Local trio Droopies discusses new album, ‘Responsible People’

by | Dec 5, 2017 | MUSIC

Richmond rock group Droopies has returned to grace the local music scene with their new album, Responsible People.

The album, which is the followup to their 2015 self-titled lo-fi debut release, dropped Nov. 18 and is 15-tracks of lo-fi gritty tunes with a heavy dose of psychedelia.  

With Chris Harmon on vocals and guitar, Zack Albeitawi on drums, and John Graham {Fat Spirit} playing bass, the trio aren’t worrying about fitting into any particular genre, they are just out to play music. 

“A lot of people have told us we sound like psych rock, but I don’t really have any affinities to any era,” Harmon said. “I could maybe classify our music as shoegaze, because of the guitars and drums and the general sound. We’re just making music.”

In high school, Harmon and Albeitawi met in a music theory class. Graham, a fellow student, was looking to start a band and so were they — and so Maniac McGee, one of many precursors to Droopies, was born.

As teenagers, the trio’s lives changed with the release of alternative rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain’s first record. From there, the band continued to draw influence from shoegaze artists like My Bloody Valentine and Wire.

“We listen to a lot of stuff that passes through filters and comes out in different ways,” Harmon said. “Our first album was kind of minimalist, with just guitar, drums and vocals. This one, I really took the time to see how many layers I could slip in tastefully, without the danger of overdose.”

The group has been toiling away at Responsible People, which was mastered by Bryan Walthall at Stereo Image, for the last two years and releasing it was no easy feat.

“The three of us, for almost a year now, have been living in different cities,” Harmon said. “I have to drive like nine hours to make a band practice work, but it’s worth it. I’m kind of in a long distance relationship with the band.”

Droopies survives not only on the basis of creativity, but also on friendship and trust. The three members, just shy of 30, have spent the majority of their lives as friends.

“I think the reason our band works is because we’ve known each other for so long,” Harmon said. “Having actual relationships with my bandmates and knowing that I can trust them makes it a lot easier when deciding the direction of a song, or scrapping something that doesn’t work.”

The band has performed at venues like The Camel and Strange Matter, as well as in Philadelphia, and is already working on its third album.

“Music is a way for me to process what I was going through at the time, to process my thoughts aloud,” Harmon said. “A lot of my own emotions and experiences go into these songs. I’m really trying to make a connection here. I’m constantly seeking out music, and I want to reach some people out there that want to or need to hear music like this.”

And there aren’t any local shows on the horizon just yet, but keep your eyes peeled for more from The Droopies.

Nidhi Sharma

Nidhi Sharma

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