An interview with Allusondrugs from 2000trees 2015

Mucky pups - The weirdly wonderful ALLUSONDRUGS

Mucky pups – The weirdly wonderful ALLUSONDRUGS

A good indicator that 2000trees operates on a non-dickhead policy was meeting Jason of Allusondrugs. I bumped into him on site for the first time prior to the interview, big grin on his face and high on life (or something…) showing much appreciation for the FALLS shirt I was wearing – which is mad, ‘cus Falls are dog shit (I keed, I keed!) The rest of the band were nice as pie too; all smiles, taking in the joys of the festival and its surroundings.

Half an hour down the line, I met up with Jason again and we were getting on like old pals, laughing away like we’d known each other for years. That’s one of the things I really like about Allusondrugs – their positivity. Or at least it was. During our chat Jason was hilariously quick to add “…Oh man, we can be cunts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m gonna throw it out there – we can be horrible. But what’s the point? I’m not horrible to anyone that’s not horrible to me. I enjoy what I do, I’m in the sun and I’ve got beer. Beautiful day, there’s beautiful people all around me – what’s not to enjoy

Grinning from ear to ear, with a depleting 8 pack of Carlsberg in hand, Jason has every right to be happy. “…I’ve never been here – it’s fucking great! Been given some free beer, played to a nice packed out tent, sweated a bit, got a bit horny, it’s all good. That’s what you want!” he adds with a laugh. An hour earlier, Allusondrugs took to The Axiom stage at 2000trees and packed out the tent. This is becoming a regular occurrence for the band, and every festival they play this summer sees the crowds getting bigger and bigger, as Jason continued “It’s been amazing to be honest. We’ve been turning up and the tents have just been packed and everybody’s been – even when you walk around, you hear people talking about you like ‘They were amazing’ things like that – it’s what you want, innit? You don’t wanna be an artist to be average. You just want to really amaze people I guess, and hopefully we are…I mean it’s just ‘cus I’ve got a nice set of cheek bones you know, maybe who’ll know [laughs]

Cracking open another can of Carlsberg and passing one to me, Jason cements himself as the soundest bloke at the festival – All it takes is free beer and a winning smile. Continuing on the theme of packing out tents and a summer’s worth of festivals, June saw Allusondrugs take on Download Festival, which is pretty huge. Though just how huge it is didn’t really click straight away, as Jason admitted “For me, when I play on stage I don’t think about where I’m going or the town I’m in or anything really. It kind of didn’t dawn on me that I was playing Download until I met Steve Harris from Iron Maiden half an hour before we played. I grew up listening to Iron Maiden; I remember getting Brave New World when it came out from HMV catalogue when I was a kid. I got a karaoke machine ‘cus it was Millennium. It was really weird ‘cus I just met one of my idols and I was thinking, I wouldn’t probably be playing Download if I’d never listened to Iron Maiden and got into singing.”

Allusondrugs at this year's Download Festival (Photo Credit: Captured By Corinne)

Allusondrugs at this year’s Download Festival (Photo Credit: Captured By Corinne)

Pre-show jitters, the meeting with Steve Harris and probably something kicking about in his stomach got the better of Jason and ended up making their first song at Download a memorable one. “I got really nervous; I ended up throwing up through the first song all over myself, like projectile vomit everywhere. I think after that I was kinda settled. I think most people thought I was wrecked already, but I was just so nervous ‘cus it was such an overwhelming experience to be playing something you read about all your life and you watch footage on Kerrang. Then you’re there, you’re on stage! I don’t know, it’s amazing, man. People can have bad days and whatever you do with your life and good days, but you can’t take something like that for granted.

It’s refreshing to see a band not completely taken in by their own ego, just from being added to a festival line-up. Too many bands are knocking about thinking their shit doesn’t stink, which is something that riles up the Allusondrugs front man no end – in hilarious fashion no less, as his Northernness comes out a treat “They’re fucking knobheads, they’re absolute cunts, and when they come round us they won’t even look us in eyes ‘cus they just know…it’s just funny. Just doing it for fucking ego kick, I’m macho I’m in a band – Fuck off, you’re a wanker with a little dick. That’s why you’re acting like you’re tough! [laughs] Let’s go find ’em now and tell them

The five-piece are from Castleford in West Yorkshire, but bringing up the town name has Jason jokingly make mock cut-throat signals, owing to their branding as an up-and-coming Leeds band. You can’t blame him either. I touched upon this recently in an interview with fellow Leeds up-and-comers Bearfoot Beware, how Leeds is a hotbed for producing gnarly bands. Obviously, I’m not the first person to notice this either, as bands like Dinosaur Pile-Up and Pulled Apart By Horses having been doing really well for years, and the DIY scene in Leeds is well known. It’s not even like Castleford is that far away! “It’s kinda weird; our last show was like 300 people. We’ve been together two years and we’ve done like 360-odd gigs in’t space of 26 month. We used to literally play like once a month in Castleford where we’re from, and it’s kinda cool ‘cus – put it to you this way, like: My last job I worked – ‘cus I don’t work now, I’m just fucking rock and roll through and through obviously – I used to have to walk like half an hour to work. I’d see people, I’d roll a cig up nervously and I don’t like really talking to people sometimes, ‘cus when you’re sober it’s a lot harder, dyou know what I mean? But then after playing music so long, I’d just know people on the streets from coming to watch us play and it was like – this is really cool, people wanna talk to me and smile at me instead of…It’s kind of a weird thing. Leeds is cool for the scene as well, especially where we’re around. When you consider Castleford and Leeds as well, they are separate places but they’re so close – you’re talking like 18 minute train, twenty minute drive, so it might as well be the same place but it is a world apart. But it is great, Pulled Apart By Horses for instance, Drey and Damo out of our band have been playing with them for years when they’ve been in other bands like Mother Vulpine. So it’s cool – they’re fucking massive now, they’re living it. They deserve it and they’re still there in Leeds, they’re still there, they still care about what’s going on in Leeds. That sums up Leeds as a whole.

