They’re arguably one of the most consistently successful, yet critically overlooked bands in recent history, and now, The Drones have begun sharing a run of archival releases on Bandcamp.
Ever since they first formed over two decades ago, The Drones have been an outfit whose music often defies precise categorisation, yet generally resides in the general area of alternative rock.
Curating a fervent fanbase along the way, the group slowly rose trough the ranks due to word of mouth, before receiving some long-overdue recognition when they received the inaugural Australian Music Prize for 2005’s Wait Long by the River and the Bodies of Your Enemies Will Float By.
Releasing their last album, Feelin Kinda Free, back in 2016, The Drones have been on a hiatus since then, with frontman Gareth Liddiard and bassist Fiona Kitschin going on to form Tropical Fuck Storm with members of High Tension and Harmony.
Now, fans have received the first release of material from The Drones in over three years, with the vaults to TFS Records being pried open and the spoils being distributed digitally.
With more to be released across the coming weeks, five volumes of live recordings spanning every line-up and incarnation of Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin’s musical careers to date – including Bong Odyssey, The Drones, Tropical Fuck Storm, and Drones spin-off country band Thunder Box – are being released via Bandcamp.
The first of these releases, titled LIVE Vol.1, 2001 – 2004, features the lineup of Liddiard and Kitschin, along with on Rui Pereira, and Christian Strybosch on drums.
“This is the first proper working line up of the Drones with Rui and Chrisso,” Liddiard recalls of the collection. “We moved from Perth to Melbourne and put one of those old-school A4 drummer wanted adds in a record store and got a call from Chrisso and we were off and racing. We made the first three Drones records, toured around a bit and shared houses.”
The second, titled LIVE Vol.2 Spanish Club, Melbourne March 2006, is relatively self-explanatory, and features Strybosch replaced by longtime drummer Mike Noga.
“This was recorded in March 2006 after the Drones got back from six months in Europe,” Liddard explains. “We lived in Kreuzburg in Berlin by the Spree and played shows all over the joint until our wheels fell off. Then we went back to Melbourne and played two nights at the old Spanish Club on Johnston Street in Fitzroy. I remember we were all still jet-lagged.
“This is just before Gala Mill was released so we weren’t playing much of it yet even though we’re recorded it a year earlier. We had some record company dramas at the time. Anyway, that didn’t stop us enjoying those two lovely autumn nights blasting the crap out of everybody’s weekend. If it was a weekend, I can’t remember. Turn it up!”
These, and forthcoming releases, can be heard now via the TFS Bandcamp page.