(Photo by Bryan Taylor)
From Austin, Texas, Drip-Fed whips up a tension that just devastates: diamond-bright punk twang and heavy low-end clash with frontman Jeffrey Blum’s severely depressed vocals. This is anthemic and desperate music, for fans of Black Flag, Fucked Up, Culture Abuse, Ghostlimb, and the like. Under the Wave Blanket was recorded and mixed by Keith Hernandez, and mastered by Brad Boatright (Nails, Full of Hell).
Drip-Fed’s new seven-inch, Under the Wave Blanket, is out on Red Flag Records amd Ghettoblaster caught up with Blum to discuss the effort, depression and abusers. This is what he told us.
What is it about Drip-Fed that makes it a rewarding endeavor for you?
I think we’re doing something unique and genuine. That is more rewarding on a personal level than any kind of other success. Sure, I want a lot of people to hear our music, but the reward for me is creating art that I know is coming from an honest place. Everything else is background noise.
Were there themes that you were specifically hoping to tackle with Under The Wave Blanket?
Depression, drugs, chronic pain and health problems can be found in almost any Drip-Fed song whether it’s conscious or not. That’s what a lot of my life revolved around so that’s what ends up in the lyrics. Under the Wave Blanket sways more positive because it focuses on overcoming those situations.
What are your proudest moments on Under the Wave Blanket?
“The Shivers” is the best song we’ve ever written and a good indication of the direction our sound is moving towards. I’m very proud of that song. I’ve always played in hardcore and metal type bands where I just stacked riffs on top of each other. I’m finally trying to write some fucking songs. I’m proud of James and John for recording with the band for the first time. I’m proud of Nathan for continuing to be the second best bass player of all time (RIP Lemmy).
What are you hoping that people take away from listening to the release?
I hope people find it refreshing and hear something different than your standard punk band. I hope someone listens to it in their car with the windows down and feels okay for a few minutes. I hope a kid finds it in the used bin at End of an Ear in 20 years and is pumped about it.
You have both suffered from depression and witnessed the impact it has on lives during your day job. How do you stay balanced?
I don’t. I’ve accepted that I’ll never be fully balanced, but music keeps me from falling over.
What kind of toll does the job take on your condition?
Probably more of a toll than I’m aware of. Dealing with such heavy subject matter 40 hours a week will weigh on anyone, but the reward is definitely strong. I’ll remove a child from an abusive environment, help a disabled person pay their electric bill or talk to someone who is suicidal and it reminds me that it’s a job that needs to be done.
What is your best advice for someone who is also suffering from or living with depression?
Don’t be ashamed to seek help if you need it. Depression can be just as serious as any other mental illness and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Find some means of expression that gets those feelings out instead of suppressing them. If you don’t have mental illness then stop questioning if someone else’s is real or not.
How do you feel about people that abuse children?
Anyone who abuses someone in a vulnerable position is scum of the earth.
Milo Yiannopoulos was recently in the news for some comments he made about pedophilia and sexual abuse? Do you have a strong opinion about that controversy?
I try not to give too much time or energy to people like that. They’re mostly relevant because of shock value. If he truly believes the horrible shit he says then he deserves the worst. Also, fuck Breitbart.
Will you be touring anytime soon?
We’re playing some Texas dates and hopefully a tour up the west coast this summer. We will definitely be playing outside of Austin more frequently.
What is SXSW week like for those of you that live in Austin?
This is the first time in a while that I’m not playing a single SXSW show. Honestly, I’m extremely relieved. Over the past couple of years it has become more of a burden to play than a pleasure. The shows can be worth it, but as a small band you often end up playing at 2PM in some weird venue to a handful of uninterested people. Plus like 70 thousand extra people come into my city for a week and make it hard to just live my normal life. I’m sure there’s still great shows to see and free drinks to be found, but the whole thing doesn’t feel the same to me anymore. I’m probably just bitter though.
(Listen to Drip-Fed here: http://drip-fed.bandcamp.com/
Buy the cassette and vinyl, here: http://shop.redflagdiy.com)
(Photo by Bryan Taylor)