With six EPs and two albums under his belt, over 2.5 million Facebook fans, nearly 50 million MySpace profile views and over 157 million song plays, it’s clear that Drew has achieved breakthrough success since his first upload. However, the talented guitarist experienced some dark moments following the release of his Butch Vig-produced album, Harmony, becoming “a little bitter towards the music industry” and left shaken by the breakup from his girlfriend of almost two years. But, through his search for a higher consciousness, he found a path of enlightenment that led to a whole new outlook on music and life.
In an almost therapeutic way, Drew has woven his experiences into Time Travel, the first album recorded and produced by Never Shout Never, which now includes Drew, Caleb Denison (guitar/drums/percussion), Taylor MacFee (bass) and Hayden Kaiser (guitar, percussion). The band members, who each contributed backing vocals on the full-length, holed up in Springfield, MO, just one hour outside of their hometown of Joplin, and dedicated themselves to making Never Shout Never’s most impressive album to date.
“It’s kind of been a long time coming,” Drew says. “I’ve always wanted Never Shout to be a band, but I’ve always had other people telling me that it’s my thing and I need to keep taking pictures by myself and stuff. But I’m at a point now where I found my core group of guys, and I would much rather go in with this new fresh outlook and as a group instead of focusing all on me. It’s going to be awesome having personalities in the group, because we’re all such different people, but at the same time, we all stand for and represent the same thing.”
Time Travel embodies a lush sound with fuller instrumentation, and, as Drew explains, the songs have a more experimental quality. “I wanted to make this album more of a little concept,” he says. “I just wanted it to be different than anything that we’ve done; I wanted it to be a little more trippy. I’ve always thought that it would be awesome to travel through time. I watch a lot of the History channel.””
Part of the album’s “trippy” nature comes from Drew’s newfound affinity for dance and meditation music. “For a while, I was kind of getting pretentious about the whole music thing,” he laments. “I was only listening to Dylan and like pre-‘70s kind of stuff, and I thought anything else was kind of bullshit, but I got my eyes opened up. I went on a trip out to California for a month and got super into the rave scene, and understood that there’s more to life than pretending to be Bob Dylan. I learned a lot about myself.”.
Although many changes are happening in Drew’s life, fans will undoubtedly follow their fearless leader in whichever direction he takes. Since the age of 16, audiences have watched him grow from a one-man show to a far-reaching phenomenon. To what does the tattooed rocker attribute his success? Simply being himself. “I’ve just been really genuine with everyone,” he explains. “Even when I was at my darkest places, I still tried to be super genuine. I think people appreciate that it’s been about real music and true expression.”
This LP, or “rebirth album,” as Drew likes to call it, kicks off with the epic title track, which was most inspired by Drew’s new-age influences. “Silver Ecstasy” was written by Denison, and is the first song on a Never Shout Never album that was not penned by Drew. “Getaway,” he says, is about “diving into a daydream with her and leaving it all behind for a little bit,” and was inspired by the stresses and drama of Drew’s breakup. “Robots” also focuses on a girl, but in this song, Drew is numb to her. “It’s just about being emotionless,” he says.
“Lost at Sea” is the album closer, which Drew wrote when he was having a “mental breakdown.” He explains, “I was home alone; no one was around. I didn’t know what else to do, so I grabbed my guitar and wrote this song. Whenever I say ‘lost at sea,’ it’s a metaphor for when I lose my mind. Like, if I lose my mind and never come back the same tell everyone that I’ll miss them, but I had to go. Pretty depressing, but at the same time a pretty cool tune.”
Since his last record, Drew has matured and been able to tap into a self-awareness that has ultimately helped him deal with his inner conflicts. “I’ve had this weird thing where I’ve almost dreaded success because I felt undeserving deep in my subconscious, but now I’m to this point where I’m accepting success and prepared for it, and I don’t think I’ve felt that before,” he reveals. “And whatever happens, happens. I just want to be genuine and stand for a normal dude in the industry and not let it get to me.”
As for the future, Never Should Never simply want to continue making records, playing live shows, experimenting with sound and “hopefully let people know that we’re here to have fun with music, not just to make money.” Drew adds, “We want to go at it like the same way that Queen did – just awesome experimental records, but making some great hits at the same time. We don’t want to have any limits.”
Christofer Drew and Never Shout Never continue to help raise money for their hometown of Joplin, MO which was devastated by tornados in late May. Christofer put together a campaign with the United Way in hopes to raise $1 million for Joplin. Text “JOMO” to 50555 to donate $10 to the immediate and long-term relief of Joplin, MO and watch the video of the destruction Chris put together himself, which also contains a clip of “Time Travel.”
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