Drew (Brain Tumors, singer)
SPB: What’s the best reaction you’ve gotten from a crowd when you left the stage and started interacting with them?
Drew: I'd like to hear the other guys' responses to be honest. I'm the singer so I'm naturally a fuckwit of all sorts with self-esteem issues, so my take on things will be pretty slanted.
But I will tell you this, the reactions I enjoy are based on the mood that I am in. After we play, usually I sort of run away into a corner. It used to be to throw up, primarily. But often times now it is to physically cool down. But sometimes we have shows where I am really not doing so well, mentally, and I just want to get away from everyone and be alone and forget that what I did was to (and in front of) a bunch of people and not just to myself.
So in that regard, the best reactions are the ones where I am left alone.
I do enjoy people telling me that they've enjoyed something we've done, don't get me wrong. But I seem to be alive purely to hate myself so I'm not good at accepting compliments. I am genuinely happy to give people something to remember or something to make them feel alive, but I feel like there will always be a barrier between people expressing their appreciation to me as I stand there, breathing heavily, thinking deep down, "I am a piece of shit and I am both grateful and sorry you have not noticed."
People sometimes ask me about bullshit like "groupies" (which is an insane concept for a band at our level) and whether or not I get women from what we do. The truth is, I do not feel what I do is particularly talented in any regard and what happens at our "good" shows is the result of drunkenly stripping away years of defense mechanisms where I am telling myself that I am okay and realizing that I am probably not.
So when someone compliments me, or some girl becomes spontaneously interested in me after we play, I have to try my hardest not to interpret it as, "good job being unstable and having unresolved emotional issues." It is hard to take a compliment that applauds something you are often ashamed of.
Then of course, there's the side of me that revels in the fact that we have the ability to scare and concern people and that what we are doing is usually not something you can shrug your shoulders and forget about. I Iike knowing we caused a scene or gave people something to talk about, even if it is not always good. I will be proud and satisfied with myself after realizing we just pissed off 40 people who will forever remember us as assholes. The reaction of people moving out of the way, not making eye contact, or ignoring us becomes the best reaction in that respect.
The best specific reaction I can remember, I suppose, is after playing a show in Richmond, VA and walking outside to hear people talking about us. I heard one kid saying that we were the worst band he had ever seen while another kid argued that we were great. That made me very happy.