Monday, April 9, 2012

An Interview with Drowner

Whenever someone mentions the musical genre 'shoegaze', it would not be out of place to think of UK bands, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Lush, or the Cocteau Twins. After all, those bands were creating atmospheric feedback with ethereal vocals way before the term 'shoegaze' was invented. What was once a derogatory term, shoegaze has entered the 21st century with more fans and bands sprouting up from all corners of the world. One such corner includes a lot of bands influenced by the shoegaze/dreampop movement from Texas. With blogs like When The Sun Hits from Houston and a Fort Worth dream pop record label, Saint Marie Records spreading the love of shoegaze, Texas makes for an exciting state to live for fans of hanging whispered vocals and reverb drenched feedback guitars. 

Drowner in the studio.

I have been following Drowner singer, Anna Bouchard on Twitter for some time and came to know of her band through her various tweets and found out that Drowner are from the Houston area and have recently signed to Saint Marie Records. After ordering and buying Drowner's latest self-titled EP, I wanted to contact them for an interview for Temporary Rough Venom. The band consists of Anna Bouchard on vocals, Darren Emanuel on drums/keyboards/guitar, Sean Evans on guitar, and Mike Brewer on bass guitar and formed in late 2010 first as a collaboration between Darren and Anna. 

Drowner in the studio.

When I asked how Drowner became a band, Anna reveals, "Darren had been testing some guitar sounds and was growing increasingly interested in forming a shoegaze-influenced band, and his first concern was finding a singer. When the opportunities arose, we ended up adding Sean and Mike to the band to further expand our sound. It was always our vision to be a full band, but it took time to bring together the right musicians for the job." When asked of their relationship with Saint Marie Records, Anna responded, "Our relationship with them is awesome. They have been really supportive of us as artists and have done a great job of getting the word out there about our music. We aren't exactly sure how we got their attention, but we are glad we did."

Anna Bouchard of Drowner KPFT 90.1FM interview.

In addition to a great dream pop sounding self-titled debut that echoes dreamy influences of Cocteau Twins, Curve, and Slowdive, a couple of the EP songs get brilliantly remixed. 'Chime' gets a remix by Darren's side project Apples to Earth, while 'Never Go Away' bridges the gap between shoegaze and dubstep with a remix by Anna's brother Nikki Gunz. When I asked about the band's influences, they each told me their favorites. Anna mentions Siouxsie Sioux, Bjork, Michael Stipe, and Liz Fraser, while Darren lists Robert Smith, and Hammock among his personal favorites. Guitarist Sean cites David Gilmour, Kevin Shields, and J Mascis as influential, while bass player Mike mentions Simon Gallup, Bruce Thomas, and Mike Watt as his favorite bassists.

Drowner video still.

When I asked the band what is getting a lot of attention in their music players, Anna has been enjoying tracks from The Sunshine Factory, Her Vanished Grace, and VibraGun, while Darren has been listening to the Daysleepers and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Sean lists old My Bloody Valentine EPs and Miles Davis' 'Bitches Brew', while Mike has been enjoying Charles Mingus and the Pixies. With great influences like these, Drowner is a band you must check out and support.

Here is Drowner's video for "Point Dume":

Drowner Website:

Band Label: Saint Marie Records 


- Mike C.

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