by Jeff Niesel
A Cleveland native, drummer Drew Schultz has nothing but positive things to say about the Shaker Heights public schools he attended before graduating and going on to study jazz performance for drummers at NYU. “Shaker Heights public schools have one of the best music programs I’ve ever seen,” says Schultz, who has spent the last couple of years drumming for the Motown group the Four Tops. “My parents are both musicians,” he says, adding that his mother is in the No Name Band, a group of lawyers and judges that rehearsed in his basement. “I was always messing around with her drum kit and started lessons in third grade.”
Schultz says he was always into funk and R&B so when the Four Tops came to New York while he was at NYU, he met the band and then started playing with them after their conductor George Rountree asked him to play hand-percussion with the group. When the Four Tops’ drummer retired, Rountree pushed him into becoming their full-time drummer in 2009 and Schultz then moved to Detroit. While the Four Tops just play their hits, Schultz started to write songs of his own and now is about to release his debut, Back to Class. For the album, Schultz recruited a slew of guests including Spyder Turner, who sang on the 1967 hit version of “Stand by Me,” and funk Brother Dennis Coffey. He’s planning to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Detroit public schools music programs. “Detroit is in a bad situation and the arts programs are getting cut. I want to do something good for the schools. It’s a self-serving but also charitable project.” The album is due out Sept. 1 and will be available at all the regular digital outlets. Find more info at dsdrums.com.