“Face-melting,” Allen corrects her. “I think it’s a little misleading, but George was saying he had bumped into a bunch of people in town who said, ‘Oh Tommy and Sarah are so cute, they sing those love songs to each other.’ I’m like, ‘They’re all about dying, they have nothing to do with love!’ ”
“Yeah they’re definitely all about dying,” Cronin concurs.
“And it’s not like I’m singing to Sarah or she’s singing to me,” Allen continues.
In fact, collaboration was one of the band’s biggest challenges. Cronin: “At first it was just a lot of sitting there and getting frustrated and trying to figure out where whose input should be coming from what direction. I’ve never had this sort of collaboration before. I’ve always been very guarded about my songs. I used to be very stubborn about that, and I still am, to some extent, but I’ve learned that if you let someone else you trust have their way with it, it ends up being so much more special than if you just kept it to yourself.”
And the revolving-door membership of the past year has given way to a more stable line-up. Lewis and drummer Michael Hutcherson will be the rhythm section as the band hit the road this fall on several short tours before a big national tour in the spring. The CD-release show out of the way, they did weekend jaunts to places like Chicago, as well as a week opening for the Fiery Furnaces in the Midwest, before playing the Bowery Ballroom in New York for the CMJ Music Marathon. There are other support slots in the works, and the band have a residency at New York’s Mercury Lounge set up for November. (Their next local gig is on this Sunday at the Milky Way.)
And the reactions to the CD? Cronin says, “The criticism and the praise that comes from the Internet has been really weird because some of it has been really harsh, and I’m the kind of person that will focus on the negative and not necessarily see all the positive about it. It doesn’t faze Tommy, but it’s taken me a while.” Allen protests, “No, I’m really sensitive, but you just can’t care what people think.”
Cronin: “You’re good at that; it comes naturally to you.”
“Well,” Allen jokes, “I was beat up a lot as a little kid.”
DRUG RUG | Milky Way, 405 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain | November 4 | 617.524.3740
We mistakenly reported the name of the Apollo Sunshine member who signed Drug Rug to the Black and Greene label. His name is Jeremy Black.