The Drop
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The Drop

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"GOOD TO THE LAST DROP"

It's a Wednesday night at Ground Zero Coffee House and The Drop has just finished a 45 minute set. The turnout is impressive this evening for the modest coffee shop. And from the screaming and the dancing, it is evident that half of the audience came specifically for the band.

But The Drop is done for the night and the crowd looks on as a man wearing a Kangol cap walks on stage. He is tonight's headliner. It's time for ... Kabbalah?

Yes, author Yehuda Berg is on a tour to speak about Kabbalah, "an ancient wisdom of the world," and tonight he has the task of following up a rock group.

And things don't go so well. At first the audience seems sincere in wanting to hear Berg out, but 20 minutes into the lecture a few people grow restless and head for the door. It looks like there's too much for the crowd to wrap their minds around. Spiritual enlightenment can wait for another day, tonight the audience is content with seeing The Drop play.

And they have good reason to be satisfied too. Because in those 45 minutes The Drop played with a precision that didn't feel mechanical, and with a easiness that wasn't sloppy. And most importantly, it was evident that they were having fun. After they're finished they say their 'thank you's' and leave the shop, taking half of the audience along with them.

The Drop is Jeremy Silver on vocals and guitar, Tad Lusk on lead guitar, Chris Rash on bass and Reade Pryor on drums. They are all Trojans in their senior year, with the exception of Tad, who is a junior.

But this isn't how it was when they began three years ago. The band has gone through lineup changes. Their sound has grown and evolved. Heck, they weren't even called The Drop to begin with.

When Silver and Rash first decided to form a band together the result was The Lift. Pryor, whom Rash knew as a jazz drummer, came into the mix shortly. And with the addition of a guitarist and a keyboard player the band had a complete lineup. But they still had a long way to go before developing into The Drop.

"The Lift wasn't like what we are now. I consider The Lift a completely different band," Pryor said.

The most conspicuous difference is definitely in the name. As it turned out there was another band called The Lift, who also made their home in Los Angeles.

"I called up (the other) band and I said 'Hi I'm Jeremy, I'm in a band called The Lift'," Silver said. "And he said 'Hi I'm Jason, I'm also in a band called The Lift.'"

After a period of confusion and debate The Lift (the one from USC) conceded to change its name. And in a stroke of ingenuity, and to keep with the theme of vertical motion, they became The Drop.

Coincidentally, the band was going through other changes as well. Their keyboard player and guitarist left the band. And after more shuffling in the lineup, Lusk eventually found his way into the lead guitarist's seat.

But even with all the pieces set, it is still difficult telling who The Drop are, which is unusual since today it seems like every band gets tagged with one label or another. The music scene has a moniker for just about every existing genre, whether it be "indie-garage," "underground hip-hop" or "post-grunge, electronica, lounge music." But there seems to be no way of categorizing The Drop.

They certainly don't dress according to a part. There are no blazers (indie), plaid-shirts (nu-metal), sports jerseys (hip-hop) or CBGB shirts (once punk, but now teeny bop thank-you-very-much-Miss-Ashlee-Simpson). With the exception of the tape recorder on their table, there is nothing about The Drop that singles them out as they're eating sandwiches at University Village.

Their music is even harder to define. But that is something the band has come to expect.

"I think it's counterproductive to go for a certain sound. I hear of bands trying to sound like Emo, trying to sound like an electronica band, trying to do this, trying to do that," said Rash. "But I think you end up being a much better band if you just pick up the instrument and play it the way it comes out of your soul."

And this approach is evident. On stage and in the studio The Drop doesn't sound like a single entity. They're more like a merging of individuals doing what they know best. Pryor's graceful, precision drumming hints at his background in Jazz. Lusk's solos seem to borrow from Hendrix and no-frills classic rock. Rash's bass playing is laden with funk. And somehow Silver's confident vocals manage to bring all the pieces together.

The result is something hard to label, but songs such as "Time and Energy" and "October" are reminiscent of the radio-friendly alternative rock of the late 90s. There is a bit of The Wallflowers added with a tint of Third Eye Blind. But the music of The Drop is more daring and less predictable. Plus they don't beat the chorus to death.

"We always try to sound honest to ourselves. We don't try to impress, rather we try to reach people with our sound. And we can't help it if some of our songs are catchy," Silver said.

Perhaps one explanation for their unique sound lies in their varied list of musical influences. When asked what they listened to while growing up, they throw out a mixed bag of names that include The Who, Soundgarden, Phish, Miles Davis and even Rush, the best Canadian export besides Molson and hockey.

