There’s a progressive alt/country band I just found out about, Cold Engines, and it’s made up of David Drouin (guitarist/vocalist), Aaron Zaroulis (drummer/vocalist), Amelia Gormley (bassist/vocalist) and Geoff Pilkington (drummer/percussionist). If those first two names seem familiar, Drouin and Zaroulis were in The Brew, one of my favorite groups (especially their trilogy of albums “A Garden in the Snow,” “Light From Below” and “Hard Enough To Break”). An interview was arranged that found Drouin calling from Newburyport, Mass., where the band had just finished a rehearsal, to chat about his new group, their album “Day Drinker”, and their upcoming show at Mainely Brews on Friday, April 24.

Q: To begin with, is “Day Drinker” your new band’s first album?

Drouin: It is, yeah. We launched the band in September of 2014 and our new record, called “Take Me With You,” (came out) on March 27.

Q: I take it that The Brew is no more?

Drouin: Yeah, yeah — The Brew is no more. Me and the drummer, who is like my best friend, we had to walk away at a certain point. It seemed impossible to get another band put together, write four years’ worth of songs in six months — and have them not suck — so we could do whole shows by ourselves. Well, it seemed like a monumental challenge but we’ve done it. Wwe rehearse two days every week, we play two to four shows every week and we write all the time. We have vocal practice and we just push so hard.

Q: Well, the quality of the 10 songs on this album prove that your efforts were not in vain, that’s for sure. Oh, and another observation: I really think having a female voice in the mix takes your sound in a new direction.

Drouin: I have five sisters and I also have a wife and a daughter and the female energy is something I’ve always had around. Ever since I can remember there’s just been lots of girls around — I always feel that I’m at my creative best when that female energy is present. And it just so happens to be a cool sound, too. To have like a naturally high voice like that singing the high parts rather than a man using falsetto to make those harmonies happen — having a girl belting them out. I’ve been friends with Amelia for years and I always wanted to be in a band with her and she’s the best bass player I know — a Berklee graduate — a dominant singer, dominant bass player and like super cool besides.

Q: Well, it’s a winning mix, and to think you’ve only been together for six or seven months, the tightness of your sound belies that short period of time, amazing.

Drouin: Thanks a lot, Lucky.

Q: Now about your upcoming show at Mainely Brews. Has Cold Engines played up in Maine a lot in the past few months?

Drouin: We’ve played at One Longfellow Square twice now. In fact, our very first show ever was there in Portland, and we’ve played once at Mainely Brews, too, and — as you know — we’re scheduled to go back there at the end of April.

Q: And as The Brew, you were quite active in Maine, as well, and Waterville in particular, correct?

Drouin: Right. Erik Thomas — who books shows up there — is an old friend of mine and has gotten gigs for us at festivals up there. We, as The Brew, even did a New Year’s Eve show at the Waterville Opera House, as well. I’ve been doing shows up there ever since 2004. I love it up there. Maine has always been like a home away from home to me.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass along to the folks reading this article?

Drouin: Umm, I think we covered most of the stuff but the new album (came out) March 27 and is available on www.coldengines.com and on iTunes, Amazon and streaming at Spotify. I feel like this new album is really homed in on our sound — and started pushing barriers of that sound — and that’s not to diminish “Day Drinker” because I think that was like the most honest record I’ve ever made in my life, but sonically this new record is really going to be something to check out. So if anyone’s into what I’m doing now of dug what I did in The Brew should definitely check out the new record and take me with you. I’m available.

Lucky Clark has spent more than 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.


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