– Hello and thank you so much for answering to our interview. First off, as I guess some people reading this interview won’t know about you yet; would you mind to make some history of THE DRIPPERS?
We founded the band during the summer of 2016 with the goal to write fast music in the style of the 90’s wave of bands like The New Bomb Turks, Gluecifer, The Hellacopters etc. No slow songs, no ballads, no fucking around. We we’re all around 27-28 years at the time, so there was no time to waste.
In 2017 we’d written enough songs to start playing live, so we did. We entered the studio during the late summer and recorded songs that ended up on our first single Full Tilt Boogie and debut EP Motherfuckers Be Drippin’. We recorded the material with our friend Martin Carlenfors, and to get the right mix we reached out and contacted Tomas Skogsberg (legendary producer in Sunlight Studio, who did early albums for bands like The Hellacopters, Gluecifer, Backyard Babies, Demons, Entombed etc. in the 90’s and created a very groundbreaking sound).
We really hit it off from the beginning, he really liked the material and mixed the songs in his manner. So this really got peoples attention, when they saw that there was a new band coming out that went back to the roots of the genre and was connected to the original wave of the 90’s.
In the second half of 2018 we went up to Sunlight Studio and recorded our debut album in Sunlight Studio with Tomas, after this we noticed that the interest in the band rose steadily and we started getting more and more gig offers.
In 2019 we were still happily unsigned, we were in a great position since we knew we had a good album in our hands. We were eventually approached and convinced to release the album on The Sign Records, and in August 2019 the album was finally released with a big release party at Weltturbojugendtage in Hamburg.
So now we’re just trying to support the album by going out and playing live as much as we can.
– You have shared stage with bands such as TURBONEGRO and SUPERSUCKERS among many others. In fact you have always been a pretty active live band. What have been some of the highlights? And what acts would you like to someday share stage with?
Things really started to change in late 2018, when offers started coming in from lots of places that wanted to book us. That really felt good, we’ve all been in bands that had to struggle to get gigs so to get past that step was a big thing for us.
One of our great highlights was in 2017 when we arranged and played an after party at Sticky Fingers in Gothenburg after The Hellacopters had played in town. This was our third gig ever and we had hyped it up to the max to the local promoter that didn’t really feel the same enthusiasm. The rain was pouring down outside and there weren’t any people at the place, so we were worrying that it would turn out to be a disaster.
All of a sudden people just came pouring in through the doors, we’re talking hundreds, the place was packed. It really shocked us all but our bluff worked out like a charm! The gig went great and that really gave us a taste of what this action rock thing could lead to if we worked hard.
Also, our release party at Hamburg was amazing. That was a dream come true for us, our goal from the beginning was to reach Hamburg like The Beatles did back in the day. To get to play on the same street as the true legends of rock ‘n roll was like coming full circle. There were people in the crowd from all over Europe, America, Australia and even Japan!
We see each other mainly as a live band, but we really want to transfer that feeling to our studio work aswell, since that’s what most people will listen to.
We never want anyone to say “You gotta see them live to understand” about us.
I actually think we built our identity before we did our first gig. We knew what we wanted to be and decided that no matter what happens, we will never stray away from the initial idea of the band. We’re loud, fast and raw. We don’t do slow songs, we don’t do 7 minute songs. We like to boogie while playing cool guitars.
– You play a brand of Rock n’ Roll that mixes elements of 90’s Scandinavian Rock with nuances from MOTÖRHEAD or MC5 among others but, what could you say are the main musical influences for THE DRIPPERS?
I’d say that the early stuff with The New Bomb Turks, Gluecifer, Turbonegro and The Hellacopters is what shows most in our songs. That’s where the action is.
Then of course we always like to spice things up with the double vocals which is a really powerful thing.
We draw our influences from so many great bands. There are so many great Swedish bands that influenced our musical approach over the years: The Nomads, Demons, Snuffed By The Yakuza, Accione Mutante, The Accidents, Union Carbide Productions, Puffball, Sweet Addiction etc.
There’s the old garage and proto punk classics like The MC5, The Stooges, The Sonics.
Then you’ve got the classic big rock bands like Status Quo, KISS and Motörhead.
Then you add some The Cramps and old blues mysticism and off you go!
And you can’t forget Radio Birdman, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band and Hurriganes, I can go on for hours.
– And what motivated you to form a band into this style?
It’s just the music that we grew up drinking beer to, it’s in our DNA.
There’s a certain thrill with playing action rock, because it’s both aggressive and cool so it gets you off in lots of ways. It’s got the raw energy, but still the structure and precision that prevents it from becoming all punk.
– I personally see a lot of THE HELLACOPTERS’ «Supershitty to the Max!» era. How important have the ‘COPTERS been for THE DRIPPERS’ sound?
As I said, it’s in our DNA. The Hellacopters is one of the best bands ever, so naturally we’re gonna be influenced by them. They we’re highly influential in setting the standards for the 90’s bands and every band that’s started since.
We use the same producer that did Supershitty, so naturally there’s gonna be some resemblances. We’re not trying to hide or deny this, we’ve got so many other influences that we’re not worried about being labelled as a Hellacopters ripoff.
