Protest: The Drums | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, July 17th, 2024  

Protest: The Drums

Intentional Living

Jun 15, 2017 Protest Photography by Andrew Mishko Bookmark and Share

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“How about we don’t go to Walmart anymore, even ironically? Let’s just not go to Walmart, period. Let’s not think it’s funny. Let’s get mad instead.”

Jonny Pierce means what he says despite his laughter at the “ironic” part. The Drums frontman is rather serious about most things these days, all part of his approach to “intentional living.”

Pierce’s thoughtful manner extends far beyond crafting the band’s compelling indie-pop compositions on their new album, Abysmal Thoughts. It extends to every facet of his life. “It’s annoying, I will be the first to admit,” he says. It’s also worth it, as Pierce is concerned that the mainstream’s thoughtless consumer habits have led to so many modern societal ills.

“I keep getting riled up by where and how people are spending their money,” he explains. “I’m trying to do this thing called ‘intentional living.’ Basically it’s a recognition that every dollar you put out into the worldwhether that’s for a cup of coffee or you need some new underwear or a toothbrushis going toward something. It’s doing some research on where your money is going and living with a heightened awareness that everything you do and everything you partake in is lining up with your values.”

Pierce is the first to admit he’s not perfected the process himself. “I fuck up every day,” he says. He’s also frustrated by those closest to him, even one of his own players from a recently wrapped string of tour dates.

“I’m not trying to call anyone out in my band, so I’ll leave names out of this, but we were in Austin for SXSW. One of my players ran into an Urban Outfitters to grab some skinny jeans. The jeans were on sale, so he’s super excited about his purchase. He liked how they fit. I said, ‘I’m not being judgmental because I know you didn’t know this, but Urban Outfitters is actually one of the biggest contributors to anti-gay legislation that’s out there.’” says Pierce, who is openly gay. “All it took was a quick Google search to confirm it. He was shocked, of course, and half the band had no idea, but these companies are all over the place.”

Pierce has grace for those without the same zeal or commitment to making holistic financial decisions. “It’s not that you have to be 100 percent or you might as well fuck off,” he says. Instead Pierce says he hopes to invite people into the “spirit of being more aware.” After some further consideration, however, he takes it all back.

“Whoever said victory was easy? I don’t want to sugarcoat this,” says Pierce. “I will be the first to say it’s annoying, but it’s not nearly as annoying as your rights being taken away. It’s not as annoying as people being ostracized and attacked for who they are. That’s what happens when your money gets funneled into lobbying and ends up working against groups of people who actually need a lot of help. I think the moaning and complaining is not as bad as what is happening to very real peoplethe abuse and hardships going on with Trump in charge. If there was ever a time to just suck it up and do the right thing, that time is now.”

[Note: This article originally appeared in Under the Radar’s Spring 2017 Issue (April/May/June 2017), which is out now. This is its debut online.]

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