What was recorded as the hottest month of all time in the history of the world has left us, and Milwaukee felt its fair share of it. We bitch about the cold more than anyone else, but we also whet the return of cooler times more than anyone else... and my friends, winter is coming. With it, Milwaukee will slip back into it's not-so-festival-season and embrace new, darker elements to match our inevitable, but somewhat welcomed, seasonal depression. Rx Drugs might be the best band for your soundtrack.
Rx Drugs is a newish MKE band, comprised of definitely not new MKE music pros. The members include (but is not limited to...) Joe Crockett (The Championship), Scott Schoenbeck (The Promise Ring, Dashboard Confessional), Dustin Dobernig (Trapper Schoepp & The Shades), and Justin Krol (Hugh Bob & The Hustle). Their debut album, Future Friction, boasts an awesomely dark and cohesive sound that seems to instantly hit you right where you need it. The opening track "Aristocrat" beckons to a time of yore, and set's the album's tone warmly and gently.
We had a chance to talk with Rx Drugs vocalist and writer, Joe Crockett. Peep the interview below and dive right into Future Friction.
MM: How are you doing?
JC: Good so far. Nothing bad to report.
MM: Rx Drugs is a potluck of Milwaukee artists, and we could talk about each individual's past and present... But what is Rx Drugs? How did this amalgam of talent come together? Did the cohesiveness come easily?
JC: The band was an idea Scott Schoenbeck and I had awhile ago. We got together last year with our friends John Philip (drums) and Dustin Dobernig (Keys) and ran through a few songs I had. It was a thing we did once a week to try something different from what we were doing with our other bands. Not too long into it, John decided to move to Nashville and Scott was getting ready to leave with Dashboard Confessional for a couple of months. Instead of waiting around all summer for Scott to get back I decided we should record a record. I asked my friend Travis Doar from The Championship to come in and lay down some drums. We rehearsed a few times, then began recording right away. Scott put his parts down then left for tour. This gave me enough of a foundation to build the rest of the record on. Dustin and I spent a good amount of time orchestrating the piano, organ, and synthesizer parts. The next three months were then spent mulling over the details and refining the mix. The cohesiveness came easily. We were all on the same page from the beginning and had similar tastes in music which made it easy to stay on course.
MM: There is obviously a binding element present in the songs in form of sound. Everything fits really well together, in, as your BandCamp page describes, a "dark wave" genre. But can you talk about the lyrics? Is there a general theme or concept working together for the album as a whole?
JC: There wasn't a concept to begin with. More of a mood we wanted to set. Once the record came together as a whole it was easier to take a step back and figure out what it was trying to say. A lot of it has to do with not achieving the goals we set in life. A feeling of failure yet an understanding that priorities change over time and it's ok.
MM: Anything you're willing to tell that inspired some of the songs on the new album?
JC: In my mind I'm ripping off R.E.M. the whole time.
MM: The album cover is awesome and very fitting after listening through. Where did it come from?
JC: Our friend Daniel Murphy designed it. I had been a fan of his work for awhile so I asked him to do it. He gave us quite a few covers to pick from and that one stuck out most. Check out his stuff if you get a chance.
MM: Something you want the world to know?
JC: We were on our third drummer by the time we played our first show.
MM: Favorite spot/thing to do in MKE?
JC: Blackbird Bar. I spin records on Fridays during happy hour there sometimes. Super fun.