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Interview with Andrew Mitchel
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I guess I had the bug to perform fairly early on demonstrated by the fact I gate-crashed some poor singer performing on a ferry to Norway when I was Seven and asked to sing a song and then proceeded to overstay my welcome. Probably what cemented my music direction was having the opportunity to train as an engineer at Abbey Road Studios. Had I not gone into music I would probably have wanted to make a career as a Director or journalist.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Films, watching documentaries, Running, gym stuff and going out for meals. Films and some literature have had quite a big impact on my writing as with A Global Carol which was based on a script I wrote using the characters from A Christmas Carol. Also, I did one album called The Loneliness of a Primrose Hill Runner which was specifically created around BPM’s to run to.
How long have you been making music?
About Forty Years
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I’m based in London. My influences are pretty eclectic. Starting with the usual thing of raiding my parents record collection which had Nina Simone, Fats Waller, The Beatles early Bee Gees, and classical and romantic stuff like Bach, Grieg, and Beethoven but I think strangely the biggest impact was from film soundtracks. My father worked in the Film industry and a lot of influences came from things like Tommy, Cabaret, Saturday Night Fever, and even the film version of Jesus Christ Superstar. I was particularly inspired vocally by Carl Anderson as Judas and Billie Preston’s guest appearance in a fairly terrible film Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Band.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
Probably the most memorable show was Cowes Festival held at The Isle of White as it was the biggest audience-wise. Although I had occasion to be involved in some shows at The Albert Hall that were fun.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My favorite venues are essentially the larger ones, festival stages etc. Like most people you dream of things like the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, The O2 or Wembley however unrealistic these ambitions are.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Herbie Hancock, Kelly Rowland, Justin Timberlake, and Stevie Wonder.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
With my early bands, I wish I’d concentrated on building a local following where I lived in Barnet, In those days I put too much emphasis on playing venues all over London which was much harder to establish a following. As for young people in the industry, I guess it’s social media that is the best way to build a following in conjunction with as much live performance as possible. Also, write endlessly and don’t be afraid to discard songs, one thing that always gave an indication of whether a song had possibilities was audience reaction when we did gigs. It’s still works I think.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Freedom in the Air to some extent as I wrote it for my Fathers funeral. Also Waiting for a Break in the Weather which was written for a friend of mine suffering from very severe depression. Off the latest album my personal favorite track is A Funny Kind of Carol.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Waiting for a Break in the Weather.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
Generally sitting at the piano plinking about and coming up with ideas. Sometimes playing bad guitar. The lyrics always come after.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
Too many of them really. I’m not sure I feel you can really make terribly profound statements in a lyric but to the extent I’ve attempted to hint at things that matter to me, there’s stuff about the environment, politics even the odd thing about Science and very occasionally an acerbic comment on human relationships.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I’m in the studio next year and have Four projects on the go plus several no expense spent documentaries I’m working on.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Instagram and facebook.