Drop Legs: “ Everything’s just fuckin nice”

Meet the unique boys from Byron who are set to become the next best party band. 

Following their recent tour with Tones and I, and some big shows in Europe, the Drop Legs boys are cooking up something big which we’re all frothing for. The blend of reggae, hip-hop and surf rock creates one hell of a sound, and Ham Blackett (Lead Vocalist) gave us a rundown of what’s to come.

How did the band initially come together?

Me and Jason met about 5 years ago at a BBQ and started hanging out and just kicking around Byron, as you do. A couple of the other boys met at uni and then everyone kinda met around Byron. Then we all sort of lived together. 

The drummer (Jason Cunneen) and guitarist (Anthony Fine) are studying music at Lismore SCU, they met in class i think. One of them was wearing a weed cap and the other one was like “Hey”.

You guys have a blend of reggae hip hop and surf rock which is pretty unique, how did this type of sound come along?

Well I was always a hip-hop head and was really into it and then our drummer has always loved reggae, and when I met him we were going out one night and he was playing Sublime in his old Camry wagon, and then I was like “dude I don’t get this man, what’s the deal with why you love this sound?”. And he’s like “man one day this will be one of your favourite bands, you wait.” I was like “no fucking way ever.” And yeah over the next kinda couple of years it really got me into reggae and dub.

Then when Ant-man (Anthony) joined the band he was a big frother of Tame Impala, Pond, and that kinda Western Australian psych sound. So yeah that kind of just all melts together. 

Timmy (Tim Schou) obviously, he’s kind of more of a hip-hop dude so on the bass he actually has those kinds of hip-hop bass lines. So it literally is like a melting pot of peoples influences, and to be a functioning band where the vibes are high you just gotta accept everyone’s input. So when you do that you get a real mongrel sound.

It sounds like your capitalising on everyone’s individualities which is a smart and unique idea.

Yeah, well when everyone’s enjoying it, gets to have their moment and gets their input in, it’s great! Sometimes it’s a bit of a sacrifice, someone will be like “ohh what about this?” You might be thinking “ohh I don’t like that.” But you see how happy it makes them so you’re just like “ahh alright fuck it.”

You’ve had a pretty big year with shows in the UK, the Netherlands and New Zealand. What are the crowds like compared to Australia?

Last year we played for the first time in Europe which was absolutely crazy. Man it was just so fun. The crowds go really crazy. It doesn’t get dark until like 10 or 11 in summer over there so people are just going crazy in the sunset whilst we smoke some joints on stage.

Did you play at any festivals?

We played this massive festival called Boomtown in England which was like 70,000 people and had the Gorillaz as headliners and it was just hectic. 

We were in a small tent but we still had a good crowd. It’s just so different over there. We went on stage at about 12:30 or 1 so the crowd was pretty munted. They just go harder like there are less rules and shit. You’ll be driving away and people have literally set up tents on a 45-degree angle on the hill just like cracked out in these tents it was just super loose. That’s where Tom Tilley was doing all that drug testing reporting. But yeah really really cool. 

So our biggest reggae festival in Australia is Island Vibe right, but Boomtown is also a reggae festival, but with 70 000 people which is just insane! Roots music is just massive over there. People just go crazy for it.

Do you have a favourite place to play at?

This place called Paradiso in Amsterdam, it’s had every huge artist from The Stones to Michael Jackson to Sticky Fingers play here. It’s in this old church with huge stained glass windows behind the stage. It’s three tiers and right on the canal so every part of it is just insane. This was in August last year supporting this American band. 

How did you guys get around to touring with Tones and I?

We were playing the same festival as her called Byron Bay Surf Festival and she was kind of on the up then and there was a bit of buzz around her. So then we played together and she was frothing on the sound and like  “oh do you guys wanna come on tour, it’s probably gonna be sold out”. So we were like “fuck yeah.” So yeah it was pretty fun, just played small venues on back to back nights with two nights in each city. Yeah it was just sick vibes and a really exciting time. 

I’ve heard there’s an underlying message behind your single released earlier this year “Witness The Eucalyptus”, can you tell us about that one?

Yeah, I was doing these hip-hop workshops in this Aboriginal community in WA. I would go and work with this organisation called BigHeart over there and id just bring the kids in for daily workshops to get just get them doing hip-hop. While I was over there it was a time for me to just get off my phone. I was just really pumped on not having a phone and was realising how much I was on it and I was like “fuck man this has just become a hectic invasion.” When you’re managing a band or when you’re working off your computer it’s obviously really convenient but it’s almost better just to have your laptop at home. You just come home and log on and do your shit and get off. Otherwise, you just do tits and tats here and there and you’re on your phone all day. So yeah the story behind that one is just that I realised how much I was on my phone and not taking in the journey and being more present and shit like that.

Where do you hope to see yourself and the band next year?

So basically we’ve got a couple of pretty big singles coming out. The song coming out on October 17th is like a full Anderson Paak vibe. It’s the most I’ve listened to one of our tracks over and over and over, I’m just obsessed with it, really really proud. I’m hoping that one’s gonna give us some good traction for our tour in December and then launch us into next year.

We’re going back to New Zealand to try and build our profile early next year but then after that we just wanna keep growing the band along the east coast and just cement ourselves as a good party band. We wanna tap into that bigger audience because we’ve got so much to offer musically so we just wanna keep doing these tours. We’ve got an EP to come out and we wanna do another album so basically same old story you know.

What is your best festival tip or advice for festival-goers?

One: take a flask in to save money. Two: tequila gets the party started. Ditch the beer and go for tequila. Or maybe just take a flask full of tequila.

Are you keen for another show at Island Vibe?

Yeah, this has been our third time playing at Island Vibe. It’s really just super cruisy, a good crew, and everythings just fuckin nice. It’s just paradise there. No lines and not much security. We stay at Adder Rock campsite right next to the festival grounds. It’s beautiful. They usually have drum circles on the beach where you can just go down and hang out smoke a spliff.

If you’re like us and can’t wait to see these guys then grab your Island Vibe tickets here for 24 to 27 October. 

Find their unique sound on Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube.

This interview was conducted by Matt Basedow.

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