Andrew and I met on set last year where we both showed up to be extras for our friends Bear Cub in their music video for "I've Been Around". Today we meet-up at "flour. sugar. eggs." a brunch place in the German Town neighborhood of Nashville. We've talked about doing a music video together before, but our plans were curbed when Andrew found out that he had to have surgery to remove a brain tumor late last year. It took him awhile to recover so we wanted to take some time to catch up. Andrew currently fronts the band Andrew Leahey and the Homestead and is a writer for Rolling Stone, American Songwriter, & Scoutmob among others. If that weren't enough, he also bears a striking resemblance to THOR...so there's that.
Q & A
ME: What are some of the places you've written for in your career? Which was your favorite/why?
AL: Rolling Stone was always the goal. I can't remember a time when I didn't read that magazine, so it's a surreal honor to be doing daily articles for them these days. Other highlights? I interned for Spin Magazine in 2005, and The National played a show in our office during my first day. I spent four years writing a weekly music column for the Washington Times, which allowed me to interview people like Van Morrison, Fleetwood Mac, and KISS. I moved to Michigan to take a job as the assistant editor of AllMusic.com, which was like going to music journalism boot camp. After moving down to Nashville, I became good friends with the editorial team over at American Songwriter. They've tossed me some great assignments over the last three years, including a cover story on Jason Isbell. Jason later repaid the favor by performing at my brain tumor benefit show in December 2013. I think that probably means I'm in his debt once again, right?
ME: Who's the coolest person you've gotten to meet/interview from your writing gigs?
AL: Vince Gill was pretty great. He did the interview in flip flops and a baggy sweatshirt. He couldn't have cared any less about looking cool, which is badass... because even in flip flops and a baggy sweatshirt, Vince Gill is the coolest guy in the room. Honorable mentions: Gillian Welch, Black Sabbath, Jason Isbell, Leon Russell, the Beach Boys, Steve Earle, Jenny Lewis, Bon Jovi, the Old 97's, Def Leppard... the list goes on.
ME: What's your favorite current/recent/upcoming project?
AL: We're about to go into the studio with Ken Coomer, the co-founder of motherf*cking WILCO, and record an album with him. I've been looking forward to that for months.
*And then here's a little music video of Andrew's for you to check out. Says Andrew, "We recorded this Tom Petty song in my living room in October 2013, two weeks before I had brain surgery. I can't even watch the whole thing because it makes me pretty emotional. It was great that so many friends wanted to be part of it." Andrew was told he may loose his hearing in surgery, which is obviously a big deal for a musician. Luckily that didn't happen, but still I'm sure it was fantastic to know so many fellow musicians were rooting for him!