Formed in Canton, Ohio in 2002, Lovedrug is currently comprised of Michael Shepard (vocals, guitar, piano), Jeremy Gifford (guitar, synthesizers), Thomas Bragg (bass), and James Childress (drums). The band’s often-misconstrued name is something of a word play; Shepard initially left music to attend film school but his first ‘love’ of the music medium ‘dragged’ him back (thus “Lovedrug”; a verb, not an aphrodisiac).
Lovedrug drew nationwide attention with two independent EPs in 2003 and 2004, followed by the highly acclaimed debut full-length Pretend You’re Alive in July 2004 on indie The Militia Group (Sony). The fastest selling debut in label history, Militia upstreamed the band to parent label Columbia Records for a planned rerelease in March 2005 around the radio single “Spiders”. Though unrelated corporate purging at Columbia left many plans stillborn, Lovedrug toured heavily, including dates with The Killers, Robert Plant, Switchfoot, and Coheed & Cambria, and established a sizable American following.
By late 2006, Lovedrug had a new album’s worth of material and, to avoid continued upheaval at Columbia, returned to The Militia Group to release Everything Starts Where It Ends in March of 2007. The album was well received, selling close to 30k albums in several months on the back of Japanese and North American touring, including two headline runs and tours with Sparta and Blue October.