Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Andrew Wahnsiedler

I am sitting here with a long time friend Andrew Wahnsiedler. I have done some recent bookings with him and he blows my mind every time I see him play. He has an incredible passion for music and a great sense of lyrics and what it takes to get a crowd interested. He serenades the audience and manages to keep a cool, calm, and collected state about him. He might look like a rocker but he is as down to earth as they get. Andrew, I am glad to have a chance to sit and talk to you this evening.

What would you say you bring to the stage on any given night?

It is hard to say that without sound pretentious. I like to think I bring a certain authenticity. I think that is a good word for it. I grew up doing music. Grade school band, high school band, and now I am trying to make a career out of it. It is my lifeblood. You write what you know and you are up there telling a story about your life.

When did you first start playing music?

I do not remember. I honestly don’t remember. In grade school you start doing the music class and the music appreciation stuff. Playing in the band in middle school. I kept doing it through high school. I started branching out and the higher up I went the more diverse the opportunities I got. The higher you get the more you are offered.

What the biggest crowd you have ever played for?

I am trying to think. I have played at Clowe’s Hall a couple of times when it was pretty full. I am not sure their seating capacity. It was pretty full.

What is the smallest crowd you have played for?

The smallest crowd I have played for was probably about ten people. There was a coffee shop, like a grille and bar, and tale end of where I did my undergrad and some friends and I set up and played a gig out there. Just so our friends could come and see us play. They were too young to get into the bars. Ten or fifteen people showed up.

You are headlining at Verizon Wireless. Who is opening for you?

Kind of depends on the music I am playing. I like to think I am pretty versatile and I have played in jazz, funk bands; that would kind of depend on whom I am playing with. I would want something kind of similar. I would get the crowd involved in the kind of music I was bringing. Sorry if that was skirting the answer.

If you could play with any one band who would it be?

That would depend on what instrument I was playing. (Laughs) I am primarily a bass player. I would really like to play with some classic rock bands. When before the punk new wave of theb80s took over. When they got more involved in the bass lines; actually had some funk rifts going on in there. Zeppelin had some really great rifts. Deep Purple; there’s more. Those are the first two that come to mind.

You are traveling to your next gig in London and your plane goes down. You are allowed to save 1 thing to take with you to the deserted island that is just ahead. What do you take?

(Laughs) I suppose that this is where I am supposed to say something like my guitar, or like the nearest groupie or something. (Laughs) Which could double as a floatation device. (Laughs)

What salad dressing do you prefer?

I like vinaigrette. I like French. Either one of those two.

If you could meet one person alive or dead who would it be?

I have been told I think in movie quotes. There is a quote from ‘Fight Club’ that pops into my head. “I would fight Gandhi; good answer”. I would want to meet someone like Einstein; someone smart. Meet Néechi to figure out what he was thinking.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I am trying to write a book. Get it published. I see myself at a big university having either finished my doctorate and teaching or in the process of finishing that and teaching.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

That is a tricky question. It’s a hard question because it’s so often we define ourselves by our career. How do I want the world to see me? I am driven by an intense desire to learn and share knowledge. So I end up teaching somewhere and loving every minute of it.

If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?


In your life story plays your leading role?

I do. (Laughs) Oh, if someone could make a Hollywood movie out of me? (Laughs) Again, I do. (Laughs)

What are you drinking when on stage?

I used to not drink at all. Like, I hated going on stage if I had any substance in my system. I would chain smoke. I would be constantly lighting them up. I get really nervous before going up. I get nervous giving a presentation in class. More I have found that I can, it just helps me relax, and it helps me relax. I don’t ever like to drink too much. Something small, maybe nurse a beer through a set.

What would you be doing if you were not playing music?

I don’t know. I wasn’t a music major in college. I just decided that was what I wanted to continue on with. I have a philosophy degree because its easy. I was good at it.

Who is your biggest influence?

Probably various members of my family. I come from a real musical family. Almost, a good number of us, play an instrument of some kind. Usually more than 1. I have a second cousin that is recording in Nashville. A first cousin that is playing bass with a band in New Orleans.

Who is in Nashville?

Name is Danny Market. He is all over the place. He is pretty independent. He is more of a singer songwriter tradition I would say. I have been influenced by a couple of friends who just have an insane amount of talent. They were, I don’t know if they never realized, or just too humble to admit it.

What does the color purple taste like?

Marshmallows. (Laughs) There is a background story to that question (Laughs). If you are curious.

Who is your Hollywood crush?

I don’t know that I have one. I don’t really pay attention to celebrities. I like watching movies, and I watch a lot of movies. But as far as following gossip, tabloids, its probably one o the single greatest downfalls in society.

MySpace. Good or bad?

Don’t have an account. Don’t care.

I always like to give you the last word. Go.

That is tricky. I feel like you are putting me on the spot. Like there is something I am supposed to say. I don’t know If I am supposed to make a speech of how to change the world or ways that people need to be living their lives but aren’t. I don’t really care to tell people how to live their lives. Do
esn’t mean I have an opinion, it’s not my place to tell them how. And I would hope that afford me to the same luxury.