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A Conversation With Andy
by
Samuel Barker
August 15, 2001

Andy

Samuel Barker: For the record, what is your name and what do you do?

Andy: I'm Andy, and I sing for Kill Your Idols.

Samuel: How long has the band been together now?

Andy: We've been a band about 5 or 6 years. We were a band for about a year before we really started to take it seriously and play out. Then we put out a live demo and then we started rolling. We've been touring for about 4 years.

Samuel: Who were you guys with before Sideonedummy, did you have any albums out prior to "Funeral For A Feeling"?

Andy: That's like out seventh release. We have our demo, our first record came out on None Of The Above Records, we have like 5 splits. We have one with the Nerve Agents, Full Speed Ahead, Vorhees, and we just did a split with Good Riddance that isn't out yet. We have an EP called "Just The Beginning" we have another full length called "No Gimmicks Needed" on Blackout Records. The fact that you've never heard of them shows why we went to a new label. We put a lot of stuff out and it's like we're starting over with Sideone. No offense, we still work with small labels, we like them, but there is a line you have to cross when you want to do this full time instead of once a year. It hurts that we have so many releases out no one gets to hear.

Samuel: Is the Good Riddance split going to be completely new songs or previously recorded songs?

Andy: It's going to be three completely new songs by us.

Samuel: How's the tour been going so far? Have you been out long?

Andy: Well, Kill Your Idols has been out for about a month. The first three weeks we did were with American Nightmare, out of Boston. We played mostly smaller venues. A couple of slow shows, but overall they were awesome. They were fun, a lot of kids came out, a lot of people bought the new record, it was fun. Then we did a couple of weeks on our own. We went out west. It was okay, but we went up against Krazyfest in the midwest. Then we got out to the West Coast and hooked up with Good Riddance and Death By Stereo, and the shows have been tons of kids. There are some kids there to see us. A lot of the kids who have come to see us over the years don't really like coming out to the larger club shows, so we've been playing to a whole new group of kids. It's pretty exciting. The merchandise sales have been telling us a lot. We don't really know if they like us because they don't know us. They don't know any of the dances, but we've been selling so much stuff that it's like 'oh shit! We're doing great.'

Samuel: It must be nice to have new people getting into the music.

Andy: It's great. Every night we meet new kids who are into us and appreciate what we're doing.

Samuel: I know you guys came of the competitive New York scene, was it ever hard to get things rolling when you were starting out.

Andy: To be honest, I feel lucky. If we weren't from NY and we were from some small town in the midwest, maybe even Texas, no one would have even heard of us by now. If you're from New York or California, that's already a plus. They're major areas where a lot of bands come from. If anything, it's not a situation where we've been held back, it's been a plus. We've gotten a lot of help from bands in the area. H20 has taken us on tour with them a few times.

Samuel: Who are some of the local NY bands you guys enjoy playing with or enjoy seeing play?

Andy: The list is endless. The music we play, hardcore/punk, I love it. There are so many good bands I love.

Samuel: Is it fun because there is always something going on?

Andy: Yeah, there are always shows, new bands coming out, new records coming out. There's so much to do and so much to hear. That's why when play big shows like this I tell kids to look around for flyers for punk shows and go. Chances are, if you like punk, you'll like some of those bands.

Samuel: What do you think about the Wetlands closing down in NYC?

Andy: That's really going to hurt the scene. Luckily CBGBs started doing shows again, but not on a full time basis. It sucks because bands like Good Riddance, bands on that level are going to have a hard time finding a place to play. We can still play CBGBs but they're too big for that. I don't know where they're going to play now. You can play giant venues like Inving Plaza or Roseland to thousands of people. Or there is CBGBs where there are a few hundred people, and truthfully when they start doing shows on a regular basis, it's just a matter of time before they won't work out.

Samuel: What have been some of your major influences when from the beginning?

Andy: Musically?

Samuel: Yeah.

Andy: When we first started, it'd be bands like Negative Approach, Minor Threat, Shear Terror, SOA, early DC hardcore. Early NY. I think we've always had a little more melody than a lot of hardcore bands and I think that comes from listening to Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys, stuff from Southern California.

Andy

Samuel: Growing up in that area did you ever get a chance to see some of the earlier bands?

Andy: Na, I'm probably old enough I could have seen Minor Threat, but I never did. I saw a lot of late 80s stuff like Gorilla Biscuits, and bands like that. Also, I could bands like the Circle Jerks.

Samuel: I know a lot of bands we talk to have jobs besides being in a band, do you guys have any other jobs?

Andy: It just depends. If you're on the road a lot, there isn't much to do. When we're at home we get odd jobs until we go back off. I wish we made enough that we could take time off, I guess everyone wishes they could do that.

Samuel: What are some of the better bands around today that you think are on the up?

Andy: Definitely that band we toured with, American Nightmare....Holy shit! They're really good, their records are amazing. Their live shows are great. I think people should look out for that band. Also, Death By Stereo is another band that are getting popular. They keep getting better. There are a lot of bands from up north that are really good. The kind of band that will come to your town and play a basement and you don't know they were there. With me, I love fast hardcore, and I don't think you can go wrong with something like that, so when I say these bands are up and coming, I mean people in the hardcore scene should look out for them, they're not going to explode or anything into the mainstream. These are just good punk bands that deserve attention.

Samuel: I know you guys have toured a lot, are you still at the point where you enjoy seeing everything, or do you guys start getting homesick?

Andy: Man, we've been touring a lot, and it definitely starts to burn you out. On one hand, I'm living something that is a dream, I'm in a band that tours internationally for months at a time, we have records out, we play on stage in front of kids every night, and people buy our shit, it's amazing. But then the human element comes into play. You're not a machine, you have feelings, there are things you miss at home. We don't make big money, we still sleep on peoples floors or all cram into a Motel 6. Sometimes you miss you bed, and miss waking up and laying around. You miss watching the Simpsons and stuff like that. There is nothing stable on tour, so it does get frustrating. If you play a show and no one shows up, if the weather is bad and you have to travel. You realize your whole life is on hold to play this music, and you're not even worth people's time. They'd rather go out to see a movie or something. For me, everynight is everything. It sucks, we should all appreciate having punk shows and the opportunity to see new bands and meet new people have a good time. Enjoy it while you have it. A lot of people overlook it and after a while you get jaded. We're not looking to get famous, we don't expect people go out of there way and promote the shit out of Kill Your Idols, just when I'm at home I go out and see punk and hardcore shows just to see them. I don't care if I know them or not. Chances are I'll like one of the bands and meet some cool people along the way. Why would I rather go to a movie instead of a show?

Samuel: Yeah, when we talked to Ian from Reach The Sky he said some similar things, I think it's important to make it out to shows and support the scene.

Andy: Exactly. People are fucking spoiled. They pick and choose. I'm not asking you to it because I'm in a band. I love going to shows around home. I'm not trying to sound all jaded and say 'come see Kill Your Idols' I'm saying go see any show. Punk and Hardcore are a lifestyle and the lifestyle is centered around the shows.

Samuel: You can't get a live show off a record.

Andy: Yeah, totally. Again, I'm in my 30s and I still love going to shows. I can look back and say I'm glad I went and saw Jawbreaker at a basement show. I can say I saw this band when no one knew who they were and now they're one of my favorite bands.

Samuel: Awesome. Anything you'd like to add or say to the fans?

Andy: No, I think I've babbled enough.

Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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