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Andy Hull | The Audio Perv
Posts Tagged ‘Andy Hull’
23 Jul

By Matt Arena

In a music age where it’s common to wait at least 3 years (sometimes even more) for a band to put out a new record, it’s impressive when artists are able to produce music more consistently. And while keeping them of increasing quality. Even more impressive is a musician like Andy Hull. Working with 5 different bands, he’s collaborated on over 15 album or EP releases since 2004, not to mention his numerous guest appearances on various other band’s albums, including O’Brother’s Garden Window which he also co-produced. Just reading that list of accomplishments is tiring.

Hull’s latest release is Right Away, Great Captain! a solo project consisting of a concept album trilogy, revolving around the story of a 1700’s man who takes to sea after finding out about his wife’s infidelity with his brother. Culminating in the final album, The Church of the Good Thief, Hull’s latest studio effort brings the story to a close. And in a quite the breathtaking fashion. Though dealing with an epic canvas the story paints, musically Hull is able to keep the reigns in. Much in the mind of his main character, we get a conclusion to the story that isn’t a booming, grand finale but a quiet tale of nostalgia and regret from inside the mind of a sentenced man. To mark the end of his trilogy, and presumably his work with Right Away, Great Captain!, Hull announced a tour in which he’d be playing these songs live for the very first time.

The brief tour soon brought him to The Space in Hamden, CT. Feeling much more like your friend’s basement than a music venue, the intimate and personal aesthetic of the room certainly worked well with Hull’s music. Adorned with couches and tables (though most people were standing), it felt more like you were watching someone in their own house, laying their heart out on the acoustic guitar. First up was Harrison Hudson, who doubled as Hull’s tour manager. With the simple set-up of merely a stool and guitar, Hudson was surprisingly lively, setting up a complimentary sound to the contrasting styles of the second opener and Hull himself. At first glance one may think there’s only one way to play an acoustic guitar, but this lineup proved otherwise. Upbeat chords and Hudson’s remarkable vocal range definitely went down well with the crowd, as the already packed venue was nodding along and applauding riotously after each one of his songs. Following Hudson was Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter. A much more soulful and raspy style of play, he too brought a different take on a one-man acoustic set. Songs ranging from The Dear Hunter catalogue to a stunning cover of Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Crescenzo also found a very welcoming crowd. No doubt peppered with The Dear Hunter fans as during many songs you could hear the crowd singing along, something pretty rare for a support act. He closed with ‘Red Hands,’ a song which resonated so well with the audience they seemed to transform into his personal backing track. Thanking a trio of fans whom he called “my personal roving back-up vocal troupe,” he left the stage to cheers and applause.

Soon enough Hull took the stage, dispensing with the usual “hey (insert city name here), how are ya” that most acts go through. Instead he focused on the music, which was as personal and introspective as I’ve ever seen. That’s not to imply that Andy Hull is a troubled sailor from the 1700’s, but in relation to the character the music pulls you right into the mindset of that man. When there’s so much music out there that entails someone half-heartedly picking at an acoustic guitar in an attempt to have “feeling,” it’s really refreshing to see bands like Right Away, Great Captain! make such an impact with a stripped down sound. Andy Hull does an incredible job at creating an intensely vivid imagery, which brings his detailed and well crafted story to life. There isn’t any need for elaborate backdrops, stage pieces, or visuals when instead the music sets the tone and creates the image for you. A sign hanging from the ceiling beam described the crowd perfectly as it read, “Please SHUT UP during acoustic sets,” and that’s exactly what the crowd did. Far from your standard Wednesday night rock show, Right Away, Great Captain! not only crafted a great line-up and encased the crowd in the tragic story of the music, but also proved that acoustic sets don’t have to be boring. They can be as energetic, engaging, and impressive as a full band, if not more so.

