Today that someone is Drew Citron. Citron has been a touring band member of Frankie Rose, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Public Practice. She formed her own band Beverly in 2013. Now she releases her own solo record called Free Now. The latest single is the title track “Free Now.”
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making Free Now ?
DC: Not getting to tour or play shows with my awesome new band.
FEMMUSIC: You recently released “Kiss Me.” Tell me about how the song developed.
DC: “Kiss Me” was an excuse for me to let the power chords fly, I love the guitars on it! It’s a song about keeping your old love feeling new.
FEMMUSIC: I understand you worked with John Agnello on “Kiss Me.” What made you decide to work with him? What did he bring to the project?
DC: I met John through a friend who manages him. We got sushi and he was not only the coolest producer I know (his resume is insane), he also turned out to be one of the nicest and most fun dudes to hang out with. Our vibe was stellar in the studio, I can’t recommend him more highly. His approach is old school, his guitar tones are flawless crunchy gold.
FEMMUSIC: Although you worked with a number of other musicians on the album, a large portion has been engineered, produced and performed by you. What were your goals for the album and what motivated you to take the lions share?
DC: I just am kind of a control freak I guess. I’ve been working as a front of house engineer at venues for years now, and I sort of took the reins this time because I’m just much more knowledgeable about the craft at this point. And it’s good to be a control freak about your art.
FEMMUSIC: You’ve played with a number of other bands. Tell me about your own. Where did you meet Nico Hedley and Laura Catalano? What do they bring to your own projects?
DC: Nico was my friendly and adorable coffee guy when I lived in Williamsburg. That’s how we met. Laura was in a really rad band called Weedhounds, and I asked her if she wanted to sing with me after one of their shows at Shea Stadium. She’s amazing at playing guitar while maintaining perfect pitch. They are indispensable to my ability to play music. Nico is one of my favorite people to jam with and mess around in the studio with as well – he has his own solo project, I highly recommend checking him out!
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about working with Park the Van. You’ve worked with other labels. Why did you want to release your solo album with them?
DC: PTV was right place right time. I mixed a Broncho show at Elsewhere – one of my favorite nights doing sound actually – and they are released by Park the Van. That’s how I connected with Chris, the label head. He just was so enthusiastic about what I’m doing, and he was a Beverly fan as well. We really bond over our love of Grandaddy. It’s a wonderful label, with a lot of heart and a family-run ethos.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
DC: That’s an impossible question but I’ll say “Shooting Star” by Elliott Smith. Big hook, big feeling, big words, big sounds. I like when bedroom sad guys go Abbey Road with it. That’s where I’m trying to go.
FEMMUSIC: What challenges, if any, have you faced as a woman in the music industry? And how did you overcome them?
DC: It’s changed a lot since I started touring a decade ago. It used to be much more intense to load into a venue, you kind of never knew what you were going to get. If some idiot was going to try to tell you how to do your job. It’s like that sometimes when I run sound too, dudes have asked me if I know how to use the mixing board. I usually chock it up to insecurity on their part, and move on. I think it’s really important for women to support each other in this world in general and particularly in the arts. I really default to be more inclusive and generous with women and underrepresented folks when I’m working at a venue.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
DC: I’m obsessed with Bill Ryder Jones right now. Tons of femme-lead stuff, Hannah Cohen, Alena Spanger, Men i Trust, TOPS, I like Phoebe Bridgers.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?