4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The loony and chaotic ways of On Drugs

“I always joke and call it flat-Earther rock”

On Drugs — let’s hope none of them ever runs for office.
On Drugs — let’s hope none of them ever runs for office.

When Derek Housh, Cameron Gates, and Elias Avila started creating music together it was noisy experimentation for the most part. A plan was launched for the trio to relocate to Maryland, but Gates and Avila abandoned ship at the last moment. Housh carried on and ended up waiting tables at a sushi restaurant — and little else. Avila convinced him to move back to San Diego, and offered a unique lodging deal.

“I didn’t have anywhere to live or any money. He said he had a tool shed that he was living in and that I could move into that with him. So we shared this tiny tool shed with just one futon in there.”

Once Housh was back in San Diego, the band got to work. The group’s noisy, garage-punk lent itself to fans of Fidlar and the Oh Sees. As they began gigging out, they found themselves playing more shows south of the border in Tijuana than they did in their hometown. “It was just more of the type of music and arts scene that we wanted. It was an older crowd. There seemed to be a lot more passion, and it was just easier to book too.”

The original name of the band was “Seyonce”— a moniker derived from a stoned night where Housh was singing Beyonce lyrics over droney noise music they were jamming on. The name stuck for a little while, and Seyonce even came close to releasing an album. All the recordings were obliterated due to a computer crash though, forcing the band to start over from scratch. The second attempt was a self-produced effort soon after they had relocated to Portland. They all hated the finished product.

“We’d all been so DIY for so long that we thought the most out-of-our-comfort-zone thing to do was to find somebody to help us produce the record, and pay a bunch of money for actual studio time — which I think was also a really good decision. So the third attempt to make a record was the first On Drugs album that came out.”

The third attempt, 2017's Stay Yuck, may have been the band’s debut as On Drugs, but the just released Uckhole Futah is the group’s first full-length that sounds like it needs an actual intervention. The collision of math-rock, humor, and west coast punk is loony and chaotic in the best of ways.

“I always joke and call it flat-Earther rock,” Housh explained. “It’s kind-of science-based, but it’s really stupid. I think one big thing that helps is that there’s not one main songwriter in the band. It’s all of us bringing stuff forward. It’s really the [songs] that we all wrote together that were really psychotic, almost like you’re listening to an old radio and you’re changing the stations and it’s jumping back and forth between different songs.”

Past Event

On Drugs and Mikey Carnevale

  • Saturday, February 16, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
  • Soma, 3350 Sports Arena Boulevard, San Diego

The band will be making a trip back down to their old stomping grounds for a February 16 show at SOMA, the site of Housh’s circle-pit baptismal. When he was 12 years old, his dad brought him to a Social Distortion show there. His father told him “Alright, we’re going in. We’re doing this.” Housh obeyed.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Scott Marks doesn't know the origins of cancel culture

Nor how bad Woody Allen's molesting was
On Drugs — let’s hope none of them ever runs for office.
On Drugs — let’s hope none of them ever runs for office.

When Derek Housh, Cameron Gates, and Elias Avila started creating music together it was noisy experimentation for the most part. A plan was launched for the trio to relocate to Maryland, but Gates and Avila abandoned ship at the last moment. Housh carried on and ended up waiting tables at a sushi restaurant — and little else. Avila convinced him to move back to San Diego, and offered a unique lodging deal.

“I didn’t have anywhere to live or any money. He said he had a tool shed that he was living in and that I could move into that with him. So we shared this tiny tool shed with just one futon in there.”

Once Housh was back in San Diego, the band got to work. The group’s noisy, garage-punk lent itself to fans of Fidlar and the Oh Sees. As they began gigging out, they found themselves playing more shows south of the border in Tijuana than they did in their hometown. “It was just more of the type of music and arts scene that we wanted. It was an older crowd. There seemed to be a lot more passion, and it was just easier to book too.”

The original name of the band was “Seyonce”— a moniker derived from a stoned night where Housh was singing Beyonce lyrics over droney noise music they were jamming on. The name stuck for a little while, and Seyonce even came close to releasing an album. All the recordings were obliterated due to a computer crash though, forcing the band to start over from scratch. The second attempt was a self-produced effort soon after they had relocated to Portland. They all hated the finished product.

“We’d all been so DIY for so long that we thought the most out-of-our-comfort-zone thing to do was to find somebody to help us produce the record, and pay a bunch of money for actual studio time — which I think was also a really good decision. So the third attempt to make a record was the first On Drugs album that came out.”

The third attempt, 2017's Stay Yuck, may have been the band’s debut as On Drugs, but the just released Uckhole Futah is the group’s first full-length that sounds like it needs an actual intervention. The collision of math-rock, humor, and west coast punk is loony and chaotic in the best of ways.

“I always joke and call it flat-Earther rock,” Housh explained. “It’s kind-of science-based, but it’s really stupid. I think one big thing that helps is that there’s not one main songwriter in the band. It’s all of us bringing stuff forward. It’s really the [songs] that we all wrote together that were really psychotic, almost like you’re listening to an old radio and you’re changing the stations and it’s jumping back and forth between different songs.”

Past Event

On Drugs and Mikey Carnevale

  • Saturday, February 16, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
  • Soma, 3350 Sports Arena Boulevard, San Diego

The band will be making a trip back down to their old stomping grounds for a February 16 show at SOMA, the site of Housh’s circle-pit baptismal. When he was 12 years old, his dad brought him to a Social Distortion show there. His father told him “Alright, we’re going in. We’re doing this.” Housh obeyed.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

You should know Bastianini, Bonisolli, Corelli.

Opera's studs
Next Article

Dessert choice or choice dessert?

Is there a logic inherent in sweet tooths?
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close