WXTJ Writes! by Isabel Xiao: “Interview with Andrew Scotchie”

Portions of this story have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Asheville native Andrew Scotchie brings a unique blend of rock-n-roll, folk, and blues to today’s music scene. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing him about his album, “Love Is Enough” and hearing some stories from his upbringing as well as his ten years of touring experience. Having made his Charlottesville debut at The Southern earlier this spring, Andrew Scotchie is ready to continue sharing his musical talents with the world.

Tell me about your upcoming album.

My upcoming album was recorded in Bristol, Virginia, which is the birthplace of country music. And I’m not from there. I was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, which has all kinds of music. The basic tracking was done in about three days, and this is my fifth studio album. I’ve been putting out records for 10 years. This one, I would say, compared to the other ones, has a little bit more of a tenderness to it, I think.

There were definitely a few decisions that I made in the recording process that were intended to show my fans a different side of me, both sonically and lyrically. Maybe to some people, it’ll sound familiar… you know, as far as my sound goes. But I think, to a lot of people, it might be out of left field. There’s a couple songs that are more acoustic-driven, as I primarily write on the acoustic guitar. So a lot of the recording process was based around that. We then built the band around it, so to speak. There’s a couple of tracks that have that kind of signature, crazy rock-and-roll sound that you know, I love, and my fans have grown to love. I also think there’s a maturity to it. Or at least I hope so. I hope that people can hear that in the album: ‘he’s 30… he’s not 18 anymore.’ Overall, it’s just gonna be different. I’m really excited for people to hear it.

What inspires your lyrics, both in general and specifically for this album?

For this album, probably the passing of time, relationships… Whether that be relationships with a friend or somebody that’s romantic. Or not, you know? It doesn’t matter. There’s definitely a theme of perseverance. I have had my fair share of having to push through some hard times, like I know a lot of people have. And the lyrics I read are honest, really honest. Whenever people listen to a story that I’m telling in a song, I can promise you I’ve lived every word. Yeah, I think there’s a big theme of getting through any kind of hell that you’re going through.

We all know, from the past three years especially, that the world is very unpredictable, and life can be taken away very quickly. I like to think that I write about topics that are almost like a purge. Whenever people listen to it, I want people to feel kind of relieved. I want them to feel like they have a friend or somebody they can talk to, and that they’re not alone, for sure. Because music has given me a family. And, you know, it’s my purpose and everything. I love that. I want other people to feel that as well.

So you’ve gone on tour a lot then?

I have been Northeast as far as Buffalo, and then I’ve been as far west as LA. Yeah, I’ve done a lot of the country. We did Steamboat Springs for a couple nights in Colorado and basically just did the whole ski-town thing out there, which is super cool. Because in the south, people kind of shut down during the winter. But out there, they’re like, ‘oh, bring it on, let’s have a good time.’

I’ve been touring and putting out music for 10 years. I just turned 30 back in January, learned a lot, and seen a lot. And I definitely have no signs of slowing down. This is what I’m gonna do until I can’t physically do anymore.

Here’s a fun question: What is the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while touring?

Alright, I’m gonna share this one just because it was recent. If he ends up reading this interview… I hope he knows he has free tickets for life.

Last month in Steamboat Springs, we had two nights of sold out shows at a beautiful venue. I stepped into the mosh pit that was happening, and I felt somebody hit my guitar, like my headstock, really hard. Turns out, it was somebody’s mouth. And his tooth broke in half. I was mortified. I didn’t know that it happened. Then, we got done with the show, and the venue owner was hanging out at the bar. I went and said hi to him, and he was like, “hey look at this,” and pointed to his mouth. And I’m like, oh my god. I almost passed out, out of embarrassment. and I was just feeling horrible. So, I’m apologizing like crazy, trying to give him as much cash as I possibly can. And he’s like: “It’s okay, I got a story, I loved the show, I’ll be back tomorrow. I entered at my own risk. I ended up at my own risk. And I loved it. You guys are awesome. I’ll see you tomorrow night. I’m going to bring some friends.” That would probably be the craziest, most recent thing. The moral of the story is to just be careful whenever you jump into a mosh pit. Just know that you’re entering at your own risk. Everyone’s responsible for that.

