Alternative pop band Never Shout Never
(aka Christofer Drew) and his fellow band mates have released more than 100 songs in the relatively short time that they’ve been a band. Drew recently delved into his back catalog and picked out a few fan favorites to rerecord for Recycled Youth
, which comes out on March 3. The album is, as it's put in a press release, “a re-imagining of nine previously released songs but recorded with entirely new styles and instrumentation to make them unique once again.”
It’s the first installment of what Drew, whose wispy, high-pitched voice can silence a noisy crowd of punk rockers, says will be a three-part collection. “We’ve been playing the music for so long and we wanted to do something that was different and fun and kinda quirky,” he explains in a phone interview. “We wanted to get back to our roots a little bit and get back to the folky vibe. We just have so many old songs and we love them all and we still play them live.”
Eric Palmquist (Bad Suns, Night Riots, Wavves, Trash Talk) produced the album, which will be sold as limited edition CD on the band’s Mid Winter's Nights Dream Acoustik Tour, which includes a show at the Grog Shop on March 3. YouTube songstress and former Disney star, Hayley Kioko
along with Drew's Loveway Records artist, Me Like Bees
, will perform as well. Here’s Drew’s take on the album’s nine tracks.
“On the Brightside”
We did the song with a four-piece string quartet. We did that with a string quartet. It’s a new take on it and it was really fun. I just wanted to capture a more mature approach to it. When I wrote that song I was 17 and I’m 24 now. I wanted to make a version that was up to date and up to speed with where I’m at right now.
That one turned out really cool. I’m really excited about that. We just used an acoustic guitar and an organ and we had our buddy Chris come in who did all the background vocals. We sang it with a choir and it was really crazy. It was cool. I grew up in church a lot and I was always in church. I had my teenage years when I had to go and figure things out for myself. The song is about breaking free from religion and trying to find my own path.
“Love is Our Weapon”
That song is like a Beatles approach. It’s like an “All You Need is Love” kind of thing. It started with a poem back in the day when I was 18. I wrote it down and then I put the chords to it and ripped off my friend’s song. He had this melody and I ripped it off. The new version has a new bridge.
“Black Hole (Liar Liar)”
We just rocked it out slower and used a different bass, which was really cool. We used a mini-moog as well. There’s a much different element to it.
I wrote that song a long time ago when I was going through a break up with a girl and I felt like I wasn’t able to cry or show emotion. I pretty much wrote this song for her to show here that I was somebody that has a heart. Its like I’m not a robot. We had a string quartet on the end. It turned out really nice. It got kind of scary in the bridge, which I thought was cool. It got dark, very dark. It’s cool stuff. It’s ¾ so it’s kind of waltz-y.
“Here Goes Nothing”
That was one of the first songs that I wrote for Never Shout Never when I was 16. I ripped off a Killers song. It’s always been a fan favorite. With this version, I was trying to do something new and fresh and I wanted the beat to come from a vintage drum kit. It’s really cool. We used a bunch of synthesizers and lap steel too. We had drum machine samples that were really cool that are analog. I love that classic sound.
We got the dobro going and the harmonica. We were going for a Bob Dylan vibe on that song.
I originally wrote that for a girl I was madly in love with. I was on drugs when I wrote it. Originally, I didn’t have music for it. It was just a poem. We didn’t have the music for it. Eventually, I had the song sitting around in my journal. I got a banjo out and started making some chords to it. I put it on [2011’s] Time Travel, which was an album where we were going for an overproduced psychedelic vibe. I wanted to take it back and make it more folk like Iron and Wine and have a chill, laid back take on it. It turned out perfect.
“Lost At Sea”
With the new version, I wanted something that really had emotion in it. The first one was very rock. I wanted something that was a little heavier and deep. I thought it was a good outro for the album because the strings play a huge role. That might be my favorite song on the album. You can turn it on in your darkest hour and have some kind of hope that maybe there’s a lighthouse shining in the distance and that you’ll get to shore.
Never Shout Never, Hayley Kioko, Me Like Bees, 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, Grog Shop, 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., 216-321-5588. Tickets: $20, grogshop.gs.