Ready for a Relapse: The Return of D.R.U.G.S.

It’s been over ten years since Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows (D.R.U.G.S.) hit the scene and released their debut, self-titled, full-length album. And just like actual drugs, the band was intense, fast-burning, short-lived fun. So much so that when they disbanded in 2012, while disappointed, fans accepted their demise as the inevitability of a supergroup destined to briefly delight them before vanishing from the spotlight like so many before. Imagine everyone’s surprise when a new song popped up in 2020 under the D.R.U.G.S. name. 

So, is this the same D.R.U.G.S. as before? Let’s back up to 2009. 

D.R.U.G.S. is the post-hardcore brainchild of emo icon Craig Owens, who formed the band after his tumultuous departure as vocalist from Chiodos. Other D.R.U.G.S. members included guitarist/vocalist Matt Good from From First to Last, drummer Aaron Stern from Matchbook Romance, bassist Adam Russell from Story of the Year, and guitarist/vocalist Nick Martin from Underminded. During their three years together, D.R.U.G.S. experienced swift and sustained success, headlining a brief UK tour and the Alternative Press Tour, playing the main stage at the 2011 Vans Warped Tour, hitting Australia to play the Counter Revolution tour, and touring with Asking Alexandria and Hollywood Undead back in the states. But aside from a Live EP and a few B-sides, these tours and their self-titled album (that hit 29 on the Billboard 200) were all fans were to get from this iteration of D.R.U.G.S. While not the first member to leave the band, when Owens left D.R.U.G.S. to return to Chiodos after things didn’t pan out for them with his replacement, the band effectively disbanded and the other members moved on to new projects.

This could have been where the D.R.U.G.S. story ends, but fortunately, some addictions are hard to kick. 

Reuniting with Chiodos was short-lived for Owens, whose second run ended when the band broke up in 2016. After that, Owen’s veered in a new direction, laying low and putting out music under Bea5t and badXchannels here and there when not reconnecting with family or just reconnecting with himself. With a number of cult-status side projects already under his belt, Owens could have tried to resuscitate any one of his past ventures to reemerge in the emo and post-hardcore scene once ready, but it was D.R.U.G.S. that lured him back. 

So, in early 2020, D.R.U.G.S. dropped a new track, “King I Am.” 

When asked by Forbes after its release why revisit D.R.U.G.S. and heavier music again, Owens replied, “Well, D.R.U.G.S. was originally set up as my band post-Chiodos. This was something I had always planned on doing. I just wasn’t ready to do it until now… You know, a lot of the time, I make music for myself to give myself what it is that I need.” And while the instrumentals and vocals on “King I Am” may be more aggressive than anything he’s done as of late, the message in this new material is meant to be motivational and reflect a man that is finally feeling good after many ups and downs in the music business while simultaneously combating his own demons.   

Now in 2021, Owens has taken to social media to post a great photo of him at the mic recording vocals to officially confirm a second D.R.U.G.S. album is on the way—one he says will musically follow in the same vein as “King I Am.” While Owens is currently the only active member of D.R.U.G.S. from the original line-up, he plans to bring more people into the project as it evolves. Whether that will be any of the guys from the last run or a whole new supergroup is yet to be seen. Either way, fans are ready for that next hit of Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows and Owens is more than happy to supply it.