By Grace Usher
Most know Drake Bell as the co-star in the early 2000’s hit Nickelodeon show, “Drake and Josh.” Bell said he is a musician first, writing the theme for the television show. Since the end of the show in 2007, Bell has dedicated himself to his music and released his latest EP, “Honest,” in 2017.
His Saturday night performance In Lake Havasu City marked the first performer in the AZ Spring Break Kokomo’s performances.
RiverScene Magazine had a quick Q&A session with the singer-songwriter before his performance Saturday night.
RSM: Welcome to Havasu, have you been here before?
Bell: No, I literally just got here. My brothers used to come here but I was always too young.
RSM: Your new album, “Honest,” just came out. What is your inspiration for the album?
Bell: You know, I kind of just get inspiration from life in general. The last record I made was all cover songs and songs that I loved and made me get into music growing up. I hadn’t been writing for a long time when I was touring that record. When I got back in the studio, I was getting back to writing what my thoughts were and what my stories were.
RSM: Very cool, What’s your favorite track on the album?
Bell: I really love “Leaves.” It kind of changes depending on the mood. I love “Honest” but “Leaves” is probably my favorite.
RSM: It seemed this album was a little bit more upbeat and dancey. What was the transition from your singer/songwriter traditional look?
Bell: I don’t know what happened. It’s just what happened in the studio. We were writing the songs. Some were just right on guitar and some we were building the beats and it was just a natural progression. It wasn’t a ‘Oh, I have to change my sound’. Just the people I was in the room with and we were kind of vibing and that’s just what resulted, you know?
RSM: Do you have any major music influences? Any go-to artists?
Bell: Oh, I mean, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, you know all the classics, of course. As far as contemporary, I really love Twenty One Pilots, Rufus Wayne Wright, I don’t really listen to a lot of contemporary though.
RSM: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Bell: No, I just get up on stage and play. Just roll with it.
RSM: How long are you gonna be in Havasu?
Bell: Just tonight, I have to be in San Luis Obispo at 8 a.m. It’s like a seven-hour drive.
RSM: Is there anything you’d like to say to the people of Havasu who came out to see you tonight?
Bell: Yeah, I hope you enjoy the show. I hope you have fun, and I am excited to play.
RSM: An acoustic set I see, what kind of guitar are you playing?
Bell: A Guild, nothing fancy.
Bell performed an hour-long acoustic set with some original songs, including “Honest” and “Leaves.”
He also added some hip-hop cover songs, like “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice and “Gucci Gang” by ‘Lil Pump to get the crowd jumping.
Proving his love for the classics, he added a powerful rendition of “Blackbird” by the Beatles.
To bring back the childhood nostalgia of most crowd members, he also played the self-written theme to “Drake and Josh,” “I Found A Way.” Being interactive with the crowd throughout the entire set, he corrected a common misconception of a word in “I Found A Way” and joked that he now “ruined their childhood.”
After the performance, Bell took an additional hour to take selfies and group photos with fans. He talked to fans, taking time to appreciate the crowd Saturday night.
“Honest” is available on all music streaming and purchasing sites. For more information, visit https://drakebell.com.
Upcoming performers for AZ Spring Break at Kokomo’s:
- Friday, March 16: DJ Rob
- Friday, March 23: Chanel West Coast
- Friday, March 30: Shwayze
For more information, check out: AZ Spring Break