Craig Owens has arguably held the position of poster boy for all things post hardcore. The former Chiodos frontman has tried his hand at a plethora of side projects including a move down the solo path as well as experimental act The Sounds of Animals Fighting, though none have gained as much momentum and attention as Destroy Rebuilt Until God Shows, the post hardcore super group fronted by Owens. I was fortunate enough to chat with Craig, who ducked away quickly from all the madness of Warped Tour to talk about all things D.R.U.G.S.
Featuring members already well established acts such as Story Of The Year, Underminded and From First To Last, I asked Craig what it was like starting a band with people who have already spent so many years writing, recording and touring, essentially uprooting themselves and following Owens into the unknown ‘I was really, really lucky in the fact that these guys trusted me, you know what I mean? Going forward. Choosing the guys was the hardest part obviously, I had to make sure everyone knew that was going on – but it rounded up pretty well and I couldn’t imaging being with a better group of guys”. By selecting members from such different bands, Owens did indeed take a risk… but it all seemed to pay off very nicely
Earlier this year D.R.U.G.S saw the release of their self-titled debut album. After months of anticipation and very little information on the band, Craig and I began to discuss how the album went down with the fans. ‘Fans have been awesome, its been a really amazing experience watching them connect. I really feel like my fans are this core group of people who aren’t going to go anywhere – it’s like a cult beautiful thing we’ve got going on together. I feel like they understand it now and we had to go through a bit of a journey to get there” of coarse reflecting on the side projects I mentioned earlier. “I just feel really, really lucky and thankful that so many people…get it, you know what I mean?”
Cleary confident with the dedication of his loyal fan base, I ask Owens if there was ever any concern in his mind that people would compare D.R.U.G.S debut release with the each of the members respective previous bands. “You can’t worry about what other people are doing, you got to really focus on your own unless your heart will get messed up, and if I was thinking about other people when I was writing then it wouldn’t have been an honest and true record – while in the back of your mind there might be something nagging at you, you just have to ignore it – ignore the voice of ‘what should I do and just be yourself’.
If you have been following Owens’ career you will know that being true to oneself is a constant motif, though his music is littered with intertextuality, and being the literature nerd I am, I had to ask where here’s been looking “Well I’m a huge reader – I love readying its basically all I do…I would ready anything you put in front of me” – a man after my own heart! Owens began to roll off some of his strongest influences, which include “Oh, everything from Burcowski, to Eckhart Tolle and even Graphic Novels” but it doesn’t stop with literature. Those who have seen the video clip for D.R.U.G.S first single ‘If you think this songs about you…It probably is” would have noticed an uncanny similarity…well pretty much to anything by David Lynch as well as Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a dream, Owens was clearly a film buff also! “I’m a huge movie guy, when I write I see it – I always try to describe what I see in my head, and that’s what movies are good for, ha ha, you know what I mean? Showing what’s in your head – I just took a few days off work to start filming on my first film, I grew up loving acting and films so you will start to see a lot more of me in that area” This sounded VERY interesting, I asked Owens if he could tell me more…”Ah well it’s a movie by Jules Stewart (Mother of Twilight star Kirsten Stewart” and its called ‘K-11’ it’s a really intense and interesting movie, its goes everywhere, and probably isn’t for the weak of stomach’
This is one of the many times Craig Owens has been to Australia. Last playing in 2009, a tour that was threatened by sickness, but ever the thespian Owens insisted that the show must go on – even if it meant having to take breaks to vomit during songs while performing. I asked Owens what it is that just keeps bringing him back, “I just absolutely love the people, you know how it is, I just think everyone is really kind, really nice and a pleasant group to be around – you guys are really intelligent its like if an American and European fan were fused together – it’s the ultimate fan.
You’re right Craig, we are ultimate and intelligent.
You can catch D.R.U.G.S at Soundwave Revolution