14 Jul

You might know Andy Hull as the frontman of the Atlanta based alternative rock band Manchester Orchestra but have you ever taken a listen to his great solo project Right Away, Great Captain!? Andy’s been working on this project for six years with 2006′s “The Bitter End” and 2008′s “The Eventually Home” and is completing the trilogy with a tour in support of “The Church Of The Good Thief” (iTunes) just released last month. Andy’s on tour now with The Dear Hunter’s Casey Crescenzo and took a few minutes to chat with TAP’s Matt Arena. Read on and catch him live this Tuesday at Maxwell’s in Hoboken and next Sunday the 22nd at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn.

How’s it going, Andy?

It’s going great, man. It’s going really great.

You just recently hit the road, how’s the tour going so far?

We started the tour a few nights ago in Chicago, did Michigan last night, and we’re on our way to Akron, Ohio right now. I haven’t played a lot of this material live before so it’s a totally new experience for me but I’m really enjoying it.

You’re one of the hardest working guys in the music industry. Since 2004 with all the different bands you’re involved with, you’ve released over 10 albums/EP’s, so do you manage to stay so creative?

It’s just really fun for me. I consider it a job but it’s a job I love doing and I certainly don’t consider myself as hard working, it’s just something I really love doing.

You co-produced one of my favorite albums last year, O’Brother’s Garden Window. That was a fantastic album.

Thank you, I think that album’s a masterpiece. I love it. We’ve taken O’Brother out with us as often as we can, they were able to use our studio and they’ve were at it that record for a really long time. They continue to work on their craft and get better and that record was a really difficult album to make, it took us a long time to do it. Because we wanted to make sure we were doing it right and really give it the time it needed to evolve and sound great. They were really open to letting Robert and I get in there and kind of become members of the band for that record, rather than just a producer saying “let’s do that take again.” We were messing with song structure and vocal melodies; it wouldn’t have worked with any other band because you’ve gotta be close to somebody to let them do something like that.

With all the work you’ve been doing between producing and working with all the different bands, do you ever worry about burning yourself out?

Yeah, for sure. When that happens, I certainly don’t ever force anything, it comes when it comes and just recently Manchester certainly burned ourselves out on touring so we took the last 6 months off. We’ve been building a studio at home, we’ve got a house and we gutted it and soundproofed it and now we have this house that’s close to where we live. Nobody’s living there it’s just a studio so we make sure we take time and that’s certainly something we needed this year.

Being involved with so many different bands do you ever find yourself recording for one group and then getting ideas for another? For example recording a Manchester album and stumbling upon a Ride Away, Great Captain! song.

They’re pretty divided. With the latest Bad Books record, which comes out in October, there were a few songs that started as Manchester songs in my head and ended up becoming Bad Books songs. I was able to bring them to Kevin and mess with them to put a Bad Books spin on it. I think with Ride Away the story is so specific that there’s really no way I could mix that stuff up. But when I’m generally writing I don’t really think about it for a specific thing, it just usually makes sense.

For Church of the Good Thief, there’s a great vinyl package that encompasses all three albums, can you tell me a bit about where that idea came from?

For me it was something that was pretty obvious that I wanted to do it. I’ve never really printed up stuff like that and I knew that eventually I wanted to put the culmination of all these records together as one package. It was cool being able to finish something like that, a trilogy that took me six years to do. It was really fulfilling.

It strikes a perfect balance between embracing the digital age without disregarding physical vinyl releases.

I think that people like things that are tangible that they can hold and as long as the quality is there people are willing to do it. When I started making music I never thought I’d have a record that would be on vinyl. Obviously the digital thing allows people to be able to get music faster, without it being a totally insane procedure, you can just click and get it. But it also takes away a little bit because you don’t’ really have to search it out since it’s all there at your fingertips. There are positives and negatives to both of them. I love CD’s still, I like buying records and putting them in my car. But I also buy a lot of stuff on my iPhone, it’s easier to just click and listen to. I still find myself buying something digitally and burning it so I can listen to it on a CD.

I love the running story through this trio of albums. Is it something that you find yourself coming upon with other work or was it relegated to Right Away, Great Captain!?

