Myrtle Beach, S.C., from first glance, doesn’t seem to be a bastion for rock ‘n’ roll, but hometown favorites The Drag may change all that.
During a label bidding war, the alternative-rock quintet met with Island Records’ husband and wife A&R team of James Dowdall and Rose Noone. Chance, the one-name lead singer, admits he kept to himself most of that day.
“I remember we had played an outdoor event that day and it was crazy,” he said recently. “They’re were so many people there talking to them. I didn’t really open up and start talking to them till like 2 in the morning.
“The thing that stands out the most … well, aside from the fact that they were there for that crazy show … I remember a friend of mine, William, was talking to Rose and she said I was going to be a superstar. William told her, ‘He already is, the world just doesn’t know it yet.’
“That really stuck out in my mind. That showed me that they believe in us and superstardom, which I’m a total fan of.”
With The Drag’s Mitch Easter-produced major-label debut album, “Satellites Beaming Back At You” (out April 9), it’s easy to see why. It straddles the fine line between rock and power pop, moving effortlessly from one style to another, be it a classic three-minute pop song (“Eat Your Heart Out”) or an eight-minute opus (“Fountainbleau”).
“I think it’s important to be able to write songs in no particular format,” Chance said. “There shouldn’t be format songwriting. It’s just like adding rules to art.
“It’s a mood album, trying to hit all your moods, all your feelings, all your senses. We have songs on there for all occasions. We have the somber notes; we have more of the upbeat stuff, a lot of the weird stuff. It’s an emotional rollercoaster.”
With an average age of 21, The Drag is the youngest band on Island’s roster. An unapologetically confident Chance said they know what they want and they will get it on their terms. And when that happens …
“I don’t want to be a millionaire,” he said, “but I would like to make enough to be comfortable and pay my bills and be able to buy Beach Boys bootlegs without feeling guilty about it.”