Once just a solo project of Christofer Drew’s, Never Shout Never is now a full (permanent) band. Released last week, their new album, Time Travel, was both written and produced by the foursome. Featuring big backing instrumentals, electronic elements, and “trippier” vocals than fans may be used to, the eight tracks feature a good deal of ups and downs.
A major high note is “Simplistic Trace-Like Getaway”, a song with a bit of a pop feel and a more immediately approachable sound. With the new release and an extensive fall tour to accompany it, the group has plenty to be excited about. To discuss it all, we caught up with band member Caleb Denison last week to discus all of the new additions to the band itself as well as the new music, music video, and tour.
Q: You have had crazy week – tell us a little bit about it.
A: It’s been insane. We’ve been having rehearsals and a couple days ago we packed everything up and got on a plane, we dropped the video and dropped the album. It’s been exciting doing that stuff; the only thing I’ve had time for was excitement.
Q: Never Shout Never was more of a solo project at first and now it’s a group. How did it all come together?
A: I think the easiest way to explain that would probably be the fact that, I mean Chris [Drew] was obviously doing this and it got to the point where he was touring more and he wanted a band. Through the process of hiring and eliminating, he just found his band.
There have been a few member changes and stuff like that but that’s just kinda necessary to find your core people that have the same motives, the same ideas, just kinda the same vibe even when you play. We all just clicked, and that’s where we’re at. I’ve been with the band – most of us have been with the band for the past 2 ½ - 3 years. We did a lot of recording together on all the albums and helped each other out. I don’t know, we just kind of evolved into it, it wasn’t like an overnight thing. It was just a process, but it was a good process, and we’re all glad to be here. We’re all very, very, very excited.
Q:What was the recording process for putting together Time Travel like?
A: For the most part, Chris had a handful of great songs and he had some electronic stuff that he was messing with and he kinda wanted to use a little bit of modern technology but have the live still with it. Just do something different, that was the main thing. He wanted to find what Time Travel was gonna be.
We went through a few songs, made some demos, and it was good but it just wasn’t there yet for us. Finally one day he came in with this electronic track and said “Hey Caleb, you think you’ve got some ideas for this?” and I said yeah and next thing you know Taylor [MacFee] had some ideas, Hayden [Kaiser] had some ideas and there was this song, and it was called “Time Travel” basically. We all just kinda looked at each other after we put everything on it and after listening to it once all the way through, we looked at each other and we were like that’s what this album needs to be.
And so we didn’t stop, from there we just kept going. Anytime he thought up a song we were like let’s take it to that level, let’s do all this crazy stuff to it and make it our own, and if we listen to it and enjoy it then it’s going on the album. We kept doing that. That’s really how the whole album was born; it’s not necessarily a way in with the idea of “Time Travel” it just kinda clicked and came to it.
Q: Is there one defining song off of the album that talks to the sound in terms of the entirety? Is “Time Travel” that song?
A: Well, yeah. “Time Travel”, I think, being the opening song and being so different from anything we’ve done before, it sets the pace and it sets the tone for the record. There’s a lot of ups and downs throughout the records, it’s not just all that, but it all has that same common thread though. If you want to just talk musically, it’s got big guitars, big drums, and a lot of electronic, cool bass riffs and stuff like that. As far as the songs themselves, they’re all different but they have the same common thread which I think probably is the music.
Q: What was putting together the new music video like?
A: It was an experience. It was a lot of green screen, a lot of crazy stuff. I don’t know, it was different. That was the first time we, as a band, had sat down and made a band music video like that. But I think it’s something we all kinda secretly wanted to do, so when we got there we were pumped and ready for it. We just, we shot it, and I don’t know. Actually, it was really easy. Everybody that was there working with us was real chill. It was a good experience that was a lot of fun. It was hard work – I mean, we played “Time Travel” for 12 hours straight, but that’s just part of it.
Q:The big tour kicks off tonight. Do you have anything special planned?
A: Not really, just go out there and just rock out, have a good time and kick it off right, stay smiley.
Q: Rather than frowny?
A: Well yeah, you don’t wanna look frowny, you gotta look smiley.
Q: It’s true unless you’re a metal band, in which case frowny might be better.
A: Right. Well, if you’re a metal band you could paint your frown on, you can still smile and look like you’re sad.
Q: What else is on tap for you guys for the rest of this year?
A: Right now, I think it’s just to kick this tour’s butt, have a good time and do the tour, go home for the holidays. We’re gonna just tear it up on tour, go home and rest up and get ready for next year.
Never Shout Never will play the NorVa in Norfolk, VA on October 18 and The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD on October 20. Time Travel is in stores and available for download now.