Luke Heiken is the mind behind Drone Not Drones
"Look who made himself a purple shirt!"
Photos courtesy of Luke Heiken
Launched in early 2013, Luke Heiken's Drone Not Drones project group got a massive shout-out during Low's set at Rock the Garden 2013. As part of the band's 27-minute rendition of "Do You Know How to Waltz?" Alan Sparhawk plucked that expression out of obscurity and unleashed it on the masses. It was a defining moment during a big year for the band.
The movement has formed with help from like-minded musicians and fans who want to help war victims around the world. Here is City Pages' brief conversation with Heiken about his goals and the upcoming 28-hour drone concert.
City Pages: How did you settle on the phrase "Drone Not Drones"?
Luke Heiken: I was playing around with an industrial sticker maker a friend gave me a few years ago. Later that night Alan [Sparhawk] tweeted something about drones, so I sent him "Drone Not Drones," which he dug. The other sticker was "There's no place like drone," so I think I made the right choice.
What did it mean to get Low's support during their Rock the Garden performance?
It made all the difference. Before Rock the Garden I had the thought of turning the phrase into something more to raise money for the innocent victims of the war on terror. After Rock the Garden I started getting texts and tweets from friends telling me that Al had dropped that truth bomb on them. That little bit of attention turned it from something I totally should do into something I was doing.
The response I got afterwards was great. I went through my first batch of shirts right away. A lot of people sent words of encouragement, which meant a lot to me. Funny thing is that because people wanted my opinion on it, Rock the Garden ended up being the show I talked about most this year and I wasn't even there.
What are the details for the live drone event people are talking about?
The live drone will be February 7-8 at the Cedar Cultural Center. It will be one 28-hour drone with musicians, including members of Low, rotating in and out to benefit Doctors Without Borders. I hope to have a live webstream of the concert as well.
How many Drone Not Drones T-shirts have you sold so far, and are there any other items coming?
I've sold about a hundred shirts, with orders coming in from all over the world. I also have some nice stickers now. For the show I hope to have a shirt with a new design and maybe some buttons, etc. After the show there is going to be a double LP Drone Not Drones benefit compilation.
More info at dronenotdrones.com.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.