When a band has pop songs as killer as White Wires’, it often takes a drummer like Allie Hanlon–precise, but naturally lyrical–to take those tunes from catchy to classic. Their self-titled debut LP for Douchemaster Records (originally released in late ’08 by Going Gaga Records) was my great musical love story of 2009, an unstoppable blitzkrieg of punk and power-pop that said almost everything I’ve ever wanted to say about music in 25 unpretentious minutes. And all I had to do was sit back and listen! Or drive straight from New York to Canada to have it all told to me in person with a proper rock show. I did that too, eventually.
Hanlon plays drums like a songwriter, with both abandon and respect for the song. It’s no surprise, then, to hear her solo project, Peach Kelli Pop, for which she writes and plays all the recorded music (a band backs her up live). Both of her bands are based in the vibrant Ottawa punk scene that has been churning out more awesome bands recently than a lot of places where people actually do move to “make it.” Here, she lists five bands and songs that made a difference to her as a drummer and shaped her playing. It shouldn’t be long before she’s on the flipside of many such lists herself.
(Peach Kelli Pop music video for “Do The Eggroll” – Allie plays guitar and sings lives, but plays all instruments on the recordings)
Allie’s TOP 5 SONGS
The first song I covered is “The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprise.” It was just me; I was just trying to cover it for fun when I was in high school. I like Devo drums because they are really unique and robotic sounding a lot of the time. It reflects the sound of the themes in the songs.
The Ronnettes – “Be My Baby”
I have listened to that song, which is featured in the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, since I was maybe 2 or 3 years old. It is amazing! There are pictures of my sisters and my mom and I dancing to that song in the living room! Loving the song aside, I think the drumming and rhythm section in the song is really great. It shows how important percussion can be in a song. Without all the shakers, tambourines and so on, the song would be much less interesting sounding. I rely heavily on percussion when I record music. I think it can be as important drumming itself in shaping a song.
This one is kind of different. The Misfits are important to me because I loved them when I was a teenager. I used to think Danzig was so cool, which I find funny now; he sort of seems like someone I would hate if I got to know him. I ended up joining a Misfits cover band! We were called Misclits. It was really fun. It was very difficult though. It made me work on my stamina like crazy. I enjoyed replicating the drumming of the TOUGHEST more SERIOUS masculine guys. I wondered what they would think of a 21-year-old weirdo girl copying their drums.
The Brood – “Since He’s Been Gone”
For my 21st birthday Ian, who sings in the White Wires, gave me a 7″ by a band called the Brood. One of the songs, “Since He’s Been Gone” is probably one of my top 10 favorite songs. The drummer is called Crystal Light and she is so good! If I could drum like anyone, it would be her. Her style is modest, yet still unique and important in the songs. That’s kind of what I aim for. No unnecessary fills. And, nice and fast!
When I first started playing drums, I couldn’t play very fast, and I sort of thought I never would be able to. I really wanted to be able to play in a super punk style. Ramones were the band I would listen to and think that if someday I could replicate their drums, I would have officially succeeded, and kind of reached a plateau of fast tempo playing. I think, 5 years later or something, I can do it! Hooray!
Dirtnap Records will release White Wires’ second album later this summer. Ottawa’s Going Gaga Records will release Peach Kelli Pop’s debut album, also later this summer
Interview and intro by Davie Kaufmann
Attached photo by Andrew Carver