Jonathan Pierce and Jacob Graham met at summer camp when they were children and have been best friends ever since. Soon after their initial meeting, they formed a persistent yet unprosperous electro pop band called Goat Explosion and toured extensively in North America during their teenage years. Around 2003, Jonathan and hometown friend (and master woodsman) Adam Kessler formed indie rock group Elkland, which was quickly signed by Columbia Records. In the years immediately following, Elkland garnered attention in clubs and on the indie music scene with their infectious debut single PlayApart. In the meantime, Jacob formed a band called HORSE SHOES (Shelflife Records), specializing in melodically strong and sentimental love songs. Jonathan ultimately decided to take a few years off from writing music after becoming disillusioned with the music business and parted ways with Elkland in 2005.
Jacob and Jonathan had long planned to start a new band together, and having tired of electronic music they agreed to shift the emphasis from synthesizers to guitars without ever having learned to play them. Their first co-written song, aptly named Best Friend was a strong indication of the direction and spirit of the band, and thus The Drums were born in late 2008 amidst an exciting and hopeful political climate.