BACKSTAGE: Dane Drewis
We spent the official first day of summer at the beach with one of our favorite sun-loving musicians, Dane Drewis. The Northern Cali native turned So Cal (self-proclaimed) beach bum gave us the inside scoop on where his music is heading, as well as some fashion and dating tips. We had such a blast chatting with him, we can’t wait to see his show at the House of Blues this Thursday night!
Labeling Men: What are you wearing today?
Dane Drewis: Some chino shorts, the boxers I have on are from online, somebody said they were really good boxers. The sunglasses are Spy, they are mirrored so people can't tell when I'm looking at them.
L.M: Describe your personal style versus your stage attire.
D.D: I've been living on the beach the last couple of years, so I'm definitely a beach bum: wear a lot of tank tops and shorts and sandals. But [I’m] definitely into sports and things, surf and skate clothes and stuff like that. Stage wise, it kind of depends on the venue. If it’s a beach venue, I will wear what I normally wear to the beach. Depends on the show and gig. I have two sisters so they help me out.
L.M: So how does what you wear on stage affect the mood of your show?
D.D: It definitely sets a precedent. Obviously, all eyes are on you, so you have to set the tone for the whole night by what you're wearing. If you wear something goody or outrageous, better own up to it; not like I really do that! I just try to look clean and slick. I try to let my music do more of the talking for me than my looks, but I pay attention to it.
L.M: Did your style change when you decided to go solo as opposed to being in a group?
D.D: I think a lot of it did. I used to have really long hair, like down to my neck. I really liked the hippie long hair thing in Sacramento back when I was with the band. I used to play barefoot and do that whole thing. Ever since I went solo, I cleaned my act up a little bit, tightening things up a little bit. Definitely a little more clean-cut with my short hair. I started paying more attention [to fashion] since I moved to LA.
L.M: How would you "label" your style?
D.D: That’s a good question. I think I still got a lot of the beach, surf-skate kind of thing going on, but now that I'm inland, I try to keep it mellow: clean, some jeans, nice shoes and a button up shirt. A leather jacket that I have been wearing a lot lately, some boots I might rock once in a while. It all depends on the venue and the show; it sets the precedent and the tone for the night.
L.M: You've been on tour for many years, so which city’s fashion vibe have you liked the most?
D.D: Well I'm from Northern California, so San Francisco is pretty much all I knew for a long time. More and more growing in love with LA, it’s taken a while but I'm definitely coming around. It’s on the leading edge [of fashion] and cool to see all the styles and changes and everything. There are all different pockets of LA, but I’m definitely coming around to LA, it’s leading the pack for me.
L.M: Who are some of your music inspirations?
D.D: For me, number one would be Stevie Wonder. He, to me, is the 8th Wonder of the World. I think he's amazing. Lately, the latest albums I've been listening to: Mayer Hawthorne has been really popular with me, love him. Chromeo's new album is really great, love that as well. I was raised on a lot of Motown and R&B stuff, but then I'm a rock/blues guitarist so, we get a lot of classic rock influences, a lot of modern Motown kind of stuff.
L.M: So what is coming up for you musically?
D.D: I actually have a lot going on right now. I have a show on Thursday [June 26] at the House of Blues on Sunset [LA], my first time playing there alone. I have a stripped down set, my dad is going to play bass with me, and I have guest singer as well. I'm actually working on a home concert series, like Live at Daryl's house, if anybody has seen it, like Daryl from Hall & Oates. Basically he has guest musicians come and they play song live and jam out. [I have] about five or six songs to link up with my EP, live video versions of the songs. I'll the release the EP next year, excited about that.
L.M: Have you ever dated a girl you spotted in the audience or on stage, or hit on a girl you saw?
D.D: Um…YES! It’s happened a couple of times. Usually I like to bring it up later but yeah, definitely a time I've seen a girl and said “hi” afterwards.
L.M: So what attracted you to her?
D.D: I think attraction is not a choice, I just think it happens. Whether you choose to pursue it or not is a different story. Usually it’s kind of their style. Not super loud, I like girls who are a little more reserved and take a little bit more chasing. But in general I like shaking hands and kissing babies and stuff. Personality and a sense of humor. I can tell within a couple of minutes; if a girl doesn't have a good wit about it, I'm over it, so that’s the number one thing for me, a sense of humor.
L.M: Any dating advice or funny LA dating stories?
D.D: When I first moved to LA, I got my car towed. I drank too much with this girl and I spent the night, my second week in LA. Dating advice…the best thing is to be honest. Spending time with somebody, just tell them if you're not ready to be serious. Honesty works, it’s too hard to lie and keep track of your lies. Just be honest, it works out more often than you think!
Visit www.danedrewis.com to get more info and to buy tickets to Dane’s LA House of Blues show on Thursday and future performances.
Photo Credit: Scott Flemming