Paul Andrews was a founding member and chief singer/songwriter in Sydney band Lazy Susan and the driving force behind its four albums, six EPs, and countless national and international tours. Shortly after Lazy Susan played their final gig, Paul began writing songs for a new project that was eventually to become Family Fold. Fast forward to late 2017 and Family Fold’s second album, Ashfield Skyline took shape under the masterful watch of Nashville producer Brad Jones. A recently released single from Ashfled Skyline, ‘Molly Meldrum’s Eyes’ is cut from the same easy, laid back Americana cloth of Wilco’s ‘Being There’, the Jayhawks’ ‘Hollywood Town Hall’, and Gold Smog’s ‘Weird Tales’. Built around harmonica, slide guitar and honky tonk piano, it is an evocation of 70s and 80s Australia; of the immeasurable influence ‘Countdown’ had on a generation of music-mad young people.
‘Ashfield Skyline’ will be released on October 5th. Ahead of the album release, Paul Andrews was kind enough to proffer a musician profile for us.
Even though I’m the singer-songwriter and rhythm guitarist in Family Fold, the drums were my first instrument and they’re what I enjoy playing the most. I really don’t know anything about mics and guitars (other than what sounds good), but I know a lot more about drums. So that’s why I chose this category.
What was your first kit like?
It was a Century drum kit, second hand, in high school. The guy I bought it off was in a band with my friends and had been at closing down sale for an instrument shop where everything had been priced to clear. The crowd grew massive before the doors opened and things got out of control and he was pushed through the front glass window. They gave him the kit for free to make up for it. But not long after he started playing, he realised he was going deaf. So I bought it from him for a couple of hundred, albeit with no cymbals, and joined the band the next day.
What was your first band t-shirt?
A Neil Young and the Lost Dogs Australian tour t-shirt in 1989. I wore it until it disintegrated.
A record that changed your life?
George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. No record has ever meant as much to me.
What’s your regular kit set up?
I’ve got a Ludwig Classic Maple that I splurged on a few years back.
Is it the same for recording?
If I’m playing drums on a recording, I like going somewhere that has access to a range of kits and snares so I can play around with the
sounds. I don’t usually take my kit to record with.
What sticks do you favour?
I’m pretty unadventurous when it comes to my sticks. I usually go with Vic Firth 5A American Classics with wood tip.
Other drummers that you admire?
And endless number, but if you had to pin me down, three names I always come back to: Ringo taught me how to serve the song; Mitch
Mitchell taught me how to fill; and Stewart Copeland just blew my mind.
What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
My band Family Fold has a new album by the name of Ashfield Skyline which I recorded in Nashville in late 2017. I’m hoping to start on its follow up in 2019.
What gigs have you been playing lately?
Mainly around Sydney’s inner west: Gasoline Pony, The Union Hotel, The Hideaway Bar.
Most memorable gig?
To attend: seeing Nirvana playing Selina’s in 1992. The room became so hot with thrashing bodies, it started raining from the ceiling.
To play: supporting Brian Wilson at The Enmore in 2010.
Worst stage nightmare?
Most of them I’ve encountered in real life. Like starting a song in front of thousands of people with the capo on the wrong fret while the rest of the band is playing in a different key. So embarrassing.
What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
I’m looking forward to playing the Dashville Skyline festival in the Hunter Valley and playing Some Velvet Morning in Melbourne.
A drum tip for the kids?
It’s so tempting when you’re starting out – especially when you’re sitting at the back of the band – to play over everyone and do a million fills because you want people to hear you and notice you can play. But the reality is no one comes to see a band for the drummer. And trust me, if you keep doing fills everywhere or playing outside the song, your bandmates will kick you out before too long. Your job is to serve the song. Keep that at the heart of everything you do and you’ll be fine.
Catch Paul Andrews & Family Fold Live
Sun Sept 30 Dashville Skyline Festival, Belford, NSW
Thurs Oct 4 Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne – Ashfield Skyline album launch
Sat Oct 13 The Noble Hops, Redfern, Sydney
Sun Nov 25 The Union Hotel, Newtown, Sydney – Ashfield Skyline album launch
Family Fold on Twitter: @familyfold
Family Fold on facebook: @familyfold