Today we’re delighted to introduce you to a band with a difference. They are James Shadom and Jos Ethman and they form drewall, a band that is self-proclaimed as “alternative”. They’ve just released their first album, entitled “Answers are inside us”, featuring 11 unique tracks full of meaning and rhythm. But they’re overflowing with ideas, so are already working on new compositions.
We’ve spoken to the band and their enthusiasm for music is truly contagious, but we’ll leave them with you, so you can experience them first hand.
1) How did you get the idea for forming the band?
We knew each for quite some time. We played together in a couple of bands with mutual friends and we were always a bit more restless than the others. After a few years we decided to form a band together. We tried a few times in fact, but it didn’t quite take off. At least not until James went to live in the US for a while, and it was then that the project started to take shape. We could actually say that the band was born in Skype; we decided the name and philosophy of the band through Skype. And when James got back from the States we got down to work. We followed a “plan” that some might call “a mad plan”.
2) Why the name ‘drewall’?
Drew all, literal translation: I drew all. Drawing, the visual, is a way of expressing the ideas in the mind, and it facilitates understanding, regardless of the language or culture of the person looking at it. Metaphorically speaking, that’s what the project aims to be.
3) How would you describe your music?
It could be described as visceral, full of feeling, and coming from deep inside us. We make music that we really feel, without prejudices or whims. If an idea strikes a chord in us, we work on it and it ends up as a song. That’s an advantage when you’re playing live, the feelings you experience on stage are much more intense. In terms of style, we ourselves would categorise it as an indefinite style. Although it’s true that our first album sounds like something from your typical band (vocals, guitar, bass, drums and piano) we’re always evolving and changing. For example, right now we’re exploring unchartered territory with new themes: everything from R&B, a bit of electronic, and even classical symphonies.
4) You write your own music, so where do you get your inspiration from?
Our inspiration mostly comes from sad things and, in one way or another, we try to convey some kind of message, which usually results in some social criticism. Our source of inspiration often comes from creating a visual story in our heads. We’re like creators of stories.
5) You’ve released an independent album, what was the experience like?
Hard going, but very rewarding. We’re proud of our work. As it was only us, you have to just get on with it and put in a lot of hours. Nobody‘s going to demand anything of you because nobody expects anything from you and you have to motivate yourself, but at least you only have to rely on yourself. We’ve learned a lot and we’re much wiser now to be able to deal with what’s ahead.
6) What impact has your 1st single “Sleeping is for others” which has a video clip?
A professional salesperson would say: “Looking at it objectively and in isolation, we’ve reached thousands of people”. But we still haven’t broken the ten-thousand barrier. We’ve had quite a lot of impact, in that fans sing along with us at live gigs, and to be able to get that feeling at a concert is already good enough for us!
7) You’ve played in Barcelona, but have you thought about branching out and playing in other cities?
The live music industry in Spain, outside the festivals, is complicated. If there’s an economically sustainable opportunity to play in other cities, then we’d definitely go for it! We don’t expect to make money for now; we know this is very difficult, so we settle with not losing any (or much).
8) When do you plan to release a second album?
We don’t want to rush it, we’d like to take it a bit more slowly than with the first album where everything was very quick, but neither do we want a couple of years to go by without releasing an album, the ideas would just build up and drive us mad.
9) Can you give us an idea of what your next steps are? What are your plans for the future?
Our next steps will be to start experimenting with new electronic, and not so electronic, sounds. With this broadening of our knowledge of sound, we want to eventually define our sound and hope that this results in a second album. In the “Trasterou”, the place where we have our studio and do rehearsals, we give concerts with the aim of interacting with more fans and seeing how they react to our new songs. Apart from that, we will try to be the support act, enter contests, play at festivals and look for other opportunities to play. We believe it’s the best way to move on to the next “level” as musicians. Ah! And keep an eye open in the run up to Christmas, because we’re preparing the first surprise in the form of a single!