Where are you from?
I was born in Columbia, Missouri, but I grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas until I was about 8 when my mom moved us up near Branson, Missouri. However, since she was a schoolteacher in Omaha, Arkansas just across the border from where we lived, I went to high school in Arkansas while living in Missouri. There has been a pattern in my life of living on borders. Currently, I reside in a wonderful little town in Kentucky called Berea where I went to college. I always thought it was interesting that my two favorite places to live were the two border states in the Civil War. Lots of clashing perspectives seem to suit my personality, I suppose.
When did you start making music?
In 5th grade, band was finally an option in school that I had been excited about for several years prior. I picked up a trombone. Later that year, I saw School of Rock. This led to such fervent begging that my dad bought me my first guitar for my 12th Christmas. Since I was a pretty reclusive and studious kid who didn’t relate very well to my peers, I latched onto guitar as a mechanism to show them I was cool. This led to meeting my best friend who got me deep into Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page’s spiritual practices (R.I.P. John Bowling, the greatest drummer I ever knew). From there, music was my life because I saw how powerfully it could transform people by how it transformed me.
How do you describe your music?
That’s difficult because I have a somewhat Frank Zappa-like philosophy when it comes to genres, but my most recent efforts have been centered around respecting and garnering more respect for conscious hip hop culture. This is mainly because I see hip hop as a sort of open format where any musical expression can be welcome as long as it obliges the snare on the 2 and 4 plus a few kicks here and there. That allows it to be a sort of forum where musical ideas from different cultures can meet and interact in a shared space with shared rules. That, in turn, seems to spark amazing synthesis of cultural ideas in the lyrical material it inspires. While I do as much of that as I can internally with my imagination and web resources, it is a major goal of mine to get more musicians from diverse cultures to contribute original sounds for my productions.
Favorite moment from your career?
Oddly enough, it immediately proceeded from my least favorite moment. In 2018, I jumped off a cliff in an attempt to end my life. Depression has been a constant cloud that has followed me through life, and that year a misguided relationship ended in such a way that my brain’s self-preservation mechanisms shut down. However, after waking up in the hospital and processing the near-death experience for a couple of weeks while my fractured spine and skull healed to a safe degree, I was released on a Tuesday afternoon. This is when my favorite moment occurred. As I was riding back to my apartment after dinner with my dad, I was listening to Tuesday Afternoon by the Moody Blues. As it was playing, I remembered in a giant light bulb moment that my favorite open mic was starting in half an hour. I marched into my apartment for the first time since I’d said goodbye to it for good, packed up my guitar, and walked down to Feel Good Inc. (yes, that was a real place, but no more sadly). The ex I had been so upset about was sitting outside the door with her new man. I walked past them without so much as a glance or a nod, signed up on the list, and rapped one of the best sets of my life with half my head covered in bandages. There’s a video of it out there somewhere. I’d love to find it.
Who is your biggest musical inspiration?
I would really have to say Jimmy Page. Watching DVDs of Led Zeppelin’s live shows as a kid was how I really came to understand what music could do to people, both from the crowd’s reaction and my own. Later, as I looked deeper into the symbols and gestures he used, I began to understand some basic principles of magick, distinct from the art of the illusionist known as magic. He learned most of what he knew from the writings of Aleister Crowley, but as I learned more about that particular character, I came to prefer other resources on the topic who presented far fewer ethical dilemmas in their methods and practices. I’ve had a lot of weird experiences surrounding those studies that I’d prefer not to get into here, but it will suffice to say that I’m convinced the world consists of many unmeasurable forces which, nonetheless, require accounting for through subtle perceptive mechanisms. If we fail to account for these forces, it would seem that they can be quite dangerous to overall human welfare just like any natural phenomenon.
What is your producing software?
I enjoy Studio One’s interface and native VSTs, but I also use Mixcraft Pro Studio because of its unique performance panel which is useful for those who lack fancy MIDI interfaces like myself.
What other things do you do besides making music?
We’ve covered a couple things. I recently started attending an online school called Grey School of Wizardry. From what I have seen, it appears to be a group of individuals who have done deep independent research into a number of topics that are known to have difficulty garnering academic funding. These include consciousness studies, herbal and traditional medicine, esoteric interpretation of oral traditions, and alternative historical models based on ancient principles that have been rejected by materialist science. While I am aware that many charlatans exist in the fields of study mentioned above, I can say that after 7 years of intense independent research of my own, this group seems to be rooted in intellectual integrity.
What is your favorite track of all time?
I think I would have to say Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. It contains some very deep Qabalistic meaning that I have spent a good portion of my life untangling. It was also the first song I ever learned to sing and play at the same time. I even won a talent show with it in high school.
What is your best-producing tip?
Be precise unless you have a good reason not to. Great songs can be ruined by neglecting tiny adjustments. I have done this many times, and I am telling myself this as much as anyone.
Why did you start making music?
Guitars had a lot to do with it. For my kindergarten graduation, we had to sing a safety song, and it had a guitar solo at the end of it. When we were rehearsing, they told everybody to do their best air guitar. The other kids kinda just moved their hands a little and rocked back and forth, but I got down on the floor and went full Angus Young, so they let me do it at the graduation. Ever since, I’ve been addicted to the rush of surrendering to sound.
What are your goals for the future?
A year or two ago, my best friend, Camryn Shaffer, started a label called Living Sound Delusions. His back catalog when I got out here to Kentucky was already vast and impressive in quality, but now that we’re working together I see some seriously intense material emerging both currently and in the future. I like to call him the Living Sound Director. I give him concepts and musical skeletons and he fleshes them out into a deliverable product. He also comes out with some amazing concepts of his own that I try to help him with in turn. Separately from the music, I’m working on a podcast idea called Question Master where people send me video or audio clips of various questions they have about life, the universe, or anything at all, and I answer them with video clips of my own. *Correct answers not guaranteed*. In fact, the webcam just got here today!
What advice can you give for the young music producers/DJs?
First, deeply study the classics that formed your musical perception as a child, as they will likely be the source material for the techniques that define your sound. Second, when you’re learning on YouTube, come at it with specific questions about the sound you’re trying to make. Generalized production advice, in my experience, typically just makes you feel like a broke kid with all the toys they suggest for you to buy.
Please write a message to your fans.
If you are a fan of Andy The Dishwasher at this stage of the game, I would first off give you mad hipster props for getting in early. It’s a small crew at present. Secondly, thank you for passing my judgment test by actually listening to what a dishwasher has to say about life and music and stuff. I do this because I want to open a line of communication between people who produce and appreciate deep thoughts and the working class that often does not have access to them due to socio-economic pressures. If you are part of either of those groups, you can help me in that effort by reaching out to the other group with kindness and compassion and listening to them. Thanks, y’all. Stay safe.
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