Fashionable metallic wouldn’t be the identical with out the affect of Norse tradition, and Denver’s Drune isn’t shy in regards to the sway of Viking lore on its debut report, Seer.

“That mythology, there’s loads of demise and loads of disappointment that is straightforward to go off,” says frontperson James Cook dinner. “The primary album, I write quite a bit in regards to the Nordic mythology I used to be studying and humorous tales I used to be creating alone out of that.”

However there’s far more to Drune than fantastical flights of lyrical fancy. What began as Cook dinner’s solo venture 4 years in the past has gathered members and grown right into a band with an enormous sound that belies its easy three-piece structure and challenges the definitions of standard metallic classes.

Initially from Portland, Cook dinner got here to Colorado in 2015 and commenced absorbing the Denver music scene, however he saved his musical aspirations to himself.

“Initially, it was simply me taking part in guitar in my basement and form of hoping at some point I may begin a metallic band,” he says. “It was simply form of a humorous dream.”

However that modified at a home social gathering in north Denver the place he had an opportunity assembly with Austin Pacharz, a bass participant who occurred to be in search of a band.

“I instructed him what I used to be doing and the music I used to be listening to, and he was like, ‘Oh, I have been listening to the identical stuff,’ and mentioned he wished to start out taking part in with me, and we have been collectively ever since.” 

The 2 shortly enlisted drummer Patrick Haga and bonded over their love of doom bands like Pallbearer and Pink Fang, however in addition they realized they’d the same style for music outdoors of metallic.

“One other huge affect for all of us is loads of different genres,” says Cook dinner. “Austin additionally performs in a few blues bands, and we’re into outdated stuff like Grand Funk Railroad and the Chicago Transit Authority — outdated, actually superior blues rock. So there is a sure component that I at all times simply wished to play on guitar. I wished to have a enjoyable, form of darkish blues riff right here and there to interrupt up no matter we have been hanging on. I do not need to attempt to do all the pieces, however all of us hearken to a bunch of various stuff, and I believe inevitably all of it simply seeps in.”

Though the members of Drune have some related tastes, Cook dinner says it’s truly their variations that grew the band from his basement venture to the multi-faceted beast it’s immediately, a seamless mix of throbbing stoner-rock riffs, psychedelic noodling and proto-metal melody.

“What I initially wrote in my basement 5 years in the past is fairly completely different from what Austin introduced on bass,” says Cook dinner. “Patrick, he was form of our third and last piece, and after we began taking part in with him dwell, it grew to become its personal factor, grew to become one thing far more dynamic and significantly better.”

All of that serves to make definitively classifying Drune an almost irresolvable activity, a proven fact that’s not misplaced on the band’s members.

“Generally I get slightly inquisitive in my head about ‘What style is that this? What sort of factor are we tying ourselves into?’” says Cook dinner. “I believe within the writing course of, it is laborious to deal with it an excessive amount of. There is a must step again and simply write what you are writing and let it kind of construct by itself. I suppose I am hoping someplace that lands in a sure style, a sure distinction, however to date, all of the evaluations at all times add like 5 completely different descriptive phrases for what we’re doing.”

Vexing as it could be to explain, the amalgam, he says, appears to be a welcomed digression for listeners, lots of whom choose up on the seemingly disparate influences and nuances in Drune’s musical vocabulary.

“Individuals have recognized sure issues that I assumed I used to be kind of writing in code,” says Cook dinner. “I assumed I used to be hiding them, possibly. Individuals have recognized them, and it actually means quite a bit.”

The songs on Seer — engineered largely by Haga — are a step up from Cook dinner’s preliminary recordings. Cook dinner says the affect of Haga’s manufacturing, in addition to the brand new sound created by the complete band, have been unsettling at first.

“The form of sounds we have been getting out of it — it initially got here off slightly bizarre to me,” he says. “However I believe what that imaginative and prescient led to was simply one thing that’s actually ours. What truly got here out, the ultimate piece, was not precisely what I heard in my head, and that was a great factor that turned out to be higher. It is all three of us collectively.”

Cook dinner says having the opposite bandmembers’ enter pushed Drune in a extra experimental route.

“I by no means wished to be the one songwriter,” he says. “I simply felt like I used to be going to get bored. I wanted another stuff for the songs to actually grow to be one thing. The lyrics have at all times principally been me, however the riffs and stuff began to transition higher and morph into one another and sound extra like a tune. That was our hope with this EP, being the primary three songs that actually have been the band, form of our debut. The EP feels like an entire, collective factor.”

And extra change is on the way in which. The members have been busy writing songs for his or her subsequent album — a few of which they’ve already began taking part in dwell — and so they proceed to bend and break the invisible confines of metallic.

“A couple of songs have slightly bit extra groove to them,” says Cook dinner, “slightly extra sludgy. We’ve got a pair different songs which can be actually unhappy and droney and extra easy. And with the brand new [album], with everybody’s enter, we’ve got stuff that is fictional and fantastical and simply on the market in house, and different stuff that is slightly extra grounded about what’s occurring proper now. We positively really feel fairly [driven] to do what we are able to to make one thing that stands out. ”

The group, he continues, is diverging even farther from the doom playbook and writing some extra upbeat songs.

“Most of our songs land at a sure BPM that is getting down there,” he says, “so we attempt to write one or two issues that kick up slightly bit and provides slightly little bit of variance to the dwell [show], too. A part of it, too, is that I really like going to reveals and having enjoyable and feeling like I need to transfer slightly bit. It retains us slightly latched all the way down to one thing when the songs get actually gradual and actually stoned out.”

Drune’s subsequent transfer continues to be up within the air. Cook dinner says he’s not precisely desirous to depart wholesale from the sound the band has established, however he is actually open to exploring new concepts and, after all, some very outdated ones.

“I am an enormous metallic fan, throughout the board,” says Cook dinner, “and generally I need to be the gnarliest band. However, actually, all three of us are fairly delicate dudes, and the music we make is slightly bit emo generally and has some…not softer edges, however melodies.

“But in addition Vikings,” he provides.

Drune’s album-release present is at eight p.m. Sunday, January 19, at Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer Avenue. Tickets are $10 to $12 and accessible at

Take heed to Drune and extra favorites from Westword writers on our Westword Workers Picks playlist.

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