Why

andy

Everything is a miracle.

A little musical history.

Got my first guitar when I was 14. I learned three chords and joined a ‘band’ with brand new pal Jim the next month. Played together throughout the remainder of high school. It was largely for our own benefit (we rarely played shows), but the foundations of bandship were laid in my soul.

When I was 16, my dad got me the Fostex X-15 4-track cassette recorder, and then an Alesis HR-16 drum machine. With these devices and a microphone, I made many recordings, and eventually by the time I was 18 was recording demos for my friends’ bands as well.

Around this time I answered an ad in the Recycler newspaper (which is the old, local form of Craigslist). “Drummer seeks band” and listed a couple of influences that matched mine. That was Brian. We started writing and doing 4-track demos together. He was in another band, and they lost their bass player, so they put an ad in the Recycler. I went to see them play, and met the guy who had answered the ad, which was Eric (who became my long-time friend and musical partner, not to mention best man at my wedding). Later, we three formed a band together (Laughing Boy), came up with a bunch of material, yet we still didn’t have a singer. Until Eric booked us a show. Then his friend Matt joined us on vocals, and we finished out the year together. So, two ads in the Recycler led to pretty much every musical thing I’ve done in my life since then. Crazy.

Brian left us for a woman (and rightfully so; she [Jaime] was a tremendous vocalist in her own right and they had a much better band than ours together–and eventually three kids as well). In the wake of this we formed a new ensemble which became The Prayer Chain.

A diligent practice schedule, the arrival of Wayne on drums, a self-produced CD, and a whole lot of local shows turned into a record deal, international and domestic touring, friends near and far, and our eventual best effort entitled ‘Mercury‘.

Touring in a small van in a market that didn’t feel like home left us disillusioned and then disbanded. Meanwhile, in addition to playing in a new band with Brian and Jaime, I was also playing in The Violet Burning with Jeff, and recorded an album with them at Dave Jerden’s studio. However, Hollywood club shows and a short stint of touring on the heels of the The Prayer Chain’s tours found me tired and all-too-anxiously retired. I wanted to just stay home and be a producer for a while.

Eric and Wayne had begun writing as The Lassie Foundation, and asked me to help them record it. Together we made a couple of recordings on my MCI 1″ 8-track setup. After all I’d seen, I had decided that 8 tracks is all you really need, and so that’s how I built my first studio (I still believe this). I produced a bunch of other records for bands as well in this time period, at other studios, including the well-regarded “Suicide At Strell Park” and “The Angel Pool” by The Autumns.

I eventually reconvened with Eric and Wayne, and together with a bunch of other pirates created the first CUSH project. We did some light international touring. I also reconvened with The Violet Burning, recorded and did some light international touring as well. This was also the beginning of my long-term work with Northern Records, where I have functioned as a writer, performer, recordist, producer, mixer and mastering engineer.

During this time, I had OneRepublic in our Northern Records studio to work on demos for their first album. We worked on a few songs, which included “All Fall Down” and more notably “Say (All I Need)”. I’d known Eddie for years, both producing his early band’s demo and then playing together with other artists as well, and had recently come to know and play with Brent, too. We had some fun together, which then continued with a long stint as co-producer, engineer, and handy ‘neutral party’ on their next album, “Waking Up“.

And while doing all of that, I continued my work with Northern artists Telegram and Set To Sea, producing their albums and telling them bad/old stories.

In June of 2010, I had the honor of filling in for Zach on guitar during a month-long OneRepublic European tour, starting in Russia, and ending in the UK. We opened for Pink and Bon Jovi, and played at the Rock AM Ring festival in Germany. Hard to describe it. What an experience.

After a long time of incubation, a new band I’m the guitarist in named The Black Lantern began playing shows in July of 2011. Also, new CUSH material is both underway and beginning to appear. I also recently had the honor of playing some guitar on the new Starflyer 59 album, as well. Many other projects are also in the works, as always.

I’m leaving out some things, but, you get the idea.