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Destroyers

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Read the interview and then check them out live this Friday at Legacy.


Destroyers

Photo(s) by Shawn Carson - © 2008-2014

Hello Destroyers. Jon, I hear you are from some place called California in some mystical land known as the United States of America. Are you responsible for forming this band and how did you all meet each other? 

JON: Yep! I’m from ‘Murica. Was I responsible for this band??
LEE: Yeah you were. At the time we were doing a session for a pop star and then you were like, “Hey man, you want to start a punk band?” We had a few drinks and then decided to make it happen.
JON: That sounds about right. Our bass player, Johnny, played in my previous band.
DAWEI: I had to partake in extensive interviews to get in this band…


I believe you formed this band at the end of 2011. Have you guys been members of other bands or are you just a bunch of noobs posing as a veteran band?

LEE: I’ve been in too many bands. If I were to list them, there wouldn’t be enough space for the rest of the interview. I don’t really think that I’m a 
“veteran.” I’d prefer to be a rookie, because it makes me feel young.
JON: When we first started I was playing in The Looking Glass. Lee and I also played in Fever Trend together.
DAWEI: Before Destroyers, I had actually never been in a band before. I was always at home playing guitar waiting for someone to discover me.


Most people in the regional scene have heard that you guys are good friends and that is why you guys work so well together. Is this true or is this some kind of elaborate marketing hoax dreamed up by some powerful ad agency to sell Destroyers CDs?

JON: These guys aren’t my friends…they’re my brothers.
LEE/DAWEI: Can we get married?
JON: We’re already kind of married…
LEE: Honestly, I don’t think we’d be a band if we weren’t good friends. We’ve known each other for so long and we haven’t had any arguments! If there’s ever a problem we’re all really good about just being direct with each other.
DAWEI: We have a really tight relationship. We’re not like an online pop band…we don’t have to fake it.


Let me get this straight…you guys are a “punk-rock” band…correct? I hear influences of ska, cow-punk, straight-up country and other genres. So what style do you play? What do you feel is the difference between your style of punk and the punk that you usually hear in Taiwan? Which bands have influenced each of you?

JON: I would like to say we’re a punk rock band? I have no shame in saying that I draw a lot of influence from BOYZ II MEN and Korean Pop from the late 90’s….
LEE: I feel like a lot of punk bands in Taiwan play really fast, are heavily influenced by the Japanese punk scene, better players, and they write super serious lyrics. I think we’re a little more western influenced. Also, our songs are a little more straight-forward and positive. I love listening to pop-punk and hardcore, but more recently, I’ve gotten into ska-punk.
DAWEI: I love music from the era of Bob Dylan…love that blues and jazz!
JOHNNY: I grew up listening to bands like Green Day, Sum 41, Blink 182 and NOFX. I basically love any punk band that can write a good hook.


It’s been said that you guys are hard workers and practice a lot. Your band’s popularity and fan base have been rapidly increasing in recent months. Do you attribute this to your hard work or do you feel it’s due to some other factors…like your devastating good looks?

JOHNNY: Yup…
JON: Honestly, we don’t practice that much, but when we do, we get a lot done, and I think that’s the most important!
LEE: I actually hate practicing. I only like to practice when we know we have a show coming up. When we do practice though, I think we always sound pretty tight…probably because everyone practices at home…right? As far as our looks…our band is a combination of 1 fat piece of meat and 3 bamboo sticks.
JOHNNY: Yup…fat meat.
JON: The fat is the best part.


Your first EP Maria was released in 2012. Last year, you released your sophomore EP We are…Destroyers, which is a very well-thought-out title by the way. How do you feel your sound has evolved? Do you feel you’ve improved as musicians…or do you suck?

JOHNNY: We’ve gotten really good at reading each other’s minds. When we’re writing new material, not much is said. We all know exactly what the other is thinking and wants. It’s pretty cool!
JON: I think my singing has improved…right guys?
LEE/DAWEI: …
LEE: Please forget about the first EP! Our second release was when we started recording better quality material, but the first EP does remind us of simpler times…
JOHNNY: I still think we suck.
JON/DAWEI/LEE: …


For a punk rock band, I think your instrumentation is well written and surprisingly complex. If you listen carefully, you start to hear a lot of layers and creative fills. Who writes this shit? Is one person responsible or do you pay a boardroom full of suits to manufacture your songs?

JON: Haha, well actually, all the songs are written by me. At the beginning I wrote a lot of the lyrics, but now the guys help me because my Chinese is trash.
JOHNNY: However, I discovered that the lyrics we helped Jon write were a little too hard for him to sing! So, we still let him write some because I feel like his simple lyrics are kind of a trademark of the band.
DAWEI: I’m solely responsible for all the layers and creative fills.
LEE: I’m not really that good at drumming. Usually I just 4 and 8 note fill-ins. Sometimes, but very rarely, I do match my drumming with the melodies.


Most of the time I go to your shows I leave pretty highly intoxicated. Do I have a problem or does this have something to do with your performance? Seems like you guys like to partake in a few (dozen) refreshing beverages now and again too. What are each of your favorite libations? Feel free to share a story from a particularly epic night of roguery. 

JON: Shawn, I’m pretty sure you have a problem because I very rarely drink…
LEE: Yea, I actually don’t drink either.
JOHNNY: You guys are full of shit.
DAWEI: I’m kind of thirsty…
ALL: hahahaha
LEE: Put your beer goggles on fellas.


I seem to remember you releasing a couple music videos recently. The production seemed pretty simple but they were quite entertaining. What kind of budget are you working with and how do you feel about the idea that it takes a lot of money to do anything noteworthy?

LEE: Yea, the money issue is pretty restricting when we want to make something. None of us really have a lot of money to throw around or have family to rely on. We’re just getting by with the support of our close friends. But I don’t think you need to spend a lot of money to make something great.
JON: Does spending a fortune on a music video make you famous? I don’t know, maybe. When we film our music videos, our budget is like $1000 to $2000. I think we’re just really lucky to have a great group of friends to help us. Thanks to all of you, seriously.
ALL: Thanks!


Ok, so I am bored and need to end this interview or I might off myself. What do you guys have in the works for this new year? New music? New videos? Tours of strip clubs around Taiwan? World domination? Go ahead, give me the skinny so I can get out of here. 

LEE: Actually, a JD tour doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Entrance for girls is free and guys pay $500, cool?
JOHNNY: What…
JON: That’s not such a bad idea…
JOHNNY: ….
JON: Fine, fine. Honestly, I just want a chance to play out of the country!
DAWEI: Also, we plan to come out with a full-length record this year…this is what I look most forward too!
JON: Ok, I’m bored now too…to the bar!


Destroyers

Photo(s) by Shawn Carson - © 2008-2014

See Also:
Destroyers, Frandé, Forests & Slack Tide - 2014/1/24
Destroyers - Facebook

Destroyers

Photo(s) by Shawn Carson - © 2008-2014

Destroyers

Shawn is a copywriter, editor, photographer, former concert promoter and all around swell guy. He enjoys free drinks, guest lists and romantic walks on the beach with your girlfriend.


Search all articles by Shawn Carson

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