Erin McAndrew Interview
When did you decide that a career in music was for you?
Performing has always been something that has been ingrained in me since I was very young. I was always in dance, musical theatre, choir, bands, etc. Over time, I realized that this is my calling and that I must pursue it. It is also a space where I feel so whole and relaxed...when I am performing, singing, recording, writing, etc.
Who are your musical inspirations and why?
I have so many!! As of recently, the three that always come to mind are Kelly Clarkson, Pink, and Sara Bareilles. I have been listening to Kelly Clarkson since she won American Idol and her music and story have resonated with me so much throughout the years. She's such a genuine person and is such a powerhouse. I find her incredibly inspiring. Pink is someone who is just such a badass and has such a beautiful voice. Her growth over the past few albums has been beautiful to listen too. Also, I'm not sure if you know this but she has a winery now - and I am a huge wino, so basically I aspire to be Pink someday. Sara Bareilles in my opinion is one of the most brilliant female singer-songwriters out there right now. She doesn't get enough credit. Her songs are absolutely stunning and she is incredibly inspiring. I even have one of her lyrics from her song "Chasing the Sun" tattooed on my arm.
Can you tell me 3 things about yourself that people might not already know?
I am left handed but I play guitar right handed! I am a HUGE Disney fanatic. I have moved close to 10 times throughout my life and it has greatly shaped who I have become today.
What song of yours best describes you and why? "Skeleton of Life". This was one of those songs that I've written and got super emotional writing. I peeled back a lot of my layers for that song and feel it represents me deeply in what I've gone through and knowing that I will never give up on my goals and dreams.
What has been the best gig you have done to date and why?
Oh my goodness! That's a hard question - this past weekend I think was one of my coolest and most beautiful venues. I opened for a Guns N Roses tribute band at an absolutely stunning winery in Temecula, CA as the sun was starting to set. The crowd was engaged in my set and it was just a beautiful evening.
If you could perform a gig at any venue where would it be and why?
Radio City Music Hall. The first time I ever set foot in that theatre I was stunned at how beautiful it is. New York City was my home for many years and so many influential musicians in my life have graced that stage, and I want to do that too! Also, Madison Square Garden someday of course!
What has been your best achievement to date and what would like to achieve in the future?
Leaving my day job and pursuing music full-time. One of the boldest things I've done and it has been great for my career. I would love to tour the United States as well as England in the near future!
Tell me a story from backstage or after a gig?
I honestly can't think of any off the top of my head right now - sorry! haha
What do you like best about being a musician and why?
The feeling of being able to express myself through song and inspire others in the process.
If you were not in the job you are now what would you be doing?
Life Coach - I do have some elements of that that I add into my music. I am an avid goal setter and I think it's so important for everyone to set lofty goals in life and go after them!
What has been the best gig you have been to as a fan and can you tell us about it?
Seeing Sara Bareilles at The Troubadour in LA this past March. She had a few shows at smaller venues to test out songs from her new album and I knew it was a HUGE opportunity to see her in an intimate show. I felt so lucky to able to get tickets and attend. It was a truly special night at an iconic venue that I will never forget. I left feeling incredibly inspired.
What would your ideal festival line up be and why?
Well, I listen to so many different types of music so this is a difficult question to answer!! To be honest, I would love to experience the musical phases I've gone through in life. So the 90s would consist of my pop & alternative rock phase (BSB, Sheryl Crow, all those alt-rock bands from the 90s like Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 20, etc), the early 2000s would be all the emo & indie/alt rock bands like Taking Back Sunday, Something Corporate, Dashboard Confessional, Jack's Mannequin, and then my phase now which consists of a lot of country and classic rock...so basically everything. I'd call it Erin's Nostalgia Fest!
What would you say is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Don't be afraid take risks in life. Don't be afraid of failure. Lean into fear. These are all scary words, but you never know what can be on the other side. Change is constant. It's so important to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and realize our true potential. Goal Setting can help get us there.
What things make you happy and what things annoy you?
Happy - Music, Family, Friends, Working out, Going to concerts, Vacations, Nature, Wine, Authenticity. Annoy - Fake people, Flakiness, Ignorance, People taking advantage of other people, NEGATIVITY (that's probably the biggest one)
What things do you like to do when you are away from music?
