For Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors, music is medicine. It’s a gift that Tennessee native has shared with thousands of people over the last decade. The Americana band has sold over 100,000 albums to date and played over 1,800 shows in seven different countries. Their songs have featured on a slew of TV shows (over 40 to be exact), including How I Met Your Mother, Criminal Minds and HOUSE. Now, the beloved band is heading out on a week-long, intimate tour through the south stopping in four different states.
We caught up with Drew Holcomb to chat about his travels throughout Europe, his upcoming shows and his adored album, Medicine.
How is performing in Europe and how is the current trip going?
Europe has been great. It is a solo acoustic tour, which I haven’t done in the states in a long time. It’s good to connect at the core to the songs, and to try and communicate them to the audience. The audiences here are very receptive and they love songs.
Are there any major differences between touring in the U.S. and touring in Europe? Travel between venues. 4 hours on the road in Europe can take you from Italy to England! Whereas 4 hours on the road in the U.S. can take you from Charlotte to Atlanta.
Thats funny, it’s actually quite the opposite. Driving from London to Stockholm would take you almost 20 hours. I have to fly nearly every day, so its pretty exhausting. Play a show in Cork, Ireland, go to bed at 2 a.m., wake up at 6 for a 9 a.m. – flight to London, then do it all over again in London, then Stockholm, then Oslo. It’s pretty exhausting.
Looking back on the release of Medicine, how do you feel about the album now, considering it’s your most well received to date?
I am very proud of Medicine, and hope it is the record so far that people most identify with me as an artist. I certainly hope to top it the next time around, but I am very proud of what we accomplished.
You said the album was inspired by stories over the years, from friends, family and fans alike. How do you look at the concept that everyone can connect with your music in a unique way and shares those stories?
For me, music was such an important part of dealing with the paradox of joy and sorrow in my own life growing up, so it was a natural thing for me to make music that was directed towards other people. I am honored people have let our songs into their lives. We heard funny, sad, interesting stories all the time from fans about what our music to means to them. That is a great honor.
Looking ahead towards this U.S. tour, it feels as if it’ll be even more intimate as usual. Less dates, closer proximity to each other and even three dates in NC (therefore fans could spend time with you on three straight stops). Do you see this tour as an even more intimate experience or different from tours past?
Yes it will be different. We are only touring as a 3 piece. Rich [Brinsfield] is on another tour this fall, so it’s just me, Nate [Dugger] and Jonathan the drummer. It will be very stripped down, which is always an exciting challenge.
Do you have a favorite venue outside of Tennessee or area that really feels like home?
There are so many great venues. The Troubadour in LA is probably my favorite venue outside the South. It’s a magical and historical place where many of my heroes got their start in the ’70s. Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta is probably another favorite. It has a lot of personal meaning to me as the first place where I really started getting a following outside of Tennessee.