Interview: Drive A

Hailing from Los Angeles California, the members of Drive A come together to forge a killer mix of pounding drums, lethal guitars, cascading bass lines and fierce vocals that converge to create a sound that pays respect to the past, stands up to the present and will kick down the door to the future. A switchblade to the soft, white underbelly of today’s watered-down state of music, DRIVE A are pure, raw energy–on stage and in the studio–which is, after all, what Rock ‘N’ Roll has always been about.

Drive A got its start when lead vocalist/guitarist Bruno Mascolo met rhythm guitarist Jason Nott outside of the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles in the spring of 2007. After discovering they had similar tastes in music, the two began formatting their ideas for a band, developing their own style and a bond was formed. Once they honed their approach, the two of them began writing songs that had a remarkably developed blend of killer riffs, punk rock hooks, and a raw, Rock ‘N’ Roll gutter-snarl.

Jumping in a van, the band took their high-energy live show on the road, performing well over 100 shows in just over a year including various stops on the 2008 Warped Tour, their own tour of the U.S., as well as sharing the stage with the likes of Rise Against, Papa Roach, Anti-Flag, Pennywise and Billy Talent among others.

As the band prepares to enter the studio and head on tour with Bullet For My Valentine, I was able to submit some questions via email which frontman Bruno Mascolo took some time to answer and send back.

Remember you can win an iPad from the band with us here at EspyRock if you live in the United States, just to the contest page now.

For those who haven’t heard your album, possibly a large part of our UK audience, how would you describe the album to them?

I would say ‘Loss Of Desire’ is an anthemic punk rock record. I think its somewhere in between a Rancid and a Sex Pistols type of thing.

Punk is the key genre to the band’s music so what bands influences you and the band?

I mean we all listen to punk rock anything from the Misfits, The Jam, Stiff Little Fingers to The Ghost Of A Thousand and Minor Threat, just shit that is really honest and no bullshit.

Apart from punk, what other genres and bands influence you or the band?

I would say 90% of the time we’re all listening to punk shit but I also like original bands that do their own thing. I love Queens Of The Stone Age and Cancer Bats are on the more metal side of things, shit like that.

You are all young guys, do you ever fear that you get swept up in the success and the rock n roll lifestyle or are you all you pretty grounded in that you have seen mistakes made by others in the past and you know what you should do to benefit your career?

Being on tour it’s easy to get carried away in partying just because it’s everywhere, but none of us in this band want to be the asshole that goes on stage fucked up, it isn’t fair to the crowd that paid money to see the show, it’s always music first.

You are also on the road a lot so does that affect any of the members being in the bus touring and away from family or does the love for what you do take over and lets you see past it?

The love of music takes over. No-one really gets that homesick as we all know that we’re super lucky to be touring so we might as well enjoy every second of it.

One thing I noticed when I was looking into the band is that you appear to be all about the live show. The energy with your fans being right there and the performance is something that seems to fuel the band. How important is the live performance to the band?

It’s super important. There’s that feeling you get after playing a great show that is almost impossible to duplicate. It’s kind of, think of it as the music is the heart of the band but the live show is what keeps the blood flowing.

You recently performed on the Bamboozle Roadshow tour which must have been a little strange being that the line-up consisted of mainly pop rock bands?

I mean ultimately we were playing with bands that would’ve killed to be on the Disney channel and we were kind of like fuck Mickey Mouse, he poisons the ears of the world’s youth, fuck no we don’t want to be like that or anything like the bands on Bamboozle but you know we took a positive approach by kind of converting a lot of the younger kids on the tour to music with more substance.

Do you feel as if the tour went down well and it gained you a lot of new fans?

I think at the end of the day we gained a lot of fans and I think later in life their going to look back at that show and be embarrassed they liked Hanson or fucking Hellogoodbye and then be oh shit but Drive A is different.

Did the organisers of the Bamboozle tour say or do anything after the incident when you performed in the crowd and the security got a little wound up?

You know they kind of warned us, they were like ‘you can’t test the security’ and shit or else we’ll kick you off [the tour]. So of course once they told me that all I wanted to do was fuck with security but if I would have, we would’ve been sent home and then who’s the asshole.

The last two years has seen the band touring the US on your own tour, appearing on the Warped Tour and also featuring with bands like Rise Against, Papa Roach, Anti-Flag, HIM and Billy Talent. Have you been able to learn a lot from these bands when you have been out with them?

We’ve learned a lot from bands like Rise Against, and Billy Talent although we’ve never done full tours with either but we did multiple shows. Take a band like Billy Talent, they make great albums and they perform their fucking asses off, it’s really inspiring. As far as when we toured with HIM, we didn’t learn anything; let’s say they’re not my favourite band and their live shows require absolutely no energy or crowd reaction. If your suffering from insomnia go to see them, you’ll be cured I guarantee you.

Your next tour is of course with Bullet For My Valentine, Escape The Fate and Black Tide. What are you most looking forward to on this tour?

I am excited to play a lot of our new songs live and tour with our buddies in Black Tide.

Right now the band is writing the follow up to ‘Loss Of Desire’, how is the writing process going?

The writing process is going great, we have 90% of the music written, so around fourteen songs done. I’m just finishing the lyrics then we hit the studio on the 19th [August] with producer Dave Cobb and we’re going to record straight to tape, no click track, no bullshit.

Does the band split up when it comes to writing, for example one member focuses on lyrics and maybe demoes some ideas or do you all take a collective input in each song from the very beginning?

Most of the music on this record has come from me and our guitar player Jason, we usually show the other dudes rough demos they kind of put their stamp on it and then I’ll go back and write the lyrics. I basically told them, look I would feel like a phony if someone else put words into my mouth because I like to do the lyrics on my own.

What can people expect from the new album in terms of the music and lyrical direction that you are taking?

The songs already capture the energy that we have live and we’re going to record really raw, we want it to sound like it was recorded in 1976 but with modern songs. As far as the lyrics it’s a little too soon to say exactly but i think it’s just going to comment on what’s fucked up in the world and just things that have happened to me in the past few years.

Do you feel the music you write has a better chance to stand out in the crowd as most bands today who brand themselves a punk band are always coming in from the pop angle were you look to try celebrate the old school style?

I love trying to stand out I think that’s an important part of punk rock that has been forgotten in the past few decades. I mean at the end of the day punk is just about having fun and making music that you like, not for anyone else.

You also take part in special live chats every Thursday with your fans, do you feel that keeping in touch and interacting with them is a key part of continuing your success?

I wouldn’t say it really helps us with our career but we love treating our fans like they’re our friends because we share the love of music so that’s one thing we have in common; that’s more than I have in common with most of my actual friends.

Drive A Band Photo

     

About Michael

Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

3 Responses to “Interview: Drive A”

  1. i think drive a is one of the best new bands out there today. i’m a huge fan. cant wait for the new album.

  2. Jack Ripple 16/08/2010 at 6:44 am

    I really hope Drive A comes to my area for a show soon.

  3. i saw them yesterday at the bullet for my valentine concert and i fell in love with drive A