Self Sufficient is a progressive pop three piece that incorporates new wave gloom and haunting upbeat sounds that once heard made me an instant fan. Influenced by post punk bands of the late 70’s and early 80’s (one of my favourite eras of music) this Vancouver band is starting to make a name for themselves in the local scene. I recently caught up with drummer Robin Borawski to talk drums, his influences and the history of Self Sufficient.
CG: Robin you play drums for the group Self Sufficient, has drums always been your instrument of choice? How old were you when you started playing?
RB: I do play drums for Self Sufficient. I also play guitar and bass in some songs as well. At the moment it makes more sense if I play drums for live shows. I actually don’t have an instrument of choice. I started playing drums for fun when I was 19 years old. I think drumming came natural for me. My first conscious memory of tapping my hands and feet was in elementary school in grade four. A kid told me that he really liked the way I tapped and made beats in time so well, and I remember looking at him confused. I guess I would always tap on things with my hands and feet and didn’t really realize it.
CG: Who are some of your early influences that has helped shape the music you love and play today?
RB: My main early and current music influences are mostly post punk bands like Joy Division, New Order, The Cure, Killing Joke, and Siekiera. I also have a soft spot for some cheesy 80’s hits. Some of my other influences are UK 82 and early Oi bands. You can hear that in my other project called Paranoi. Once in a while I also like to listen to Hardcore Gabber and Old School EBM.
CG: When did Self Sufficient form? What is the back story with the band?
RB: Self Sufficient formed back in late 2009. Ryan created the band, and soon after met Thelonious. They both went through a lot of different members until I joined in late 2013. It’s been tough for them because they put so much time and effort into so many people. Since I joined the band it has been a breeze in comparison. Our chemistry clicks and the music writes itself.
CG: What are your thoughts about the Vancouver music scene?
RB: I don’t follow the Vancouver music scene too much because I don’t like a whole lot of it. There are a few bands from Vancouver that I do enjoy seeing. For the past couple of years I have enjoyed Bishops Green, Spectres, and Girlfriends and Boyfriends.
CG: Any local bands that you have had the opportunity to share the stage with that your into?
RB: In all honesty Self Sufficient hasn’t played too many shows. The bands we have shared the stage with haven’t caught my attention. We plan on starting to play a lot more shows near the end of this year.
We’ve been mainly focusing on recording in Ryan’s studio called Self Sufficient Studios and filming music videos. So far we have recorded 30+ songs. It’s a 3 part album entitled A Genuine Soul. Thelonious is almost done mixing and mastering all of part 1 of the album, and we will be releasing it soon. It has been a long heavy process for all of us, but I think it was well worth the energy.
I played drums in another band a few years ago and we got to share the stage with Modern English. The original drummer of the band influenced me into picking up drums, so it was a really important show for me.
CG: Who are your 3 favorite drummers and why?
RB: My favourite top 3 drummers would have to be…
Stephen Morris – Joy Division/New Order
Big Paul Ferguson – Killing Joke
Alan Myers – Devo
They are all amazing to watch and listen to. They are super creative in the way they drum and I have been heavily influenced by them.
CG: What can people expect to see and hear when they go to a Self Sufficient show?
RB: That is a good question. I think that they can expect something new and interesting. I don’t think there are any bands like us in Vancouver.
I hope to influence people.
CG: Bonus question!!! Favourite drummer joke. If you have one.
RB: I don’t have any drummer jokes, but I do see a lot in Vancouver.