Meet Your Modern Hobo: Drew

Drew and I met at the beginning of the tour I'm currently on but we became fast friends, sharing a love for cool glasses and buttoning up shirts all the way. Drew left practicing law to tour the world playing drums for a living, proof-positive that no matter how conventionally successful one might be, it's just as important to follow your dreams and be happy.

NAME: Drew Shoals

NICKNAME(S): #trueshoals #drummerdrewsview



BANDS YOU'VE WORKED FOR: Tony Furtado, Curtis Salgado, Ben Darwish, Matt Sheehy (Lost Lander), max basic.


YOUR STORY: I grew up in Portland, Oregon. After graduating in 2005 from Whitman College, a liberal arts college in Washington state, I moved back home to Portland to work as a musician. I ended up touring and recording playing drums with a number of bands, including Tony Furtado, Curtis Salgado, Ben Darwish and Matt Sheehy (Lost Lander). I also toured with Pat Monahan, the lead singer of the band Train. In 2008, I took a break from music and moved to New York City to work as a court advocate for a legal nonprofit organization called Fortune Society. In 2009, I moved to Philadelphia to attend University of Pennsylvania Law School, where I served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Law. Upon graduation in 2012, I moved back to NYC to work at an international law firm called Shearman & Sterling, LLP. In May 2014, I returned back to the music industry when I joined the band Train. We released the band's seventh studio album, Bulletproof Picasso, in September 2014, and we've been touring all around the world in support of that record since then.

FAVOURITE PART OF TOUR/TRAVEL: My favorite part of touring is making new friends and meeting fans of the band in different cities and countries. I'm lucky to play with a band whose music and lyrics really touch a lot of people and the fans have embraced my new role in the band with open arms. It feels great to be welcomed into the Train family because the band really does have some of the best and most loyal fans in the world. 

TOUR/TRAVEL HACK: I find that it's easier to stay sane while touring if you leave the venue to explore the city that you're visiting. It becomes pretty easy just to stay onsite at the venue all day, but then every city starts to look identical. I try to make plans with my friends and make sure I get out and check out the awesome places we get to travel to.

I've also found social media as a great outlet for sharing my travels with friends and family and connecting with new people I meet on tour. I'm not the best photographer, but I love looking back at my Instagram feed and having a photo journal of the places I've been over the past year or so. It keeps me focused on capturing a little piece of documentation everywhere I go.

BEST TOUR/TRAVEL STORY: Train had the chance to play the V Fest in the U.K. in 2014. We played a set right before Chic and Nile Rogers, the famous guitarist and producer, watched our entire set from the side of the stage and took pictures the whole time with a huge smile across his face. Nile is a music legend and he's also one of the most humble guys I've ever met. He recently beat cancer and has had a bit of a resurgence due the success of Daft Punk's hit, Get Lucky, on which he played guitar. He shared with us that given his close encounter with death, he's made it a priority to fearlessly play on as many records and play as many shows as he can now. After chatting with him, he invited us on the stage with Chic to dance along and sing We are a Family in front of a massive crowd of about 50,000 people. Meeting Nile and learning from his courage, talent and humility has been one of my favorite touring moments so far. 

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SAY?: I hope I get a chance to meet you someday, somewhere! And I hope you'll be wearing a Modern Hobo shirt.