Packing out tents with ever increasing crowds and getting spotted by Joe Public in the streets is becoming a common occurrence for the chaps in Allusondrugs. Just recently, their video for ‘I Should Have Gone To Uni’ smashed the 40,000 views barrier, and they recently joined up with Dinosaur Pile-Up in supporting Pulled Apart By Horses at a massive home coming show as part of Live At Leeds 2015. A couple of dudes in Manchester recently tried to turn the phrase “Buzzing My Tits Off” into an actual brand and if they had have succeeded, It wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest Jason could be their mascot with the bands recent popularity. “It’s great man, all I’ve ever wanted. We set off with a five year plan to sell 10 million records and have 10 number 1’s and we’re eight months ahead of plan. I want 20 million records after that. I want 50. Then I want Wembley stadium. Once it happens, then we’re just gonna put a gig on on the whole of the UK, where everybody just goes outside and listens to us, there’s gonna be speakers set up everywhere – about 7000 of ’em. It’ll be a trend.” He grins, before giving the situation more thought “I dunno, I just want to play my music to people who enjoy it and as many people that can enjoy it. Hate it when bands are really snobby about playing to many people, it’s so far-fetched man. What’s not beautiful about, say Wembley stadium for instance, 70,000 people turning up to appreciate what you’ve created? That’s pure, man. That’s what I want. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t happen, ‘cus I get to do it every day, but we are quite ambitious people – I think you have to be. We set off to do that and our friends sometimes will be like ‘that’s ridiculous, why did you do that?’ it’s like, because we had Cockpit within six months of being a band, maybe if we don’t aim for that we would’ve never achieved that.”
Stopping in his tracks, he suddenly perks up and says with a laugh “I keep forgetting what you’re asking me and just talking, we need to slow down on these tinnies, mate

Following on from their debut EP and a handful of singles, the boys have taken their noise down south and the hallowed halls of Abbey Road Studios. It seems so mad seeing all these up and coming bands recording at Abbey Road – for me it’s almost like the place is locked in a certain time period. I can imagine walking toward the studio and seeing McCartney walking out the front door, or the Fab Four walking across that famous zebra crossing… But the past couple of months have seen a number of top bands recording at the world famous studios, and it’s all through the brilliant Too Pure Singles Club. The monthly service from the Too Pure label has been wonderful this year, with the label putting out exclusive singles from the likes of Tall Ships and FALLS, with releases from Tigercub and Allusondrugs forthcoming. On mention of the recordings, the already excitable Jason understandably perks up even more “Oh mate, it was ace! I sat in the car park with a spliff and a tinnie and was like – this is unreal, this shouldn’t be happening. What a place; just walking through a place like that and seeing all the pictures of the artists who’ve been there. I don’t wanna say who was there at the time ‘cus I don’t even fucking know if I’m allowed, I’m that unaware of what’s going on. But yeah, it was crazy. We’ve got some stuff coming out in September through Too Pure, who run off Beggars, which has been cool. A friend’s band from Leeds, Forever Cult, are doing the month after actually, which is cool. ‘Cus we both started out from the same label, a Leeds label called Clue Records. It’s really nice, man. Hopefully we’ve got plans to send them a lot of our friend’s bands to listen to. It’s mental…I don’t even know what to say, I’d just be gibbering – it wouldn’t make sense”


Allusondrugs (Photo Credit: Rob Ellis)

So with the EP in the bank and the Too Pure release still to come, one can only imagine an album can’t be far away? “Nothing’s been planned; we’re just seeing how it goes. Between us we’ve got hundreds of songs. Out guitarist Damo could give you a disc right now with 800 tracks he’s wrote and recorded every part, and he’s forgotten as many. I guess when the time is right. You could go into industry terms about it and maybe you could get an album out now and that’d reach people, or maybe wait and put an album out. I’m happy with what we’re doing. If I’m not here I’m at home in me bedroom, writing and playing and learning songs I like. I know it’ll happen, but I don’t know when. Nothing set in stone. I hope people are still interested when it does come out, that’d just be cool. That’s what we want

As for the response to the album, Jason is again thinking big – the Wembley figures come back to the forefront, as he says with a laugh “It’s gonna blow up, obviously. 10 million records, that’s just in Yorkshire as well”

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