This will be your first time playing LOCKN’. What are you most looking forward to about performing on the farm?
AF: I love festivals with one or two stages… to me, it makes the shows more intimate. You build this family style the whole weekend with the musicians and the fans… and you don’t have to walk 100 miles back and forth to get to each stage like some fests, lol.
Though you have core members of the band that always stay the same, many members of “the UN” are constantly shifting. What do you like best about getting to play with all of these different musicians? How does it affect your songwriting or the way you interpret your own music?
AF: Musicians to me are like languages… everybody has a different take on how to present a meaning they have in their head. It’s so fascinating to get to see what a musician from let’s say Germany or even Greece interprets where they should be in the song or what color they should fill when they’re making music with people outside of their comfort zone. I want my songwriting and band conducting to feel like a soup or a melting pot… Throw a bunch of shit in there and hopefully, it tastes good. Lolll. But in all honesty, this is why I play music. To surround myself with other musicians who are way better than me with different personalities and skillsets. It helps me learn how to take and share criticism for the common good.. and that’s to try and write timeless songs.
Your sets are often incredibly interactive, including stage diving or inviting audience members up on stage. Why is this an important aspect of performance to you? How do you keep the energy flying back and forth across the stage to the audience?
AF: I feel it’s my attempt to keep people present. We’re always so distracted in life with our phones, jobs relationships etc.. that we don’t really get a chance to truly be in a moment. If I can give them an experience with full expression/freedom then music doesn’t have to just be about the notes.. it can be about the experience too. If I can show folks that music shouldn’t be taken so seriously.. and it’s ok to let loose, have fun.. laugh, think, smile and live in the moment sometimes.. then I’ve done my job.
You recently released a new record, Change of Pace, and have been touring extensively in support of it. What are you proudest of with this album? Which songs have been your favorite to play for an audience?
AF: It’s been so cool seeing people sing along to the new record.. I really took the time to dive in on how I’m really feeling while living on the road for the last half of my life.. and to be honest its fucking hard living sometimes.. and to see people go through the same things we’ve gone through makes me feel less alone out here and that makes me happy to be fighting the good fight together. The self-titled track “Change of Pace” is about that.. I love seeing people get down to something so personal to me.
Andy, you also host a podcast where you interview many musicians from all walks of life. How has talking to all of these various musicians changed the way you think about music in general, or changed the way you approach your own music?
It’s been a very unique experience for me getting to ask questions to these legends who have made a career out of their art. I’m just so fascinated with people who want to make art their life.. the struggles you go through and loneliness sometimes that could affect their mental stability.. I’ve grown so much just by hearing these guys stories of songwriting and sometimes beating addiction or heartbreak.. it’s like my own personal therapy session hidden in an interview about someone else lollll. Its helped me grow as a person in a lot of different ways.