Q: Why are you a hater?
A: I’m not, really. I love music. But when people make me not like music, it’s a bummer. I get that it’s a matter of taste, so I’m not bashing every band I’m not that into, and I can typically see what people appreciate about bands that aren’t my thing (Vampire Weekend, for instance. Not my thing, but I get it). But when you’re a band like, say, Bastille, and you look the way you do and also produce the safest, lamest stuff you can pull from your soul, I feel that you’re shirking your responsibility to push music forward in some way. I’m no big deal, but someone needs to say, “That’s not okay,” or “Do better.” Ultimately, I know I’m not affecting anyone’s record sales, but I seriously sleep better at night knowing that I didn’t just let my corner of the Internet ignore a detriment to something I care about so much.
Q: Do you even play music?
A: I do, but I don’t think you have to be a musician or songwriter to tell when a performer is phoning it in or is a phony. Is that where that word comes from?
Q: Is this (someone)?
A: You probably don’t know me, though I’ve not completely hidden my identity on here. For transparency, my name is Andrew Jones and I’m a songwriter in the middle of making an album. It’s been a long process, and sometimes not very fun, so I try to motivate myself by keeping up with music news, learning about new bands, sharing what I like, and living within the philosophy of the album (titled No).
Q: You really like Andrew WK.
A: That’s not a question. But yes, I like him a lot. No one has created a sound like he did with his first album. I admire that he hasn’t tired himself out on the PARTY thing, which makes me believe he truly lives in that frame of mind all the time.
Q: Are you from LA?
A: No, though I was there for a while in a past band. Larchmont area.
Q: Where are you from?
A: i’m not from any musical mecca or anything; I’m just some jerk on the Internet. I’m from Pueblo, Colorado, born and raised. I’m in Denton, Texas right now.
Q: (cont. from “Do you even play music?”) What’s your experience?
A: I’ve played guitar since I was 12 and started performing publicly in 2002, I think. I played a coffeehouse that isn’t around anymore called Wireworks a lot. The sets were a mix of covers (Pete Yorn, Andrew WK, Foo Fighters, The Smiths, Third Eye Blind, Weezer) and my own stuff. I wrote a lot of songs during this time and that got me thinking about songwriting more seriously. Then I started running sound there the next year and met the first band I was in and went from there until I became the successful blogger with 25 (at publish date) followers you read today!
Q: I’m just starting out, any advice?
A: Generally, don’t listen to people like me. If you’re playing and writing for the right reasons, keep doing that. One piece of advice that I think you may actually want to consider: write a ton of songs knowing that they won’t go anywhere. When I was 15/16, I wrote a ton of songs, so many that I’d write a set for a show and never play them again, just a shit load of songs, and I’m sure none of them were good, but I put those shitty songs behind me and matured a lot faster as a writer.
If you’re writing and performing from a weird place, like “trying to make it” or because you’re trying to sound like someone else, listening to people like me (my criticisms, not my music) may help bring you back to reality. Be yourself and be honest. There is an audience for you.
Q: What’s your favorite genre?
A: Probably metal, but I need almost everything to match moods or situations. But metal gives me the most immediate satisfaction. Hard rock, whatever that is, does it too. Like, stuff that’s too light to be metal but too heavy for Top 40. If you’ve heard the song at the beginning of the movie School of Rock, that’s what I’m talking about. That riff is fucking amazing.
Q: Favorite songwriter?
A: Paul Simon.