15 Questions With ……  Drella

Image: Nicky Barker

Drella are a punk band who combine music and activism to fight against the economic struggles facing our hometown of Bradford. ‘Guillotine’ the new single is be released on Friday 22nd March.

  1. For someone that is yet to discover Drella in 5 words how would you describe yourself.

5 words is tough! The 5 I can think of straight off the bat are… Incendiary, Ambitious, Political, Punk, Electric.

2.  What inspired you as an artist?

We find inspiration for our music in the unfortunate political bleakness of our hometown, Bradford, which suffers from poverty and deprivation. The people of Bradford deserve a lot better, and that’s what drives us to make our music. In terms of other artists, any artist out there who combines music and activism to deliver their art form inspires us.

3.  What is your process for preparing to perform live? Do you have any Diva demands? Who’s the Mariah Carey of the group?

We all have different processes for preparing our live set. Jon will watch live videos of other artists playing to inspire him and fire him up for the gig, where as I will find the optimum alcohol consumption to elevate my live performance and maintain that level for as long as I can. I have a 50% success rate of getting that right.

Yes, our guitarist & vocalist, Jon, is the diva of the band, and he’s worse than Mariah Carey. It’s only lemon & ginger tea before the set and he’ll always find a way to make me, or Alfie, bring him his pint of water.

4.  Where do you feel you fit into the music landscape?

We fit into this emerging ‘punk’ landscape that seems to have evolved over the last decade or so. We know punk isn’t a new concept by any means, but there is a definite evolving area of punk music, which people are enjoying because they appreciate how music can sit within a wider social and political context. A lot of this landscape’s audience is referred to as “6 Music Dads”.

5: What are your favourite musical genres, and are there any you dislike?

As a collective, we all love punk music. Alfie has been punk through and through his whole life. I am obsessed with whatever music is new at the time – I currently have The Last Dinner Party and Yard Act’s albums on repeat. Surprisingly, Jon takes a lot of inspiration from piano music, instrumentals and spoken word.

We’re all of the same opinion that we find the ‘core’s the hardest music to get into. Metalcore, Post hardcore and the likes. I’ve also recently given Folktronica a try… Wasn’t a huge fan of that one.

6.  What’s currently in the pipeline for 2024?

We have an exciting 2024 coming up, in the immediate future we have our single launch show for Guillotine in our hometown of Bradford, with our mates Lunch from London, Django Jones and the Mystery Men from Sheffield, and fellow Bradford band Casino Havana, all joining us.

Can’t give too much away for the rest of the year, but we have another single recorded and mixed, due to be released in the second half of the year, and are in the process of booking another UK Tour for the fall. We’ll be back in the studio in a couple of months as well, firming up our plans for 2025 and beyond. So stay tuned!

7 What would you say is your greatest strength as an Artist?

As an artist, it can be very humbling when comparing yourself to other artists, because there are so many ridiculously talented artists out there. Identifying your strength is super important because it gives you that niche to stand out from the crowd. We have recently found with our music that what makes us stand out from the rest, is our energy – not just live, but also the energy we can encapsulate into our music. We’re passionate about what we’re doing and the message we’re delivering, and I think that shows in what we are producing.

8.What would you say is your greatest weakness as an Artist?

Our greatest weakness has been time, because like everyone else, we just don’t have enough of it! We have a plethora of material just waiting to go, but we need to really dive into it and make it special, and unfortunately, we just don’t have the time to give it the attention it deserves. Given that time, we could be the best band in the world

9.  What can fans expect from your debut single ‘Guillotine’

Fans can expect humour from Guillotine! This is the first release we’ve done where we’ve really taken a satirical approach to the topic at hand, and we think it’s all the stronger for it. The message isn’t affected by any means, and the music remains empowering, but fans can expect a new dimension to our music with this one.

10.  What music artiest would you say have influenced your work?

Initially we took influence from a lot of established artists, such as White Stripes, Royal Blood and IDLES. However, as we spent more time writing, we have lent more towards taking influence from emerging bands, such as Kid Kapichi, Lambrini Girls, Bob Vylan, Snayx, Big Special and Yard Act, just to name a few. These bands all have their own messages which they are successfully delivering through their authenticity and passion for their beliefs, which is everything that we also aspire to be doing.

11. Who would you most like to collaborate with artistically?

Jon’s favourite album over the last few years is Lorde’s Melodrama album, he’s always loved her creative process and how she is so honest and vulnerable in her lyrics, so probably Lorde. However, the album was produced by Jack Antanoff and was the first time Jon was inspired by someone’s production work, so it would have to be both Lorde and Jack Antanoff!

12. What was your worst performance?

Back in 2022 we were taking as many gigs as we possibly could to gain traction in the local area, so we booked ourselves a gig at one of the more popular pubs in Leeds on a Saturday night. After 5 minutes of being at the venue, the sound tech said to us “So will you be playing an hour and a half in full or two 45 minute sets?”. In that moment, we realised that they were 100% expecting a covers band. We are not a covers band. We know max 3 covers. Nobody was pleased about it.

But hey ho, you’ve got to get up and give it your all no matter the circumstance, so we did! I honestly don’t think the performance was particularly bad, but 10 political punk songs and a very sketchy attempt at “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” later, the entirety of the pub had fled the noise, and we played our final song of the set to our two friends and Alfie’s leftover pizza. Rock n’ Roll at its very finest!

13: What was the most difficult obstacle you have ever faced and how did you overcome it?

One thing that has been a particularly tough obstacle to overcome, is making that jump from a locally recognised band, to a nationally recognised band. We started to overcome it in 2023 with radio stations playing our music and venues across the country asking to put us on, but keeping up that momentum on a national scale is tough.

In the end, we’ve overcome this obstacle by not putting any pressure on ourselves. We are writing music because we love it, and the bigger picture is that we want people to hear and enjoy it, and relate to our message, it doesn’t matter how or where they do it. Our style of writing has become more unapologetic and passionate than ever, and that’s how we’re overcoming that obstacle.

14: What is your creative process when making music. Do you work with others or is there just you?

It’s mainly just us that come together to write our songs. One of us will turn up to a rehearsal with a riff, or a lyric, or a melody, and we’ll collectively build on it from there. We are strict with the reason for a new song, we won’t write a new song because we need another in the set, we’ll write one because we have something new to say, or let out a specific emotion, or create something that other people will relate to and feel an emotion because of it. Luckily, in the world of protest music, we’re never short of things to write about!

We have to give a shoutout to our producers at Sugarhouse Music, who always find a way to tell us exactly what a track is missing.

15 Where do you see your musical career in 10 years?

This is going to sound like a cheesy cliché we pulled from an inspirational quotes book… But for all of us, the most important thing is to make sure we’re still enjoying it! If we’re still writing music that we’re proud of and passionate about in 10 years and calling out the injustices that we see in society, then it’s been a successful music career in our eyes. Oh, and hopefully headlining Glastonbury for the 4th time.