Interview With Andy Black - 15th May 2016

Photo Of Andy Black © Copyright Andy Black We caught up with Andy Black before his headline show at the Tramshed in Cardiff to talk about the success of his debut solo album 'The Shadow Side', his current Andy Black solo tour, his acting debut, what inspires his song writing, plans for the future and much more.

The Andy Black project has been a long time coming, how does it feel to finally have released your debut album ‘The Shadow Side’?
It’s fantastic, to be able to do something I had a relatively short time to complete that I had been planning for years to actually be out and doing so well as we have got the reports back and this is the highest charting record I have ever had including Black Veil Bride releases, and I am having a lot of fun so far with the whole project.

How would you say ‘The Shadow Side’ has gone done with your fans and the press so far?
One of the great things about being on tour when a record comes out is that you are a little bit isolated and you have to really make an opportunity to look for reviews, so from what I’ve seen with friends and family members sending me e-mails of reviews has been really positive and the fans have been responding really well as we play the shows every night and the kids know every word and the record has only been out for a week so it’s a lot of fun.

You worked with producer John Feldmann on the album, how did you find working with him again and on a totally different project to before?
Feldy is one of my best friends so to work with him on anything is always fun  weather it is writing songs because we like writing songs or writing songs for a project and that’s how this stemmed as we got together and thought we should write some different stuff. It’s a fun familiar family experience working with Feldy and he is just like an older brother to me and I love him.

You worked with many different musicians on the album such as Gerard Way, Mikey Way, Patrick Stump and your musical idol Matt Skiba etc how did this all come together and how was it to get creative with so many other musicians?
Its’ crazy because when you are doing a solo record you don’t have a band and you can do it one of two ways and either do everything in pro tools and have a session band play or have people come in, and it was great to be able to have some many people come in and give us there skills and allow the record have such a variety in terms of instrumentation. Having Mikey come in and play bass on a song I wrote with Gerard was a fun thing and same goes for Quinn from The Used coming in he played a lot of guitar and did a lot of really interesting stuff that we wouldn’t otherwise thought of so it was a big collaborative effort.

When it came to writing for ‘The Shadow Side’? what kind of things inspired you?
Because it was the first record you get your whole life time of experience’s to build on and because the theme and tone was so different from Black Veil Brides it was like starting over again and I wrote a lot of personal things which I never found a way to talk about in the Black Veil Brides like stuff I was battling with personally, emotions I felt, situations I had been in, people I had lost, deaths and that sort of thing. It was euphoric is a way to write about all those things.

‘The Shadow Side’ is very big, infectious and diverse sounding, what would you say your favourite tracks from the album are?
I like anything that is ridiculously over the top so a song like ‘Homecoming King’ or ‘The Void’ have so much instrumentation in them from Xylophone to saxophone so in that capacity those two songs are some of my favourites.

You have always written inspirational songs which fans can relate to, how does it make you feel knowing that your music has helped fans overcome tough times in their life?
It’s really nice, I have never sat down to write a song for someone as it’s the most disingenuous thing you could do by saying I’m going to write a song for the lonely kid and the person who feels depressed. One of things I loved about the bands I listened to when growing up is that I knew they wrote about things they had gone through and if I could relate to it, it felt like a magic trick it was like oh my god this guy who I don’t know who’s twenty years older than me is going through something similar to me. So if the songs I write can relate to people and help them it’s a great feeling as I know it’s coming from a genuine place.

You are currently half way through your UK tour, how have the shows been so far and what’s your set up like on stage?
Great, the UK is always great, I had no doubts that it was going to be a lot of fun and people were going to come out in large numbers  and it is a little ridiculous to say that as it’s a new project which only has a record out this week but the fans here have been so good to me over the years that I had so much confidence and it is nice to have it pay off and play great shows every night.

How have you found picking a setlist for the tour and what songs can we expect to hear live?
It’s hard when you only have one record and I hate the idea of just going out and playing the whole record as it doesn’t allow you for any other opportunity’s in the future to do anything new or come back and play other songs, so there is a lot of covers in the set and we have changed the arrangements for a few of the songs for the live circuit just to make things slightly different so people aren’t coming and hearing the exact record they just heard.

You have Creeper out on the road supporting you, were they handpicked by yourself and how have you found touring with them so far?
Yeah, I love them they kind of keep to themselves and they are nice guys when I see them, I love their music and it was a really rare opportunity that I was able to select a band I enjoy and want on the tour. politically there is always stuff that happens with agencies but I knew when this project went out they were the band I wanted on the tour, so I am glad they said yes.

Ever since your first ever tour of the UK supporting The Murderdolls you have made sure to come back to the UK for a couple of tours every year, what is it about the UK that you love?
The UK took to us quicker than anywhere else in the world even quicker than the US because the US was a more gradual progression whilst here on that Murderdolls tour about midway through it I was on the cover of magazines and all this stuff was happening. I told the guys who are playing in my band one of which who has never played in the UK that I have played everywhere and the UK is consistently always the best rock crowds.

You have landed your first lead acting role in the film ‘American Satan’ which is due for release in 2017 how did this come about and what can you tell us about it?

It’s a fousty idea about a character who wants to be a star really bad and he makes a deal with an unsavoury character to have all his dreams come true and it ends really badly, it’s a horror thriller kind of thing with a lot of drama and I play the lead character Johnny and it’s so cool to work with so many awesome people like Malcom Mcdowell and John Bradley from Game Of Thrones and so many other awesome people.

I understand you are in the early stages of writing new Black Veil Bride songs, what can you tell us about them and when do you think the band will fully start working on album number 5?
We have started already we are about 5 songs tracked, drums are fully done it is just in the mixing process and we are taking our time to decide how we want the record to be mixed like as we have never had the time in our career to really listen to twenty different mixes of one song and finding how we want it to sound, so that is where we are at and once we set the tone for the record we will move on.

You have achieved so much in your music career so far, what would you say your main high and lows have been so far?
The height is the fact I get to do this year after year and the fact I am ten years into Black Veil Brides and I am 25 now and since I was a teenager I have been on tour doing this and year after year I get to travel all over the world playing to people and then I have this solo project which is doing really well so I guess the biggest high is the continual success. The lows are exhaustion it’s a lot of work year after year but you get through it and you enjoy the shows.

What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
We have one more run with Andy Black we are doing Japan and then Australia and then we have a little bit of time off for the holidays, then working on the Black Veil Brides record and it looks like we will be putting ou the new record in the first quarter of next year.

Thanks for your time do you have a message for your fans reading this?
Thank you  I am so appreciative that I get to do this and it’s a really great experience.

Interview by Trigger

 Band Members

Andy Black
 Latest Releases

Andy Black - The Shadow Side
Release Date - 6th May 2016

1. Homecoming King
2. We Don't Have To Dance
3. Ribcage
4. Stay Alive (feat. Matt Skiba)
5. Love Was Made To Break
6. Beautiful Pain
7. Put The Gun Down
8. Drown Me Out
9. Paint It Black
10. Break Your Halo
11. Louder Than Your Love
12. Broken Pieces
13. The Void

 Band Related Links
Andy Black Facebook