Hardcore, however, was different. Suddenly Sammy felt like he could see himself up there, telling his own story. Intriguingly, Drain are on the cusp of being able to provide that sort of entry point on a massive scale. Almost right after California Cursed was issued by the legendary hardcore label Revelation, word came through that Epitaph, a punk label with a rep like no other, were talking about the band. “Our manager reached out to us like, 'Hey, Epitaph expressed some interest.' We were shocked. But, also, what does that mean?” Sammy says.
“Maybe they mentioned they liked us, but they don't like us like that, enough to want to put us on their label. Then it was a slow burn thing. Over the next six-to-eight months, it became clear they were actually interested. A big thing for us was that we didn't necessarily want to move on and start writing another record. We worked so hard on California Cursed. We did want to give it a proper touring cycle. We wanted to give the songs the love they deserve. Epitaph was super, super cool about that.”
Drain have since taken those songs across the U.S. three or four times, and their eyes are now firmly fixed on a spot in the distance. Their signing to Epitaph last summer brought with it a new song, Watch You Burn, which kicked on from California Cursed by doubling down on what worked and delivering it with bone-deep swagger. They have a new album written and, no surprises here, Sammy is stoked.
“Dude, I feel great about it,” he smiles. “We slowly started working on it, kept chipping away and all of a sudden we were kinda done. I didn't realise. We just did this tour, and prior to that we were so locked into the new album that when we had to get ready it almost felt like, ‘Damn, I wish we were playing these new songs, because these are way cooler.’ I think this is a good situation.”
It’s hard to disagree with that. Let’s fucking go.