TOO FAST FOR LOVE
Drew Robinson is a rock ’n’ roll vision who walks the streets of New York City. With his retro ‘70s/‘80s vibes, he fronts the super heavy Philadelphia-based band Grave Bathers. He also plays guitar in the NYC band Bad Vacation, which is on the lips of cool downtown rock types. Both bands are on their way to making their mark in the world of rock ‘n’ roll. Drew also dabbles in modeling, which is a given with his svelte frame and good looks. Immediately drawn to his provocative style, we knew we had to feature him on Ponyboy. See him live on stage in one of these super eclectic bands in the East Coast area! Photography Alexander Thompson. Makeup/hair Ashley Jayne Meyers. https://www.instagram.com/gravebathers/?hl=en https://www.instagram.com/badvacationnyc/?hl=en
PONYBOY: Drew, we met you through a mutual model friend. Tell us how you got into modeling.
DREW ROBINSON: It’s all pretty random. I think my first gigs were from meeting people on the street or in bars.
PONYBOY: What are some of the modeling projects that you’ve enjoyed doing?
DREW ROBINSON: Just did a shoot with The Great Frog for their new Ramones collaboration. That should be out soon.
PONYBOY: Where were you raised? What’s your background?
DREW ROBINSON: Grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. Of Scandinavian extraction.
PONYBOY: You’re primarily a musician. How did you get into playing music?
DREW ROBINSON: For some reason, I always wanted to be in bands. Even before I played any instruments, I was making up band names and drawing pictures of guitars and drum sets. My first real bands started in high school.
PONYBOY: Your Instagram profile describes you as a “sober vegan Buddhist rocker”. We love this! Any comment on this statement? Or is it pretty much self-explanatory?
DREW ROBINSON: I’ve got no opinions on what other people do. I actually don’t believe in free will. I think our decisions in life are based on chance, circumstance, and coincidence. That being said, a series of events led me to a cruelty-free, plant-based lifestyle. I also choose to adorn myself with bones and animal skins. In my own style, it’s a meditation on impermanence.
PONYBOY: You’re in two bands – Grave Bathers and Bad Vacation. Tell us about the band Grave Bathers from Philadelphia. How did you guys form? Who are the band members?
DREW ROBINSON: About 3 years ago, I was really burnt out on New York and right around that time Davis M. Shubs said to me, “Why don’t you come live with me in this funeral parlor in Philly.” So I gave away all my possessions and left. I came down on a Saturday, by Tuesday we were having the first Grave Bathers rehearsal. For better or worse, New York is my wife so I always come back.
PONYBOY: Grave Bathers have a really heavy sound and great look. Describe the concept/inspiration behind the band.
DREW ROBINSON: We spent a lot of the first year sifting through pulpy novels like the Jules De Grandin series by Seabury Quinn, Giallo films like Black Sunday, and studying vintage biker culture through the lens of ‘Easy Riders’ magazines.
PONYBOY: The other musical project that you play in is a New York City band called Bad Vacation. How did this project come about?
DREW ROBINSON: About a year and a half ago, in the thick of the pandemic and the #BLM movement I ran into Eddy Mondeley in Washington Square Park. I had met him a couple of times before while he was working at I Need More, the rock ‘n’ roll apparel shop owned by the late Jimmy Webb (RIP). He said he had a new band and they needed a guitarist so I jumped in. They were pretty much the only guys who weren’t afraid to meet up and jam in New York. We called it Bad Vacation.
PONYBOY: Describe Bad Vacation’s sound to readers who have never heard the band. And who are the members of the band?
DREW ROBINSON: Recently, after we stepped off the stage at a gig the bartender said, “You guys are like New York Dolls without polka dots.” I think that’s the best description I’ve heard. Eddy Mondeley sings, Ludwin Lust plays bass, Davie Boombap plays drums, J Spades is on guitar, and I’m on the other guitar.
PONYBOY: Is it hard juggling the two different bands?
DREW ROBINSON: Just gotta stay in the present and take the next action. And have a calendar so you don’t double book yourself.
PONYBOY: In your opinion, what are the differences between the two different rock scenes – Philadelphia vs. New York City. We know New York is a tough crowd!
DREW ROBINSON: Both cities are rad. Philly’s a little rougher around the edges.
PONYBOY: We love your personal rock ’n’ roll style. Where do you get inspiration for your pieces/looks?
DREW ROBINSON: It must be some kind of fetish. I definitely derive a deep gratification from chasing visual aesthetics. I love the color purple. I love combining something tough with something soft. I love old biker culture. Fringe and cowboy boots. Bones dangling.
PONYBOY: What clothing designers/brands do you tend to favor?
DREW ROBINSON: East West Musical Instruments for the holy grail leather pieces. Orange tab levis for the holy grail vintage bells. Schott leather is rad, of course. For newer stuff, Straight to Hell has cool pieces sometimes. For jewelry, The Great Frog is probably the best for the timeless rocker.
PONYBOY: Are there any recording plans for either of your bands in the immediate future?
DREW ROBINSON: Grave Bathers will be releasing our debut double-length LP around the Spring of 2022. We’re also heading to the studio this winter. Bad Vacation will be going into the studio within the next couple of months to record our first full length.
PONYBOY: Are there any tours or shows coming up?
DREW ROBINSON: Grave Bathers is doing weekend runs all this fall, mostly along the East Coast. Bigger plans in 2022. Bad Vacation has been receiving a lot of interest in the UK, would love to make it out there soon.
PONYBOY: What’s on the horizon for you personally?
DREW ROBINSON: I have another musical project with my friend Shannon Minor (think Patti Smith meets Phoebe Bridgers). We’ll be recording her debut album around December as well. I’m also working on my Outlaw Country record. Can’t say when that’ll come to fruition. That one’s on the back burner.
In some of the photos in this series, I’m wearing a leather jacket that I painted. I’m also wearing some dangly earrings that I made. I’m looking forward to altering/ customizing more of my wardrobe as time goes on. Also talking with some folks about future collaborations on that front.