The one thing you have to admit about singer/guitarist Drake Bell is that his music can’t be pigeonholed. The multi-talented artist has always had a way of showcasing multiple sides of his musical persona. Whether it’s the pop-fueled songs from his days acting on TV’s “Drake & Josh,” to the dynamic, rockabilly-flavor from his 2013 album, Ready, Steady Go!. Or even more recently, like last year’s EP, Honest and his current singles like “Call Me When You’re Lonely” and “First Thing In The Morning.” Bell’s music is ever evolving.
Longtime fans of Drake Bell and his music will be excited to know that the artist is currently embarked on a new U.S. tour (dates are below). A singer-songwriter-formatted style where Bell will crisscross the country with just himself and his guitar. The new tour promises to deliver an intimate look into Bell’s eclectic sound by stripping the music down into its truest form. Combining all the best elements of Bell’s pop, rock and rap into one tasty musical stew, Bell’s set will offer an honest look at the man and his music.
AXS recently spoke with Drake Bell about his new tour, music and more in this exclusive interview.
AXS: What can fans expect from your new tour?
Drake Bell: This is going to be a fun, intimate tour where it’s just me and my guitar getting in touch with fans and seeing the songs broken down into singer-songwriter style. When you do the big shows with a full band it’s not as easy to communicate with the audience or hang out with fans after the show. This is a cool way to get a gauge on what people are digging and to see what songs are working. It’ll be just like being in my living room hanging out.
AXS: What’s your songwriting process like?
DB: It usually starts with a beat or a chord progression or melody. Lyrics are always last for me and they always develop once the melodies are made. As far as what to write about, it’s usually about my experiences in life. Inspiration comes from all over. Songs like “Call Me When You’re Lonely” and “First Thing In The Morning” are explorations into this new sound and are good examples of how eclectic the music is. One day it may be rap, one day it may be pop, one day it may be rock. That’s what's good about being an independent artist.
AXS: Are the singles and videos you’ve been releasing going to be part of the new album?
DB: I’m not sure about a full album but there’s definitely going to be small projects and EPs here and there. Not being on an album frees me up, even more, to not be pigeonholed into a certain sound. I’m interested in artists like Ed Sheeran where one song can sound like a club-hit and the next song sounds like singer-songwriter and the next sounds like a great pop song. They’re not tied down to anything.
AXS: Of all the highlights of your musical career is there anything that stands out as most memorable so far?
DB: Getting to working with Brian Setzer on my album Ready Steady Go! was very cool. Having opportunities where you get to work and hang out with your idols and the people you admire is definitely high up there.
AXS: What are you most looking forward to about this new tour and the next phase of your career?
DB: It’s been a while since I’ve been able to play music and consistently tour. I’m looking forward to getting on the road more. After Ready Steady Go! it took a while before Honest came out. Being an independent artist, I’m now able to put out music and get out the road whenever I want. I’m excited to really start rocking.
Drake Bell Tour Dates:
Sept.13: The Catalyst - Santa Cruz, CA
Sept. 14: Mystic Theatre – Petaluma, CA
Sept.16: Drake Bell at Bull Mansion - Worcester, MA
Sept. 17: Showcase Lounge – South Burlington, VT
Sept. 18: Portland House of Music – Portland, ME
Sept. 19: The Lansdowne Pub – Boston, MA
Sept. 20: Gateway City Arts – Holyoke, MA
Sept. 21: Toad’s Place – New Haven, CT
Sept. 22: iPlay America’s Event Center – Freehold, NJ
Sept. 23: One Center Square – Easton, PA
Sept. 25: MilkBoy Arthouse – College Park, MD
Sept. 26: Jergel’s Rhythm Grille – Warrendale, PA
Sept. 27: The Academy Center of The Arts – Lynchburg, VA
Sept. 28: The Golden Pony – Harrisonburg, VA
Sept. 30: Jammin Java – Vienna, VA
Oct. 3: 1904 Music Hall – Jacksonville, FL
Oct. 4: Vinyl Music Hall – Pensacola, FL
Oct. 5: Hal & Mal’s – Jackson, MS
Oct. 7: Brewsky’s – Hattiesburg, MS
Oct. 8: Bear’s – Shreveport, LA
Oct. 13: Nile Theater – Mesa, AZ
Oct. 14: Flagstaff’s Green Room – Flagstaff, AZ
Oct. 16: Strummer’s – Fresno, CA
Oct. 17: SLO Guild – San Luis Obispo, CA
Oct. 18: 1933 Event Center – Bakersfield
Oct. 19: Rock City Studios – Camarillo, CA