Interview: Average Andy

D Feast Logo (lofi)Alternative rockers (with a punk ethos) “Average Andy” from Glasgow have been blasting your eardrums with music since 2012. Leah Curtis from Feast had a chat with the man who started it all.

Feast – So Andy, you actually started as a solo project in 2011. What made you gather a group of lovely people to play with you?

Average Andy – I started off the Average Andy project in 2011 with the intention of building it into a band. It wasn’t until mid-2012 that I started looking for band members. I wanted my music to have a richer more full bodied sound. Although, I often play acoustic gigs I wanted to play in an Alternative Rock band, and to get that I needed band members. I have been through more band members than Spinal Tap has drummers. This was due to the fact I like to work at a fast rate and a lot of players cannot keep up. I have found that a lot of players have a pessimistic attitude to making it. I have had good musicians play within the band before but the current line-up has been the most efficient and functional so far. Everyone is a top player and I am lucky to have them on board.

Feast –  So, what made you think of the name “Average Andy”?

Average Andy – The name Average Andy came about so I could have a sort of alter ego for the music so that I was more flexible in what I could write and could keep my music and personal life a bit separate. In my opinion the to have people check out your stuff as a musician you have to have a memorable name, it has to be found easily and if you are lucky it sounds cool or is interesting. The later not that important. So I chose Average Andy as my name is Andy, the name roles of the tongue, there was no one in music using the name and the name is rather unique. It also has a punk undertone to it. The Average man doing good. Also, I thought if I called my act Average Andy I wouldn’t have to worry about being flamboyant and people thinking I was egotistical. Surprise surprise, people think I have an ego with the name. Haha! The band is called Average Andy the way Jimmy Eat World etc. have a name in the title. If you Facebook or Google search the name we dominate the first two pages.

Feast – I’ll have to check that out then! Who is/are your biggest inspiration?

Average Andy – The other band members all have a number of their own influences. Mine are David Bowie, Billy Corgan, Kurt Cobain, Johnny Cash, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel Armstrong, The Rolling Stones to name a few in the music industry. I take a lot of influence from art, books, and online media as well. A few of my favourite writers are Philip K. Dick, Terry Pratchett, George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. I like the work of a number of philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Abraham Maslow and Socrates. I like Mark Twain’s work too.

Feast – Sounds awesome! Do you have a favourite record?

Average Andy – Ah…that is too hard to answer. That is like asking a musician do they have a particular air molecule they enjoying breathing. Of the top of my head, a number of albums that are albums I have enjoyed are “Hunky Dorey” by Bowie, “By the Way” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Trompe Le Monde” by The Pixies, “Rated R” by Queens of The Stoneage and “The Bends” by Radiohead.

Feast – Nice! If you had any superpower, what would it be and why?

Average Andy – I like the thought of self healing and anti- aging. Technology seems to be doing a decent job of that just now. Haha. Some sort of mind control that would let me tune everyone’s brain so there was no apathy and greed in the world. Tune in peoples thoughts so they can discuss ideas and come up with solutions that benefit mankind. Failing that the water to booze trick Jesus does. It would be great at parties.

Feast – Sounds cool! And finally, any advice for young people who are just starting off in a band? (Regardless of the genre of music they play)

Average Andy – Number one would have to be write good music. Let friends who are critical but who will not friends who get jealous rate your music. If you get a critical opinion from an honest bundle of friends that say your music is good then you know you are onto something. Let strangers here your music. If they like it then you know you are on the right track. Do not hang around people who are negative towards your music once you know it is good. They will only hold you back.

Second, don’t aim to be similar to a band. Aim to be better than them. It is hard to stand out nowadays and there is no point trying to be the next Paramore, Foo Fighters, Oasis etc. when there are plenty of bands like these about. Make your own sound. Take elements of sound from other bands but have your own sound. Do you want to have limited success and live in the shadow of a band or aim as high as possible?

Have an aim of where you want to be with the band. Then work back the way figuring out how to achieve this. You want to play T in the Park? Well who are the organisers and the people who will get you on the bill? Impress them. Find out which taste makes and gate keepers you need on your side and go impress them. You will need to work hard and play small gigs to build a fan base. Then play bigger gigs with known bands. Play gigs with promoters who work with the people who get you on to T in the Park and impress them. If you have several people who are respected by the organisers/people who put on T in the Park then they will check out your band and you are in the running for getting a slot.

Build a buzz for your band. At first people will not be interested in you. Keep at it. Keep building your fan base till whoever you want playing your music or writing about you has to do it because you are so popular. If you go to a local radio presenter and say that you have an online fan base of about 3,000 people and these people will probably listen to your show. Then chances are the presenter will play your track.

Build a band CV. Why should promoters, presenters, writers check you out? Good stats. If you have supported a number of known local bands, have a decent sized fan base etc. then these people will check you out and may work with you as you can sell their show, gig, online blog etc. Your band CV has to be better than 10,000 other band CV’s out there to get somewhere.

There are many other pieces of advice I can offer to bands. If you want to ask a question then feel free to PM the band on Facebook or tweet us on Twitter and we will get back to you.

The final piece of advice I will give here is DO NOT PLAY A PAY TO PLAY GIG. It is exploitation. The 90% of promoters that use this practice will not do anything to benefit your career. They actually hinder it as they will be taking away your hard earned income which you can be used to promote your band in a more efficient way. If you want to know which promoters to use around the central belt of Glasgow and the West coast of Scotland then message the band. We will share the info. We are currently working on our network around the North, East and South of Scotland too. If a gig really benefits you then play it for free. If not then expect to have a cut or be paid. DO NOT DO PAY TO PLAY GIGS. The promoter is putting money before your music.

Feast – Wow, thanks for that Andy! I’m sure a lot of people will be grateful for your advice! J

Average Andy – Thanks for the interview!

Average Andy’s upcoming gigs:

16th October 2013 – Supporting ifoundation for jogle 2014

19th October 2013 – Dundee Oxjam

27th October 2013 – Supporting “The Ratells”

You can find the boys on Facebook at:


Posted by Leah Curtis