Stepping into the Spotlight with The Drowning Men

, Staff

Every week we like to spotlight a rising band from outside of New England. Today, we get to know California’s The Drowning Men. You can catch the band in Boston when they open for The Airborne Toxic Event at the Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, November 19.

Band Name: The Drowning Men

Band Members:
Nathan “Nato” Bardeen: Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Mandolin
James Smith: Guitar, Vocals
Todd Eisenkerch: Bass, Vocals
Rory Dolan: Drums
Gabriel Messer: Keyboards, Vocals

The Beheading of the Songbird (2011)


How did you form/start?

JS: We started playing in 2005, in front of people in 2006. We’re from Oceanside, California and we basically started playing to our close friends in town. Nato, Rory, and Todd have been friends since they were young. After everyone had played in other bands growing up, Nato had a bunch of songs with different sounds and we loved where he was going with said sounds. The rest as they say…

Finish the sentence, someone would like your band if they like…

JS: …music

What song of yours should people listen to first and why?

JS: Everyone seems to have a different song in mind. The label would say “Rita”. There isn’t just one song we can direct you to. Please listen to everything and let us know what you think.

Walk us through your songwriting process.

RD: Nato comes up with an idea, then collectively we develop it.

Tell us a little bit about your latest album.

RD: Well, we’re working on our new record right now and it’ll come out in 2012. Our latest album is Beheading of the Songbird. It was just re-released by our new label Borstal Beat in October.  We wrote, recorded, and released that originally on our own in 2009. We play a majority of those songs live right now. Occasionally we’ll pull out some songs from our earlier Kill The Matador EP.

What has your most memorable moment as a band been?

JS: Flogging Molly came out and played a song with us in Vegas. Airborne Toxic Event came out and party bombed us in San Francisco – those are a few great moments. If you were in the bubble with us I bet you’d have a different idea.

What has been the hardest part of building your name onto the national level?

JS: We love what we do, and our families love what we do. Being away from those people tends to be the hardest.

Who are the best bands from your hometown that we might not know about?

JS: The Burning of Rome!

What band would you most like to open for?

RD: Elvis

Who is your all-time favorite Boston band?

JS: Morphine
RD: The Freeze
NB: Jonathan Richman
GM: Dinosaur Jr.
TE: The Cars

What are your thoughts on playing Boston?

RD: We love Boston. James is from Easton (he worked at Marty’s Liquors). We have family all over the state and a ton friends in town. This year we’ve played in town twice. Saturday’s show will be the third, and at the Orpheum no less.

What can people expect from your live show and why should our readers catch your next stop in Boston?

JD: People tend to say our live show is better than the recordings – we put everything we have into that show.

RD: This’ll be the third time we’ve played Boston, and people seem to like us. Like most bands, when the same faces keep coming to the shows, it pushes us.  And we’re playing with TATE. How could you miss them?

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