The Feral Children at the End of the Road: Drew Shoup[ by Dawne Belloise ]
Just outside of Austin, Texas in the lake community of Lago Vista by Lake Travis, Drew Shoup is raising a family with his wife Amber Sosa. He has a 20-month-old son, Andrew James Shoup V, and two step kids, Zayne and Caden. Although Drew says he’s very happy where he’s at he also feels, “I’m still trying to find community here like the level of community in Crested Butte. The period I lived there was a good one, but I haven’t been back since I graduated from CBCS.”
His parents, Andrew and Tina Shoup, moved him and his sister Sophie up from Dallas in 2002 when Drew was in third grade. Before that, as a kid growing up, he had often visited his grandparents, Andy and Julia, who lived up Nicholson Lake since the 1980s. “I loved the town, skiing and snow. Moving to CB was amazing,” he says. Drew graduated in 2012.
Drew was a dedicated guitar player from the time he was 9 years old. He attended the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs to study music theory and guitar, but left when he decided that college really wasn’t his thing. Drew joined a Denver band named Blackk Mantra, which he describes as, “an original, slower heavy metal band.” He returned to Dallas in 2014 after auditioning for another band, Warbeast. “They were one of my favorite bands, even when I was still in CB. They were signed to a record label that Phil Anselmo owned, the singer of Pantera.” Warbeast enjoyed a successful six years doing national tours and an album before their singer passed away from cancer and the band decided to disband in 2019.
After Warbeast broke up in 2019, Drew moved to Austin where his wife was from. He was hired at 1836 Kratom, a company that produces kratom, an Indonesian tea leaf in the coffee family but without caffeine. “We package it into caps, extracts and liquids. We’re becoming the largest manufacturer. They call me the Capsule Master,” he laughs. “I’ve run the encapsulation machine for almost four years. People take kratom for energy and focus. There are three different colors of the vein in the leaf – red, green and white – each has its own effects.” Drew explains that the red produces more sleep and helps with pain and relaxation. White is more for energy and focus, and green is a bit of both. “It’s becoming very popular. I’ve been taking it as a consumer for the past seven years. It’s helped me with anxiety issues and to focus.” Drew says that the vision of the company is to get kratom into the health, fitness and wellness markets. “It gets a bad name being in smoke shops. It doesn’t really belong there, people confuse it with synthetics.”
Drew is playing music at home these days. “I’ve got a family life now, which is awesome. I want to be as involved in my sons’ lives as much as possible. It’s impossible to make a living in music so I’m working hard to buy a house one day.”
He definitely thinks about CB often. “There’s a certain vibe there that’s nowhere else.” When he was a teen, he wanted to leave CB, “but then I met people who grew up in cities and I realized how fortunate I was and how unique CB was.” These days, he loves lake living. “It’s safer, not like CB, but it’s good for Texas. I’d love to return to CB one day. I don’t know whether I’d want to live there but I’d love to take my kids there to show them.”