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A Dirty Dozen with LUKE RAUCH and KEITH RICH of DRUIDS – April 2019

| 3 April 2019 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Des Moines, Iowa-based psychedelic/stoner metal trio DRUIDS recently announced that their new album, Monument, is scheduled for release on April 19, 2019 via The Company KC. The album is available to pre-order now via Bandcamp, with exclusive multi-colored vinyl also available via The Company KC. DRUIDS first laid their destructive groundwork over two releases – Pray for Water and The Sound of Meditation (released in 2009 and 2013, respectively) – continually looking to push their own personal boundaries, physically and sonically.” We get Luke Rauch (vocals/guitar) and Keith Rich (drums) to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Luke: Monument is based on a young person’s journey through the afterlife. Although they have departed from their world, they are still learning and growing as a spirit. Each song on Monument depicts experiences of mystical worlds that our protagonist encounters and grows from. Some lessons are beautiful and some brutal. There are personal experiences in the lyrics, as I feel the band and myself growing in the way the character does. It might take some work to find, but there are certainly a few hidden gems, visually and lyrically.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Luke: Drew and I have somewhat of a musical family. Our uncle played in bands when we were young and our grandparents are musicians. I knew fairly early that sports weren’t my thing. I picked up on drums and guitar naturally so I just ran with it.

Keith: I had a similar childhood as Luke, in that while everyone was playing baseball, I picked up the guitar my dad brought home. I didn’t know what I was doing, but that soon translated to real guitars and real drums in a pretty big way. You’d go see local bands and befriend them, coming to the realization that they’re just regular people. Once I made that connection, I started my own band at 15, went all in and I haven’t stopped since.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Luke: I worshiped Metallica. I craved something fast and heavy and they were an intense band  right out of the gate. They’re easily my favorite band.

Keith: Lots of MTV fueled the fire of wanting to do music. My dad always had music playing in the house, so I was exposed to a lot of different styles fortunately. Formative bands for me were definitely Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead… plus that first Slipknot album. Oof. What a heavy hitter. Still amazing.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Keith: As a band? Probably Metallica, ZZ Top, High On Fire, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. Those would be the big ones probably.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Keith: I’m not sure how everyone else would feel about this, but I feel like no one would complain about having a little Billy Gibbons solo action on a song. He’s a ripper, provides tasty riffs and is a legendary bad ass.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Luke: I usually describe us as a psych/metal band. The only label we get often that I don’t understand is sludge. I don’t see us a sludge band.

Keith: I usually just describe us as a heavy band with melodic or psychedelic parts…or like a sci-fi adventure film in musical form.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Luke: Haha well, I usually do some cooking when we are on the road but that doesn’t happen very often. We’ll have a few beers after our set every now and then but we’re pretty boring. We’re usually just looking to get some rest so we can deliver a good set the next night. I don’t know if any of us has busted out in song but if that were to happen i’d bet it’d be Drew singing Boyz-II-Men.

8. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Luke: I saw Antoni from Queer Eye run through the Des Moines Airport a few weeks ago. I didn’t say anything. Which is something I’ll always regret.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Keith: The best part of being a musician, for me, is getting to create a thing that wasn’t there before you created it. You get to have that creation process with your best friends and communicate to make that thing work. If I couldn’t be a touring musician any longer, I’d probably seek out something in the film world. I’m a big old movie nerd. Even though this still falls under musician, I’d love to do scoring for movies or shoot shorts.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Luke: We typically don’t get any questions about what we did before Druids. Keith played in Radio Moscow and did several international tours. Drew went to school for music and played in a River Monks who had quite the buzz. They’re both accomplished musicians in my book and I feel lucky to be playing with them. The only question i’m tired of correcting is that we’re from Iowa not Idaho.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Luke: I try not to worry about that stuff too much anymore. I’ve been known to obsess over every decision and criticize every move. Its exhausting. We do our best and that’s all I can ask for.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Keith: If I could pick a recording session, I’d love to have been around to experience some of the weird goings on that surrounded OK Computer From having a mobile engineering studio to whispers of ghost stories and a weird essence surrounding the St. Catherine’s Court session, stories are still vague and untold. I love a good mystery. The record itself is my all-time favorite rock record. There is simply nothing quite like it. It’s one of the most textured, layered recordings I’ve ever heard with fantastic songwriting and guitar playing. Masterpiece.





Category: Interviews

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ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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