During the past year, many indie rockers have looked back to a more innocent time, creating music heavily influenced by ’50s girl groups. But few have done it as well as Brooklyn’s The Drums, who combine those sounds with ’80s new wave. We spoke with singer Jonny Pierce.
How would you describe your sound? I think at the end of the day, we’re just a pop band. The two groups that made us want to start The Drums were [girl group] The Shangri-Las and The Wake, a British band from the ’80s that sounded like New Order.
How did you get into ’50s music? When [guitarist] Jacob Graham and I decided to start The Drums, I was at a low point in my life. I was living in New York and feeling beat down. I went to Florida, where Jacob was living and became fascinated with girl groups. It may have been moving from New York to the endless summer in Florida.
What did you like about that music? My favorite songs have always been simple songs, and that’s just straight-up pop. My favorite song of all time is “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton.
How did you and Jacob meet? We met in summer camp when we were 12 and 13. We both hated the idea of waking up at 7 a.m. to go swimming or play volleyball. We found each other and realized we liked the same bands and had the same outlook on life. We became best friends and stayed in touch. I like to say The Drums started a decade ago, even though we wrote our first song two years ago.
Where do you like to go when you come home for CMJ? When I’m back in New York, I like to walk around the East Village. I don’t actually do anything. I just walk, sit down somewhere and drink coffee.
The Drums: Oct. 20, Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St., 7 p.m., $20