Who are some artists that you’re inspired by? And what first got you into music?

I think as far as remembering music, like actively remembering it. I was probably about five or six, and my dad was not a musician. He was a music junkie: he collected vinyl and tapes. He would show me everything from Rolling Stones, The Who, Alison Krauss, punk, to 90s alternative. I mean, he was a walking, talking music library. He took us to concerts, took us to festivals growing up, and you know, me and my brothers were the kids on his shoulders just soaking it all in. It wasn’t until about age 10 when we saw a concert in Clemson, South Carolina, and my oldest brother came back and was like, “I’m taking guitar lessons.” Of course, at that age, you’re like, ‘I want to be just like my brother.’ So I did too and got hooked on it. I liked repetition and structure. I had to play every day.

When I was 15, my dad, who not only was a musical inspiration, but a good, good friend and a good parent passed away quite tragically in Asheville. After that, music became medicinal. It became a coping strategy. It wasn’t just something that I really loved; it was something I knew I had to do to stay sane. And a couple years later, I started the band that would ultimately lead to where I am today.

I listen to everything… I love Harry Styles. I’m not afraid to say that. I think he’s phenomenal. He has really, really good musical instincts, and I think his fashion sense is phenomenal. I also like old blues from the 60s and 70s. I listen to a lot of 90s alternative grunge, and if I had to name a few bands, I’ll give you three that I just could not live without: Rolling stones, Drive-By Truckers, and a band from Kentucky called White Reaper. I encourage everybody to check them out, hopefully people know who they are by now. But White Reaper, if I had to say, would be my biggest contemporary influence, and I will gladly go on-record and say that I think they’re the greatest contemporary rock-and-roll band.

I also wanted to ask about your insight into performing, and what you think makes a good show.

Energy. If I had to bring it down to one word, it’s energy. I actually fell in love with performing and the high that it gives people before I even knew what a chord on a guitar was. Or before I knew how to play anything. I would go to shows as a teenager, and I would just be like, ‘I don’t know these people, they don’t know me, but we’re here together sharing a massively spiritual moment.’ And I fell in love with the magic of music before I knew any technical aspects of it. Gotta be honest, you also have to be entertaining. I think that it’s very important to remember that it’s called the “entertainment industry,” and we are meant to entertain people. In some ways, we’re meant to be athletes. You know, Mick Jagger is one of my favorite front-men, because of his energy and his way of connecting with the crowd. Same thing with David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Iggy Pop… I draw a lot of inspiration from the greats in that way. I want to carry that torch, that experience of going to a concert and leaving your problems behind, coming out a refreshed human being. Music will always be the universal language of emotions, how we can connect with one another, and how we can go from being strangers to best friends. I’ve met people on the road that I can text right now and talk to them about anything. And I wouldn’t have that if it wasn’t for music.

Okay, last question. What has been your favorite show you’ve ever played?

Most recently, I opened up for a songwriter named Dylan Leblanc. He’s one of my top five influences as a songwriter. Specifically his album, “Cautionary Tale.” I know it front and backwards. I love it. I got to do a show with him, and I was so nervous… and trying not to be a fanboy or anything like that. He was the nicest guy, and we had matching leather jackets by accident. That was really cute. It was just a really, really beautiful night. It was one of those shows where you kind of blank, and then you’re done, you know? Which is a feeling that I definitely chase. Those are some of the best shows, where time flies by.

Love is Enough” came out on June 9th, check it out on all streaming platforms.

By Isabel Xiao, co-host of “baked beats” on Fridays from 10pm-12am

WXTJ Writes! is brought to you by a team of writers—our mission is to make our website come alive by diving even deeper into some of our favorite music and music culture. Read special stories told by radio-loving students, here on wxtj.fm/articles.

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