Interview: Never Shout Never
Christofer spoke to ATP for the first time on record about the band's forthcoming new album "Indigo" and what fans can expect from their next release, his side-projects EATMEWHILEIMHOT! and GONZO, future touring plans and much more.
Alter The Press: How has this tour been going so far?
Christofer Drew: It's been awesome, and a little more personal. We're doing an underplay tour, at little venues, and have been able to play a lot of new songs, which is cool.
ATP: Why did you choose do to an intimate tour?
Christofer: It gets me back to my roots. Playing a big club and a small one are two completely different things. At the smaller clubs, you have to be more open, and have to make eye contact with people; you can't be in your own world, rocking out, otherwise people feel so distant. It's good for me to work on that because sometimes I just close my eyes for a lot of the set, but playing these shows makes me open my eyes and connect while I'm singing. It's really fun. I'm definitely going to work on that when we go back to playing the bigger shows.
ATP: When we last spoke, on the European tour, you said the new album is going to be called "Good Times," and that you were going to be recording at your home studio. What is the update with everything?
Christofer: We started the recording for it and realized we wanted to take a different, and bigger, production direction. The album is actually going to be called, "Indigo", like the color, and we are already working on the album art for it. We are also working with a lot of crazy production ideas; we want to do a different song, with a different producer, in a different studio, in a different city. I think it's going to give it a cool feel; every song is different and has its own style. We are going to go from acoustic/folk, to grunge/rock, to more electronic stuff, to old country stuff. It's going to go all over the place, completely in different directions. We are just going to take everything we've learnt so far, and try and put it into a record, and see how it sounds. I just like the effect of doing a different song in a different city; it'll be a different story.
ATP: You've already released the track, "Till The Sun Comes Up". Will this appear on the album?
Christofer: It should be, it's just our scratch demo version. It was just us going into the studio for the day, playing something out to give to the label, and they asked if we wanted to release it as a b-side. I want to redo it in a whole different sense; it has a beat that is almost danceable. I want to bring that vibe in, and make it super odd sounding.
ATP: Have you recorded any other tracks that you might release prior to "Indigo"?
Christofer: It's hard to say, maybe demos. I'm going to demo all the songs out before we record because I've never done that before. If I demo out, it'll give me a better outlook on the songs. I never take a round two on songs; it's always a round one which people hear.
ATP: Is the album already written?
Christofer: It's not completely written out yet, but I have all the songs. It'll probably be at least 12, but I'm going for 15-16. I don't see why not, maybe some remixes by my electronic group.
ATP: You've recently brought back, into the live set, a re-worked version of "On The Brightside". Is this something you could see yourself re-recording?
Christofer: Actually, we're going to re-record "On The Brightside" and "Trouble" for this next record. "Trouble" is so fun, totally seventh chord out. The original is just B major to E major but now, it's all seventh chord. It has a super Beatles vibe, super upbeat. It's just fun.
I wanted to re-work old songs because people ask us all the time and I'm like, "Fuck that. I want to keep moving forward."
ATP: The new material you've already debuted live is a complete 360 to the direction of "Time Travel". You've said already that you're a lot happier, and not in a dark place anymore, but did something happen to you to cause the change?
Christofer: I've just been living healthier, only taking natural things; I eat a raw vegan diet, and also learnt to fall in love with myself, but not in an egotistical way. I think it's all about loving myself, and I think people forget that, and like there's something wrong with that. You need to take care of yourself and someone you love so dearly. That's what I've been doing; it feels great.
ATP: When do you think "Indigo" will be released?
Christofer: By the fall, that's what we're aiming for. We want to have it ready for tour in the fall. That's kind of our thing; we do a big fall tour, and an underplay tour in the spring. In the summer, that's when I record best because I can be practically naked the whole time, not having to be cold and bundled up in a thousand things.
ATP: You've mentioned in a few interviews you already have overseas plans in the works, like a European tour in the summer?
Christofer: Not this summer. I'm taking this summer to do my thing and record the new album. I've been traveling a lot and been going to a lot of festivals as a fan. I've dived into the rave world, DJ'ing parties and things. I've been trying to just have fun. The Never Shout thing is fun but it's not anything I stress about anymore because everything is so fucking chill. We're just in a good spot financially and everything, so I'm just in a really good spot. After the tour in the fall, we're going to be heading to South America in November.
ATP: What's the plan after this tour?
Christofer: We've already demoed out a lot, we've demoed out the song "Unwinding" on this tour. Next, we're going to New York City to demo out "Lust" and maybe "The Look Upon Her Face" or "Bitter Sweet". We're just trying to get all the songs demoed out to shop around to producers. We're trying to shoot for the stars with this record. I think we have a cool little story to show. These demos are better than anything we've ever put out; it's next level shit compared to anything we've done before like "Time Travel," that was just over layered bullshit actually. I don't think any band has captured this originality since the beginning of rock and roll.
ATP: Besides Never Shout Never, do you have any future plans with GONZO or EATMEWHILEIMHOT!?
Christofer: Yes, we're going to do a summer tour with EATMEWHILEIMHOT! It'll probably be a month/3 week run. It'll be fun, it's a three-piece now so I'll be shredding on guitar and screaming at the same time! It's difficult, but fun as hell. My scream has gotten a lot worse, but I like playing guitar more then screaming so it doesn't matter really. Other than that, with GONZO, we're booking raves in our hometown. When I get home there's a lot of piss poor stuff going on, so I like throwing parties in Joplin and have made a lot of friends back home because of this. I go home, throw parties, and hang out with a couple hundred friends at a time.
ATP: With the new songs you've already performed on this tour, played online etc, would you say this a good taste of what is yet to come with the new album?
Christofer: Not at all. Every song is completely different; from metal sounding songs to trance/four on the floor dance music. We're going to take these songs and make them into whatever comes out. It's going to be fucked up, how good it's going to be. I'm not trying to be cocky. In the spirit of rock and roll, we're about to put out a rock and roll record and this going to be a real deal.
ATP: All the new material is a complete step away from what you've done in the past. Have you ever thought that you might be alienating your fans?
Christofer: No. I think it's nothing to do with the music; it has to do with your attitude. I can easily alienate them by acting like a rock star and an asshole but I'm not like that. With my fans, I act chill as fuck and go with the flow. I stay true to myself but know I'm setting an example to someone else. With me being very open about drug use, alternate states, my attitude on life is completely different; it's positive and happy. All I do around the fans is smile, give them hugs, sing, act cutesy and shit with them. They love it, it makes them happy and I think that's what’s going to save me from alienating the fans. It's not about the music; they're going to listen to whatever the fuck I put out, as long as I'm nice to them. That's all I want to be, a sweetheart, and influence people in a positive way. If they give out positive vibes, I pick up on their positive vibes. It's like recycling energy; if you recycle negative energy, you have a negative career.