Story by David Babcock.
Photos by William Geier.
I met local musician Andrew Stone at Analog Coffee on a cold, winter day in November. Sitting down with him, he seemed a little nervous—not surprising considering that this would be his first interview about his upcoming EP release. Soft-spoken and a little reserved, Stone started his musical journey in grade six—if only sporadically. It wasn’t until two years later that he picked up the guitar again—like many musicians—to impress a girl. A multi-talented musician, Stone provides all of the instrumental backing on his first, four-song EP, Perfectly Imperfect, released November 23, 2017.
What is it like being a solo artist?
Being a solo artist is fun. It sucks at times when you’re having writers block. I wish I had somebody who could just be like, “What if this worked.” But it’s nice to have absolute creative control over all of my work. It can also be a con though, since I don’t have a second opinion. Though now that I’m completing this, I do think I’d like to go on as a solo artist. I’m not sure what I’m going to do live though. It’ll probably just be me with an iPhone plugged into an auxiliary cord just signing along a little bit.
So does that mean you’ve never played in front of people before?
No, I have. Just never my own music. Mostly just covers. I did a small concert in Penticton two years ago. But never my own music. I am looking forward to doing that—seeing how people react to it; how they’re receptive. Though I am a little scared about it. My music isn’t the most giddy-up let’s do it, let’s dance. It’s a little more relaxed—a bit moody and emotional.
Who are some of your major influences?
Oh, god. I knew that question was coming. Oh, that’s a really tough one. There was never anything in particular that I was listening to while I was writting everything. If I had to name some of the influences on my writing recently, it would be Post Malone. He’s a really talented musician, but it was hard for me to take him seriously at first. Then an ex showed me two acoustic guitar songs and one where he was covering Bob Dylan and it blew my mind. His writing is just incredibly impressive. Next big one would be Twin Peaks. I just really like their sound. They’re also a bedroom rock band. They recorded all of their own music. They have that low-fi shitty-but-good sounding thing going on, at least production wise. Their music is really well written. Then it would be a sprinkle of other bands that I listen to . . . Car Seat Headrest, Mac DeMarco, and then probably Father John Misty.
So, beginning to end, how long did it take you to make the EP?
Well, it started off as a New Year’s resolution. I wanted it to be done by the end of the year. But I would say that I really started back in July. I had just bought a new guitar, a Fender Jaguar, and I was just screwing around on it and having a good time. Then I came up with this little chord progression and sort of went, “Woah! That’s the first time I’ve written something that I really enjoy.” Then naturally, as I do, I forgot about it. I went on a two-week long trip and when I came back I decided I should really start working on it. It helped that at the time I was feeling really inspired, so I pulled that progression out and started screwing around with it again. That was about the beginning of October. I started with that and it really became my first song. So it’s really been from the beginning of October to midnight on November 22. I’ll probably still be messing with it an hour before it releases.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from this?
Uh, probably that I’m only capable of writing really sad songs. One day I’ll write a happy song, I’m sure. Basically it’s my world plan to bring everybody down.
It was only at the end of the interview that I found out Stone works as a sound engineer when he isn’t writing and playing music—something that proved useful during the recording process, especially considering that the entire EP was recorded in his room.