For The Turnstiles: Andrew Handrick Interview

In May of 2009 I discovered the music of Andrew Handrick at an independent music festival in Conary, Co. Wicklow. I seen some really good artists but the act which stood out for me was Dubliner Andrew Handrick. His performance and deliverance was outstanding and conjured up Elliott Smith or Willy Mason comparisons. Andrew released his debut album ‘The True Riches of Life’ way back in 2006 and has re-located to Italy. In this interview Andrew talks about his career to date, his motivations and the plan for the future.

Hi Andrew, what have you been up to since you released your debut album ‘The True Riches of Life’ in 2006?

Well I could write a book about what I’ve been up to…lol…

I quit my job and headed straight to San Francisco and was playing off and on there for about 15 months which was a great experience and really helped me develop as a musician and songwriter. Nothing like travel to get inspiration.

I took a year out from gigging after that for personal reasons, which I won’t bore you with, but continued writing and recording and at this time began collaborating with different lyricist around the world and basically writing music for others lyrics. This was great cause it kinda freed me up to concentrate more on the music side of things and that always brings up new ideas and ways of seeing music and songs.

I was using my own recording interface at this time, so I was also learning more about the recording process, trial and error, in fact a lot of error…haha… I suppose in the back of my mind I was always trying to work out my next album.

I got back out playing live at the end of 2008 which was great cause thats what I love to do. Feeds my soul I suppose. I then started spending time in Northern Italy and found my way to recording an 5 track instrumental CD, only made it available through my website for reasons I have yet to realise.

I also recorded some tracks which went on a yoga cd in the states.

All this time I was still trying to figure out my 2nd ain’t easy…. and playing some gigs in Ireland and Italy, back and forth…

Then came the birth of my daughter Sofia so things kinda got put on the back burner for a little while again..sleep was more important…lol and then I finally realised I was trying to record my 3rd album not my second. I had written a lot of songs when I was in the US and never recorded them due to just playing them live and the time out I took when I came back, so its funny how the mind works, I was kinda stuck and could not really move on until I had recorded these songs..and thats what I am doing now.

My mom also passed away a couple of months ago, so maybe something with that made things click into place, hard to know really, it’s all a strange process.

I actually recorded 9 demo songs in two evenings and its pretty much the bones of my next album.

Is your permanent base now in Northern Italy and how has this affected your songwriting and musical direction?

Yes I am pretty much full time in North West Italy now.. I wouldn’t say it has affected my songwriting or musical direction to be honest.. I think my time in the US pretty much solidified my direction and songwriting.. I suppose I have always been more influenced by the American sound more so than Europe..I just get inspiration from life so it does not matter where I am, there is always something to write about or some feelings to share..

What are the main topics or themes for the new songs?

Main topics and themes… they never seem to change…lol…relationships and life experience..growing, healing and learning…I suppose travel as well and meeting different people at different stages in life… I don’t do much political stuff…doesn’t sit comfortably with me at the moment.. I have a few songs along those lines, maybe for another EP or album who knows…I actually wrote a song inspired by Hugo Chavez…. not sure the world is ready for that one…haha..

Have you a completion or release date in mind for the new album?

I was hoping to have the new album finished before I head to NY at the end of the month…which still might happen so keep an eye on my website, but it might just stay a demo album for a while…I was toying with the idea of just putting it out really raw… I mean as an indpendent artist it can get frustrating trying to match the production levels people in the industry expect… so I was thinkin of an anti industry…of course that might be shooting myself in the foot…though BBC Radio played songs I recorded myself with no problem, can you sense my indecision…lol…it’s a curse…

Tell me about the charity album you contributed to recently?

I help out on a music for charity site here on facebook called There Is Hope, in connection with Melodic Revolution Records in the US. I had a song on one of the releases for Haiti and there is another one coming out this week called “Strength” for victims of Japans earthquake etc, I don’t have a song on this one but would like to get the message out about it. There is not always a lot people can do in these situations and as a musician it is nice to be able to donate something personal to these good causes.

Thanks Andrew for the interview; where can people check out your music?

I have a website and people can check out my songs or buy them at I also have a couple of songs on Soundcloud: and you can befriend me on Facebook; and thanks for yourself for supporting lesser known entities on the music scene…

Listen to ‘Learning Curve’ from ‘The True Riches of Life’

See Andrew Handrick live in New York:

Saturday 2nd April
The Path Cafe
131 Christopher St, 10014, NY
Admission: Free

Sunday 3rd April
Arlenes Grocery
95 Stanton St,(1 block Sth of Houston)
NY, 10002
Admission: $8

Monday 4th April
Goodbye Blue Monday
1087 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11221
Admission: Free


About Peter444

For The Turnstiles is the Folk Column for 4FortyFour! I'm an experienced maths teacher moonlighting as an unqualified freelance music journalist! I'm also behind the 2UIBestow website. If you're all about folk send me a message mixtape4melfi::at::gmail::com
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