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Drawn from Bees
Monday, 29 August 2011 19:14

Drawn from BeesOur client Drawn from Bees are a creative rock band from Australia.

Since 2008 Drawn from Bees (the name comes from an Oscar Wilde play) have released more recordings than most bands release in their careers and they have performed across the East coast of Australia and internationally.

Jeremy recently caught up with Dan James, vocalist and guitarist for Drawn from Bees, for a Q/A session.

Q: Please tell us a little about Drawn From Bees.

A: You could say that Drawn from Bees are a creative rock band, I always prefer the word creative as opposed to experimental. We are a hard working bunch and are always trying to grow our music in the recorded and live arenas. We are mainly based in Brisbane although recently our guitarist (Raven) moved to Melbourne. The result is that we are one of those “modern” bands that is creating music and sending it down to Melbourne for him to add guitar ideas. Influences are older bands like Pink Floyd and Bowie, bands that are constantly pushing the boundaries and moving into new sonic territory.

Q: Drawn From Bees have consistently released shorter recordings over the years, almost as if you grabbed hold of the single culture before anyone else. But then you hedged your bets with an album release (2010’s Fear Not the Footsteps of the Departed). Can you tell me why the two-pronged approach was used, and what you’ve found great (or or not so great) about each?

A: The length of our releases were never really something we thought about too much. When we started our “Box Set” project we just wanted to release a batch of work every six months. The last one happened to be a full length record because we had quite a backlog of songs that weren’t quite finished on the first three. We have a policy of not releasing music until we all feel it is ready so by the time we hit the final record in the set we had quite a lot of ideas that needed finishing and a whole lot of new ideas. We actually left quite a few songs off that record.

I also feel that we are now living in a world that embraces creativity more than it did in the past. Bands are no longer stuck to formats like CD’s and they are no longer living in a world where you need big recording studios to lay down great records. The result is that you are only limited by your imagination and application. I also think that there is no cutting edge anymore and once a band understands that then they are on the cutting edge.

Drawn from Bees - Of Walls and TeethQ: What’s the new single and what’s it about?

A: Of Walls and Teeth is about my fear of conflict. The song uses an allegory of fighting with a wolf that is preparing to tear me apart. It seems that a fight is never about right or wrong, it is only ever about how far a person will go to prove a point and what horrible things people are capable of saying when they are angry.

On a sonic level this is a new direction for Drawn from Bees – we are really drawing from older guitar sounds of Cream and towards the end we were attempting to get that ripping guitar sound that Keith Richards is so well known for. The drums and bass are punchier than the normal DFB approach and we hope it gives a feeling of being “kicked in the guts”. This was a really fun mix for us as we are doing things differently again, we mixed this song “out of the box” for the first time and were lucky enough to mix it with the lovely Stephen Bartlett on his Neve console straight to tape. It is a very new sound for us which is ironic considering it uses much older technology.

Q: Where will you be performing or touring to promote the new single Of Walls and Teeth?

A: We will be traveling up and down the east coast of Australia. We are doing the usual big cities, but we will be trying out some new venues this time. I am excited about playing at Yah Yah’s for the first time. Actually I am excited about being back on the road full stop! Being in a band gives you the best excuse to go on really awesome road trips with your best friends, there aren’t many jobs that allow you to have that much fun while you work.

Q: Recently you guys have been gone from our land of droughts and flooding rains. What did you get up to?

A: We have been touring through Hong Kong, The UK, the East Coast of the United States with a little side trip to Canada. We have also played in some pretty iconic venues and released our first EP in the USA. We played four shows at SXSW and signed a syncing deal with a rather large company in LA and we even signed a deal at SXSW with INK music back here in Australia. It has been a huge few months of constant gigging and no sleep coupled with the odd smattering of alcohol abuse, I’m surprised that we didn’t get sick.

Q: What was your favourite or most memorable or funniest or most exhilarating experience on your overseas trip?

A: There are two venues we have played in the States and it is a tossup between them. In NY we played an amazing show at the Bowery Ball Room and then went out on the town with some New York locals. I remember that Raven passed out in the bar at one point and eventually we all got separated, Stew had a fight with a cab driver and I chatted to other bands all night, I can only hope that I didn’t embarrass myself as the wine was flowing freely that night!

The second venue was the Whisky a Go-Go in LA. We had the worst sound check in history, everything that could go wrong went wrong including feedback problems, pedals breaking, boomy unclear holdback. It is also quite an intimidating venue that was famous as the home of The Doors – they still have the same stage that Jim Morrison performed on. We walked on stage with nothing but fear and stood in front of a packed house and struck the first chord. From then on all the problems somehow disappeared, nothing went wrong and the atmosphere in the room was electric. It still stands out in my mind how good it felt to really belt it out on the same stage as the Doors.

Discover more

Drawn from Bees Of Walls and Teeth on iTunes
Official website