I think that the next thing I do will have something to do with that because I love writing stories and I like the idea of something that spans over the course of several albums. The new Manchester record will probably have a lot more storytelling on it and be a little bit more character based. With Right Away it was more like an exercise to see if I could do it. When you start something when you’re 19, you never really think about what it’s gonna be like when you’re 25 and finishing it up. It was cool to watch that evolve.

Since you started it young and as you get older the way you make music changes, was it difficult to keep it cohesive musically?

The last one for me was sort of the feeling like having homework due for 4 years. I felt like I was late on a project for 4 years. Every time I’d release an album with Bad Books or Manchester I’d feel even more guilty that I hadn’t finished it. Like I was saying earlier, I don’t ever want to force anything so it wasn’t that I found it difficult to be cohesive, because it’s just me and an acoustic guitar. That actually lent itself to the benefit of the album because as the character grows, the songwriting grows and I feel the songwriting got better over the course of 6 years.

The story within the albums is so well thought out, are there any plans to bring it to another medium? Whether it’s a short story or a series of music videos?

I’ve always been open to a lot of that stuff and that would be really cool to do. I don’t really know how I’d do that, I’d love to see a movie made of it but it might be a boring fucking movie. There’s part of me that still wants to work on that story, maybe with other characters but at the same time I think a fresh start’s going to be really important too. I let things grows the way they’re gonna grow. With other mediums it would be super cool to do but I’m not in a rush to do it.

Touring with an album that’s very musically different from the last tour with Manchester, what kind of adjustment is there?

It’s cool. The reason the third Right Away record is so stripped down musically had to do with the story in part and that there was so much shit happening on Simple Math. They compliment each other the same way live shows do. Playing big venues is fun but there’s something really great about playing to a room of people and it being dead quiet. You can see everyone in the room and they all feel like they’re a part of it rather than being separated from them by a sea of people. I love doing both of them and feel very blessed to be doing both.

Does it help keep the touring experience fresh?

For sure. I haven’t done a lot of these Right Away shows, I do a lot of solo shows, spot gigs here and there, but I’ve never done a tour like this. It’s definitely a cleansing of the palette, it lets me play these songs that I’ve never played live before and I love it.

One last question, since Church of the Good Thief brings the story to a close, is that the end of your work with Right Away, Great Captain! or are there more ideas to explore?

As of now that is the conclusion and the ending. It’ll be a long time before I come back and revisit it. I also don’t want to Stars Wars it and totally fuck it up, ya know? Just because people like it doesn’t mean that I have to keep doing it. The story sits where it is, obviously he’s dead so there really isn’t a lot you can with that.

You can always pull a George Lucas and do a prequel trilogy.

(laughs) Yeah exactly, I could. As of now I feel really great about exactly where it is.

Awesome. Thanks for taking the time to talk, I appreciate it.

Yeah, man. Nice talking to you.

18 May

On June 12, Manchester Orchestra frontman Andy Hull will release “The Church of the Good Thief,” the third album in the trilogy of his solo project, Right Away, Great Captain! This new chapter completes the tale Hull began on 2006′s “The Bitter End” and 2008′s “The Eventually Home” of a sailor who, upon discovering his wife cheating on him with his brother, runs away to sea and gradually descends into a vengeful rage.

“The Church of the Good Thief” will be released via all major digital retailers, and will also be available, along with “The Bitter End” and “The Eventually Home,” in a four-LP vinyl box set. Additionally, the deluxe pre-order package for the vinyl box set will include “The Lost Sea,” a collection of unreleased songs, demos and outtakes, as well as a handmade lyric book and keychain, and a photo print by Ryan Russell, all hand-numbered and signed by Hull. The album pre-order begins today at http://rightawaygreatcaptain.bandcamp.com/

Hull will support the album with a brief Midwest and East Coast solo tour in July, hitting markets including Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York; see below for a complete list of dates. Tickets are available to fans now via a Ducat King presale at http://rightawaygreatcaptain.ducatking.com/ and go on sale to the general public on Thursday, May 24 at 12:00 PM local time.

