Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Andy Mac

Today we have a treat for the readers. Instead of me sitting with the band, as we are all familiar with, it is time to let someone else have a swing at it. Today we have guest writer Erin Forst as she will be speaking with the one and only Andy Mac. So sit back and let Erin introduce you to Andy Mac.

Have you always wanted to be a musician? When did you first pick up the guitar?

No, when I was a kid I wanted to be a history teacher. That was my major in college. But I left school to do music full time. And I actually started playing drums before anything else. For me, it went drums, guitar, piano. I stared drums when I was about 12, guitar at about 16, and piano when I was about 24 or so.

You have performed with your dad and sister. Is there anyone else you would like to collaborate with someday?

Well of course there’s tons of producers and writers I’d love to work with. Ethan John for one. It’d blow my mind to do an album with him. And of course T Bone Burnett. He’s amazing. Artists? Wow, way too many to list!

The track Sara with no there a real Sara?

Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t.

I love your approach for finishing your next album; tell us about it?

Well, basically I had a website set up where friends, family and fans can donate money to the cause. It’s by no means an original idea to be honest. Many artists have done it before me. But I went in thinking, ‘Anything I get is more than I’d get if I DON’T ask’. And we’ve raised just shy of $8,000!

Who are some of your influences?

I have John Lennon tattooed on my left arm and Brian Wilson on my right if that helps you at all!

Drink of choice on stage and off?

It depends on the show, but both on and off stage would be Jameson if I’m drinking, and water, root beer or coffee if I’m not. I know, not too exciting!

Favorite place to play in New York?

So far, that’d be Rockwood Music Hall. It’s intimate, the sound is great, the staff is great, and people really listen.

When you start touring nationally (and notice I said when b/c it will happen) where is somewhere that you would love to play and why?

(Laughs) That’s kind of you to say. I’m working to make sure you’re right that it WILL happen. I would LOVE to play in San Francisco and in Seattle. San Fran because I’ve never been and I hear it’s amazing, and in Seattle because there’s a woman there named Alice who has been SO kind to me. I mean like ridiculously kind. I want to meet her face to face and say “Thank You”. And play for her, of course!

You’re having a crappy day and pop in a DVD. What is it?

Wow, THAT’S a loaded question. Crappy cause I’m sick? That’d be either The Simpsons (any season) or The Ninth Gate. Crappy cause it’s just crappy? That’d be Cheers or The Golden Girls. Stay Golden.

Who’s playing in your iPod right now?

The Swell Season, Matthew Perryman Jones, The Cascades, Brandi Carlile, Doo Woop Classics.

What do you think of artists that hit it big at a young age?

I don’t really care when an artist hits. If it’s deserved, I’m happy for them. If it’s not, I just can’t support them OR keep my mouth shut when others do. It’s been a bit of a problem for me in the past. And sadly, the split now is about 80-20 with the undeserving WAY ahead. But, I have faith.

One of the tracks off your new CD is titled “The Right Place.” This is something many people, including myself, are searching for. Do you think you’ve found it?

Oh hell no! That’s one of the hidden points of that song. On that EXACT moment, on that EXACT day, I noticed I was where I was supposed to be. Without a doubt. And it was one of the most beautiful mornings of my life. I woke up, went into my music room, and wrote that in a matter of minutes. Your best songs are (almost) ALWAYS in a matter of minutes. They’re just “there” for you to pluck out of your heart and mind. So no, I don’t think I’ve found it at all. My recent severe anxiety issues definitely show that I haven’t found it. But that morning, I was there.

If someone offered you a free plane ticket to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Wow. (Thinks) This answer would change day to day. Right now, I would go back to Ireland.

If you could tour with anyone in the industry right now who would it be?

Plant and Krauss. Good God.

Do you do any covers when you perform live? Do you have a favorite?

I do indeed. My favorite to do is this version of “Midnight Train to Georgia” that I do. It’s just such a great song.

We always let the artist have the last word. Go