Roadrunner & Artist News

Insight Into Double Drive

Posted on February 12, 2008

Have you ever been to the website Music Insight? No? Well, towards the end of last year, these guys did a cool interview with double Drive. In case you missed it, you can read it below... and be sure to stop by their site and say cheers.

Not only that, we have a brand new E-CARD for Imprint, the first single off the forthcoming album 'Blue In The Face' (album out April 28). Listen to the song, and learn a bit more about the band HERE.

And here's that interview...
Back on Track and Ready to Roll
By BRIAN J. HEATON

Rarely does a band exemplify the meaning of its name more accurately in its music and career than doubleDrive. Utilizing an anger-filled, yet soulful, melodic sound, the Atlanta-based quartet prides itself on its energetic stage presence, and is dedicated to giving fans a quality performance every time they take the stage.

"The name really describes our approach to music, particularly live shows," explained drummer Mike Froedge. We like to keep things very high-energy and intense...a stomping, loud, sweaty, over-the-top live rock show."

Contrasting with the depression-laced and brooding musical style that enjoyed widespread popularity throughout much of the late 90's, doubleDrive's up-beat and sold-out performances at local clubs garnered the attention of numerous record labels. The line-up of Froedge, Donnie Hambry (vocals/guitar), Troy McLawhorn (guitar), and Josh Sattler (bass) signed with MCA Records, releasing 1000 Yard Stare in 1999, and hit the road that fall with Queensrÿche to support the record.

"Queensrÿche took very good care of us. Great venues, great stages, great food, great everything," Froedge recalled. "The last show on that tour was a riot. Some of the crew and a few of the members of Queensrÿche had my all my drumsticks duct-taped together in pairs. At one point, they even ran out and taped Donnie to his mic stand! It was so hilarious we could barely play!"

Although the group quickly earned the respect of its fans and peers, doubleDrive discovered that dealing with a major record label could be difficult, as administrative support from MCA dwindled, leaving the band to fend for itself.

"Our first single did great, but after that, the ball was dropped," the drummer admitted. "So after the first few weeks, we were basically on our own, just selling records and t-shirts while on tour. There was very little help from the label, and we were disappointed that the album didn't reach as many people as we had hoped it would."

True to its name, doubleDrive kicked itself into a higher gear, using its difficulties with MCA as motivation to bring its passionate sound to the masses the old-fashioned way – by word of mouth and self-promotion.

"It's all about being on tour and getting in front of people who love good music," Froedge said. "Anyone who says that they would not enjoy a gold or platinum album on their wall is either a liar or an idiot, but there was nothing we could do about it. You just have to move on."

"Moving-on" took a little longer for the band than originally anticipated. Once the members of doubleDrive realized the relationship with MCA Records was over, they disappeared from the public eye almost entirely, playing a few gigs here and there to try-out some new material...a process that has continued for more than two years.

"Everything happens for a reason," an optimistic Froedge maintained. "We wrote a lot of great new songs during that time, and it's finally all coming together now. But if you're young, have good songs, and have any business sense, start your own label."

Signing with Roadrunner Records in 2002, doubleDrive is confident the same promotional strategies used for label-mates Nickelback and Slipknot will work for them. Not surprisingly, the drummer had only positive things to say about Roadrunner in comparison to his experiences with personnel at MCA.

"Roadrunner has been great so far," he said. "They have a much smaller and more focused roster of acts than a "major" label, concentrating specifically on rock music, as opposed to spreading things very thin with too many artists. Roadrunner is a great rock-only label, and we are very happy to be where we are right now."

Currently in the recording studio, doubleDrive is slated to release its sophomore-effort in early 2003. Like most second offerings, Froedge feels that doubleDrive's song writing has matured, but is adamant that the distinct power and live "feel" will remain present in the new material. As might be expected, the extended hiatus from the limelight has stirred some anger in the band – a trait this upcoming album will be sure to embrace.

"The subject matter is a little less optimistic," Froedge revealed. "There's a good amount of angst and animosity on the newer stuff. I guess that's natural, considering the limbo we were in the past couple of years. I think we have some amazing new songs, and I can't wait to get the record out there."

Production wise, doubleDrive has chosen Mike Barbiero to produce and mix the upcoming release. A well-known staple in the industry, Barbiero is noted for his diverse work with such acts as John Lennon, Guns N Roses, Metallica, Madonna, and Tesla. Once he and doubleDrive met, everyone involved felt he was the right man for the job.

"Mike has a very organic and old-school approach to arranging songs and recording, and that's how we love to work," Froedge explained. "The approach and vibe is critical when you're in the studio, and Michael likes to work the same way. We record all the basic tracks live in the studio, to tape, and try to capture as much of a live feeling as possible."

When asked about the latest innovations and equipment to help the recording process, and doubleDrive's usage of them, the drummer expressed reservations about the reliance many bands place on technology.

"Obviously, this is 2002, and you want to sound modern, sonically speaking," he admitted. "Pro-Tools and all that stuff has its uses, but too many people rely on it to create an illusion of talent. Just shut up, put the tape on the reels, push the red button and play!"
 

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