Talknarc: Interview with Philly’s Work Drugs

Work Drugs [Facebook] consist of “Benjamin Louisiana (more instrumental/less vocal) and Thomas Crystal (more vocal/less instrumental)” who hail from an abandoned pier on the banks of Philly’s Delaware River. In colonial times, what is now piers, highway, ill-planned condos, and wasted coastline consisted of high cliffs and caves. Outside the confines of William Penn’s Quaker paradise, the cliffs housed all manners of ne’er-do-wells, prostitutes, and pirates. Fitting then that Work Drugs hail from the banks of the Delaware: they raid the underbelly of ’80s soft rock and caress it with the gauzy embrace of today’s chillwave. On the occasion of the the release of their first single, “Third Wave,” they were kind enough to sit down for a quick chat.

Work Drugs, “Third Wave”

The internet wonders if your name is an Eastbound and Down reference… is it?

Eastbound and Down… is that a show on the Food Network?

Our buddy Eduardo S. came up with the name when we were sailing the Baja of Mexico. He had just hurt his “nose” and was feeling a bit sea sick, so in his partially delusional state, he kept screaming “work drugs… work drugs…” until his “meds” kicked in. And it kinda stuck. Our friends don’t like it… but fuck that noise.

How’s living on an abandoned pier?

Once in a while a Duck Boat rescue boat gets a little too close… but it sure beats the abandoned doll factory.

How’d ya’ll meet?

In Mrs. McDonald’s kindergarten class… seriously.

We’ve poked a bit of fun at the chillwave genre (while digging the music). Although it has its use, it’s also about as silly as the nonsense “slowcore” movement that built up around Low in the 1990s. Chillwave: hot or not? Sidenote: Apparently hotornot.com still exists. Do the kids today even know what that is?

I think it was just a genre that was created by kids of the 80′s who were too embarrassed to cite Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Steely Dan, and Phil Collins as serious musical influences. In reality we have no problem with citing these guys (in fact if it wasn’t for the plethora of Genesis tapes in my parents minivan, I doubt I’d be talking to you), but we figured “chillwave” was the buzz word of the moment. I’m pushing “smooth-fi,” but no takers so far. I give “chillwave” a 7…. but her a 9.

If you could play with one Philly band that’s not Hall & Oates, whom would it be?

Well we came up with two (other than Hall & Oates, P.S.- good call) … Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (Ben) and Tickley Feather (Thomas)

Philly spot we’re most likely to find Work Drugs chill(wav)ing at?

Bonk’s Bar & Grille

How many yachts have you sailed on?

Too many to count… unfortunately our favorite used to set sail from the Barbary on the last Tuesday of every month… but alas it seems to have found a new port of call.

What’s the plan for recording more songs?

Well, we have a bunch more recorded (probably a few albums worth), but for now we are keeping them in the bait box until the fishing looks good. I would expect another new one in mid-January… as soon as we finish a little video for it…

Here’s hoping they spill their bait box soon. We’re biting.

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