Julian Drive

Pop

Contemporary Christian,Blue-Eyed Soul,Pop Rock

www.juliandrive.com/

Buy this artist on: iTunes, Amazon

You know how sometimes you get a song stuck in your head and you just can’t get it out? You know how sometimes you hear a song on the radio and it’s that song? Except it’s not that song; it’s a song you’ve never heard before, but you swear you’ve been singing along with it all your life. That’s the way you feel when you hear Julian Drive on the radio for the first time. Familiar. Comfortable. Like an old friend you can drive down the road with and not have to say a word because, well, because you just can.

Shane Bowers (vocals, guitar) and Shaun Bennett (keyboard) formed the nucleus of the band while leading youth worship at church in their small hometown in rural Clarke County, Georgia. Guitar wizard Jesse Triplett came along when he was barely out of his teens and immediately elevated the level of intensity from just another youth group worship band to a full fledged, no-holds-barred, ministry-oriented, Southern alt-rock band. Life got more complicated for the men as local buzz gave way to regional demand. When Julian Drive beat out 2000 contestants to win the 2004 Exalting Him talent search the natural progression to the national stage seemed simply inevitable.

But that doesn’t mean the decision to go full time in the music business was taken lightly. Playing on the weekends and during vacation days is all well and good, but like most folks the members of Julian Drive had a powerful need to eat on occasion, and playing in a traveling band, as glamorous as it may seem, doesn’t always pay the bills.

“I had worked at the same job ever since college,” Shane mused. “I liked my job. I liked my boss. I liked my co-workers and they liked me. The other guys in the band were in similar situations. Leaving a steady paycheck and benefits behind was a big step. You don’t want to give up everything you have worked for only to come home with your tail between your legs if God didn’t really call you."

Even without a single on the radio, Julian Drive found itself constantly booked for every date the band could possibly play. And the number of calls that poured in after its performance for 20,000 screaming fans at Winterfest 2005 finally convinced the guys that it was now an all or nothing proposition.

“We had six months worth of events scheduled,” Shane explained. “After a lot of prayer it just became obvious that if we were going to do this thing we would have to go full time. We took the leap of faith in 2006 and have been on the road ever since. It has been a liberating experience.”

More than 260 events later, playing shows from coast to coast and sharing the stage with the likes of Rush of Fools, Big Daddy Weave, David Crowder Band, Day of Fire, Disciple, Israel Houghton, Building 429, David Phelps, Newsong, Superchick, and a host of others, Julian Drive is more focused, more dedicated, more determined than ever. Along the way they added bassist, James Nitz, to its lineup. They didn’t even bother to audition another player. It was apparent from the outset that beyond being an amazing musician, James had a heart for ministry and a sparkling sense of humor that fit the band like a high school softball mitt.

Snatching moments between gigs, primary songsmith Shane Bowers continued honing the intimate lyrical style that now defines Julian Drive. Many of the songs on the band’s Inpop Records debut, My Coming Day, including the title cut, were birthed from his morning devotional studies. Some, like “Always There” and “You Can,” were collaborative efforts with one band member riffing off of another until the end result just coalesced. Others, like Julian Drive’s debut single, “From Your Hands,” evolved from the difficult circumstances of life.

“We were sitting on the side of the road with our bus broken down,” Shane recalled. “Nobody knew what to do, and some of the guys just climbed into their bunks and went to sleep. Jesse started playing around on the guitar and came up with a very cool country-rock melody and chord progression. I started writing lyrics to match. We never realized it was going to be a song. Strange how things work out sometimes.”

In early 2007, the band’s songs caught the ear of noted producer, Lynn Nichols (Phil Keaggy, Switchfoot), who brought Julian Drive into the studio in Nashville and helped the group define its sound. Nichols declared, "Julian Drive's music represents the heartland of America in style, and the heart of God in spirit. The unique style of their music is a product of Julian Drive's blend of all their musical and spiritual influences."

Originally intended as an independent project, Nichols was so jazzed with My Coming Day that he encouraged Julian Drive to seek a national platform for its release. Consequently, Inpop Records president Dale Bray got his hands on a copy of the project and was equally impressed with both Julian Drive and its music. “The band has a great work ethic as well as wonderful musical and spiritual depth,” said Bray. “It’s been a while since I’ve heard a new artist so suited to both our retail and radio markets.”

Partnering with a major label hasn’t changed the heart of the band, however. The spotlight was never its goal in the first place.

“We’re not interested in the rock star mentality,” Shane states. ”We are much more interested in how we connect with the audience. If you come to one of our shows you’ll likely find us hanging out with the kids. That’s where our heart is.


Discography

Album Title Year Label
Julian Drive2005Vital Communications
My Coming Day2009Inpop Records

Category:

Location:

Athens

Georgia

United States

Record Label:

Inpop

Christian Label:

No

Years Active:

00's





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