For Christofer Drew, success came quickly. His project Never Shout Never caught on early. It’s been nearly eight years since the 16-year-old burst onto the scene after posting songs on his MySpace page. Since then, he’s released a slew of EPs, a few full-lengths and toured extensively. However, the past 18 months have seen him holed up in the studio working on several albums worth of material. But in the interim, as the band’s success Stateside has waned, Never Shout Never’s profile in Latin America has never been bigger.
Releasing a documentary that traces his time in Brazil, the singer humbly says “It’s just me having fun and it was our first tour in a year and a half so we just wanted to document it. It’s going to be a music video-esque sort of thing and we’re going to do one for Mexico City too.” We caught up with the singer in the middle of rehearsals in his Joplin, MO home ahead of his acoustic club tour in the States, where we talked about his success South of the Border, Recycled Youth and whether or not he’s bitter about his profile shrinking in his native country.
PureVolume: How was Brazil?
Cristofer Drew: It was great. I always love going South of the Border.
PV: What about it is so cool?
CD: The shows are great. Big venues and everyone is really excited, which makes us really excited. Here in America we’re not talked about a lot, so it’s nice to get out of this country where people still like us.
PV: Why do you say that?
CD: Oh, I don’t know. People just think we’re assholes, but I think we’re misunderstood. Most people see us in a way that we’re trying to be cool, but we’re just really simple dudes. We just come off as assholes. That’s been the main thing that’s surfaced about us. I don’t know, it’s not a big deal.
PV: What’s the biggest differences between the fans and shows down there versus the ones up here?
CD: They’re much bigger. We’re going down to Mexico City and we’re playing the Pepsi Arena down there, which is huge. We’re rock stars down there and shit, it’s just hilarious. It’s more exciting and we only get down there once a year. We always have a good time down there and they’re pumped. They’re waiting at the hotel and airport. Everybody down there is into our new records and not many people connect with it up here. It’s refreshing [laughs].
PV: Would you ever considering moving down there?
CD: I don’t know. I definitely would spend some time down there, but I just don’t really know anyone. I would spend a couple of weeks down there for sure. I would love to stay in Rio—I think that city is so beautiful. To sit on the beach in the sun and drink gin and tonics and live the good life for a few weeks.
PV: When you first started out, you probably wouldn’t have guessed that Central and South America would be where your biggest fan base is located.
CD: I had no fucking idea! It’s awesome and a blessing. I wake up every day and am so thankful that I get to do what I want and am happy to be alive. Doing shows like this and being able to travel and having people in other countries listening to your stuff too is a total high.
PV: Why are you doing this acoustic-only tour up here this month?
CD: We just want to do something intimate to start the year and connect on a different level. We’ve been in the studio for a year and a half. It’s time to reconnect with something super chill and super vibe-y where we can see everyone in the crowd. I think it’s the way to go to start the year. We have a big year planned out. I think it’s going to be fun and a good way to break the ice and get back into touring and reconnect with the fan base that’s still hanging around.
PV: So what do you have planned this year that will make this a big one?
CD: We got two records coming out. I promised this last year and it was a big no-no and I don’t know why I did that since they weren’t done. It ended up taking way longer than I thought, which is actually a really good thing and it gave us a lot of time to get everything perfect and sit on it and revisit it. We have this album called Recycled Youth coming out soon. We have another record that’s a little more secretive at this point. It’s a record I did with Dennis Herring, who at this point is a buddy of mine. I recorded it with him for six or seven months, and we’re just finishing up all the mixing and about to get it mastered. We’re just waiting on this girl that’s singing on one of the tracks. We’re trying to get that out late spring. There’s a lot of new music and we’re going to hit the road in the summer and I’m trying to do a big fall headliner around the new material. We’re definitely going to be active more than we have been in a couple of years.
PV: That’s probably pretty exciting and something you’re looking forward to.
CD: I’ve been really antsy to get going again. I feel like I’ve been in a cocoon for the past two years just getting everything together and reconnecting with Warner Bros. trying to do everything right, and I’m just trying to come back after a couple of years of self-produced albums and self-funding. It was very scaled back and relaxed. We were doing everything around here in Missouri. Now we’re just trying to get back out and getting on a bigger scale again. We’re searching for a new adventure.