Songs to Live By: Druids’ Keith Rich

Iowan stoner-metal trio Druids evoke everything from the sludgy prog of Mastodon to the bong-hitting riffery of Sleep to the classic gallop of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal on their recently released new album, Monument, which is available now via Bandcamp. We caught up with drummer Keith Rich to find out what music he turns to for every mood, as well as what songs he wishes he wrote, wants to be remembered for, and would like played at his funeral. Find out his picks below.

WHEN I’M PISSED OFF:
KID DYNAMITE – “THREE’S A PARTY”

This song is just straight-up fast, perfect lyrics for the mood and would totally vibe with me being pissed off. I don’t get mad often, but when I do, it feels like the spiraling craziness of this song.

WHEN I’M FEELING DEPRESSED:
ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK – “OF ALL THE THINGS WE’VE MADE”

OMD has made some really cool experimental music, reminiscent of Kraftwerk, but they’ve also made some real moody pieces that hit hard. I remember hearing this song for the first time and it felt like a sucker punch to the gut. Very few songs have had this effect on me, and when I’m needing it, this is a depression comfort blanket. I don’t put it on all that much to ensure it stays special.

WHEN I GET UP IN THE MORNING:
OASIS – “SUPERSONIC”

I kind of feel like in the States, Oasis is criminally underrated. They wrote some really surprisingly commanding pop songs that had some verve to them. “Supersonic” just feels like a badass tune and it kind of sets my mentality for the day, like, “Hey, you’re going to kick today in the buttcheeks and show everybody what’s up …” Which is essentially the opposite of how I operate, but in my head, I’m winning.

WHEN I GO TO BED:
RADIOHEAD – “KID A”

Nothing beats the digital warmth of this song for me at bedtime. Lights are off, headphones on and eyes closed. I feel transported to a land that doesn’t exist outside my brain and it’s beautiful. Radiohead’s my favorite band of all-time, so really any of their songs are interchangeable. “Kid A” is thick on atmosphere and warm tones in an icy sounding fantasy world.

WHEN I’M HUNGOVER:
BRIAN ENO – “THIS”

Because why the hell would I want to have additional pounding and banging going on when my brain is doing a good job of that to begin with?

SONG I MOST WANT TO BE REMEMBERED FOR:
“MIRRORS OF TRIGON”

I feel like it perfectly encompasses what we as Druids are about. It has all the psych, heavy and experimental flairs that we like to explore and it’s just a heavy ripper. Super proud of that one and would love it if it was part of my legacy.

SONG I WISH I WROTE:
METALLICA – “FADE TO BLACK”

We were listening to Ride the Lightning the other day in the van and I was just kind of remarking how it’s probably my favorite Metallica record — it was the first one that I got hooked on. When you listen to so much music, you kind of bypass your classics and forget how many great songs are on them … this was one of those experiences. I totally forgot how damn perfect “Fade” is. It’s got diversity in the riffage, the guitar playing is impeccable and you could feel the whispers of Master of Puppets creeping in the songwriting. Unanimously, as a band, we also agreed that the ending riff is easily one of the best parts of any Metallica song. So. Damn. Good. Kids: Do your homework and pick Ride up if you haven’t heard it. Metallica rips.

SONG I WANT PLAYED AT MY FUNERAL:
DURAN DURAN – “ORDINARY WORLD”

OK, OK, I get it: I’ve already picked a New Wave band for a category, but guess what? I’m dead so you have to honor my wishes. The last couple of years, I specifically have gotten really into the Wedding Album by Duran Duran — just one of those “listened to it at the right time, right place” things — and I forgot what a beautiful and sad song “Ordinary World” is. The best part? It’s an optimistic tune. I think it would provide the comfort to my family and friends to know that, yeah, life is hard sometimes, but it’s always going to be OK, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now.