White Rabbits have two drummers. I don't mean two drummers who spot each other on one drum set. I mean two drummers playing two sets of drums.
This Brooklyn-based alt-rock band's best-known song is "Percussion Gun," which opens with a symphony of beats. In 2009, "Percussion Gun" became a modern rock hit. Last week I spoke with one of White Rabbits' drummers, Matt Clark, about the band's recent success.
Has the popularity of "Percussion Gun" changed the band?
We have been fortunate to have a song that gets some play and hopefully brings people out to the shows. It hasn't in a larger sense changed much in the band. We are still a bunch of friends traveling around in a van playing music for whoever we can.
Was that song built around the dual drums from the start?
Yeah. We had the beat and looped it for a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out the melody and arrangement. It was a satisfying moment to get the pieces together, especially since it was one of the first songs we wrote for the new album.
How well does "Percussion Gun" represent the White Rabbits' broader sound?
On the whole, I think it does. But to get what a band is trying to accomplish you have to listen to the album. If a band is worth a damn, it will use the album as a format to express a lot of varied ideas. It's impossible to do that in a three-minute song.
It's very easy nowadays to write off albums as unimportant because people are hungry for singles. You can download music with little or no attachment to it because you have not given anything in return. But albums are the shit. A great album can change how you think and dress or even help you meet the girl or guy of your dreams. I've heard of recipes for writing a "hit song," but I've never seen "how to write a great album." And that's cool because nobody knows exactly how to do it.