–by Quincy Tejani, Music Connoisseur–
When listening to Andrew Rothschild’s music one must disregard all that they thought they knew about genre and accept that sometimes, an artist is talented enough to transcend all of that and just create. On his sophomore effort, Rothschild continues to bend the rules in what it means to be a producer and an instrumentalist. Recently I had the opportunity to speak with the Oregon-based artist about what inspires him to create “Bluestronica” music as well as what his plans are for taking his career to the next level.
Quincy Tejani: So firstly, how did you stumble upon the idea to start making “Bluestronica” music? Have you ever heard anything that is sort of similar to what you’re creating?
Andrew Rothschild: Well I loved Folk & Blues growing up, though it wasn’t until I heard the song Lenny by Stevie Ray Vaughan live at El Mocambo. It is a complete instrumental song, yet I felt it dripped with soul (even more-so compared to songs with lyrics). When I listened to it, I was able to make my own connections/associations, and lyrics weren’t able to interfere with any of that. After going to handfuls of festivals and being involved in the festival ‘scene’, I saw how the art of Blues was being lost and pushed aside for heavy electronic acts. I felt there was a balance missing, at least for my taste, and I set out to try and fill that gap. My goal was to introduce blues music to the younger generation, and Electronica to the older generation.
Yes, I would definitely consider Tycho/Emancipator (among others) to be close to my production approach. What differentiates is the tiny accents that I add. For example, I use Blues/Folk Progressions, Blues scales, Blues vocal samples — most importantly, I put “Blues” emotions into it. I primarily make music when I am feeling down, it’s why most of my music is usually so triumphant. I am overcoming whatever is putting me down. When I am having one of those days, I try to kill it through music.
QT: Do you collaborate with anyone when you create your music or is it a complete solo venture? Tell us a little bit about your songwriting process.
AR: It’s a complete solo venture at the moment, but I would love to collaborate with other artists in the future. Anything other than guitar, I’d be interested to collaborate with if it feels right. I’d say 95% of my songs start off with guitar. I’m a guitarist first, so my plan from the beginning was to create worlds around my guitar exactly how I saw fit. After that, it flows pretty freely. It’s whatever I’m feeling at that moment. I make sure not to touch on anything that isn’t clearly sticking out. For example, I won’t start putting drums under my guitar until something smacks me in the face. So, my process is all over the place. I dig that though, because the music is less of a formula, and more of a natural flow. Time wise, that also ranges. It can vary from a few days to months. That’s the perk of not being on a behemoth record label — they can’t slap deadlines on you. Nothing is forced.
QT: What is it about creating music that really inspires you? Do you hope to make a career out of it?
AR: The thing that inspires me is the opportunity to inspire others. I just want to help people — yes I know that sounds corny & generic! I just want to inspire, comfort, heal, relax, excite, etc. by any means. The opportunity/platform to take people where they haven’t been before is a revitalizing feeling. Not to mention, taking an empty/dull moment and stretching it to create something that can affect anyone anywhere is quite the feeling.
As for making a carrer of music, yes, absolutely. I feel my music is more of a journey/ride and less of a soundtrack to a dance party. That said, my goal is to be more in the visual/performance arts — similar to a classical approach. My goal is to have visuals that really get me going, so I’m on the look out for that visual artist that I just click with. I have handfuls of ideas, but I’m also open to others. I have to admire my visual artist, someone who has that same exact drive towards visual art as I do to music. I do know I want to be heavily involved in the movement of Virtual Reality/Mixed Reality with my music.
QT: I love the artwork for the new LP S.F.A² do you do the artwork yourself or do you have an artist do it for you?
AR: Thank you!! I did the art work for S.F.A² — it’s all manipulation through computer. I’ll take handfuls of pictures and try to turn them into something unusual. I also did all the abstract pictures on my website.
QT: Do you intend on going on tour to support your albums anytime soon? Or do you plan on working on more studio recordings?
AR: Depends on what you mean by soon — the goal is as soon as possible. I can start touring now, though I want my show perfectly in check — visuals and all. I’m also configuring who I’d want on stage with me, I’ve been messing with the idea of having a drummer on stage as well. As for now, I am just building a foundation & scouting for visual artists. I am always making music though, even if it’s just to jot down guitar compilations.
Quincy Tejani is the co-founder of The Violet Wave and is also editor of music. When he’s not listening to or writing about music you can probably find him walking through the forests of Ontario or questioning the inner workings of the universe. He also never turns down a cold Pabst… never.
Facebook: The Violet Wave