Thanks for having me! I’ve been great. I’m currently putting a lot of work into my forthcoming record, Reasons For Departure. We just booked our CD Release show (May 11 at Lost Lake in Denver) and are finalizing some festivals and tour dates for this summer.
Can you talk to us more about your song “Hearts Go On”?
Hearts Go On is the first single off Reason For Departure. It teases the innocence of young love, while the character in the story is so wrapped up in it, he can’t see beyond the pain of the situation. I hope the listener can relate to and see the other side of a situation that pretty much everyone has experienced.
Did any event inspire you to write this song?
It wasn’t based off of any one particular event, no. However, I always picture being in high school hanging out under the bleachers of a football game when I’m singing it.
Any plans to release a video for the track?
Not as of now. I would like to though if the opportunity arises. We are releasing a music video for the title track, “Reasons For Departure.” It was done by Greg Carr and came out really well! He videotaped me performing the song, then he actually drew hundreds of pictures and sequenced them together to make an animated video.
The single comes off your new album Reasons For Departure – what’s the story behind the title?
Besides that it’s one of the tracks on the album, Chris Daniels (who produced the record) thought it would be a good title because it represents a departure for me as an artist. It sounds completely different from any of my previous records. This is my fourth one, but it’s the first where I really feel like I’ve come into my own as an artist. I feel like this is who I am, and I feel proud and excited to show off the end product.
How was the recording and writing process?
Some of the songs on the record were written a couple of years back, some were a little more recent. I had a handful of songs that were finished or almost finished and as I looked through my song lyrics and played through things, these 10 just seemed to sort of mesh together.
What was it like to work with Chris Daniels and how did that relationship develop?
Working with Chris was absolutely incredible. The whole band is in their mid-20s, so the experience he brought to the table was huge. I originally met him my freshman year of college at CU Denver when I took his “Intro To Music Business” class. We got to know each other throughout college, but didn’t get really close until my last semester. I was working on releasing my first record then, and I asked Chris if I could do an independent study with him to work on a release strategy. I think we called it, “How To Release An Album.” A few years later, Chris created a whole music entrepreneurship course at CU Denver inspired by our indie study. I actually got to guest lecture in that class a few weeks ago!
As a producer, Chris is so mature and developed as an artist. He’s just one of those people that everyone listens to intently when he speaks. If we brought a song into the studio and it was clicking, he wouldn’t mess with it a whole lot. When there were things that just didn’t feel quite right, he had a quick solution. The whole record really flowed from start to finish, and Chris is largely responsible for that.
How much did he influence the song?
“Hearts Go On” was already written when I brought Chris on board. He helped out a lot with arrangement stuff though. As I recall, the bridge didn’t really mesh too well until Chris got a hold of it. I spent HOURS on the lead vocal for it, too. I had a hard time singing it in the studio for some reason. Chris would always yell between takes, “Stop singing butt rock.” He said that because when I sang “Hearts Go On” he thought I sounded like I was sitting on the toilet doing my business. We eventually got it right though!
What role does Colorado play in your writing?
I don’t have a ton of songs at this point that are written about or pertaining to Colorado specifically, but it still plays a huge role. I’ve lived here since I was two years old, so it’s just a natural part of who I am. I am damn lucky to call this place my home.
How has Jackson Browne and Jason Isbell influence your music?
I’ve had a lot of musical influences over the years. Anders Osborne, Jackie Greene and Dawes are a few others off the top of my head. I really like how Browne and Isbell craft their songs. There’s something about their lyrics that are special. I especially like the quality where you know what they’re singing about so it’s relatable, yet they word it in a way that strikes you differently than with most other songwriters.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
This record has a few themes. There’s definitely a few love/love lost songs on this record like “Reasons for Departure” “Jenny’s Masquerade” and “Hearts Go On.” “Secret Rodeo” is about someone who feels like they should be a star, but no one shows up to see him/her perform. “Who I Want To Be” is a song I wrote on New Year’s Eve a couple years back about exactly that. Everyone wants to be a certain thing when they look in the mirror, but sometimes you’ve got to cut yourself some slack.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes! We’ve been keeping pretty consistently busy. We’re hitting Montana, Idaho, Washington, Saskatoon and Alberta in May and June right after the record is released. We also have several festivals and summer concert series’ booked in Colorado throughout the summer. Check out a full list of upcoming shows here: www.andysydow.com/shows. If you want to see us somewhere in particular or just say “hey,” please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org.
What else is happening next in Andy Sydow´s world?
The big thing is the CD release on May 11. After that, you can expect to see me both solo and with the full band out on the road. Rock n roll!!