DOORSTEP INTERVIEW: Druganaut | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Welcome to Doorstep Interview, where we find out more about the amazing bands and artists that we have right here in the north east. This time, Craig Relf, frontman of stoner rockers Druganaut, tells us about the desire to have fun over all else. Image credit: Graeme J Baty.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?

Hi, my name is Craig Relf and I am the singer and front man for Newcastle based band Druganaut.

What inspired you to first start making music?

For as long as I can remember I’ve always been a bit of an exhibitionist, I always loved music, singing and dancing. As a child I started getting involved with school musicals and that progressed to taking performing arts in comprehensive school. From a very young age I was listening to a lot of different music but it was always rock and metal that really stood out for me. I started writing and singing in bands over 22 years ago now and although I’ve taken a few years off here and there making music and being involved in the local scene has always been a constant in my life.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?

I know if you asked the band you would get a very varied and mixed bunch of bands and artists. For me personally, I was always influenced by performers. I hated bands, and still do, that have no presence. I liked guys like Elvis, Freddie Mercury, Henry Rollins, Phil Anselmo, Axel Rose, Danzig and David Lee Roth to name a few. All these singers and frontmen had something very special about them that certainly helped me understand how to go about crafting my own performance psychology.

How would you describe your sound?

We have a simple philosophy in Druganaut when it comes to writing songs; as long as it has a groove and it makes you bang your head then it’s fair game. We started off wanting to make a fairly straight forward doom and stoner metal band but as soon as we went into the practice rooms we started adding elements of blues and rock and roll and we just ran with it. After a while of being together and playing live our sound began to change somewhat and we kind of morphed into this tongue in cheek, high energy stoner rock band.

“as long as it has a groove and it makes you bang your head then it’s fair game”

Tell us a bit about your live performances. What can we expect from a gig by Druganaut?

Entertainment! When you come to see Druganaut you’re gonna get a show. We love recording music but it pales in comparison to playing live; it’s all about the live performance for us. Expect high energy, crushing riffs, semi nudity, sex faces, drug fuelled comedy rants and a dash of homo-eroticism, haha! We find ourselves in a genre of music that is notorious for taking itself to serious but this is party music and a party atmosphere and I defy you not to enjoy yourself.

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far as a band?

I think our biggest achievement to date is our reputation; you can’t fabricate that. I know it sounds cheesy but I love the fact that people get excited to come see us and that we’re still excited to play, we all still enjoy playing together. I love that I love doing this and that other people love it too. It might not sound like much but I’ll take that over being a commercial success and miserable.

Have there been any major challenges so far in your musical career?

Except the fact that we’re a bunch of useless drunks and drug addicts? We don’t have any cash! That’s a big one as we can’t afford the luxuries that other bands can. Other than that, we’ve had to replace a couple of members here and there but nothing to major.

What else have you got planned for the future?

We have just got done playing a few shows locally and we are busy writing and preparing to go back in the studio to record our second album. We are flying over to Ibiza to play a festival in May and once we return will be available to book in the UK through our Facebook page.

Find out more about Druganaut on their Facebook page.

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