It isn’t every day that a band emails us their info and one of us is immediately intrigued. That wasn’t so much the case when an email from Andrew Salazar, bassist for San Antonio-based rock band Donella Drive slid right into our inbox and I clicked on the link for “Uncertainty of Now.” I walked away from my laptop to get what was probably my third cup of coffee, and I had one of those moments where my “rabbit ears” went up, if you will. As I continued to listen, I remember thinking to myself,
I went back to my computer and sat to actually watch the remainder of the video (my process is I listen first, watch last). You’ve got some wicked slap-bass and rip-roaring shreds, a beast on the drums, and vocals that can transition from smooth to power-packed grit: Yeah, I’m getting an interview.
RL: You guys are quite talented! Do you come from a musical background or is this something that is self-taught through the years?
AS: Thank you so much! We are all for the most part self taught. Aidan (Vocals/ Guitars) and myself (Andrew /Bass) are brothers. All three of us started playing music at a very young age and have been involved in various projects over the years.
RL: So you guys evolved from a previous band, Dream in Static, and you’ve opened for a pretty impressive roster – Killswitch, Deftones, Disturbed, to name a few. How did you get this machine that is Donella Drive really rolling in the San Antonio music scene?
AS: With hard work and a little bit of luck honestly. Networking and always playing live as much as we can have got us where we are. We have overcome a lot and have found a way to always keep pushing through.
RL: In the BTS for “Uncertainty of Now,” I noticed you playing some Tom Morello. I also noticed a little slap bass technique in the actual video. With that being said, who are some of the band’s biggest influences?
AS: Our influences are definitely all over the place. When we started the band I wanted to write something fresh for myself. I had been in a lot of metal bands growing up and with Donella Drive I wanted to write without one certain style or sound in mind. All I can say is that we try and always write our songs with a certain bounce or groove to our music.
RL: Can you talk to us a little about the meaning behind the song?
AS: It’s just our perception of the struggles of society. Times are tough right now and the future feels uncertain. It was definitely influenced by the feelings of apathy and hopelessness derived from the corruption of our government.
RL: Let’s talk about the album as a whole – the songwriting process, putting it all together, and the final product. Just lay it all out there. How are you feeling about it?
AS: The song writing process usually starts with a riff or two from either Aidan or myself and we just jam on them. We’ll come up with riffs or transitions on the spot or pull riffs from other ideas we were working on to complete the songs. It’s just one big collaboration. On two of the tracks, “Origami” and “Means To An End”, Aidan had those two songs completely finished and Steven and I added our parts to the songs. What usually ends up on our albums is what naturally comes out. We try not to over think the process.
RL: Are you currently represented at all or are you completely independent?
AS: As of right now we are an independent band.
RL: You’re on tour and you can bring one item with you (not including gear). What is it?
AS: Mortal Kombat Trilogy for Nintendo 64. Aidan and I have had a heated rivalry since childhood.
RL: Do you have a favorite track from the album? If so, what is its significance?
AS: For me I would say it’s a toss up between “Uncertainty Of Now” and “Lost In The Fog”.
“Uncertainty Of Now” is a song we have been trying to write for a long time. “Lost In The Fog” was a challenge to write and record and the final result exceeded our expectations.
RL: What is your number one goal as a band for the end of 2020?
AS: To keep getting people into our music and to release more new music before the end of the year. Hopefully play a show again someday.
RL: Finally, any words of advice for other aspiring musicians?
AS: Have fun, just enjoy creating music.
Follow Donella Drive:
2. Uncertainty Of Now
3. Means To An End
5. Dankey Kang (Instrumental)
6. Lost In The Fog