Discover more from Volatile Weekly
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
TeeJay: I got into music through cooler older family members and lack of things to do where I grew up. DIY music culture really clicked with me and from my first small local punk show, I was just hooked. If I were not a musician I honestly don’t know what I would be doing today. I’d probably just be another suit stuck in an office somewhere.
Matt Tillman: Music was always playing around the house and we had a lot of musician friends. My next door neighbor was a guitar player and I would bug him to play his strat. That’s probably where I first got the urge to play guitar. I’d honestly be playing minor league baseball somewhere if it wasn’t for music. I definitely had a chance to focus more on baseball than guitar, but chose the music path instead.
Joseph Perrier: I grew up in a room with an uncle that was 12 years older than me. We even had bunk beds. I'd pretend to be sleeping while he played sega. MTV was always on in the room and I grew up with a hair metal family. So I saw lots of stuff as a kid. Hours of “120 Minutes”, Deftones, Quicksand, Sunny Day, Civ, and Hum videos. Plus cool as shit hip-hop like A Tribe Called Quest. There was also a lot cool hip-hop I got exposed to from being raised by that television. I can remember whipping around in one of my uncle's cars to Deicide, Cannibal Corpse. others like that. He had Ramones records seemingly hidden in our closet. I ended up smashing an acoustic guitar off his to that Nirvana performance where Krist Noveselic kept throwing his bass in the air. I probably got my ass kicked for that. I was also 6. Later in 6th grade, I got that Ozzfest 96 VHS with Pantera, Neurosis, Earth Crisis, Fear Factory, Sepultura, etc. and it made me want to play guitar. I was 11 when I got my first guitar for Christmas a few days after the dude I considered my dad died in a car accident. I remember getting frustrated because I couldn't keep my fingers on the strings. I think I still have the same problem all these years later, but the noises I make are certainly better.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Tee Jay: Both my wife and I are active in different live performance settings, so honestly when I’m not making music I’m just trying to spend time with her and my dog. Everything around me seems to influence my creativity. I tend to channel my everyday emotions into music, so something as simple as my anger from being stuck in traffic or the blissful feeling of just watching a movie with my partner can work its way in. Almost like I’m creating a soundtrack for every experience in my life.
Joseph Perrier: I work as a chef and that has helped with creativity in one part of my brain but has severely limited it in the music sense. Working crazy hours did not afford much time to play. I tried to join a band with Matt. I was working six day weeks and was exhausted at the time. I didn't get the chance to do music with him then, but life balance is a little better these days. I have a lot of gratitude for being able to play with Matt, Rachel, TJ, and Christian. I also have this wild notion that I have years of songs pent up because of my crazy schedule. As a result, I believe there is a lot of creativity to hone in on moving forward.
How long has your band been around?
Tee Jay: A few years, but there have been some speed bumps along the way like losing and gaining members, that whole pesky pandemic, injuries… Needless to say, this debut has been a long time coming, and hopefully we’re able to squeeze a show in before every small venue in the world is turned into a condo
Joseph Perrier: It's hard to say really but all the shit TJ said has made it hard to be defined by time.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Tee Jay: We’re based out of Boston. All of us had been in super active bands in the past, and we all have super diverse tastes in music. Boston is a VERY small world, everybody knows each other and the music scene here has always been incredible. Boston seems to be a tight knit community and there’s always cross pollination. As a teenager and still to this day one second I’m listening to Blood for Blood, the next track will be Letters to Cleo and then maybe a BossTones or Dresden Dolls track might come on shuffle! So we definitely will have songs with pop hooks and there might be a metallic influenced riff in the same track.
Joseph Perrier: Boston. My English teacher in high school is married to Al from SSD. It was very easy to access different forms of music, be it aggressive or not. I've always had a wide range of interests regarding music but went from liking ‘80s metal to grunge to metal to hardcore and back. Rinse. Repeat.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Tee Jay: The name comes from a prank Australians play with tourists about koalas. We thought it was silly. There’s really no deep answer about what it means to me personally ha ha. I guess it just channels my inner wackiness. Plus koalas are adorable, how can you not smile thinking about one of those lil buggers!
Joseph Perrier: We originally named ourselves after a Sugar song. After line up shifts, practice space demolitions, pandemics, and injuries we settled on the playful dropbear because of a joke. It also reminded me of Drop Nineteens.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Tee Jay: We have yet to make our live debut
Joseph Perrier: Book us!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Tee Jay: My personal favorite venue to play in Boston is The Sinclair, but I’m also a sucker for a good basement show. Hopefully this band will be able to play both types of venues!
Joseph Perrier: I'd like to play The Sinclair and the Columbus Theater.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Matt Tillman: Dream line up would be Swervedriver (Playing Ejector Seat Reservation in its entirety), Hum, Pale Saints.
Tee Jay: This is always such a tough question. It would have to be a two-week long festival. I’ll just spout off some bands that I’d love to play with: Depeche Mode, Face to Face, Deftones, The Chisel, Purity Ring, Ceremony, Cave In, Gulch, Mindforce, Oingo Boingo, At The Gates, The Armed, Panopticon, High Vis, Hum, Failure, Touche Amore, and Andrew WK.
Joseph Perrier: In this moment Narrow Head, Soul Blind, Fiddlehead, & Drug Church.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Tee Jay: Have patience, be nice, network, and get into a remote day job.
Joseph Perrier: Keep moving forward despite all the hang ups of life. If you want to play, the songs will follow. Also get cities and towns to invest in some small scale mixed use venues for all arts.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Matt Tillman: I think about this a lot actually so it’s nice to share some internal dialogue. I would probably tell my past self to be more confident. That was one area growing up I definitely was lacking in. I might have been too much of a people pleaser… focusing on everything but me.
Joseph Perrier: Your opinion of what you do is always going to be tougher than anybody else's opinion of you. So write, regardless.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Joseph Perrier: “Sitcom Show” because it really came along with me not being able to express the type of song I wanted to write while talking to Matt until I was able to hit the notes of the opening riff.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Matt Tillman: Joe and I typically “scaffold” songs by writing riffs around some common tonal themes. This process generally produces one to three song ideas at once. Once we do that, we try to fill in the gaps as needed and really try to turn the ideas into completed songs.
Tee Jay: So far the writing process has been Joe and Matt writing most of the songs. I’ll lay the drums down and Christian fills out the bass. Rachel writes the lyrics. We all tend to throw little tweaks each other’s way and mold the song a little more.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Joseph Perrier: We like to convey welcoming messages musically and lyrically with some swirl heavy heartbreak mixed in.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Tee Jay: We do, but patience and talking them out work just fine. It’s really easy for five creative people to have differences. I think to be successful in a band you have to be open to rejection and negative criticism and really not take it personally.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Tee Jay: Our plan is to drop this EP and since it’s been about four years in the making, write another EP worth of music. Hopefully we can get out and play live by the end of the summer!
Joseph Perrier: We plan to do another EP and a full length if the world doesn't end or further debilitate us physically.