Strengthening the release of the first track off his upcoming sophomore EP Now & Then, Christian Andrew recently dropped the film clip for his first single I Wish I Didn’t Care. Shot over a single day by Adelaide’s Michael Williamson and Michael Tessari, the clip is a charming and approachable piece of cinematic joy. Depicting the conflicting emotional ties of pleasure and sorrow as a young couple packs their life away and set out on their next journey. Being that Christian’s true values lie deeply ingrained in the belief in his family and friends, this friendly giant of a musician invited his closest friends and family along to systematically destroy a house for his new clip – which they accomplished in epic fashion.
Christian, tell me about your inspiration for Now & Then.
Now & Then is about showcasing a timeline of my music and displaying the variety of songs and styles that I play. I chose some songs that I wrote quite a while ago, and also included some that represent where I am currently at musically, so that I could show the listener the diversity I have within my music.
How have you honed your songwriting talents – what have been your challenges?
It has taken quite a while to find what works for me with regard to songwriting. I have tried a few different methods, but the one that works best for me is when I let a song unfold naturally. I find that if I try to force something it lacks depth and meaning, which is reflected in the lyrics. It was simply a process of trial and error for me until I realised what worked. This in itself was a big challenge as it was difficult not knowing where to start a song or when the next lightbulb moment would be. But I guess persistence paid off and I’ve found a happy formula that seems to be working nicely.
What gets you started writing a song?
It all starts for me with the melody of the guitar. I play every day and sometimes I stumble across a new guitar part that I continue to explore. I get a tune in my head and then slowly try to get that sorted onto the strings and piece together a song. The lyrics almost always come second for me. Sometimes it can take me months or years to finish a song, as I need to be in the same mindset as when I began writing it to stay true to its context.
Is there a secret to writing emotional music or music that moves people?
I wouldn’t say there is a big secret other than being true to your own emotions. I tend to be quite observant of the world around me and can strongly relate to so many situations people are faced with. A lot of the time I feel the raw emotions myself, and then this leads me to writing a song. I don’t deliberately write emotional music, but it is the only avenue I have to express my thoughts and feelings. I just try to be authentic to my emotional state and let that guide the feel and vibe of a song. I guess that’s why some people are moved by my music, as everyone has their own emotional experiences and can relate to the emotion within my songs.
When did you first start playing guitar?
I first started playing the guitar when I was about 17. I had a series of knee injuries and couldn’t play the drums any more. I was stuck in bed with little to do, and after being addicted to Guitar Hero on the Playstation, I thought I would have a go at playing an actual guitar. My brother showed me a couple of basic chords, then I went and watched countless YouTube videos and found tabs for all my favourite songs. It took a lot of persistence, but it was a challenge I loved as it is an instrument that is really hard to master. I still don’t have any idea about the theory side of music but guess that means my creative mind has no limits either.
Where would you like to see yourself in the next 12 months?
If I can get involved in some more music festivals around the country that would be amazing. I love the buzz from playing live shows and music festivals are always throwing out good vibes. It would be wicked to get amongst the festival circuit and share my music far and wide. So that’s where I’m hoping to be one year from now, after plenty of blood, sweat and tears.
What should we expect for your Byron gigs?
These shows will be a fun and honest experience. There will be songs to dance along to, and songs that will slow you down to appreciate the meaning behind them. I’m hoping it will be a gig that will leave you walking away with a new emotional connection to my music.
Christian plays Pizza Paradiso in Byron on Friday and The Rails on Monday.