Hull began the Right Away, Great Captain! project in 2006 as a writing exercise. “I had the storyline for the first album in my head,” he explains, “and started to write it in this other characters body. It was really rewarding as a writer to put yourself in someone else’s position and give yourself some walls that you could not break. I had always wanted to embark on something like a trilogy and from the beginning, I felt like three albums could sum up the story. If I didn’t set out for it to be a trilogy, I could have extended this story and it would have gotten stale and I don’t know if I ever would have finished it. What I could not have ever expected was the amount of growth that I went through personally from ages 19 to 25, because you don’t really think about that when you’re 19. As I began to grow, the character grew, and when the character grew, the story grew too.”

“The Eventually Home” ended with our protagonist returning home from three years at sea and standing over his wife and brother asleep in bed, trying to decide whether to murder her. As “The Church of the Good Thief” commences with the song “Blame,” we’re just 30 minutes later in the storyline, as he chooses to kill his brother instead, while his wife watches in terror. His children witness the slaying, neighbors hear the commotion, and the sailor is quickly arrested, tried, and sentenced to death. The remainder of this final album finds him alone in his prison cell, reflecting on his tragic life, communicating with the ghost of his captain and mentor from the first album, and attempting to make peace with his family and his God before his execution.

Hull intentionally created an album to close out this trilogy that sounds and feels as solitary as the conflicted emotions that the character is experiencing. “Both of the previous albums contained a lot of different settings, but my hope on this record was to have it sound like a man in a jail cell with just a guitar and a piano,” he says. “I wanted my voice to be used as a narrative during his isolation.” Hull spent last winter recording during his breaks from touring, and as with the first two Right Away, Great Captain! records (and the entire Manchester Orchestra catalog), teamed up with his longtime producer/collaborator Dan Hannon. The album was recorded in Hannon’s living room studio in Atlanta, and mixed by Hannon, Hull, another longtime studio collaborator, Brad Fisher; and Manchester Orchestra guitarist Robert McDowell at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, NC.

“The Church of the Good Thief” track list:

1. Blame
2. When I Met Death
3. I Am Aware
4. Old Again
5. Fur Stop Caring
6. I Wait For You
7. Barely Bit Me
8. Rotten Black Root
9. We Were Made Of Lightning
10. Memories From The End Pt. 1
11. Memories From The End Pt. 2

Right Away, Great Captain! tour dates:

July 11 — Chicago, IL — Subterranean
July 12 — Pontiac, MI — The Pike Room
July 13 — Akron, OH — Musica
July 15 — Pittsburgh, PA — Shadow Lounge
July 17 — Hoboken, NJ — Maxwell’s
July 18 — Hamden, CT — The Space
July 19 — Boston, MA — Brighton Music Hall
July 20 — Philadelphia, PA — North Star Bar
July 21 — Baltimore, MD — Ottobar
July 22 — Brooklyn, NY — Knitting Factory


10 Nov

Vonnegutt is a band that draws inspiration from several musical genres. And as a result of being co-signed to Big Boi and Manchester Orchestra’s record labels, they are constantly surrounded by different sounds and styles of music. Vonnegutt’s upcoming mixtape, Free.99, gives fans a little taste of what a day in the life of Vonnegutt sounds like and is sure to surprise many along the way. It wouldn’t be any fun if we gave away ALL the guest appearances and collaborations quite yet, but a couple of friends that will be on Free.99 are Big Boi, Will Pugh (of Cartel), Cutty Cartel, Aleon Craft, Sugar Tongue Slim, Tony Williams, Shanell, and Andy Hull (of Manchester Orchestra). Free.99 will be all new collaborations and three new original Vonnegutt songs, including “Going Home,” which is available via the link below. Vonnegutt released their debut EP, The Appetizer EP, two months ago with their debut LP, Falling Up The Stairs, to see release in 2011.