All the things that make me happy above.
Do you think social media and the internet are a good thing in the music industry?
Yes, when utilized as a tool and not as comparison. Comparison is the thief of joy.
How important do you think you look and image is when it comes to being in the music industry?
I think that as a musician it is important to take care of ourselves. To have goals. To eat food that nourishes our body and work out. It is important to represent ourselves in a professional way. But in a "vanity" way, sometimes I think that is weighed way too heavily.
Can you tell us about any tattoos have and the significance of them to you?
I love tattoos! I have 5.
1. Treble Clef on my wrist that says "Dream" - this was my first tattoo so it will always be special in that way. I can always look at it and never forget to chase my dreams for my music career
2. "Believe" in the color from my husband's and my wedding on my foot. For us to always believe in ourselves and what we are capable of.
3. "Faith" with a flying bird on the inside of my left arm. With faith all things are possible. I am religious and believe that anything is possible with faith and God. My faith is something that is very important to me and this is a constant reminder.
4. "Always be chasing the sun.." with a sun and wave. I have this on my right arm. This is from the Sara Bareilles song "Chasing the Sun". Listen to the song and you'll understand why. This song has followed me ever since it came out and it is one of my favorite songs of all time.
5. Palm Tree - next to my Sara Bareilles tattoo - as a symbol of my time in California. I know we won't live out here forever, so this is a constant reminder of my time here...and I'm also obsessed with palm trees so I always have one to look at!
If you run the country for a day what would you change about it and why?
I could be here all day so I'm not even going to get into that, haha.
What would your ideal day consist of?
So I have several "ideal days", but any day is an ideal day when I am either in Disneyland or Walt Disney World. That is my happy place.
Can you tell us about any new releases gigs or anything else coming up in the future?
I am currently writing new songs that I'm really excited about. I gig every week so I'm continuing to do that. Come out and see a show!
If you could say one thing to your fans what would it be and why?
THANK YOU. Y'all have no idea how much I appreciate you. And all the kind words you say. It means so much whenever my music touches you in some way. So thank you!!
How would you answer the question Who is Erin McAndrew and what are the differences between you as an artist and you away from music?
To be honest, they are one and the same!
What was the first record or song you purchased and why?
Remember, I am a kid of the 90s - so my first cassette tape was Ace of Base "The Sign". I was 8 and I don't remember why other than I loved the song "The Sign"!
What would say to someone thinking about becoming a musician and getting into the music industry?
Start small. Know that you can't go from zero to 60 immediately. Create a schedule for yourself to practice and work on your craft. Learn some of your favorite songs. Start playing some open mics and coffee shops, and when you feel comfortable start reaching out to other types of venues that would be suitable for your genre of music. Create a system for yourself for reaching out to venues and stick to it! Don't be afraid of cover gigs. I play mostly cover gigs, and always mix in a few originals. They are GREAT ways to make really good money that you can mix in easily with your other shows. It also gives you a lot of credibility. Venues and your fans/potential fans are going to take you much more seriously if they see you are playing multiple times a month instead of once a month or every other month. Stay away from pay-to-play gigs. You deserve to get paid for your work! Start creating an email list...and be consistent in sending those emails! Developing a loyal fan base is only going to help you in getting closer to your goals. Also, one of the best pieces of advice I can give is having patience. This takes time. You can't expect to have it happen overnight. Showing up consistently and being patient will pay off over time.
If you could collaborate with any other band/singer or musician who would you choose and why?
Sara Bareilles, Kelly Clarkson, or Pink - same reasons as above...I just love them all so much and am so inspired by them. I think they would be amazing to collaborate with and learn from.
If you could have written one song from history which would it have been and why?
This is going to sound so random but "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel. It's just such a freaking clever and amazing song...and c'mon who doesn't love that song?!
What things make you uncomfortable?
Not a lot - but the biggest thing is probably when someone is constantly complaining and negative. Let's talk about it and move on or I don't want to be around you because you are making me uncomfortable!
If you wrote a book about yourself what would it have in it?
My best goal setting tips, my favorite quotes, and a lot of tough love to helps others realize how much potential that there is out there for them to have!
What has the rest of the year go in store for you?
Lots and lots of gigs - and perhaps recording some new songs? You'll just have to stay tuned!