Drug Rug is poised for a successful career; their influences (Beach Boys, and contemporary favorites, Dr. Dog) fueled an impressive 9-song album, and on stage their personalities meld to make a fun live act. When asked, “What would be the Drug Rug ideal show?” the duo, Tommy Allen and Sarah Cronin, displayed their fun-side and provided a shared response. The ideal show would include playing on an island alongside the Beach Boys and Aretha Franklin to fans that took ferryboats and rafts with Chinese lanterns to get to, just as the Sun goes down.
The Chicago date was their penultimate show of the tour that supported the Long Blondes. “This has been one of the better tours so far,” says Tommy Allen, though it’s only the young band’s third tour ever, “The Long Blondes said they had a list of bands to choose from and picked us.” The successful tour’s end will allow for the nice transition to the studio at the end of July to work on their sophomore effort due in late summer or fall. On this tour, the band has been performing six new songs that will appear on their currently untitled release.
The question of which contemporary band they like froze the two up a bit, “That question always takes us back because we listen to so much older stuff…” Tommy and Sarah said as they scrambled for new bands that excite them. Out of the scramble came Tulsa, a fellow Massachusetts act, The Black Angels, and Dr. Dog whose “polished,” advance-copy of their fifth album, FATE, has been playing through Drug Rug’s speakers as of late.
Drug Rug occasionally tries their hand at a cover, but generally stick to their own. This year they probably won’t be rocking any festivals, though they would like to, and anticipate doing so behind their next album. As we moved to a more general discussion, the band professed their love for Sultan’s falafels in Wicker Park, and their amazing time at the Hideout this winter.
Reflecting on the interview, I feel fortunate to have met up with them, and having talked to them prior to them playing definitely enhanced their quality set. I do not, however, feel fortunate in the quasi-celebrity sense, which I sometime feel when interacting with indie-rock artists; and that, strangely, was the best part. Being able to talk with a band of Drug Rug’s caliber with such ease exemplified rock ‘n’ roll’s essence.