“Going Home” MP3

Purchase The Appetizer EP on iTunes

Purchase The Appetizer EP on Amazon

Vonnegutt also has a handful of upcoming tour dates with 2AM Club, Jared Evan, Big Boi, Chiddy Bang, Constellations, Sam Adams, and LA Riots. Don’t miss them!

11.10.10 – The Plaza Theatre – Orlando, FL *
11.12.10 – Knoxville Civic Coliseum – Knoxville, TN ^
11.24.10 – Smith’s Olde Bar – Atlanta, GA #
12.01.10 – Hurricane Harry’s – College Station, TX @
12.02.10 – Trees – Dallas, TX @
12.03.10 – Republic Live – Austin, TX @
12.06.10 – House of Blues – Houston, TX **
12.07.10 – House of Blues – Dallas, TX **
12.08.10 – La Zona Rosa – Austin, TX **
12.30.10 – Smith’s Olde Bar – Atlanta, GA

* w/ 2AM Club & Jared Evan
^ w/ Big Boi
# w/ Constellations
@ w/ Chiddy Bang
** w/ Sam Adams & LA Riots


18 Oct

Today only (October 18th) Bad Books’ debut album will be available on Amazon for only $2.99! Don’t wait to take advantage of this deal tomorrow because you only have one day to get the album at this special price. Bad Books will be available digitally elsewhere starting this Tuesday, October 19th and physically on November 9th.

“You Wouldn’t Have To Ask” MP3

Purchase Bad Books on Amazon for $2.99

Stream the entire album on the band’s Facebook and MySpace profiles.

Many of you have heard about the very limited Bad Books shows this month as well as the Andy Hull & Kevin Devine dates coming up in December. The band couldn’t make it to all of your cities and to make sure all fans could get the chance to see them live, Bad Books will be performing a live acoustic set this Wednesday, October 20th at 1pmEST via www.livestream.com/badbooksmusic. Don’t miss out!! Check out the video below for a taste of what you’ll be able to see.

10.20.10 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
10.22.10 – T.T. The Bear’s Place – Cambridge, MA
10.23.10 – The North Star Bar – Philadelphia, PA
10.24.10 – The Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
11.24.10 – The Stuffing @ The Center Stage Complex – Atlanta, GA
12.01.10 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC**
12.02.10 – New Brookland Tavern – West Columbia, SC**
12.03.10 – The 567 – Macon, GA**
12.04.10 – The Social – Orlando, FL**
12.05.10 – The Orpheum – Tampa, FL**

**Andy Hull & Kevin Devine

07 Oct

By now it’s well known how busy Andy Hull and Kevin Devine have been. Between Kevin’s solo career, Manchester Orchestra, and Bad Books, the new project from Manchester Orchestra and Kevin Devine, we still don’t know how these two are able to find the time to sleep!

Well, put on another pot of coffee, Andy Hull & Kevin Devine are announcing a string of December shows. The presale for these shows is Friday, October 8th at 1pm local time. Tickets go on sale to the public Thursday, October 14th at 1pm local time.

Purchase tickets via: http://andyandkevin.ducatking.com

12.01.10 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC
12.02.10 – New Brookland Tavern – West Columbia, SC
12.03.10 – The 567 – Macon, GA
12.04.10 – The Social – Orlando, FL
12.05.10 – The Orpheum – Tampa, FL
And don’t forget about the very limited opportunities to see Bad Books live.

10.20.10 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
10.22.10 – T.T. The Bear’s Place – Cambridge, MA
10.23.10 – The North Star Bar – Philadelphia, PA
10.24.10 – The Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
11.24.10 – The Stuffing @ The Center Stage Complex – Atlanta, GA

Bad Books’ self-titled debut album will be available digitally 10/19 and physically 11/9 via Favorite Gentlemen / Razor & Tie.

“You Wouldn’t Have To Ask” MP3


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