Silver believes that the band's diverse musical taste plays a big role in the makeup of The Drop.

"If one person is into that and another person is into this, then you've got something you can work with. Everyone is bringing something different to the table," he said.

Musically, The Drop aren't afraid to head into different places. When it comes to success however, the only way to go is up. But the ascent to rock stardom is always a trail littered with questions. At some point The Drop will ask themselves how much they're willing to compromise, how much they're willing to sell-out and whether to lend a song for a Gap commercial.

Young bands tend to stick by their "it's all about the music" principle. Hey, it's the punk rock thing to do. But The Drop have a more realistic attitude towards self-promotion.

"We want people to hear (our songs)," Pryor said. "There wouldn't be a point if we were just keeping it to ourselves. (We want) as many people to hear us as possible."

The Drop have no qualms about doing TV spots, lending their songs to sitcoms, or being endorsed by big companies. They see it all as being part of the job. But Lusk points out that at the end of the day, it really is about staying true to the band and its music.

"If a band finds themselves in the situation where they're pressured to sellout then they're going into it for the wrong reasons," Lusk said. "We want to reach as many people as possible, but fundamentally we just love playing music."

Right now it seems too early to be talking about stardom and The Gap, but at the rate things are developing for The Drop, success doesn't seem too far off.

Recently the band was spotlighted on KLOS 95.5 as one of "the best unsigned talents in Los Angeles." Last year their music was featured in a remake of "Frankenstein" on the USA Network. And all the while the band has been hitting up a variety of venues that include the Viper Room and the Citywalk Hard Rock Café.

With a new album arriving soon and an upcoming summer tour of the East Coast, their stock can only rise. But of course the guys are too humble to jump to any conclusions.

"We're going to be bigger than the Beatles," Rash said.

He's kidding. But it's not hard to think some part of the band believes in his joke. After all, the bands that make it are the ones who personally feel they're the best thing in rock 'n' roll.

And these guys are constantly head over heels with what they do, from trying to catch up with the Beatles, to opening for Kabbalah.
- The Daily Trojan, University of Southern California


"95.5 FM KLOS RADIO"

-Terry Gladstone, DJ - "One of the best unsigned bands in LA."


"TROJAN VISION TELEVISION"

-Adam Sussman, Executive Producer, "Exposed!" - “The Drop’s thought-provoking lyrics and powerful music speak a sense of truth, challenging one to e


Discography

The Drop - Ultraviolet Catastrophe (Full Length Album)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

“One of the best unsigned bands in LA."
-Terry Gladstone, DJ, 95.5 KLOS, Los Angeles

“The Drop played with a precision that didn't feel mechanical, and with a easiness that wasn't sloppy. And most importantly, it was evident that they were having fun. Their stock can only rise”
-The Daily Trojan (University of Southern California), 4/28/05

The Drop is an honest band. Refusing to imitate the sounds of whatever decade is trendy at the moment or create an image based on visual or musical gimmicks, The Drop is all about doing what they want to do: creating great rock ‘n’ roll songs. It just so happens that these songs, combined with the band’s energetic live shows, have been inspiring so much passion in the band’s audiences that The Drop’s brand of musical honesty may become the next trend – and soon.

The Drop, based in Los Angeles, is a young band, yet they have already racked up some impressive credits. The Drop’s songs have enjoyed airplay on one of LA’s most popular radio stations, 95.5 FM KLOS, and have been featured on television, including a spot in USA network’s fall 2004 remake of “Frankenstein”. Yet the songs alone wouldn’t mean success without a great live show. The soaring vocals of charismatic singer Jeremy Silver and the deft pop sensibilities of guitarist Tad Lusk, bassist Chris Rash, and drummer Reade Pryor have brought large crowds to historic Los Angeles venues, including the Knitting Factory, House of Blues, Whisky A-Go-Go, and the Viper Room. The band has opened for such talents as Abandoned Pools, Gabriel Mann, Robert Owen, and Telepathy, among others. Equally capable in the studio, they worked with producer P.J. Smith (Live, Something Corporate) on their 2003 self-titled EP and will soon release a full-length album produced by critically acclaimed producer/songsmith Gabriel Mann.

All four members of The Drop hail from different parts of the country, yet they all value memorable melodies, smart arrangements, and the emotive power of a good, honest story. By returning to tried-and-true musical values, The Drop has created a timeless yet distinctive sound, guaranteeing themselves something often elusive in the music industry: longevity. To get the latest news on The Drop, visit www.thedropmusic.com.