Dropkick are a Scottish band formed by brothers Andrew and Alastair Taylor and friend Ian Grier. Transitioning from punk-pop roots, Dropkick’s alt-country sound blossomed while retaining their infectious melodies. With 14 albums and 3 EPs under their belt, their music received airplay worldwide.
They’ve graced the stages across the UK, including a recent performance at Belladrum festival, whilst also venturing further afield including Spain and Germany.Their most recent album “The Wireless Revolution” album was released earlier in the year.With a show at the Tooth & Claw looming, Andrew was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
There’s lots of different descriptions of your band, which is your preference?
Something like ‘harmony-driven power-pop’ usually covers what we do – melody and harmony being prominent features.
How did Belladrum treat you this year?
It was great, thanks. We had a wonderful crowd at the Trailer Trash stage, the sun was out and I think we played well too. It’s always a really fun trip when we play at Belladrum but I think this year was the best we performed.
Spain beckons for you in October, how does the audience differ from more local ones?
To be honest, there aren’t any massive differences, aside from the country we’re in. We’ve been lucky that a lot of our releases have been with Spanish labels, including our new record ‘The Wireless Revolution’, so perhaps more people in the Spanish crowds are familiar with our songs than at home. Both audiences are superb though!
Your website has some press quotes about the band, which one do you think is your favourite quote is and is there one that sticks out negatively for you?
Some of the reviews of the new album have been really pleasing – I’ve yet to see a bad one, actually – but pleasing also because we do everything ourselves without any PR backing. Spain’s biggest newspaper, El Pais, wrote about it as ‘Precious pop’ which was fantastic! I tend not to get hung up on negative comments and genuinely don’t have memories of them, although I’m sure those reviews exist! One funny one was in the Scotsman, I think, years ago that described us as ‘Scotland’s third best band’. – I don’t think it ever said who no 1 and 2 were. Haha!
What’s the story behind latest album Wireless Revolution and what have you thought about the response to it?
The story, partly, is that these were the songs we created after lockdowns when we could finally return to our rehearsal space. As a result they are probably the most immediate songs and upbeat sounding we’ve been in a while, with the excitement and energy of being able to return to making noise apparent.
I have said it before and will say it again. Dropkick are better than Teenage Fanclub. No doubt I will be saying it again after their next album as well and no doubt I will receive hate mails once more…I just don’t care, for facts are facts. (Janglepophub)
The other feature is the turn around in the line up after our long-time drummer departed the band prior to recording. Weirdly, the three of us are all multi-instrumentalists so we didn’t replace our drummer, we just all moved around musical positions to take on different roles to fill out the live sound. It sounds strange but I’ve gone from live guitar to drums, Alan from live bass to guitars and Ian from live keys to bass. It works brilliantly and, we’ve accidently all ended up on our favourite instruments to play at gigs anyway.
The Herald conclude their review of The Best of Dropkick with the line “It’s about time they had a chart hit.”, does that create a sense of frustration? What are the main drivers for the band now?
We’ve always been a very prolific band and I’m mainly driven to keep writing music and recording whenever we can – in fact, the next album is written and more or less ready to record. I don’t remember ever thinking chart hits was a big ambition and it isn’t now.
We’ve got a big body of work that we can be proud of and the people that know about us give us loads of positivity. Yes, it would be nice to play to bigger crowds or sell more records but we are realistic too.
We all have jobs but being able to still create and play music as well as having busy lives is a real pleasure for us. In fact, even though we’re hitting our 40s, we think we’re playing better than ever and writing our best material. I guess the day to stop is when that view of ourselves changes!