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A Band... In A Van

BY BETH ALLEN

 

Drug Sauna Rocking outTwo grimy tattooed bearded motherfuckers rocking the fuck out on drums and bass from INSIDE a van — back doors open, gullwing door up, smoke billowing out, backlit by groovy orange lighting… it’s Drug Sauna! Recently blowing up the internet with videos from their first live performance in May 2019 at Vantopia 7 in Canada, Drug Sauna has been rapidly racking up fans and pumping out swag. T-shirts, lighters, stickers, logo emblazoned party mirrors, hell, even Drug Sauna rolling papers are at your fingertips in their online store.


But will they be coming to a van run near you? Come on dudes, roll on over to the USA and send that sweaty sonic doom our way!

 

Interview with Cory Martens of Drug Sauna by Beth, June 2019.

 

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So WHO is Drug Sauna and where are you from?
Deano Robertson, bass, vocals and Cory Martens, drumbs. We are from Calgary, AB Canaduh.


Drug Sauna Setting UpBass and drums... why no guitar?
We play in a Chevy shorty, so there ain’t no room for guitar. Maybe one day we’ll get a maxi van and employ a horn section.


How long has Drug Sauna been around?
Not long. We’re members of Vandits VC who put Vantopia (3 days of vans, bands and beers in Equity, AB) together. We decided we were gonna play Vantopia MONTHS before we even jammed for the first time. Vantopia 7 was our first show.

 

So you've only played a couple times so far?

Yeah we’re working on a couple more show ideas. We played in the alley behind Pinbar yesterday, and the fire department was called cuz the smoke went in the through the fresh air intake of the bar and set it off the fire alarm. Three fire trucks and a $500 fine! Hahahahaha!

 

Ha, that's nuts! Who’s idea was Drug Sauna?
quote oneMe and Josh Gwilliam (local recording engineer at the renowned OCL Studios) talked about it at Vantopia 1. Josh loves to record in weird and unique spaces/surroundings, so naturally we started talking about recording a band IN a van. Fast forward 6 years... Deano and I were talking (read: getting wasted at one of our club campouts), and I said “let’s play Vantopia this year... Drug Sauna! But we gotta play IN the van and fill it with smoke and lights!” The rest as they say, is... pretty fuzzy actually. Next thing we knew, Vantopia was a week away and we hadn’t even jammed yet! So we locked ourselves in my basement for an hour and wrote a song and learned a Nazareth cover.

 

What does the name Drug Sauna mean?
Every van is a Drug Sauna!

 

Drug Sauna Setting Up

 

Tell us about the Drug Sauna van... make, model... does it have a name?
The van is our club brother Haugy’s 1979 Chevy VANdura shorty. He calls it the Dabbin’ Cabin. Me and Deano also have shortys, but they’ve both got full interiors. Haugy’s interior isn’t quite set in stone yet, so it’s pretty easy to pull the bench out and rock the fuck out in.

 

Why does your merch/logo have a FORD van on it if you are rockin’ out a Chevy?

Well the original idea was to do it in my mid Ford, but it didn’t get here from California in time. So the Dabbin’ Cabin was plan B.

 

What are the ingredients of a good Drug Sauna set?
Smoke. Lights. Druuuuuuuuuuugs.

 

quote twoHow long do you play for... and does it feel like a sauna in there?
We’ve got a 20 minute set. No one needs to watch ANY band for more than that. We keep the back door open to let the air flow. Plus it’s great feng shui.

 

Do you think of yourselves as a band or an experience?
Oh Drug Sauna is an experience. Any ‘band’ can stand on a stage and play two notes.

 

Do you only play shows from inside your van?
Yes. No exceptions. So I guess we’re a seasonal band.

 

Party MirrorHow would you describe Drug Sauna's music?
Heavy. Loud. Fuzzy.

 

What are your songs – I guess I should say one song so far, ha ha, about?
Gettin high, and rollin’. We’re writing some new stuff. We’re booked to record mid July. Not sure what format we’re releasing it on yet. Probably vinyl.

 

Right on, vinyl rules! What are your musical influences?
Sleep, Sons of Otis, Melvins.

 

When is the USA tour?
Ha! Would be pretty easy to do, right? All we need is an extension cord. The plan is to not book any “shows”. Just pop up places on unsuspecting people.

 

Tell us about your swag...shirts, stickers, etc.
Yea we’ve got the merch train rollin’! Everything from T-shirts and stickers, to rolling papers and party mirrors! Here’s where you can get some! twinbatstickerco.bigcartel.com

 

So you’re Canadian vanners?
Arlen and I started Vandits 8 years ago. We both had boogie vans and both knew other bros that had vans, so we thought we should all hang out. Brotherhood is most important. We don’t give a shit if your van has port windows or not, you gotta be able to hang first and foremost. Now we’ve got 15 tight dudes. We look out for each other... no questions asked. We like where we’re at. We don’t except randoms just cuz they have a van. We’re a closed club.

 

T-Shirt logoWhat’s the Canadian van scene like?
My favorite review of Vantopia from a Yankee was “Canadians run ’em dirty!” Hahahaha. We’re pretty good at partying hard. Maybe it’s cuz our vanning season is only 5 months long? Other than us, there’s quite a few other Canadian vanners that are keepin it real... Jackson Vanshagger from the left coast is a notable one. 

 

Ass, Gas or Grass?
Deano would say Grass. I’d say Ass.

 

Anything else you'd like to share with DON’T COME KNOCKIN’?
Thanks for doin this! Keep your eyes peeled for a black van with smoke billowing out of it, it might be Drug Suana pulling up to rock you! LET’S GET WEIRD! #getinthefuckingdrugsauna
IG: drug_sauna
FB: DRUG SAUNA

 

PICTURED ABOVE: The dudes of Drug Sauna rocking out, the dudes of Drug Sauna setting up to rock out, the Drug Sauna van windshield, swagalicious Drug Sauna party mirror and T-Shirt logo.


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