Things didn't turn out the way the 'Rents had planned (especially Momma 'Rent). While she begrudgingly took the obligatory piano and voice lessons demanded by her musically-inclined extended family (along with trumpet, trombone, French horn and organ), Drea, always hard-headed and free-spirited, played and sang her own crashing music and lyrics anywhere and everywhere she could. She would make such a racket in the house that her folks would send her to her room just to get some peace and quiet.
She wrote her first song at the age of twelve, and one could readily see the influences of Gwen Stefani, Tori Amos, Alanis Morissette, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Janis Joplin, to name a few.
After high school, Drea spent 2 years at a college near New York City, and, always band shopping, became the front woman and song writer for a group named "Left Two Lanes". This band's focus was heavy alternative rock, and female lead singers were definitely not the norm. This made gigging in New England and New York difficult, as many of the venues booked all-male lineups. Drea held her own with the best of them, but after a while felt that "Left Two Lanes" did not have the commitment to move to the next level, so she left the band and the East Coast, and headed for the Golden State.
Drea had realized by this time that producing music was as much business as art and so enrolled in the music management program at the University of the Pacific in Stockton to develop those skills along with her musical work. It was here that she heard bands and met other musicians and artists that would help her define and build the sound she sought. At the end of her two-year stint, she not only had a bachelor's degree in music and entertainment management, but she had also performed for the Bill Graham Presents annual party at the Warfield in San Francisco, as well as multiple Elizabeth Glazer foundation shows as a guest artist, and had written over 50 songs.
In late 2001, Drea once again packed up and moved south to L.A., because, "if you're going to be a rock star, you have to go where the rock stars live!" This time there was no job, no place to live, and a big city she had never seen before. She dove headlong into the music scene, tried to find work and a place to live. While she found good paying temporary work, almost all her money went to her musical activities, leaving her with almost no money on which to live. Thanks to a dedicated group of friends who believed in her project, she was able to live from place to place (Californians call it "couch surfing"). After a year of auditions, working both as a back-up singer and lead singing with different local bands, Drea met Sean Lacefield.
Sean had come to L.A. from Washington State in pursuit of a singer and co-writer to match his creative vision. He and Drea made contact through an ad he had placed in one of the local papers. When they met, all Drea had to show for her artistic abilities were some shoddy demo discs recorded and mixed on cheap equipment in friends' apartment studios, garages and kitchens. Still, Sean saw something else that made him decide to bet on Drea instead of picking a more experienced vocalist and writer. What he saw was her commitment and savvy, and her willingness to do whatever was required to make a project go fast and go well, and so he invited her to collaborate with him and so began the writing of Drea's debut album. Six months into this effort, Drea met Darren Hurst.
Darren, a British producer and songwriter, and a top notch guitarist in his own right, showed Drea the art and discipline of writing and executing great music. Darren worked with Drea every day for several months to help her find the artist within and to develop her vocal style.
The focus that year would be writing, assembling a band, rehearsing, scraping for funds and finding the right recording studio.
The songs were rehearsed and ready for recording in early summer, 2004, so Sean and Drea, along with a cadre of studio musicians and one truly dedicated engineer, Chris Spilfogel, who was brought in by Sean and ultimately became the executive producer, worked an exhausting marathon of 33 straight 20-hour days at Paramount Recording Studios in Hollywood cutting the eleven tracks selected for the album. Going home was rarely an option, and the two couches in the studio became the bunks while Paramount's patio was the kitchen and dining room (the bathroom and the shower actually got to be the bathroom and the shower...oh, and the Laundromat). One week after this boot-camp ordeal, Chris, Sean and Drea mixed the tracks (another killer straight 2-week sprint) at Can-Am Recorders in Tarzana. Marcussen Mastering of Los Angeles finished the album in their characteristic high definition fashion.
The album completed, Drea and Sean have put together a band that has prepared for showcases and touring beginning in mid-September, 2004, which coincided with the album's release. So, Drea's train made it up the first big hill, with a lot of loops and curves, ups and downs ahead. Hang on and watch out...they'll be coming to a station near you soon!
Check out the artist's website:
5. Waiting to Fall
8. Hit and Run
9. Cover My Eyes
10. All Alone All Along
11. Human Thing