Andrew Drury, in his own words, yells in the hardcore band Baptists, which consists of himself, Nick Yacyshyn on drums, Sean Hawrykuk on bass and Danny Marshall on guitar.
Before this, Drury was, at various points in his life, a one-to-one counsellor, outreach worker, group home manager, burrito maker, furniture builder, floor installer, hay thrower, farm hand, bartender and hired jerk. Other than being a member of an up-and-coming metal band (counted among its fans are Dave Grohl, who said in February that Baptists’ Yacyshyn was his favourite new drummer, “by a mile”) Drury is, perhaps unexpectedly given the genre’s ill informed public image, currently a specialized foster parent. He describes the housing situation for at-risk, hard to place youth in Vancouver as ‘deplorable’ and implies that a good deal of corruption plays into this;
“Most of the Emergency and Long Term Group Homes (where the hardest to place youth end up) are run by a for-profit organization,” he says. ” Whatever money that is being made by the company could be spent towards making these poor kids’ lives better.”
The city, which has one the highest rates of homelessness per capita in Canada (tied with Edmonton, natch) nonetheless has inspired Drury lyrically.
“Vancouver’s mountains and forests have definitely made an impact. There’s nowhere else in the world that makes me feel as comfortable and content as the forests do here. I have a lot of trouble relaxing and some anxiety issues. Hiking up a mountain alone and submerging myself in pristine, deep green, mossy nature cures all of my restless troubles,” he says, thought he notes that the foster system also rears it’s ugly head in his lyrics often.
Vancouver’s hardcore scene is experiencing a bit of surge in the last few years, and Drury says he likes the variety of shows available to go to but has a few choice words for members of the community.
“I don’t like cool-guy attitudes and elitist crust jerks. Just ‘cause someone doesn’t spend hours sewing patches and putting studs on a vest to attain a specific ‘look’ doesn’t mean they’re not punk. Punk isn’t about your clothes, it’s about your attitude and music. Your costumes and dyed hair aren’t punk, you big meanies.
Guitarist Danny Marshall recently relocated to Kelowna, and Drury says to expect, maybe in jest, some change in their sound to reflect the party scene in the band members new home. He says over email, almost reverentially that Baptists is his dream project, and “as lame as it sounds, I love my bandmates and am excited to continue to make music with them.
“I just want to be original. I want to stray from clichés and produce some honest and emotional terror.”
If you want to check out Baptists live, they’ll be in Calgary on the 10th, at the Artery in Edmonton on Oct. 11, followed by a short West-coast tour and then onto a festival in Tucson. Their new LP, entitled Bloodmines comes out in October on Southern Lord Records
In the meantime, take a look at their Bandcamp and see what all the fuss about these nice-guy punks is about.
Baptists is playing the Up+Downtown Music and Arts Festival in Edmonton this October.
Additional photo credit: Ryan Walter