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A Songwriter's Album 

Join DRIFT for a release party for its reflective and powerful album, "The Innocents"

In April, Bend-based band DRIFT released its debut album, the 12-track acoustic rock collection titled "The Innocents." DRIFT features the talents of Mark Quon, Terrence Neal, John Allen, Matthew Fletcher and Linda Quon. Now the band is ready to throw a rocking release party this Friday at the Volcanic Theatre Pub.

click to enlarge Mark Quon says DRIFT is feeling both excited and anxious for the release show. - COURTESY OF DRIFT
  • Courtesy of DRIFT
  • Mark Quon says DRIFT is feeling both excited and anxious for the release show.

Mark Quon has a long history of playing tunes and creating music in Central Oregon, having done so since 2005. You'll know him for his work with The Quons, the folk-duo with his wife and musical collaborator Linda; folky four-piece Parlour; and the David Bowie tribute band Aladinsane, which plays its last show July 6 at Worthy Brewing. The five-piece's debut is packed with vivid imagery and a calming sound that will pull listeners in.

"We've been together, probably about three years now. This is our first album recorded. The band has kind of grown. It started out as a trio, and that was myself, Terrence Neal and John Allen. Then we added my wife Linda, and Matthew, the drummer; he is our most recent addition," says Quon.

Something I noticed immediately about "The Innocents" was its storytelling, which is something Quon emphasized he wants people to focus on. Throughout the 12 songs there is inspiration from all points of Quon's life: his friends, and even the world around us.

"My Life" was inspired by Quon's dad, with the unease and dissatisfaction of letting go at the end of one's life. "Road I'm Runnin'" pulls from his brother's struggles, and is a song that can be important to anyone going down a tough road. Then there are songs from his own dreams, and sometimes, other people's as well.

"I pull a lot of inspiration out of dreams. I'm kind of a heavy dreamer and a dark dreamer. When I tell people about my dreams they're like, 'What the hell?!'" shares Quon. "'Into another Dream' is actually about not my dream, but my wife's. I could hear her lying next to me, and you can tell when someone is having a bad dream, ya know? I reached over and tried to shake her out of it. That song is about someone else's experience and wondering what they're dreaming about."

The title track of the album is one in particular that stood out to me on first listen. Opening with the chattering of birds and the natural world, the song ponders and attempts to look ahead to what the Earth may be like without humans living on it. Thanks to Marvin Gaye and what Quon calls his pessimistic attitude, the song makes for a beautiful, sad and powerful opener. It also happens to be one of Quon's favorites.

"That song came about—my wife and I were painting the living room and Marvin Gaye's 'Mercy Mercy Me' came on, and I remembered that song from when I was a teenager. I had forgot about it. And I was groovin' to it and I realized how he was singing about the environment and the trashing of the Earth and that sort of inspired me to write a follow-up. I'm such a self-proclaimed pessimist that I know we're never going to figure it out," he says.

Quon warns that this album is not the one to go to if you're looking for a feel-good, pick-me-up kind of soundtrack. If you're looking to get moody and reflect on some things about life, then DRIFT is the way to go. As a band in general, these five are making music many don't hear around Central Oregon too often.

"I do feel that our music is different from a lot of the music going on in Central Oregon. There are a lot of jam-type bands, or bluegrass bands, and this band is none of those. It's more reflective music and storytelling. It's like singer/songwriter put to more of a rock feel. It's definitely not a dancy type of music," laughs Quon.

Those interested in the release party can get tickets online at bendticket.com. There will be a small supply of physical CDs available, and "The Innocents" is also available on Bandcamp, Apple Music and Spotify.


"The Innocents" Album Release
Fri., June 10, 8pm
Volcanic Theatre Pub
70 SW Century Dr., Bend
$10 online at bendticket.com

About The Author

Isaac Biehl

Isaac is living proof that "Iowa Nice" is actually a thing. A journalism graduate from Iowa State University, he regularly writes about music, the outdoors and the arts/culture scene. Isaac loves the Trail Blazers, backpacking and a good IPA. He plans to one day win Survivor. Your move, Jeff Probst...
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