INTERVIEW BY: MEG
You recently released a new song titled “If I Died Today.” What’s the song about?
Andrew: It is really about being genuine in life and how perhaps we should treat people in life with the same kindness that we do right after they are deceased. It sounds like kind of a morbid concept but it’s really just about treating each other well. I had a friend who passed away a little over a year ago, and many people who didn’t even know him started coming out of the woodwork and posting about him on social media. Some of the posts felt a bit self-serving but also kind of like redeeming attention that was previously not given. So I don’t know, I just started thinking about what people would say if I passed away and whether or not people who normally don’t reach out to me would all of a sudden be spouting memories. I think if this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we should be reaching out to our friends, family, and maybe even people we weren’t particularly close with before.
How would you describe the writing process for this single, and how would you compare that to the writing process for your debut EP “Spotless”?
Andrew: In the past several years I have written the majority of my songs on acoustic guitar to get the structure and lyrics of the song solid before I begin production. In my opinion, the core song is the most important thing and production is kind of the icing on the cake. While I have believed this for some time, when I was younger I would more often than not start with a beat/heavy production elements and write a song around that. Many of the songs on my debut EP, “Spotless,” were started in Ableton (except for the song July). The production for “If I Died Today” was also more of a direct collaboration between myself and my friend Will Mandell at Broken Horn Studios. The “Spotless” EP definitely had a lot of collaborative elements, but before anyone recorded a single note I had all of the arrangements worked out. I had a full band on it consisting of Brett Warren on Bass, Julian Hogan on Drums, and Lilan Kane on Vocals, and I worked with David Earl on mixing the EP, but I would say back in my early 20’s when I wrote it I was much more of a control freak and less trusting of people to just work on my music. Now that I am older, I am much more open to other people’s ideas, and that is absolutely reflected on my latest single.
Are there any new or different influences with this song compared to that EP? If so, who/what?
Andrew: Absolutely. Since that last EP was released I’ve gotten back into much heavier forms of music. While there were heavier and more progressive elements, “Spotless” was in general more of an electric pop type album. As I’ve gotten older, my music has generally gotten a bit darker I suppose. I started getting real into Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode around 2017, about a year after Spotless was released.
With this single, will there be more singles, a new EP or even an album coming soon? If you are working on new music, how is it coming along and what can people expect from it?
Andrew: Yes, I am currently working on a new EP! It was coming along well, but quite honestly the pandemic has slowed me down considerably. I’ve been feeling that my energy is better spent on activism and fighting for social/racial justice than writing an EP at least at the current moment. Luckily I already have enough material written for at least a full album (if not more), I just need to record and arrange it all. Due to the pandemic, I’ll likely be recording the vast majority of it in my home studio.
In addition to working on your own music, you’re also a part of various other musical and creative projects - what’s it like working on music solo compared to when you’re working with others in those projects?
Andrew: It can be difficult at times because I usually spend at least 40 hours per week working on other people’s projects, so oftentimes my own music is the first thing to get dropped from my schedule. That said I feel that working on so many different projects in different styles of music has made me a better musician and continues to inspire me to make different and engaging material!
What do you have planned in support of this single, and what can people expect next from Andrew Levin?
Andrew: Well, of course touring is off the table for the time being, but I will probably record a live video of If I Died Today sometime soon. I have several real exciting projects I am working very hard on that I unfortunately can’t talk about right now :). But beyond that definitely look forward to another EP (hopefully) in the next six months to a year.
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ANDREW LEVIN'S LATEST SINGLE, TITLED "IF I DIED TODAY," IS AVAILABLE NOW.