you please introduce the band?
John plays upright bass
and sings and Christine plays
drums and I play guitar.
How young were you when you
became interested in music, and
what was the origin of this
All three band members
have been interested in music
since they were very young. In
high school we all played in
school music groups. John played
trombone in the jazz ensemble and
concert band, Christine played
flute in the concert band and
orchestra, and I played violin in
the orchestra. I was introduced
to music by my parents. My father
plays classical piano, and my
mother is a fan of 50s rock and
roll and the Rolling Stones. John
became really interested in music
at the age of 7 or 8 while
learning trumpet and piano. John
says, We had a piano in the
house that no one used, so I
started playing. As I focused on
different instruments, I listened
to different kinds of music
featuring the kinds of things I
was playing. Thats when I
discovered jazz, listening to
Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey,
Benny Goodman, all the standards.
And then how did you get into
John always liked Elvis,
The Stray Cats, and Bill Haley
when he was young. They were a
different sound from most stuff
that was played on the radio. In
high school he found out that
there were bands playing that
style of music, and a following
of people that liked it. I was
into Chuck Berry and some other
early rock and roll artists like
Little Richard through her mom
pretty much since birth, and all
three of us were in the punk
scene in our teens and through
that community got introduced to
bands like the Reverend Horton
Heat and classics like Johnny
What did appeal you in that
We like the sheer
enthusiasm of the music and the
excellent musicianship of many
rockabilly artists. Rockabilly is
both interesting musically and
fun. John adds that he always
liked the fact that you could
make good music without having to
be overly-proficient at your
chosen instrument. Its a
lot of fun when you dont
have to concentrate on whether or
not you're the best at what you
Are the Droptops your first band?
John and Christine were
members of DC punk band the
Drednoks, and I was a member of
Connecticut punk band the Snatch
before we got together to start
Tell us more about you please.
When did the Droptops form and
how did you meet together?
All three of us have
been friends for years. Christine
and I met in middle school, and
we became friends with John a few
years later in high school. After
returning to the DC area after
college in 2001, we decided to
get together along with another
friend, Brooks, to put together a
rockabilly band. We played as a
four piece (with John on vocals
and rhythm guitar, Elizabeth on
lead guitar, Christine on bass
guitar, and Brooks on drums) for
a couple of years. In 2003 John
and Christine switched
instruments, Brooks left the
band, and we formed the current
version of the Droptops.
Your first album, on Wild Hare,
is made of 10 originals.
Rockabilly is a very codified
type of music. How much of a
problem is it to "respect"
the genre when you write a song?
I mean did you ever think "Na
that sounds too modern" or
"Hum it's too close to
We do think about
whether our songs sound too much
like other bands songs,
particularly famous songs, when
we write. This can be hard,
especially if youve spent
the day listening to rockabilly!
On more than one occasion I have
written what I thought was a
great song only to realize
afterward that it was exactly
like some song I was listening to
earlier. When we write we dont
worry too much about sticking to
the rockabilly genre.
Most of our stuff is probably
more like 50s rock and roll than
rockabilly anyway. We do probably
try to stay away from writing
material that sounds too modern.
Our main goal in writing songs is
to try to write songs that tap
into our strengths as a band.
Let's talk about your influences...
We are all enamored with
the Sun Records sound. I worship
Chuck Berry as my guitar idol and
my other guitar influences
include the great Chicago blues
artists like Muddy Waters and
Buddy Guy. As a bass player, John
really likes Marshall Lytle of
the Comets for sure because thats
what got him into playing upright
bass. Eddie Cochran, Johnny Cash,
Hank Williams, everything we
listen to influences us somehow.
And what are you listening at
I listen to a lot of
Chicago style blues, jazz from
the 1940s to today, and 50s
rhythm and blues and rock and
roll artists. Christine listens
to a lot of 50s rhythm and blues,
rock and roll, and doo-wop;
anything with a solid beat and
energetic delivery. John listens
to most of his music in the car:
Hank Thompson, Jackie Wilson,
Louis Jordan, The Ramones, Gene
Krupa, Bob Wills, Charlie
Feathers. Thats whats
in his car right now.
What are your projects? Do you
have plans for a second release?
We recently recorded two
songs as part of a tribute to
Buddy Holly. We are waiting to
see if and when they will be
released. We are also working on
material for a second full length
album, and Johns other
band, The Garnet Hearts, are
working on another record as well.
One last word?
We have such a great
time playing this type of music.
Nothing could be more fun than
playing in a rock and roll band!
about the Droptops on myspace and on