More Human Than Human: Droids
Droids blend a raw punk energy with driving, QOTSA-esque, guitars, which has seen the Derry based outfit’s self-titled E.P garner widespread critical acclaim. The band, whose four members range from 22-years-old to late twenties, are set to play at the Venue, Derry with Folk-Punk hero Frank Turner on 28 September. Droids, composed of Lead Guitarist Stephen Butler, Drummer Mick McCallion, Bassist Adam Vaughan and Guitarist Johnny McGingley, have featured on BBC’s introducing page, and Johnny took the time to answer a few questions on the band’s on-going journey.
How did you guys form?
Mick and I had played in a few different bands before, but only ever played a few shows with each, until we decided to give it a proper go. I knew Stephen a few years and had jammed with him before, which went really well as we kind of clicked together so it was a no-brainer to get him in on it. We had a few practices as a three piece and it seemed to be coming together quite quickly, as we had the bare bones for a few songs. We then put up an ad in an N.I. music forum for a bassist and luckily, Adam answered. He’d already written bass lines to Astromech and a few other demos we’d sent so when he started playing we knew he meant business!
Your E.P is gaining you comparisons to Queens Of The Stone Age, particularly in the tracks Astromech and Protocol, as well as Walter. Were they a big influence on Droids?
I suppose we all like Queens in some form, whether it’s just one album or their entire back catalogue, so yeah I’d say they probably have been an influence on us.
Who else helped shape the current sound of the band?
Loads of different bands to be honest, there’s a few bands we all agree on, but I think we have our own individual tastes as well, which makes our sound a bit more interesting than if we were all into the exact same bands.
Which song from the E.P is your favourite to perform live?
My favourite personally? It changes from time to time, but I’d have to say Recognizer at the moment. Its quite reserved, for the most part, but opens up towards the end and I get to do a good bit of screaming. I like screaming.
You’ve got the Frank Turner gig on 28 September, which also features And So I Watch You From Afar, which is obviously a huge show. Keeping this in mind, what do you think has been Droids’ biggest show so far?
We played Glasgowbury 2012, which is like the biggest/best of all the independent N.Irish festivals. Therapy/Fighting With Wire/Lafaro/More Than Conquerors/Mojo Fury and loads more played that year. It was an awesome line up.
Were any of you involved in any musical activities in school?
I wasn’t after Year 10, but the rest of the guys were. Adam and Mick did their degrees in music. We constantly fight over the need for a piece of music to be resolved. It’s great fun!
Where do you hope to be, as a band, in 5 years?
It would be nice to get a few more releases under our belt, and a few more tours to boot. I think if we were in a position to release an album in the next few years we would be very happy. At the end of the day though, it’s all about increasing your fan base, and the only real way to do that is through touring. Earlier this year we did our first tour of Scotland, which was awesome, but we need to keep growing, which means our next tour should be bigger, and then bigger etc. Hopefully we’ll hit the road again next year and do a few more shows across the UK.
Your EP is getting consistently good reviews, and you’ve been featured in BBC’s Introducing section. What advice would you offer for young artists starting out?
Practice. In my opinion the best thing to be is an awesome live band. Things can be cut and pasted in the studio, you can do take after take to get a guitar line or a vocal part right, but you dont have that luxury live. Seeing a great live band is such a good feeling, and that can only translate well onto record. Practice is by far the most important thing, in my opinion anyway.
And finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, what’s the largest animal you think you could throw over a crossbar?
That’s tough. We’ve been thinking about a deer (with antlers) if we were throwing as a team, or a pretty big sheep, but I think that individually I could probably throw a monkey of some description. Monkeys are always up for the craic, so I reckon if you held their hands and got a good circular motion going, they’d run and jump with you so you’d build up speed and power alot easier. Monkey. Definitely a monkey.