Ghostbusters OST! Fall of ’84. There are some jams on there– I still love Mick Smiley’s ‘Magic’. But the first actual album I bought was Tears For Fears’ Songs From the Big Chair in fall of ’85 (I was 9). That one blew my mind daily for a year or more. Not too long ago, my previous band !!! had the honor of playing on the French TV show with the drummer on that album, Manu Katché. I was sooo stoked. Anyway, the drumming on that album can still thrill me, especially on something like ‘Mothers Talk’, which is a tough mix of live and programmed beats.
q: Is there an album you wished you knew about when you were younger?
I’m sure there’s hundreds of records that would’ve been cool to have heard when I was young, but I cherish my pop radio upbringing! Guess it would have been nice to have spent more time with the Beatles as a lad. Or Sun Ra.
q: What is the last album that you purchased?
These days I mostly buy records online, and I buy a bunch at a time. I’ve been into this ghosty ambient/techno stuff coming out of Russia, people like Pavel Milyakov, Buttechno. I’ve also been grabbing bunches of old disco 12”s to play out at parties in Portland. And then there’s the amazing instrumental album by percussionist/composer Midori Takada, Through the Looking Glass (1983)– recently reissued, highly recommended. Ok, one more: Space Echo- The Mystery Behind the Cosmic Sound of Cabo Verde is a must-hear compilation, released last year.
q: What is your favorite memory of experiencing music in a live setting?
Ah jeez. Omar Suleyman, 2008? Queens of the Stone Age, 2006? Sacramento bands/buddies Yahmos and Popesmashers in 1995? Black Uhuru in 2000? Gang Starr in 2006? PJ Harvey in 2008? Too many good shows to remember. And then all the amazing dance nights– Moodymann, Theo Parrish, DJ Harvey…
q: Thinking of other multi-drum bands… Foot Village… hell yes or heck no?
More like, ‘who’s that?’ Never heard of ‘em. People compare us to Crash Worship, and I’ve heard amazing things about their performances, but I never got to see them. But generally, multi-drum bands get a Hell naw. I think the general disdain for the ‘drum jam’ sound has made a us lot more critical and thoughtful about how we approach writing and playing songs as a drum ensemble. So yeah– we’re well aware of the drum circle stigma, and I think we work hard to avoid being easily lumped into that world. Our shit’s weirder, smarter.
(Ed. Note: we say Foot Village, hell yes!)
q: What should we know about DYNAMICS?
It was five years in the making– the culmination of countless hours of travel, songwriting, rehearsing, recording (and re-recording). Though Lisa wrote the lion’s share of the compositions, it ended up being a highly collaborative album; I think that feeling comes through. And it’s got the loveliest cover art you’ll see all year.
Listen to DYNAMICS…
You can purchase DYNAMICS @ secretdrumband.bandcamp.com.
Secret Drum Band finish their current tour tonight in Portland, OR @ White Owl Social Club with Notel.
Secret Drum Band is on the internet
Secret Drum Band is on Soundcloud
Secret Drum Band is on Bandcamp
Secret Drum Band is on Facebook
Secret Drum Band is on Xray Records