– Even the cover for «Action Rock» seems to be inspired by it, even the rat fink is there. How did you work on the cover and what was the idea? I get this hint to THE HELLACOPTERS was a conscious idea.
The rat fink (created by Ed Roth in 1963) and hot rod stuff date back to the 60’s, the 80’s and 90’s garage rock garage rock revival just adopted that style into the visual output. A lot of our influences used those kinds of characters on album covers and posters so it was natural for us to continue that tradition.
We all really like the style and it fits great with our music, so we’re proud to carry that legacy into the future.
– I believe «Action Rock» is more than an album’s title. It’s a concept. A style. How could you define that «style»?
Yeah we call the genre Action Rock. It’s not an officially established term but within the genre it’s been around for ages. You can say that action rock is where hard rock meets punk, but there’s also an element of glam in it.
It’s got flash and balls, it’s energetic and sharp. But it’s still raw and aggressive. It’s impossible to find a general definition, it’s more like you say: a concept and a style. You don’t have to play Crestwood or Mosrite guitars to be considered action rock, but it fits well with the stereotype.
– You recorded the album at the mighty Sunlight Studios, produced by Tomas Skogsberg. Did you have clear since the beginning where and whom with you wanted to work?
Yeah he’s the guy we wanted. We just thought he was way out of reach for us, but once we contacted him we realized that he was really down to earth and still incredibly interested in the underground stuff.
You know how when rockers get old they soften and start playing the blues? This is not the case with this guy. He’s still a maniac at the sound board, just dying to distort anything that comes his way. We hit it off perfectly and he insisted that we record the album with him because he really liked our sound and attitude.
– I believe the fact of having double vocals gives the exact amount of diversity to the record. What do you think it adds to the album?
We believe it adds aggression and rawness to the album, having double vocals could mean trouble if you do it wrong. But since our vocal style is so rough it kind of enhances the underlying feeling of the song, sometimes we do it in unison and sometimes in harmonies. To add an element of finesse to it can create a sense of controlled chaos, which is really exciting.
There’s a band in Gothenburg named Bombus where both singers have that raw Lemmy kind of singing style, and when they do it in unison it’s the most powerful thing ever. So we wanted to mix that with the Lennon/McCartney approach and so far it’s working well for us.
– You keep a quite traditional foundation throughout the whole record but still your sound is really diverse, with every song having its own personality.
That’s great to hear, you never know how the public will receive an album that consists of eleven fast songs in a row.
You can’t really control what comes out when you write songs, but sometimes you gotta lift your vision and analyze a bit, so that everything doesn’t sound alike. We’ve got some things that we tend to fall back on when writing songs that helps us keep our musical identity, but of course we try to use a variety of rythms and approaches to give each song a uniqueness. But mostly that comes naturally, the individual riff tells you what the song needs.
– Anyway, despite all this diversity, the common thread between all songs is their straight-forward energy, their simple and fresh approach. Is it something easy to get to blend so many different elements while keeping a straight forward, not complex core?
So far it hasn’t been that difficult. We’re not that complex songwriters, so we’re basically working at the edge of our ability.
As long as you’re having fun and aren’t taking things to seriously, the creativity will find a way.
Keeping it simple is something that has worried musicians for decades. “The Beatles did Get Back, why can’t we keep it that simple?!”.
Things sort themselves out if you just work hard and have a curious approach.
– All this about «Action Rock» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
We only need two words: Raw Power!
– A lot of bands lately are playing a somehow traditional or even “retro” if you will kind of Rock, but most of them are into a more Blues direction even though there’s lately a few bands venturing into this more «punki», rawer, balls-out rock n’ roll you’re playing. Is a resurrection happening?
Yeah, the resurrection is a thing. I mean, look at ten years ago. The Hellacopters, Gluecifer and Backyard Babies weren’t active. The genre wasn’t as hot anymore and very few new bands emerged, and those who did didn’t get anything for free.
The “retro rock” movement kinda took over, aswell as the Airbourne kind of AC/DC inspired meat and potato rock that had been going on for a while.
But these last years we’ve seen a resurrection in interest for classic action rock.
The Hellacopters and Backyard Babies reunited, and now Gluecifer and The Flaming Sideburns are back with full force.
It really helps when the commercially successful bands come back, it revitalizes the scene. There’s a strong wave coming out of Sweden since a couple of years with bands like Deadheads, Scumbag Millionaire, Honeymoon Disease, Grande Royale, Liar Thief Bandit etc. People love to get down with the action, and we’re here to show them where it’s at. It’s a real pleasure to do so with the classic bands back together, we’re all standing side by side in this and making action great again.
– On this subject, what could you say sets THE DRIPPERS apart?
Probably the double vocal thing, but it’s kind of hard for us to say what makes us stand out, since it’s all in the eye of the beholder.
We can only do our best and write songs that are as furious as possible, up until now we’ve received overwhelmingly positive response from people so our plan is to stick to the plan, haha.
– And what are the near-future plans for the band?
To get out and play! We’re dying to see everyone out there and have a good time on the road, so we’re really looking forward to just go out and tour.
This autumn we’re touring Sweden and the UK, we’re also looking at German dates and during the spring we’re ready to hit Europe big time.