Drake Bell certainly wasn’t made for these times. The actor/musician best known for his work as teenage rocker Drake Parker on the Nickelodeon TV show Drake & Josh actually grew up listening to the likes of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, the Beatles and Stray Cats.
Bell's new album, Ready Steady Go! pays homage to those roots with a tastefully inspired collection of classic rockabilly favorites as well as Bell’s original songs “Makes Me Happy,” “Give Me A Little More Time” and the insanely catchy “Bitchcraft”.
Bell also continues to prove that good music knows no boundaries. As evidenced by his recent collaboration with the band Caravan Palace for a tasty Electro-swing remix of Bitchcraft (which you can listen to below)!
I caught up with Bell and asked him about the remixed version of Bitchcraft and his recent trip to Washington where he advocated for funding for the arts.
How did the collaboration with Caravan Palace come about?
I love Electro swing, which is this new thing that’s coming out of Europe. It’s mixing old Artie Shaw type swing with club remix four on the floor, and Caravan Palace has perfected it. So when the idea came up to make an Electro-swing version of “Bitchcraft”, we reached out to them and they said they’d love to do it.
As a songwriter, were you a little nervous going in?
I’m such a fan of Caravan Palace and was excited to see what they would do with it. Having them do this remix was just incredible.
How has reaction been to the new album, Ready Steady Go!?
It’s been phenomenal. Going in, it was a risk wondering if people were going to dig it because it was outside of the box. Especially when you consider what’s going on in the music world today. But I’ve been playing shows and doing in-stores where the record is selling so well that it has to be restocked. The thing that’s really cool is that I’ve got kids from 4 years old all the way to 54-year-old adults who are there just to hear the music. There are teenagers, boys, girls, kids who are into One Direction, System of a Down and even hip hop. It’s a universal sound and it’s exciting to be able to expose kids to this great music that they never knew existed.
What can you tell me about your recent trip to Washington, DC?
I work with the Creative Coalition. We’re advocates for funding for the National Endowment For the Arts. There’s a lot going on right now with cutting funding in schools and programs all over and we were there talking to Senators and Governors on Capitol Hill to encourage them to not cut funding for the arts. It’s pretty impossible to get them to add funds, but we’re trying our hardest to prevent them from cutting any more. We had a great group of artists and actors who came in and spoke really passionately and I think some people were moved. We made headway and it was an awesome experience.
Can you give me an update on your tour plans?
I’m going to be going to Mexico in June and then when we come back for the fall (when school comes back), I’m going to do a high school tour around the nation and bring a festival rock show to all of the kids who are dreading going back to school.
Do you ever see yourself working again with Josh Peck and Miranda Cosgrove?
I would love to get “The Beatles” back together [laughs]. I’m always interested in working with Josh and Miranda and everyone else from the show. It was a great franchise and I’m always up for revisiting it. If everyone gets like-minded and it happens organically, that would be awesome.
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