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The War on Drugs (band)

American rock band

The War on Drugs (band)

American rock band
ALL ARTIST INFO IS PULLED FROM PUBLICLY AVAILABLE DATA.
IF YOU REPRESENT THIS ARTIST AND WOULD LIKE TO VERIFY YOUR PAGE OR UPDATE THE INFO, Click Here
Biography

The War on Drugs is an American band formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2005. Known for their distinct blend of Americana, indie rock, psychedelia, and alternative, the band is fronted by Adam Granduciel and features David Heartley on bass, Robbie Bennett on keys, Charlie Hall on drums, John Natchez on saxophone, and Anthony LaMarca on guitar.

instruments played
bass
drums
Guitar
keyboard
Piano
Vocalist
Associated Acts

Kurt Vile, Nightlands, Sharon Van Etten, The Capitol Years

Genres

Indie rock, heartland rock, neo-psychedelia, Americana

Labels

Secretly Canadian, Atlantic

Origin

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Years Active

2005apresent

Quick Facts About The War on Drugs

  • Granduciel founded the band with Kurt Vile, who left the group in 2008 to pursue a solo career. Vile is now best known for his sleeper hit “Pretty Pimpin’.”
  • Adam was born in Dover, Massachusetts, on February 15, 1979, which makes him 42 years old. He went to school at Dickinson college and studied painting and photography before pursuing a career in music.
  • The band formed shortly after Adam Granduciel moved to Philadelphia and started playing music with Kurt Vile. The two started The War on Drugs as a duo and eventually added more members to their lineup. The name, according to Granducial, was inspired by a conversation he had with his friend Julian.
  • Granduciel told Pop Headwound that there was a tossup between “The War on Drugs” and “The Rigatoni Danzas” for the band’s name. “I think we made the right choice,” said Granduciel.

The War on Drugs: The Music

Below are quick descriptions of the band’s four studio albums, concluding with their most recent, A Deeper Understanding.

Wagonwheel Blues: The Debut Album

  • After forming in 2005, the band was signed to Secretly Canadian, with whom they released their debut album, Wagonwheel Blues. The album came out on June 19, 2008, and was produced by band members Adam Granduciel and Kurt Vile, along with Jeff Ziegler.
  • The debut album was met with positive reviews from music outlets, including the notably stingy Pitchfork. Pitchfork’s Stephen M. Deusner gave Wagonwheel Blues a 7.8/10, a remarkably high score for the outlet, who rarely award albums more than a 6/10. Deusner described the record as “[introducing] a solid new Americana band that – although steeped in the usual influences (Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, the Band) – never burdens you with the stigma of roots music or reached-for authenticity.
  • Slave Ambient: A Solid Sophomore Record
  • Slave Ambient, the band’s second album, was their first record after the departure of co-founder Kurt Vile and several other members. The album was produced by Jeff Ziegler, John Congleton, and Adam Granduciel and was released via Secretly Canadian.
  • Slave Ambient’s sound has been described as a combination of indie-folk, neo-psychedelia, shoegaze, and indie rock.
  • Adam Granduciel took the photo featured on the cover of Slave Ambient while he was in Zaragoza, Spain, on tour with The War on Drugs.
  • Slave Ambient received glowing reviews from numerous music outlets, earning an even higher score from Pitchfork (8.3/10) than its predecessor. Michael Hahn of The Guardian gave the album ⅘ stars, describing it as “a wonderful record” and comparing it to the work of Bruce Springsteen.

Lost in the Dream: The Biggest Success Yet

  • Their first album to be solely produced by frontman Adam Granduciel, Lost in the Dream, is one of the band’s most critically acclaimed and commercially successful records to date. The album debuted at No. 26 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, becoming the first War on Drugs record to hit the charts.
  • The cover art for Lost in the Dream is a photo of frontman Adam Granduciel at his house in Philadelphia, where much of the recording for the album took place.
  • The album’s lyrics were inspired by Granduciel’s struggles with feelings of depression and paranoia, feelings that started affecting him shortly after the tour for Slave Ambient ended in 2011.

A Deeper Understanding: A Grammy-Winning Masterpiece

  • Released via Atlantic Records and produced by Adam Granduciel, A Deeper Understanding is the War on Drugs’ fourth studio album. It features the singles “Thinking of a Place,” “Holding On, “Strangest Thing,” “Pain,” and “Up All Night.”
  • The record took home the Grammy for Best Rock Album after its release, the first Grammy win for Adam and the band.
  • By the time of the release of A Deeper Understanding, The War on Drugs had essentially become a solo project for Granduciel, who had already been the primary creative mind of the band for years. However, Granduciel collaborated with scores of well-known musicians on A Deeper Understanding, including Josh Kauffman of Bonny Light Horseman, Lucius, The Dove & The Wolf, Hand Habits, and others.
  • The record received an 8.7/10 score from Pitchfork and ⅘ stars from Rolling Stone, with the former describing the record as “[Granduciel’s] most layered and meticulous album, a twilight world in which you lose yourself.” The album is considered a masterpiece, and it remains a fan favorite.

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