Photo by Sam Hayashi

Cuesta Drive’s Dane Drewis Plays Favorites

Sacramento’s own rock/pop/funk outfit Cuesta Drive is gearing up for the release of their sophomore album, Distractions. The diverse 15-track record is surely something to be proud of and lead singer/guitarist Dane Drewis confessed it was tough to choose his favorite track. “I have to admit, we have had a really hard time picking our single,” Drewis recently shared with Submerge.

“So, we decided to let the fans decide,” he continued. “We want them to listen and e-mail, Myspace or text us with their favorite choice.”

So, Sacramento, here is your chance to put your two cents in and let your voice be heard. Cuesta Drive will officially release Distractions on Saturday Dec. 27 at Marilyn’s on K. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and the $15 cover charge includes a copy of the new record. After you cure your hangover the next morning from a fun-filled party night, listen to the CD in its entirety, choose your favorite track and let the band know! You might just hear your choice on local radio stations and think to yourself, “I chose that one!”

Despite his busy schedule getting ready for the release show, Submerge recently caught up with Drewis to talk about some of his favorite (and least favorite) things in life. Be sure to check out for more details about the band, tour dates and links to buy their music.

Favorite records of all time:
1. The Beatles: I’m not going to narrow it down to a single album, that’s not fair.
2. Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie (the 8th) Wonder of the World: His genius and talent drop my jaw on a daily basis. I still can’t believe someone can have so many incredible pieces of music.
3. Thriller – Michael Jackson: In today’s world we lose track of the art of “albums,” myself included, because of MP3s and song downloading etc., so you rarely sit down and listen to an entire album from front to back. Thriller is amazing; even today’s generation would think that it’s a “best of” compilation, but it’s not. That album was and still is that strong.

Favorite concerts you’ve attended:
1. Steely Dan: Holy jeez, some of the most ridiculous musicians I’ve ever heard/seen in my life. I think it’s cool as hell that the old guys still throw it down.
2. Tower of Power: My dad raised me on East Bay Grease, among other things. But seeing Tower play live, from a musician’s standpoint, it doesn’t get any better than that. They are what every band’s chops should strive to be.
3. Amos Lee: I just recently started getting into him. I do have to admit Mike [Camilleri, Cuesta Drive guitarist] introduced me to his music over a year ago, but I wasn’t quite ready yet for some reason. I went recently to see him at the Fillmore and he blew my mind. His songwriting and vocals are so strong; I don’t think I blinked, just stood there mesmerized for the entire show.

Least favorite concerts you’ve attended:
1. I don’t think I’ve never been to a concert that I severely disliked. If that happens, I usually find a way to distract myself. I’m pretty picky when it comes to choosing concerts, and even if it is not what I was hoping for, I always can focus on something else like the sound engineers, lighting, stage crew etc; that stuff always interests me.

Favorite shows you played in ’08:
1. Crawdad’s on the River on Memorial Day weekend: This is our second year in a row doing it, and the crowd is wild. The show is always great because everyone is feeling good and ready to party, all we have to do is plug in.
2. Our bass player was out of town for a couple weeks this summer, so we had a string of about five gigs with my dad on bass. He’s a guitar player by trade, so bass was relatively new to him, but he did an incredible job. Jamming on stage with my dad for those shows was something I will never forget.
3. Marylin’s on K, Thanksgiving weekend: This was our “pre-CD release show” and it turned out great. Tons of people came out to support and it was the first big show for our new drummer Jason Weed. We had been on a little hiatus while finishing up the new album, so it felt really good to get back on stage and turn up. I’m pretty sure the crowd enjoyed it as much as we did.

Favorites things to write songs about:
1. Love or lack thereof: Someone the other day told me we are like Romantic Funk Rock (haha), which made me finally realize that most of our songs are based on females. At first I thought that was a bad thing, and that we needed to start focusing on other topics. But you can only write about what you’re feeling at the moment, you have to capture the “now” inspiration, and for both Mike and I, that’s what comes out.
2. Miscommunication.
3. The trials and tribulations of getting through everyday life: That may sound cliché, but it’s the truth. Give the album a listen and you can decide for yourself.

Favorite things to do in and around Sac:
1. Playing shows is our favorite thing to do by far. I don’t think there is anything else we would rather be doing. I like to get out and play/jam every night if possible. I try to invade local open mics and sit in with people whenever they let me.
2. Drink profusely. Is that bad?
3. Barbecue in the summer: Nothing like sitting around on a lazy Sunday with friends, not having a care in the world. We definitely did a lot of that in San Luis Obispo, and if things go right, we’ll never stop.
4. I love to golf, but haven’t found enough time lately.

Favorite local watering hole:
1. The Dirty Bird, baby: I used to live about 50 yards from Club Raven. Big ups to Jimmy and Brad!
2. 2me is my new watering hole. Can never go wrong there.
3. Old Ironsides: I love going to open mic night with Lare Crawley and listening to him entertain the crowd. Good times.

Favorite movies:
1. Dumb and Dumber: Comedic genius. Anyone who is friends with us on Myspace knows I quote it regularly.
2. The new Batman: Awesome”¦.except when he talks.
3. Forgetting Sarah Marshall: I wish Aldous Snow was real.

Favorite TV shows:
1. Entourage: But I don’t have cable so I’ve watched season one on DVD about 20 times.
2. 30 Rock: Genius.
3. I know Mike wants me to say It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and he’s right, that shit is funny.
4. Flight of the Conchords: It’s business time.

Favorite gifts you’ve gotten for Christmas:
1. Uggs: Say what you will about a guy in Uggs. Just know this: It’s like foot sex.
2. My 1982 Gibson 335: My dad bought it the year I was born. It has yet to be showcased at a live show. I want to make sure I’m worthy of it before I bust it out. That guitar is an absolute masterpiece, sonically and aesthetically.
3. My Vintage pre-CBS Fender Vibrolux amp: My dad held on to it for a long time and gave it to me last Christmas. I’m afraid to play it, because it sounds so good and everything inside is original. I’m kind of afraid to wear out the original tubes you know? You can hear it all over Distractions, it’s pretty much on every song somewhere.

    Jonathan Carabba

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