Joplin’s Christofer Drew
By Brian Washburn
Being young and an aspiring rock star is one thing. But when you are young (try 17 years old) and you have almost reached that stardom (performing on MTV, having the number one MySpace page), then that’s truly an accomplishment.
Joplin, Mo. native Christofer Drew has managed to do this from his bedroom under the name, Never Shout Never.
“I started [Never Shout Never] when I got a couple of mixing programs on my computer and recorded songs I made up, and eventually it turned into a more serious project,” Drew said.
Never Shout Never combines Drew’s love for acoustic music, such as Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, and mixing it with beats and loops he has recorded from his computer. It’s an almost simplistic sound mixed with today’s pop-anthem lyrics.
However, this almost simplistic project has now brought Drew up to the No. 1 unsigned band on Myspace, a spot playing on MTV’s Total Request Live (a show only the likes of rock stardom has brought on), features in magazines such as Alternative Press and AMP and so forth.
“[All of the publicity] is like I’m just building up my future. It’s awesome to start so young at a career that I want to do,” Drew said. “My main goal is to make a career out of music whether it’s playing or recording.”
With the release of his new EP, YIppee, Drew is skyrocketing even faster than he can imagine. This does not seem to phase him though. Even with label offers pouring in (which Drew has been entertaining), he wants to take the rest of 2008 to “record a few more demos, tour a little bit, write new songs and just seem where everything takes me.”
Drew obviously should not have a problem with this considering his massive fan base not only nationally, but even in his hometown in the Midwest. In most towns, hometown fans turn their backs on musicians and bands who garner this much attention.
Drew grew up as a punk kid, then a metal kid and a hardcore kid, he said. But he has always enjoyed playing acoustic, even though he has had fun with all the different genres, he said.
While this one-man-band might have several different instruments on his records and demos, NSN’s live show is vastly different as of now.
“For a while I was using my laptop and beats in the background [at my shows], but I dislikes that cause I had no control over what was going to happen. It all depended on the electronics,” Drew said. “I’ve simplified it a lot by playing just acoustic guitar or piano. It’s really raw.”
Whether it’s the raw live sound of NSN’s music or the produced, clean sound of his demos, Drew’s reason for playing and coming into the spotlight is neither.
“Pretty much the whole reason I do this is to have a personal relationship with kids and the fans. The music is not the reason, It’s the listeners,” Drew said.
From his basement to the brink of mainstream success, Christofer Drew and his solo act Never Shout Never are one band to be on the look out for in 2009.
Final Thought: To think, this guy and this band originated only an hour away from Northwest Arkansas. This is even closer than Evanescence (Arkansas’s most popular “band”). But whether or not you like the music from a hometown band who is gaining success, or you’re just jealous of them, you have to support your boys. It’s your hometown music scene, have some pride.