Wed, 14 Aug 2013 13:49:35
"You know what I think about every time I hear the name Rick?" says Emblem3's Drew Chadwick.
I answer, "No, I don't".
He enlightens me, "I think about this episode of Spongebob Squarepants where Spongebob and Patrick are fighting. They have nametags on, and Spongebob erases the 'Pat' on Patrick's name so it just says, 'Rick'. Patrick goes, 'My name is not Rick!' If you know what I'm talking about, it's literally the coolest thing ever. If you need any more information about Spongebob Squarepants episodes, you let me know. I brainwashed my mind with it growing up."
In addition to being a fountain of Spongebob knowledge, Drew and Wesley and Keaton Stromberg comprise Emblem3, and they're unlike any other pop group on the scene. The trio seamlessly merges pop palatability with sun-soaked alternative reggae flavor. In other words, they keep it summer 365 days a year, and that's a very special thing.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Drew Chadwick of Emblem3 talks Nothing to Lose and so much more...
What ties the album together as a whole for you?
It was one of those things that obviously we put time and effort into, but it also almost effortless. There was no resistance. There was the open field of potentiality that we could do almost whatever we wanted. After the record was done before we delivered it, I was talking to the guys about it. It was literally like everything laid out and played out in this perfect sequence of advance. If there was something that didn't fit, we'd think of something better. It played out as this perfect sequence of events. It worked out perfectly.
Why did you cover Matisyahu's "One Day"?
Well, Matisyahu is a huge inspiration of mine because he's in the pop industry, but he's also a really spiritual dude. If you can make that work, be on a spiritual journey and still thrive in the pop industry, that's incredible. He's basically preaching about global warming and people coming together to each other's aid, which is what I want to do in my life and with my musical gift. That song is really inspiring. It's so positive, uplifting, and empowering. When we get to play it, it's magic at the shows.
What's the story behind "The Teenage Kids"?
That one is based off the summer of 2008. I was sixteen-years-old, and Wes was fifteen-years-old. Basically, our parents let us do whatever we wanted. We'd just go to these crazy parties all the time. My house was actually like the party house of our city back in Washington. My mom is cool. The song is based off some of the parties we'd go to back in high school. I had this whole theme in my head. It's basically about reliving that dream of when we were younger. We were broke. We weren't anything like kings, but we felt like kings. We made the best out of what we had. The song talks about this pool party like it's all fancy, but we weren't rich. In actuality, the pool was this little blowup pool in my backyard [Laughs]. There's nothing fancy about it. It's a flashback to the summer of 2008, which was the craziest summer of my life.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
Definitely! That's my favorite thing about writing, not even just music. I like telling stories, taking my memories, my experiences, and then communicating and expressing them to someone else so they can understand them on the same level I do. I think it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, "Conversation is an art in which a man has all mankind for his competitors, for it is that which all are practicing every day while they live". It really is. You're expressing certain feelings or memories. Music is what feelings sound like. I actually wrote an essay about it. Music is a really cool way of expression.
If the album were a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
Good question! I want to say Lords of Dogtown or something like that. It might be a little too pop for that [Laughs]. We'll come back to that one later. I'll grow on that.
What artists influenced you?
Sublime had a huge influence on me. Growing up, blink-182 was my favorite band. When I was 16-years-old or 17-years-old, Rise Against was another band I loved. I liked punk music and rock. I loved all that shit. I was a rocker. That was my image of myself. I was a little punk dude. Essentially, that's where our music comes from—all of those old punk and pop punk bands. Green Day was a big one too.
What movies do you come back to?
I know it's super mainstream but I think the concept of Avatar is the best story you could possibly ever tell. That's probably my number one. I love everything about that. I feel like Pandora is how earth used to be. It's not like that anymore. That inspired me. I like Pocahontas too. It's a bit like Avatar. It inspires me and makes me feel connected to my planet. How weird is it that my job is sitting on the floor here talking to you about Pocahontas? That's awesome!
What's next for you?
Right now, I'm riding this train. Every day I'm in a new city. I talk to people and answer questions. I try my best as I can. I'm learning how important it is to treat everyone with kindness and respect. The Golden Rule couldn't be truer. It's the rule for everything. I think it should say, "Treat everyone the way you want to be treated because we are one". We are all literally connected. We'll be playing shows and promoting everywhere. We're going to Puerto Rico during my 21st birthday. We're going to party our asses off for a couple of days, which will be fun!
Have you heard Emblem3?