An interview with “DRAB” Magazine

Hey Folks, I did an interview exchange with our lovely friends over at Drab Magazine last week, I answered some questions and asked them a few of my own.

You can see my answers to their questions over on their site:

Here’s what they came back to me with….. 

What’s your favourite smell?  

Luc: Fried onions and tarmac in the rain. In no way are they similar but I can’t help smiling when I smell either. 

Varun: Either the smell of good food cooking when I’m hungry, or the thinking man’s choice: the smell of a gas station. Lots of weirdly nostalgic memories from when I was a kid of being in a car late at night and waking up when my parents stopped to fill up fuel so it’s pretty ingrained into my psyche. 

Summer: Mine is the smell of oranges/tangerines/clementines/whatever little orange citrus fruit ball you can find. No cool story behind it, I just think they smell neat. 

Could you tell us a bit about what’s driving DRAB at the moment and what you’re trying to achieve?  

Currently? An unrelenting necessity for something to stop our brains from rotting. Generally? The original idea came about in casual conversations with one another. For some of us, we’d been wanting to start a zine of this nature for a while; others, we’d entered an existential crisis having realised we were coming to the end of our years at uni and hadn’t felt we exploited the opportunity as much as we could have.  

L: Being a popular music student I was personally worrying about what my future held, and wanted to invest myself into a larger, steadier project (particularly journalism) so that I’m not relying on making it as a ‘rock star’ first and foremost… Or maybe I just watched “Almost Famous” one too many times. 

V: Got a big head and think people should listen to my opinions about music I like. As for what I want to achieve, I just want people to stop wasting their time on less than average music and check out all the amazing stuff happening in Leeds and in the country in general. 

S: I’d wanted to start a zine all about the beautifully ugly for a couple of months but wasn’t sure where to begin. It wasn’t until I spoke to the boys about it that I realised it wasn’t something I had to do on my own. Working with Varun and Luc has shaped my original idea into something even greater than I ever could have hoped to achieve and now we’re all working together to bring light to the beauty that can be found in ugly art, music and culture – in the city of Leeds specifically. 

Aside from music, what’ve you been doing to stave off the insanity recently?  

L: Luckily for me, I have four brilliant pooches and an annoyingly hilarious family. So, we have been using ‘walking the dogs’ as an excuse to perform our ‘one method of exercise for the day’ in the glorious south coast sunshine. Another excuse to leave the house (whilst it may not be as legal) has been to deliver scrubs for the NHS nurses that are being created by a charity my mum has set up called Chichester Scrubs. On top of this, I’ve been indulging in some much-needed sleep, watching some exciting TV shows, scrolling endlessly through social media feeds that I pretend don’t interest me, and irritating my friends and loved ones with extensive phone calls with no topics at mind. Business as usual!  

V: Dogs, music, and cooking with my mum has got me into a pretty comfortable routine that keeps the mind busy! 

S: I’ve been trying to create a piece of art each day be it small or big to keep my creativity flowing. I unfortunately don’t have any dogs or fluffy creatures of any kind to keep the insanity at bay so if someone could send me over a cat or something so I can stop talking to my walls that’d be ace! 

What records have been on repeat for you so far this lockdown?  

Luc: Melee by Dogleg, Every Bad by Porridge Radio and 3D Routine by Mush. 

Summer: Everything by Clt Drp – my newly discovered favourite band. I’m so stoked for their debut album releasing soon. 

Varun: Dog Whistle by Show Me The Body (the best punk record released in the past five years), When I Have Fears, and obsessively listening to my own bands unreleased tracks because like I said, I’m not hiding my vanity. 

Check out our playlist ‘DRAB sounds’ to see what else we’ve been listening to!  

When the social distancing restrictions etc eventually end, what will it be like for the music scene in Leeds?  

L: It’s not easy to tell, but I’m hoping to be spoiled for choice in live music. I have a few shows lined up, which I am either playing or attending at the likes of Brudenell Social Club. So my personal slice of the scene is going to be pretty busy! 

V: The hope is that it will feel like a massive party and every gig will be the best it can be. I’m just excited to see all my favourite local musicians (Fehlt especially) together again. 

S: It’ll actually be my first time living in the city so I’m excited to find out!  

You mentioned that DRAB plan on doing a zine. Will this change the type of content you create and how do you think it will affect the way people interact with you?  

We’re all so eager to start printing and possibly over optimistic about how well the various ideas we’ve had will impact our relationship with our readers. But currently we’re so pleased with the reaction we’ve had to our online blog, and on our social media accounts. The momentum we’ve gained has surprised us all, and we’re hoping it only snowballs from here! Plus most of the content we’ve been making has also been with the mindset of how we would put this into print so it shouldn’t be too hard of a transition hopefully. We definitely hope it lets us showcase a lot more of the art we love though.  

S: I’m incredibly excited about putting the zine together in terms of the aesthetics – I’ve got lots of ideas and I’m hoping it’ll allow us to put more focus on the art side of DRAB and gain more interest from visual creators as well as musicians. 

L: It’s been incredibly ego-inflating to have the support from our like-minded music friends and from our peers in the scene, and I’m not sure whether I’ll soon be able to fit through the door with the way my head is growing! 

All your questions have made us so excited for the future of DRAB, and we can’t wait to sink our teeth into the scene alongside such exciting organisations as Smelly Records. Cheers pals! 

Even just asking each other a few questions over email can go a long way to fuelling the social flames in these isolated times, thanks guys! 

You can listen to their playlist here… 

by Will Shuttleworth


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