Millions of kids have grown up watching Drake Bell on Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh, but the former child star grew up watching television from a very different era.
“My dad was a huge influence on me when I was a kid,” Bell, 27, tells PEOPLE. “He sat me in front of the TV and it was all the classics – I Love Lucy, Abbot and Costello and Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin – and we’d get in the car and being listening to Elvis and The Beatles and The Beach Boys.”
Bell’s interest in the 1950s was sidelined for a while as he skyrocketed to stardom on Nickelodeon and released more Radio Disney-friendly music, but now the actor is ready to release an album that is true to his favorite kind of sound – rockabilly.
“This is the music that I grew up on. It’s been a dream come true being able to go out to Nashville and work on this album,” Bell says of working with his idol Brian Setzer on Ready Steady Go!, debuting April 22.
Bell says his fans have embraced his throwback sound and he credits that to always having been true to himself through the years.
“I’ve always worn my influences on my sleeve,” he says. “That has translated to my fans, so this isn’t going to be out of left field for them. It is great, fun rock-and-roll music, and I’m seeing them enjoy it – and new fans as well!”
Grab an early copy of the album on iTunes after you check out Bell’s new song, and let us know what you think in the comments below: