Interview with Drew

Today Glasswerk talks to Drew, an exciting young talent from the Isle of Wight who is signed to Virgin, and is on the verge of releasing his debut album, Songs from the Devil's Chimney. Despite being an Arsenal supporter Drew is a top bloke and openly talks about life on the Isle of Wight and his career to date…

What are you up to at the moment?
On Wednesday were going to Germany to support Belle and Sebastian. Hamburg, Munich, Cologne and Berlin – 4 dates in all. We’re going to be playing to 100 people and we have never done anything like that. Then the week after that we’re in Birmingham supporting The Webb Brothers at the Songwriters Festival.

What is your sound and influences
Very sixties music, which comes across.. I love The Beatles, and The Byrds and Dusty Springfield… I love all those bands with harmonies. When we recorded the album with Paul Butler (The Bees) we used a lot of old equipment and those influences have definitely come through

I can imagine you two were very much on the same wavelength…
Definitely, I’ve known Paul for years. We were mates on the Island. When I first started playing guitar he taught me loads of stuff and we loved that sixties sound together. A lot of the album was made up on the spot – the harmonies were done on the day.

Growing up on the Island, did that hinder your growth as a musician?
I didn’t pick up a guitar until I was 18… I’ve always been into kusic and there is a kind of a scene on the Island. I have so many friends who are doing their own music. It’s such an inspiring place, everyone’s into playing guitar. I couldn’t have written those songs anywhere else. It’s beautiful.

Many tracks on the album like Don’t Be Denied, you wrote very quickly. Was the recording process similar to that?
Yes, the thing is the album took so long to come out. We recorded all the tracks in about 5 or 6 hours, a very quick process. But The Bees were busy so we had to fit it around their schedule, and there was no rush with Virgin, so we finished it last August.

Are there any singles coming off the album?
There was meant to be one in March. Nothing Left to Lose was going to be a single but now they are bringing the album out and seeing what the reaction is. It’s been really good so far, great write-ups.

What do you expect from the album.
It’s all new to me this but the reaction to my album has been great. Q gave it 4 out of 5 and other magazines have made it album of the week. Its amazing, if I had dream’t it I would have wanted it to go this way! I can’t complain at all.

You referred to it as your album , and I guess it is yours, but how do the band react to being called Drew?
I’m like 26 and the band are all like 19 or 20 and they knew that from the start. When I signed the deal I didn’t have a band. We have only been a full band for 6 months. But they add their own bits. They know that the second album won’t be written with Paul – it will be written with the band. We already have written 5 songs!

Being close mates with the band, how does that work?
It’s fine. we’ve known each other for years. There’s no conflict at all, We enjoy each others company!

Just you wait till you go on tour!
Ha ha! They’re just nippers! But they love it and they love going on tour. They get really excited!

What advice do you have for young Glasswerk bands?
Just keeping plugging away and keep writing great songs, above all else. I didn’t think my music would get signed but I got signed on two songs… it can happen. I wrote 2 songs with Paul in the shed and Virgin signed me on those 2 songs!

And finally, what are your plans for next twelve months?
The second album is the priority and hopefully a full British tour where we will be headlining, but we’ll have to see how the album goes down.

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