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Interview: Daniel Andrews
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I remember the first time my mom had me sing with her in church when I was about 8 years old. I was so nervous I thought I would never remember the words to the song no matter how much I practiced. Once I did that, it was a feeling that I could never get over. It wasn't the claps or the compliments, it was the sheer joy of being on stage and doing something that felt so perfect. There has never been anything ever in my life that I have experienced like that since. I knew at that point I wanted to do this forever. Once I got older and life happened, I ended up moving on from music for a time because I thought it just wasn't in the cards for me, until one day I knew I had to do it again. Unfortunately it took going through the worst experience of my life for me to circle back to it, but I do believe everything happens for a reason and the fact I am on this journey now is proof of that to me. I am now at the point that there isn't any "not" doing this. I am giving everything I have to it and will continue to do so.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love to spend time with my family and friends. I know that sounds like the easy answer, but that is the truth. Those people I do life with and have the experiences everyday with, both good and not so good, are what inspires me. That is where my creativity comes from, real life.
How long has music been your career?
I have been earning a living at it for the last year, but I have done music off and on for over 20 years.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am based out of the Houston area in a small town called Tomball, TX. I have only lived here for 7 years. I grew up in a tiny town called Lindale, Texas and that is where most of my influence comes from. I always tell people that I am just a dumb country boy. People think I am kidding but it's true. I love that life, it is simple and slower paced. I think it allows you to enjoy life's experiences more.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
I guess let's start with the worst lol. I would have to say the first place I played at. It was certainly not the venue, it was me no doubt. I remember being on stage for the first time in an old smokey bar thinking to myself, well, what do I do now? It's a place called Bedrock Tavern in Cypress, TX. I had no clue what to do or how to act so I just winged it, it worked, not really well but it worked. However, I learned so much from it and I am thankful for those types of moments, they can only make you better if you allow them to.
I think the best show would have to be the one show that I thought was going to be terrible. It was a new place in town called Paradigm Brewing. It is also a pretty large, very nice restaurant as well. I showed up, not many people were there, and I did not know what to expect. I wasn't feeling the best that day anyways, but turns out, it ended up completely packed and it was the best crowd I had ever had up to that point. I had people stopping me in the middle wanting pictures and to sign hats and shirts lol. Those are moments you never forget. That is why we do this crazy stuff in the first place. If I can put a smile on someone's face by singing a song, that never gets old.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I have several places that I love to play, but one of my most favorites has to be a place called Sportin Woody's. It is just a small bar that has live music every week, but they gave me a start early on when no one else wanted too. Everytime I play there, people show up and pack it out and support me so much more than I ever expected them to. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for them because of that.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Wow, that is not an easy question...I don't think I would be allowed to play country music again if I didn't say George Strait. He is one of my heroes for sure and the King, so he would have to be on the card for sure. I am also a huge Jason Aldean fan as well as Eddie Montgomery. I am a bit spread out on the styles, but to me that is what makes this business so amazing. So many different ways to approach every song, and do it so well. I would also have to have a couple close friends of mine on the ticket as well. Jeff Canada and Scooter Brown Band are some guys that have helped me out tremendously along the way, from just simple advice to showing me how to and not to do certain things. I would not be anywhere at all without those folks like that for sure.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
Be willing to sacrifice a lot. Be willing to work harder than you ever have before for anything, and have the mental toughness to never take no for an answer. If you keep asking and pushing, someone will say yes at some point as long as you're always improving and working on your craft. Lastly, do not ever get discouraged if someone does not like what you do. No matter what, you will never please everyone, it is simply just impossible. Keep pushing.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
I would give myself the same advice I would give anyone else now. Same as the previous question no doubt.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I have an unreleased song called "Disappear" that I wrote about my son that I lost. I always said I would never write about that because it would never be good enough. However one day it literally just came out on paper in just a few minutes not even planned. It is so raw and real and obviously means the most. I do not ever see a song in my future replacing that one on my list.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I wrote a song called "Met in a Bar" that was somewhat inspired by how my wife and I met. I sing that one a lot in bar type environments and people seem to love it. I get that one request since so many folks always say "that's how we met" I think people just tend to relate to simple things like that.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
Creative process for me if I am home is getting somewhere alone or with a co-writer and just going over notes that I have written down over time. If I am in Nashville on a writing session, it is sitting in a room with a writer that is way smarter than me and bouncing ideas off each other. Being in the same room with those folks is inspiring in itself.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I want it to be real to people. I want people to listen to my songs and go, "man that's me" or "yeah I've been through that before too". I think the more someone can relate to something, the more invested they will be in it.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
Not really, you have to have an open mind I think. Not all ideas will work and not all ideas work for everyone. There have been times that I do not relate or think I will like something, but if you give it a chance, sometimes it works out better than you expected. At the same time, you have to stay true to who you are and keep it authentic.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
So for me, my biggest focus is getting to Nashville soon to record vocals for my next single. This will be my first radio single, and hopefully it does what we hope and really sheds some light on my music to as many people as it can. It will be released later this year once it is finished with the song and promoting it. Hopefully everyone will love it as much as I do.