Like so many others, the guys in Julian Drive never intended to be rock stars. In fact, if you asked lead singer Shane Bowers, he would shrug off that label completely. The band born as a youth worship group in rural Georgia released its debut album, My Coming Day, earlier this year. Shane was kind enough to take time out of his seriously packed touring schedule to Take 5 with Backseat Writer. He’d probably want me to mention that you can visit band’s website for concert dates. Plus, Julian Drive wants you play like them, so be sure to download their guitar chord/lyric sheets here.
What’s the meaning behind the name “Julian Drive”?
It’s so simple. Several years back, once we began gaining national exposure, changing our name became a must. We were named after the local youth group at the time and needed something more personal and less generic. Julian Drive is simply the road we pass each and every time we leave Athens, GA, once we get on 316. It reminds us to never lose sight of where we came from, and why we started doing this.
What do you think makes you unique as a band in the Christian music market?
Definitely our style. We have everything from country, to pop rock, to alternative, and black gospel influences. I think all of those styles are evident in some sense or the other. Aside from that, I think our lyrical style of writing is a bit different than most.
I hear there’s an interesting story behind the creation of “From Your Hands.” Would you please share it with me?
We were broken down on the side of the road, headed to a show. As the frustration set in, we made the most of the situation. Jesse pulled out his guitar and began strumming, not really thinking I was even paying attention. As I sat there, I began singing a melody to what he was playing. The next thing you know we had written a song about the incredible sacrifice that was made for our salvation.
Why did you choose to put a cover of Hoobastanks’s song “The Reason” on your album?
I heard that song several years back when it was being played all the time. I openly used to say that a Christian artist should do that song because the lyrics are so spot on. You can sing a love song to anyone you want to sing it to. As it turned out that artist ended up being Julian Drive, and we just focus the attention in that song to Jesus.
Tell me about an interesting interaction you’ve had with a fan of Julian Drive.
I wrote the song “Cry” as a personal testimony, hoping that someone might connect with it in some way. Thankfully the testimony in that song has connected with many. We had an email to the site a good while back from a man that had lost his wife to cancer. She was a big fan of ours. He became a friend and devoted fan of JD, along with his entire family. He drove 5 hours to hear us one night and we were trying out new stuff for our latest CD. As I played that song, he and his family sat there and balled. He later told me how that song really hit home and meant so much to him. Each and every time we play that song now, I think of those wonderful folks and how the song has touched their lives.