If you haven't heard their story yet, The Submarines are the girl/boy duo who began as a couple, then eventually broke up, but forged ahead as a band anyway to record an album, then somehow managed to patch things up romantically and later became husband and wife by the time their debut full-length hit store shelves last June.
We recently caught up with half of the band, the boy part, John Dragonetti (aka Jack Drag), just as they were completing a month long residency at The Echo in Los Angeles, where the band is based.
Hi, John. How are you doing today?
Very Well. Thank you!
So, you've been doing the weekly Monday night residency at The Echo this month. How's that gone so far?
It's been really fab. We've been pleasantly surprised by the turn out and are definitely digging The Echo.
You know, I'd ask the question of what's it like being in a band with an ex, but it seems to go a lot deeper than that because so much of the material is about your breakup. Not to be overly invasive, but what was the process of putting the album together like?
Initially there wasn't even the concept of an album and because Blake and I had split we were each writing on our own. I suppose we thought we'd be putting together our own records. When our break-up failed we talked about putting our stuff together to make one record. Thematically it was all in sync. At that point we also experimented with trading verses on new material. A friend of ours mastered it for a wedding gift and we made about a hundred copies -- mostly for our friends -- and then folks we didn't know became interested in it.
Is it safe to say that you have a pretty strong working relationship and friendship?
Yeah. I think that's pretty safe to say. There are always challenges though.
The video for "Peace & Hate" is about the cutest thing ever. How did that come together?
It was actually the concept of Josh Forbes. We met with josh and really hit it off. He had some fun ideas so we let him do what he wanted. There was definitely a high level of trust. He pulled together an amazing crew and they did a fantastic job with the sets. We were really in awe when we walked into the warehouse that day.
There's another band called The Submarines in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Do you get a lot of confusion over that when you tour through Ypsilanti?
Well, we haven't passed through Ypsilanti yet but when we do I'll let you know how it goes. That's their turf so maybe we'll change our name for a day to "The Submarines, CA". There was also an English band about 10 years ago called Submarine and lately I've noticed several more on MySpace. Can't we all just get along?
What's next for you? More recording, more touring, or more sleep?
All of the above, but I adore sleep the most. We're working on new material for the next record and expect to be touring more this spring.
Last question: What other LA bands are you enjoying right now?
That's it! Thanks for your time!
Download: The Submarines - "Peace & Hate"