Drew Beck may not be a household name yet, but 2021 is shaping up to be a potential breakout year for the talented musician. Beck has spent the last decade touring the world with various bands, notably Mondo Cozmo and The Moth & The Flame. And now he’s venturing out as a solo artist with a new EP called “Peace and Flowers.”
The LA-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist started playing drums at age 8 but eventually moved to guitar before joining his first band, Chasing Kings. Working with producer Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Phantom Planet), that group found early, but fleeting, success. From that point on, Beck was hooked.
“I always wanted to [play music for a living],” Beck explained to OPB. “We got signed to a small Irish label and made an EP with Tony. From then on it was no looking back. I couldn’t do anything else with my life. It’s always felt like this is what I want to do.”
Following that project he played in various projects in LA, and became a prominent member of that regional music scene, which was how he ended up playing guitar with Mondo Cozmo.
“I would go to shows all the time, and that’s actually how I got the Mondo Cozmo gig,” Beck recalled. “There’s a guy named Kevin Bronson who runs Buzz Bands LA. I’ve been around at shows and playing with different bands for so long, that when Josh [Ostrander — lead singer of Mondo Cozmo] was looking for a guitar player Kevin recommended me.”
That recommendation not only got him the gig, but also blossomed into a close friendship with Ostrander over the years.
“I got an email the day before the [Mondo Cozmo] audition,” said Beck. “I got home at 7 p.m., the audition was at 11 a.m. the next day, and I had to learn five songs. I showed up the next day, set up, and played some songs. Since that day Josh and I have developed a really close relationship.”
When not on tour, Beck had always written his own music, but the artist had never found the right time to release those songs into the world.
“I’m really good at hoarding my own music,” he joked.
All of that changed as the pandemic took hold. Beck was on tour with Mondo Cozmo in March 2020 when they received word that the tour had been canceled. After traveling back home to LA, he found that he finally had time to focus on his own music.
“I have a pretty decent home set up for recording, so I’m constantly working at home,” he said. “Most of the time it starts with me on acoustic guitar, and I’ll lay down a demo. I get rolling and start fleshing out the song, then I send it to friends to fill in the gaps.”
Beck enlisted a crew of musician friends to play various parts on the EP, including fellow Mondo Cozmo bandmate Andrew Tolman (The Moth & The Flame, Mondo Cozmo), who played drums on many of the songs.
While everyone reacted to the unexpected isolation of 2020 differently, Beck took the time to pull together a group of songs for not one, but two new releases in 2021.
“The EP that comes out March 12th is four songs,” he said. “Most of those songs are 2 years old, but I plan on releasing a full-length this summer. There will be a handful of songs written during this past year on the album. I’m also trying to get songs out before I get sick of them and I decide I don’t want to release them.”
While he may not be able to play the new music for audiences for quite a wile, Beck isn’t waiting for venues to reopen. In the interim period, he’s found creative ways to share the live music. “I’m doing live [recorded video] versions of every song, and trying to do them in unique locations,” he explains. “My wife and I drove up the Angeles Crest highway, and I brought my computer and some microphones. We found an old, abandoned ski resort, and she filmed me while I played a song. I’m going to [record] the other songs in different locations.”
Ultimately, the pandemic has taught him to be less hesitant.
“I feel like I was waiting for a good time to release music, and then I thought, ‘No. F this. I want to get music out.’ I’m always going to be writing and recording new music, so I might as well share it. It also frees up mental space to finally say, ‘OK, it’s done.’ What better time than now?”
Drew Beck’s EP “Peace and Flowers” is out March 12 wherever you stream music.