Plus we chat to the band about the track and bringing the video to life.
We are absolutely delighted to present you with 'EVOLVE', the chaotic new single from DREGG.
As well as being an absolute powerhouse of a track, flipping between ferocious hardcore and forward-thinking hip-hop in an instant, the band have gone all out with the video and created something truly special.
You may have noticed an Instagram profile for the EVOLVE energy drink popping up here and there over the past week or so. Well, it's actually the band who have been behind it after they designed, created and advertised can after can of the beverage just for the video.
Plus then there's the small matter of hiring out a convenience store to stock their creation as well as hiring a tank to crush a DREGG branded car, firing a cannon, creating a fake cryogenics tank for them to "grow" in AND using a robot arm to film a very unique one-shot performance.
You seriously need to see this. Just stop what you're doing and watch:
We chatted to vocalist Chris Mackertich and guitarist Sam Yates all about the song, the video and how it feels like the perfect representation of what they want DREGG to be as we move forwards in 2021. Plus we've got some exclusive behind the scenes photos of how they went about making the video a reality. You really are spoiled...
So where did this song pop up in terms of what you have been working on?
Sam: “To be honest, when we decided to actually call the song ‘EVOLVE’ was before we even had any lyrics for it. Though the song really has four distinct sections. There’s the really hard bit at the start, then it drops into a thrash metal bit, then drops into hip-hop and then goes all-out at the end again. So we had the idea of the track evolving through a bunch of the different ideas that the band is really all about and sharing a few different flavours of what we like.”
Chris: “It’s definitely the first song musically that we have listened to and gone, ‘That sounds like what we’ve been aiming for’. All of our other songs we have been pretty proud of, but this is the first time that we have felt like this is the sound we have been trying to achieve.
“Lyrically, it was weird. We wrote it musically and then just sat on it for like six or seven months and I just didn’t want to come back to it. Sam had to keep playing it and saying, ‘This is a good song’ and forcing me to think about it. I just over thought it really. The thing is I have never written a song around a title before. I’ve always just written a song and then titled it. This time I just had to focus on the topic of evolving. I had to get and stay in that mindset and not think about anything else. I feel as though the result is really cool though.”
So where did the concept of evolution really stem from? What was it that made you want to focus on it so much?
Chris: “In a time where even just being in a band has to evolve through what the world is currently going through, where everybody seems to be politically evolving and emotionally evolving, the concept of things going through a transitional period seems to be pretty relevant right now. It all seemed to manifest at the right time.”
In terms of building the visual, where did that all begin?
Chris: “I think the tank came first, to be honest. Usually, we will do the whole treatment and then take it to a videographer. But this time around we had a couple of cool ideas, which was where we said, ‘Fuck it, let’s get a tank and let loose’ and we really wanted to bring in the robot arm because we thought it was cool. Then it was our videographer who had the idea of the energy drink. We just set about fusing all of the ideas together into this one thing and let it blossom from there. I think it would be too ridiculous if we had thought about things too far in-depth and then created something. We just created as we went and saw what happened.”
Being able to build and bounce off each other in such a way really stems back to how you went about creating the song as well really. But it comes down to pushing as hard as you can…
Chris: “I think you can get really comfortable in your art if you come up with formula. If you come up with anything that resembles a formula, you’re just going to keep on producing things that are set to that formula. You’re not going to try and find new ways to explore and how to present it. I would hope that the next song and then the next song after that which we put out don’t sound like ‘EVOLVE’. The same can be said with the video process and starting again and figuring out how to bring it to life. That’s the dragon that you’re constantly chasing though. It’s like a puzzle where you’re working out how to make something interesting and how the hell to also make it digestible for people.”
With how the last year has changed and you have had to adapt to it, what has this period of time taught you that you probably wouldn’t have picked up if circumstances were different?
Sam: “For some context, COVID hit the week that we were supposed to play Download in Australia. We were also supposed to be playing Sonic Temple a month later with all of these fucking crazy bands. We were also about to announce our signing to Epitaph. We had been bundling all of this news and announcing all this shit and then suddenly it stopped. Then it’s realising that the same has happened to absolutely everyone in every part of life. It’s a really odd thing to adjust to. The thing is that Chris and me live together and we have been able to carry on making music and stuff. Though it’s weird because we have also been apart from the rest of our bandmates in this time as well. In a time where we have been trying to present exactly who we are as a band, we’re not able to do the main thing that makes us a band which is hang out.
“So creatively, it’s been weird. A lot of the stuff we do is usually from us bouncing ideas in the same room, but a lot of the stuff that has come out in the last year has had to have been made separately. We pushed back on releasing ‘EVOLVE’ for months and months because we simply didn’t want to compromise on the video.”
Chris: “The thing is, we are a music video band. We were living through a time where we simply couldn’t make music videos. If it was a regular year, I feel as though ‘FEELING FINE’ and ‘FREAKING OUT’ would have had videos. But we just couldn’t do anything.”
It’s clear just how vital the visual aspect of DREGG is. When you’re not able to present that at a show either it becomes even more important to use any opportunity you have. With that in mind, that’s why ‘EVOLVE’ feels like all of that frustration and pent up energy bursting out…
Chris: “Most musicians are addicted to that rush of playing live, but when you take that out of the equation you end up in some pretty nihilistic spots. You then want to put that energy into absolutely everything else that you write and do. I have to put that live experience into my songs now, because who truly knows when we are going to able to translate live? If anything, it has motivated us to write better and to push a little bit harder.”
So how does the rest of 2021 look like for the band? How have the experiences of the past 12 months influenced you as we look forwards?
Sam: “We’ve probably written some of our darkest stuff. There’s some proper ‘locked in the house, banging your head against the wall’ vibes.”
Chris: “In a way, DREGG is a band that has been designed for the apocalypse already. That’s been the running theme of the band really. Our band sings a lot about how the world is, so right now is the ultimate environment for a band like DREGG. We will still be able to create art that documents time. I think that’s almost a blessing in a way that the band is set up like that. There’s some crazy shit going on right now and there will be a time when people look back on the music that came out during this time and will have nostalgia and memories tied to it. I think if anything it’s good fuel for us to create and I think it’s producing some stuff that we wouldn’t have gone down the road of otherwise. We don’t bring dark stuff in from our personal lives, but if there’s something going on in the world we will bring it in. There’s something going on right now for sure. This time for us has been like holding your dog back from the rabbit that has been running around in front of it for ages. When you let the dog go, it’s going to be carnage.”