May/June 2018

by Mike Tweed

Fresh Talent: Drxnes

by Mike Tweed

Fresh Talent: Drxnes

In just three short years Drxnes have emerged as a popular live draw in their hometown of Whanganui.

Drummer Ethan Coleman and guitarists Isaac Chamberlain and Adam Robinson took a break from their sweaty rehearsal room to have a chat about their music and plans for the new year. It turns out there are a few!

Beginning life as an instrumental four-piece in 2015, Drxnes gained the services of Australian singer Rob Reynolds two years later and incorporated his voice into their entire back catalogue. Originally spelt as ‘Drones’, the ‘x’ was included at the beginning of 2018 to set them apart from other similar named bands. It’s still pronounced the same way.

“That caused a bit of a stir,” Ethan laughs. “People were calling us ‘Drixones’ and other weird stuff. Hopefully they’ll get used to it!”

The scope of their music remains as wide as the Whanganui River itself, with the recently released debut EP entitled ‘Home’ swinging from blissful instrumental interludes to metalcore breakdowns. Ferocious single Metanoia is an obvious standout. It’s not hard to imagine fields full of festival-goers screaming the words to its chorus in the very near future.

While heaviness is definitely something this band don’t shy away from, Isaac is quick to point out that they want to maintain a broad palette of sounds and influences.

“When I listen to albums I want to be pushed to both sides of the spectrum emotionally. It’s no fun being stuck in a cheeseball for an hour – and it’s no fun being stuck in a deathball either!”

The EP represents a taste of things to come, and Drxnes aim to finish a full-length album in the second half of the year. Ethan is keen to showcase the steps they have taken as musicians and as a unit.

“There’s been a lot of growth since the recording of the EP. The album we have in the works is definitely a better representation of our skill levels now. Those first songs were recorded when we were just picking up our instruments!”

The band remains independent, so every aspect of keeping Drxnes ticking comes down to the members themselves. Ethan took it upon himself to book their first run of North Island shows, alongside local rap pranksters Machete Clan. A southern jaunt is next in the works.

They will continue to put on their own mini-festivals in Whanganui as well, where crowds of up to 600 people have flocked to see them and a range of other acts play.

Guitarist Adam smiles when recounting those particular evenings.

“We couldn’t believe how many people would turn up to these things we put on. They would be rammed! From there we thought, ‘Wow, let’s keep doing this, just bigger and better!’”

There has been a musical cross-pollination at these gigs, with Drxnes’ soaring guitars nestled alongside rap and drum’n’bass acts, at events such as ‘Drxnes and Bass’ and ‘Mardi Rarks’. Isaac is only too keen to keep the momentum rolling.

“We’re gonna try and play as many shows as we can, and do as much as we can independently. We’re lucky to have friends who can help with things like videos and posters, even down to things like having a mate do the door for us. Through this little family it feels like the whole town has got behind us, and that’s awesome.”