As we approach BalconyTVs 10th anniversary, I thought it would be interesting to interview some of the first artists that performed on the show and find out what has happened to them in the time since.
Andrew Handrick performed on August 15th, 2006. Here is our catchup...
Stephen - Andrew, you were one of the first artists to perform on BalconyTV. What, if anything do you remember about the performance?
Andrew - I can’t believe it’s been 10 years but I remember it well actually. I was just back from San Francisco and a friend told me about BalconyTV so decided to give it a shot. It was a lot of fun performing, a good atmosphere with all you friendly people, but also very professional despite appearances. Lol. Happy to see it has gone from strength to strength all over the world.
Stephen - What was the song about?
Andrew - Good question. I'm still not 100% sure. But its definitely about relationships and breaking up, learning from the pain and growing and changing and realizing the lessons to be learned. That no matter how much someone may take, or you may give, there is always more and always a new beginning if you want it.
Stephen - How long had you been playing before that point?
Andrew - Well, as a solo artist I had been playing for about 4 years I think, maybe a little longer.
Stephen - What were your ambitions then, compared to what they are now?
Andrew - Ambitions, ahh, those things disappointments are made of. I suppose I had ambitions to maybe sign some kind of deal and do music full time but my life kinda took a different direction for a while due to some unforeseen circumstance - mainly an illness that almost killed me. Another life lesson. Hah. My ambitions now are to just keep writing, playing and recording. I realize how lucky I am just to be able to be a musician, to be able to sing, write etc, to know what my passion in life is. That's the real prize if you like. Whatever happens happens...
Stephen - The internet has completely transformed music in the last 10 years. When we started out, YouTube was just starting and MySpace was the thing. How have you found dealing with the digital revolution?
Andrew - I think when it all started it was great for independent, unsigned musicians to be able to get their music out there to the public and something like Myspace exposed my music to a lot of listeners who became fans. But then somewhere along the way the music took a very noticeable second place and the very things artists had helped to build turned around and bite them in the ass. In a lot of ways the internet has become just another form of bland media unfortunately. Sites set up to be sold
to the highest bidder when it becomes big enough and screw the people/musicians who helped build it. Don’t get me wrong, I still think the internet can be good as it can give you the opportunity to play to fans from all over the world who might otherwise never see you, collaborate with other musicians from all over the world, but who pays
for music these days? I think it has yet to find it’s level.
Stephen - What do you make of the Irish music scene?
Andrew - Well to be honest I have kinda lost touch with it as I have been living in Italy for the past 7 years, but I am sure it is thriving as usual.
Stephen - If you could give the you of 10 years ago advice, 10 years on, what would it be?
Andrew - Stay away from crazy women, eat healthier, trust your instincts and don’t worry too much, life is just a game.
Stephen - What has been the best thing to happen to you in music and life in the last 10 years?
Andrew - Musically the best thing that happened to me was playing a gig in Rome in front of some pretty well respected people in the music scene and actually having them all get it. A lot of times in a musicians life we play many gigs but the appreciation can be less than great and when some people really get your music and get what you are about and they feel it. Thats worth more than all the money in the world. I also played a small festival in Ireland with the same feeling.
In my life the best thing that happened was the birth of my daughter Sofia six years ago, I love her more every day and I did not think that was possible. Yep, it really is like that, I make no apologies.
Stephen - What is the one song of yours your most proud of that people should check out?
Andrew - Well like most musicians I always think my new songs are my best but I have yet to record them. This year hopefully. So I would say check out
'Bourbon Smiles’ off my album ’Distracted’. I captured that song the way I wanted to.
Stephen - Who has been your favorite Irish artist of the last 10 years, and your favorite international or mainstream artist?
Andrew - Damien Dempsey is a great artist if he fits into the 10 year category. I saw him playing a few times in small venues and he created an electric atmosphere. In fact I played a gig with him when he was just starting out, and he was a real gent.
Andrew - As for international artist of the last 10 years, well to be honest I don’t listen to a lot of music, but I would go with Ryan Adams, great voice, great songwriter and performer. Saw him play in the Stadium in Dublin about 7 or 8 years ago. Great band too.
Stephen - Final question. What would your words of wisdom be for anyone starting out? Be as brutal as you like.
Andrew - I would say do it cause you love it. There is no other reason. And give it everything you have despite what others may expect of you. If you find it's your passion just keep doing it. Play the music you want to play and don't compromise. Don't waste your time playing with part time musicians, they will only hold you back. Trust your instincts and play from your heart. Best time of my life was walking around San Francisco with a guitar on my back with nothing to do but play music. Ahh the memories....and the crazy women!!!
Stephen - Thanks Andrew!
- Stephen O'Regan