The Drums Live: Billboard Tastemakers Video

The Drums, Tastemakers, January 2011.

Our new video series presents a closer look at -- and an exclusive performance from -- the cool artists hitting the Billboard Tastemakers chart, which brings you the top-selling albums each week based on an influential panel of indie stores and small regional chains.

The Drums

In our latest installment of our Tastemakers video series, the crew snagged some time with the lead car on 2010's buzz train, The Drums. During our session at NYC's Mophonics Studio, Warhol-channeling lead singer Jonathan Pierce shimmied along with his band's infectious string of nostalgic pop.

Photos: Behind the scenes at The Drums Tastemakers taping.

1980s distorted croons paired with 1960s call-and-response choruses bring countless comparisons of 'the' bands past -- The Shangri-Las, The Ronettes, The Smiths and The Cure to name a few. But, the members of the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Florida group continue to dip their pens into multiple genre wells with one goal in mind: crafting the perfect pop song.

"It's always been a big fascination for us," Pierce says, of penning pop gems. "It's the heart and soul of this band."

Guitarist Jacob Graham continued: "It just seemed like such a pure, innocent time where someone just had this idea to invent pop music and everyone ran with it."

Video Below: The Drums Perform "Best Friend" Live
After garnering a substantial bit of buzz on their "Summertime!" EP earlier this year, Pierce, Graham and fellow full-time bandmate, drummer Connor Hanwick, found intermittent hours to record their first full-length, which was released back in June, while relentlessly touring overseas.

Well aware of the vast separation between themselves and the current churn of pop stars dominating American radio, Pierce believes it's his obsession with crafting perfect "pop" songs -- yet the rejection of pop's current playlist -- that remains at the bands' core.

"It's sort of a reaction to the cookie-cutter, conveyor-belt music that's being shoved down everyone's throat right now," he says. "I think people, without even knowing it, are looking for something a bit more tangible. Maybe something even they think they could have made."
Video Below: The Drums Perform "Book Of Stories" Live

Despite the surfs-up lyrical references and tubular bill-mates (Surfer Blood is a frequent go-to) the beach is one of the last places you'll find these guys. The Drums have plenty of shows booked abroad with plans to return back to the States and they'll hopefully make similar waves.

Text by Lisa Binkert

Previous Tastemakers Video: Young the Giant | Bruno Mars | Bun B | Black Angels | Big Boi | Lissie | Grace Potter


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.