2017 was a big year for Chicago post-hardcore act Droughts, they released their debut full length Stay Behind on Skeletal Lightning Records and they very kindly curated the below playlist on their influences behind the album.
Album: Worship and Tribute
Song: “Pink Roses”
Glassjaw is one of the biggest influences on the sound of Droughts, and especially on the vocal end. There are also moments on Stay Behind where some of the bass and drums are arranged in ways that kind of remind of the syncopated rhythms of Glassjaw and kind of serve as a nod to their influence.
Album: Full Collapse
Song: “Cross Out The Eyes”
Thursday is another main influence on the sound of Stay Behind, and in particularly on Joe’s vocals and bass. Having the perspective of joining the band on drums after they’ve been together for years, a musical commonality in Thursday resonated throughout the process of putting Stay Behind together.
Artist: Brighter Arrows
Song: “The Occupation”
Dreamliner is one of the best albums to come out of Chicago this decade. They were really ahead of their time with injecting shoegaze into their post-rock/post-punk songs before shoegaze became a trendy influence in the indie scene again over the past couple years. We’re friends with the guys in Brighter Arrows and played numerous shows with them in Chicago while they were band (they’ve since broken up), and they are one of our biggest influences of our contemporaries.
Song: “Nosferatu Man”
The two Will’s in the band take a lot of influence from Slint. When I first joined the band, bonding with our guitarist Will over Spiderland definitely influenced how I wrote and arranged drum parts on Stay Behind. One thing I also really liked about Slint is the amount of space that can be found in their music, and how it allows the drums to breathe in-between the guitar interplay. I feel there are elements of that use of space between the drums and guitars in the style of Spiderland that can be found on certain songs on Stay Behind. Also, Slint being one of the first Midwest emo, post-hardcore bands to come out of the scene, there is still a historical influence of Slint in the Chicago emo and post-hardcore scene.
Artist: True Widow
True Widow is on this list because of our guitarist Nick. When I first met Nick, the only band he talked about and was listening to at the time was True Widow. A lot of Nick’s guitar playing features heavy delay and reverb, as well as a hint of dark guitar twang, which kind of encapsules the guitar tone found on a lot of True Widow songs especially on Circumambulation.
Artist: The Shipping News
Album: Flies the Fields
Song: “The Human Face”
Just like with Slint the other Louisville band on here, The Shipping News is another influence of the Wills in the band. The darkened mood of the music and constant dynamic control found in The Shipping News is an influence I carry with me with every band I play with. The Shipping News is our guitarist Will’s favorite Jason Noble band, which isn’t an easy pick considering he’s played with some seminal Midwest bands like Rodan and Rachel’s, and I think that influence can be heard in his playing.
We all listen to a wide range of different music, and Caravels is one of the few bands that we can all agree on. We played some shows with Caravels about 4 years ago, and I think there is an abundance of conscious and subconscious influence of Caravels throughout Stay Behind. They’re definitely one of the best emotional hardcore bands of the past decade.
Liturgy is on this list specifically for influencing some of the drum parts on Stay Behind. I was listening to a lot of Liturgy when we were finishing up writing the album, and Greg Fox is a huge influence for me on drums. The opening song “Welcome Back” was the last song we wrote for the album, and the first time I heard the opening guitar part for the song, my initial thought was this kind of sounds like a Liturgy guitar part and it needs some Greg Fox like blast beats on top of it. “Welcome Back” is probably the song I get asked the most about because of the blast beats drum part, and for me the drums on that song is a total nod towards Greg Fox’s work in Liturgy. Fox has a certain way his plays blast beats where there’s a lot of cymbal wash going on as well as a lot of ghosts notes on the snare and it almost sounds kind of jazzy in a way, and that jazzy kind of approach to blast beats is what I tried to emulate on “Welcome Back.”
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