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Anthony Drent and The Blood of The Innocent

Anthony Drent and The Blood of The Innocent

Interviewed by
Hana Aoake
Tuesday 12th February, 2013 2:22PM

Auckland band Anthony Drent and the Blood of The Innocent began to crop up on bills around the city last year. Featuring members of Nevernudes and centred around the songwriting of Anthony Sheehan-Drent, they unfortunately succumbed to the same fate as their former band but not before releasing a full length self-produced album Dump No Waste, Flows to Sea. Hana Aoake caught up with Anthony over email to discuss the rise and fall of the project, the album and where we can expect to find all this promise in future...

Hey Anthony, how's it going?

Good, thanks.

How did Anthony Drent and the Blood of The Innocent form? How long have you all known each other?

Basically when my old band Nevernudes stopped doing stuff I drunkenly asked Liam Kiely if I could do a solo set at Chronophonium, he said "yes." A few days later on a similar occasion I asked Joe (Trotman) and Paul (Brown) if they could play in the band, they said "yes" and then one day at a practice Alex Angryman happened to be here so he joined the band also. We've all known each other for a few years, as we are all shore whores.

‘The Blood of The Innocent' conjures many different visual associations, but was the band named after the somewhat obscure Blood of the innocent comic from 1985?

Ha, no. I've never even heard of that. I probably should of google searched it, could've just as easily been the name of a Nazi pamphlet or something. But yeah, I think Joe came up with the name and it just stuck as they say, probably a little bit out of frustration with some other pretty wacky name suggestions. I think I like it because it's slightly misleading in the sense that we're not like a chaotic type of band at all.

You've recently released an album, Dump No Waste, Flows to The Sea, could you elaborate upon the writing and composing process? How do you feel now that it's released? Would you have done anything differently in retrospect?

Sure, firstly I wrote most of the songs when I lived at this weird flat above a panel beater. I was suffering from grief quite intensely at the time, on the dole, smoking what were for me quite large amounts of marijuana and listening to Blur and Scott Walker everyday. Instead of writing stuff that had a pretense of being very 'hard' I felt compelled to write a bunch of gentle pop songs that felt very personal to me. I didn't actually consider playing them live at the time of writing but then I got really bored and started missing being in a band.

I feel good and relieved now that the album is finished, I thought it would turn out much worse because when we tried to record it a couple of months ago with our friend Rikki it sounded kind of shit. It wasn't his fault, we just did a terrible, hung-over performance and he didn't have enough free time for me to get it how I wanted it. And then after that we planned to record it with Jackson Hobbs but that didn't work out either so I just started recording it all by myself on a mac mic, the same microphone you use for Skype and that kind of thing. I had all the time in the world to record as well so I could make it exactly how I wanted without worrying about pissing anyone off. I can't really think of anything I would of done differently except for boring mixing type things that'd probably ruin the album's low-fi charms for people or something, so I won't even go there.

Were there any particular sonic influences upon of the making of the record?

Some musicians that inspire me, of which most may not be that present on the album, would be Blur, Syd Barrett, Scott Walker, John Darnielle, Lydia Lunch, Townes Van Zandt, PJ Harvey and The Stone Roses.

I really enjoyed some of the more sombre imagery your lyrics conjured, particularly on the title track and 'Almost Spiritual Communion', were there any pieces of writing that influenced the lyrics on this record?

Oh thanks. Good question but to be honest I can barely remember writing any lyrics for this album. I usually write quite quickly when I'm feeling real manic and restless which I guess explains why they're a bit non linear and stream of consciousness in places. But you're right, if you see a sombre undertone to a lot of the album that's probably because I was very grief-stricken and in quite a weird place for a large chunk of 2012 when I wrote all these songs. That sort of emotion definitely has a way of creeping into the margins even if it is all a bit subconscious.

You stated at the Chronophonium festival earlier this year that that would be your last ever show, is this true and if so for what reason?

It's true, we broke up because as individuals we're all quite retarded in quite different ways and it was impossible to take into account everybody's idiosyncratic craziness at all times, it just got real out of hand. As melodeons were forgotten, texts were left without a reply, practices were also forgotten, irrelevant solo shows were advertised onstage, so it was a mess from start to finish basically. But it was fun, we still hang out all the time, and I think we're going to be better off in different bands.

What are your plans for the immediate future?

I'm starting a new band with some people at the moment, I don't know if it'll sound like this record much. Some possible names include I love my Brother, Trivialized Mental Illness, Plethora of Sexist Comments … also Joe and Paul have started a 5 piece together and Alex is going to be doing some solo shows soon.


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