Image by Andrew Hutchins
Releasing full-length album Wash, Rinse, Repeat via Fun Machine Records, Andy Frasco &The U.N. channel a dark and depressive time in lead singer’s life with kindness, a bit of humour, and light. After coming to a breaking point, realizing that he doesn’t know who his real friends are and not being in touch with his reality due to drug addiction, he decided he needed to change his lifestyle. Andy Frasco chose to share his frustration and somber thoughts through a healthier form of comfort – rock ‘n roll. He also does a thought-provoking podcast series called Andy Frasco’s World Saving Podcast which tackles mental health issues. We chatted with musician Andy Frasco below.
Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?
When I was a kid my mom use to put on live Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra, and Al Green records on our way to school. I fell in love with the characters these amazing artists were. It influenced me to work on just as electric performance as they recorded.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
I write songs to heal myself. It’s hard to be vulnerable with the people in my life, so I tend to write out the feelings have in a song. Suppression never did me any good in the long run so my form of therapy growing up was to write it out.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?
To be honest, the music business is bullshit lol. Just feels like a bunch of vampires trying to get their cut and the minute they can’t, they drop you. Music is so important to me that I’m willing to have a few scars because I know how music meant to me when I was a kid and confused.
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
Performing and interacting with a live audience is something that comes easier to me than creating music, but I do love it when you complete a new piece of art and it just feels authentic to how you’re feeling at that moment. I wouldn’t change that for the world.
What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?
I think the most memorable was when I was in Germany 3 years ago. I was raised Jewish and we played a festival in Nuremberg where Hitler did his famous speech and I had 15,000 Germans all do the Jewish dance Hava Nagilla around his podium. I felt like my Jewish grandparents would have been proud.
What’s on your current playlist?
At the moment, I love John Craigie, Lawrence, Paul Cauthen, Hiss Golden Messenger & Shungudzo.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?
We’re scheduled to play 200 shows this year around the world. And I believe we are playing in the UK for the first time in October.
Famous last words?
Always Do what you love even if it makes you feel weak and/or alone. Because when it comes down to it, we are remembered for how hard we tried to stay optimistic through life’s ups and downs.
Andy Frasco & The U.N. are currently on tour. Tickets to see them are available here.
Album song ‘Dancin’ Around My Grave’ features on INDIE_GROUND.fm
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