Rocky Mount, North Carolina's Drill 187 has been cranking out volatile metal since their inception in January 1997. Formed by vocalist Jason Lilley and guitarist Jason Ussery, Drill 187 started playing parties and small shows. Their popularity grew as did their reputation and they decided to get serious about their music. In August 97' they released a six song demo entitled "Modified."
They have experienced several lineup changes since then but moved forward. "Plans for recording a new CD were in the works for mid 1998 but had to be delayed by a major lineup change, which left only Jason U and me with no place to rehearse. We decided to go ahead with the project because we really believed in the music and our vision of what we were doing," said Lilley.
They relocated to Raleigh, NC where they hooked up with producer Chris Hill. After auditioning and hiring replacement members, drummer Greg Evans and bassist Matt Frederick, they recorded and released their self-titled EP in April 1999. Through very aggressive marketing and promotions along with a hectic touring schedule, their EP has sold over 3,000 copies to date. "The group has received much praise and recognition from the industry for our fresh sound, dynamic live show and our do it yourself work ethic. This has helped us establish a large, devoted Southeastern fan base from regional touring," added Lilley.
Expectations were high as Drill 187 entered the studio with producer Chris Hill to record their debut full length CD. They signed a distribution deal with Southwest Wholesale Distributors out of Houston based on demos from the upcoming release. This coincided with a heavy college radio promotion handled by Rich Ortega of New York based McGathy Promotions. "The Faceless Majority" was let loose upon the masses on September 3rd, 2002 and has sold over 1,000 copies to date. Not bad for an unsigned act.
Drill 187 cites several influences such as Ratt, Motley Crue, Judas Priest, Skid Row, Disturbed, Fight, Stuck Mojo and Sevendust. "I also dig a lot of old R&B, classical and 80s pop rock," added Lilley. He went on to describe their sound as a "cross between old school heavy metal and the best elements of the newer heavy rock/metal vibe. Big vocal hooks, big riffs with a little chunk and melody."
When asked about what makes Drill 187 unique or what they have to offer that other bands may not, Lilley offered up this: "We make the music we want…what we want to hear and what we feel our fans want to hear. Most of my lyrics contain some negative social aspects, but there is always a positive message in there for all to grab and take to heart. We haven't adapted very much to the so-called 'industry standards' just to get the big deal. We ignore the trends."
Currently, music sales are at an all time low. Industry standards and trends have come under close scrutiny as labels race to sign the flavor of the month. When asked about his thoughts on the state of the industry, Lilley was very candid. "I think it needs a kick in the ass. There's too much corporate bullshit and too many good bands being overlooked by the labels for the 'flavor of the week.' Bands are put together by some A&R guy or label head that get a deal as a favor. This enables the group to be controlled and told what to do, how to play, how to look, etc. The industry needs to get out and see and sign the groups that are working their asses off and succeeding by doing it themselves! Without label dollars backing them, most will never get to the next level no matter how talented they are simply because of the dollar amounts it takes to make it happen."
Lilley also offered up his thoughts on the current heavy metal/hard rock scene. "There are a lot of great bands and some awesome music being made. But I feel that it's slowly becoming diluted with too many that sound the same. That's always going to happen to some extent, but too many of the same bands are flooding the radio market which is hurting the scene. I also feel that the live music scene is getting worse. If attendance continues to decline, bands won't have anywhere left to play. That's why supporting local music is so important!"
Drill 187 is expanding their touring plans. They have played in over 18 different states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. They will be embarking on their first Midwest tour playing March 28th in Barrington, IL at the Penny Road Pub, March 29th at the Encore room on the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus with This Time…, With Dead Hands Rising and Eternal Silence and again on March 30th in Chicago at Oasis 160 with Ditchwater and Skywind. Be sure to check them out at a venue near you or go to www.drill187.com for more info.