I had the opportunity to interview Drake Bell, on behalf of WDUB, ahead of the release of his new album tomorrow. During the course of the e-mail interview, I asked him about his new album, his time on Nickelodeon, and other aspects of his career.
Alex Kaufman: How excited are you about the release “Ready, Steady, Go!” tomorrow?
Drake Bell: Very excited!
AK: From listening to the album, it seems like you’re going with a throwback vibe, and even some rockabilly aspects. Who or what influenced you on the album?
DB: My influences include Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, Brian Setzer, Little Richard, etc.
AK: “Ready, Steady, Go!” is your first album release on Surfdog records. What made you pick Surfdog as opposed to other record companies?
DB: Surfdog believed in what I was doing and they let me have complete creative control. Brian Setzer, my guitar hero, was part of the family. And It felt like it was the perfect fit.
AK: You rerecorded “Makes Me Happy,” a song that first became famous in Drake & Josh: Really Big Shrimp. What was the reasoning behind the new version?
DB: I have always loved the song and it has been a fan favorite. I thought it blended well with the style of music of my new album.
AK: The first single off of the album is entitled “Bitchcraft.” What inspired the song? It’s very catchy.
DB: The sound of the song was inspired by the swing era rhythms. The lyrics came from just dealing with different relationships and people.
AK: Shifting the focus away from your music career and onto your acting career, how tough has it been for you to break out of the “child star” mold even though people still watch Drake & Josh reruns both online and on Nick?
DB: Honestly, it hasn’t been hard at all. I haven’t even noticed it!
AK: Is there any chance of a Drake & Josh reunion or was Really Big Shrimp that reunion?
DB: I am always 100% open! There is no time and place I would ever be in my life that I could say no to a reunion.
AK: More recently on Nick, you were in the movie musical Rags and you play Timmy Turner in the live action Fairly Odd Parents movies. How have these roles been different compared to those of Drake & Josh and The Amanda Show?
DB: Drake Parker is basically an exaggerated version of myself! It felt more like I was playing a character with the two other roles.
AK: Of the numerous characters you have played over the years, who have you had the most fun portraying and why?
DB: Drake Parker. Cause I got to kiss a lot of girls haha
AK: Shifting back to music, what bands and songs have you been listening to more recently and have any of them inspired some of the music on your new album?
DB: Out of the contemporary artists, I like Rufus Wainwright, The Lumineers and Sondre Lerche.
AK: One song on “Ready, Steady, Go!” is a cover of Billy Joel’s “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me.” What about the song made you want to cover it and how have you been able to transform it and make it your own?
DB: This song encompasses everything I wanted to say on this album. Nowadays, the radio plays all the generic stuff that sound the same. I felt the need to bring it back to old Rock and Roll music. “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” was one of my favorite songs growing up. So we took it a little bit more rockabilly, while still keeping it every very true to the original version.
AK: Last question. If anyone wants to follow your career happenings on social media, where can they do that?
AK: Thank you so much for your time and best of luck on your upcoming release of “Ready, Steady, Go!”