In the corner of a sultry little coffeeshop, thereís a guy playing checkers with a local kid. The chair heís sitting in is meant for someone nearly half his 6í6 frame. That doesnít seem to bother him though. Nothing much does, truthfully. The beanpole has hair that hasnít seen a blow dryer in a month and wild stubble sprouting from his Ryan Gosling-like face not tended to in at least twelve. He could care less.
After losing the game, the (no-longer a) stranger unzips the pink fanny pack around his waist, removes a sticker, hands it to the kid, then moves around the room looking for random folk he knows only from MySpace comments and messages to give well-deserved (in his mind) hugs. Drew Danburry isnít your typical indie darling.
Give us a little background on Drew DanburryÖthe Drew Danburry experience?
I read somewhere you didnít even really start playing music until you got to BYU?
Yea, I didnít. I wrote a song on guitar. Basically, I got back from a trip to Costa Rica. I had found my sister-in-lawís guitar and inside was a book that taught you how to play 3 or 4 chords. That summer I put those chords together, took a poem I wrote, and made it a song. Then, my friend Micah Doll, he had recording equipment. So, we recorded the song.
Itís like Ian MacKaye said, itís always been a process. Going DIY is always a process. After I wrote the song, I was like we should play this song for people as sort of a group that plays the songs. Then, when we had the group. We started writing songs together. Then, we decided to record all the songs together and then we took that and said hey this is a demo, we should go travel. Thatís kind of where everything changed. I booked the tour and no one came.
How long ago was this?
That was like, wow. The first tour was two or three years ago. Yea, it was two years ago. It had to be because I started playing guitar four years ago. All of itís just really, really brand new and to be honest itís probably what gets me through things whenever I feel like, really bummed out.
Yea, there seems to be a Zen-like quality to you. I mean, I read somewhere that it doesnít matter how much money you have or whatever. Youíre just always this super nice, balanced guy.
Maybe itís the recklessness in me or maybe itís the fact that I think that things always work out for the best if you put your heart into it. Thereís been multiple times when Iíve been on tour and I have NO money, tapped out credit cards, and Iíll go anyways. Iíll just kind of work off the debt as I go. Things just have a way of working themselves out if youíre doing what you need to be doing. Obviously, Iíd probably reconsider if I got stuck in New Mexico with no money and a broken down car.
Yea, well you pick up friends pretty easily wherever you go. So, you probably wouldnít be hurting for too long. I saw on your MySpace, that you started a blog where youíll be reviewing movies and music. (Laughs) Iím really interested to hear your take on the new Superman.
Nah, Iím not even interested in seeing that. Same with X-men 3. I think on this blog, I am going to review the movie, Rookie of the Year.
WowÖdo you get out much? No current stuff?
No, just movies weíre watching on the road. It was either Rookie of The Year or 5th Element.
Where do you come across these movies?
Yea, well you just end up staying at someoneís house and theyíve got movies. So, youíre just like letís pick the worst of all evils. The movies you havenít seen since you were seven that they happen to have. Which is usually the case. I watched the Secret of Nimh, yesterday.
Yea, ok. I donít like movies with mice. Except for Mouse Hunt with Nathan Lane.
Anyway, thereís a story Iím about to publish in the blog about Elliot, (from Aubrey Debauchery) whoís on tour with me now. He got thrown in jail in Garza County and we were stuck in Garza County on Independence Day. Really ironicÖ
About Elliot, I see that youíve expanded your band. What is it youíre calling it now?
Drew Danburry/Fatal Fury and the Laser Cats.
Will you be recording as that?
No, itís more of just a tour thing. Itís Drew Danburry on stage. As a full band, weíre Fatal Fury and then the Laser Cats is anyone that comes to the shows and participates. If youíre standing back in the corner, youíre not a Laser Cat. If youíre up front, singing along, youíre totally a Laser Cat.
Crowd participation is a big part of your show, whereíd you pick that up?
I think what happened was a big turn in my music. Iím going to have to credit Jason Anderson.
Yea, the Wolf Colonel. I had been playing shows and the music was there, but it was like the lowest point of my life. Then, my friend got me on a show with Jason Anderson. I had never heard of him before playing the show and I was amazed at how happy he was. It was when he was touring with Nicole his girlfriend as The Rabbits. Pretty much a life changing show.
Would you say he influenced your music?
Iíve been really wary of that, actually. I try not to steal anyoneís ideas, but it just kind of brought up the idea of some optimism. You know? Instead of being super-emo.
(Remembering the original question)
Yea, so I guess getting the crowd involved just came about from the joy of playing shows. I get so excited. Sometimes Iím just like, ďLetís play Heads Up 7-UpĒ. (Chuckles) Itís awesome, to see what you can get people to do at a show.
Youíre going to Europe soon. First time?
Thatís another one of those things where weíre talking about just going. I just got tickets. I didnít know anybody. I knew Harry and The Potters, who I toured with, had been there. They didnít give me any contacts though. Itís just been a bunch of DIY work. Iíve been really, really lucky. Not to throw religion in, but sometimes I feel that itís more than just luck. Iíve met amazing people and a lot of people in that area are super-pumped about what Iím doing. Such a blessing.
Whatís the itinerary look like?
What Iím going to do is play a show one night and take three days off in-between, so that I can see some things.
What countries are you hitting up?
Ireland, Scotland, England, Italy, Wales, maybe even Luxembourg. France, Germany, Spain, Croatia.
A lot of European readers at Absolutepunk.net, maybe theyíll check you out. Last line of questions, how many pink fanny packs do you own?
Just one. Itís deteriorating right now.
Wow, how long has it lasted you?
Right before I met Jason Anderson, I think. Almost two years ago. Itís totally falling apart. I have a replacement fanny pack, which is so much cooler. Itís a stuffed animal duck. Itís not as good though, not as easy to use. Doesnít have as many pockets. Not as big.
What do you keep in there?
Toothpaste, toothbrush, stickers, floss, my phone, keysÖmoney (surveying sketchy neighborhood), VERY little amount of money. Pretty much everything you need.
For those that donít know, explain the significance of the fanny pack?
Yea, itís ridiculous. Yea, itís a joke. I donít know. It depends on how people see it. You make the world what you want. Thatís kind of how Iíve always tried to argue everything. It can be a silly funny thing that you love or it can be an in-depth comment on our society.
How different people react to the fanny pack is super funny. Like when Elliot got thrown in jail in Texas, I was wearing the duck fanny pack. The officer asked me to get out of the car and go stand back by his car. I was standing there wearing a duck fanny pack and these really short shorts and you could tell he was so scared of me. Like, homophobic-scared. Itís just something thatís not tough. Really alienates people and I think thatís why I picked it to begin with. Just a way to open peopleís minds.
It really challenges peopleís perception.
(Examining his clothes) Yea, especially wearing really, really tight pants and cowboy boots.
yeah drew is great. i have been fortunate enough to meet and spend time with him on a number of different occasions... each one has been really fun and he is about as genuine as they come. best of luck to him in europe.