Andy Timmons and The Andy Timmons band will be hitting the road this October for a stretch of sixteen dates to span ten states. They guys will be promoting their most recent album, Theme From a Perfect World. Andy caught up with me this week to discuss the tour and the album!
Q: Hi Andy, thank you for your time today. You’ve got sixteen days set with the Andy Timmons Band. Tell me about the band
A: Absolutely! The bassist and I have been playing together since 1988. See how I dodged doing math!I just default to the year of our origin haha! It’s going on twenty-eight years I suppose. Mike Daane, and I were the nucleus of the original Andy Timmons Band along with Mitch Marine. Mitch is still in and out of the group as far as participation. I’m based is in Dallas and he’s in LA. He’s worked quite a bit with Dwight Yoakam. We have another guy named Rob Avsharian who has been with us since about 2007. I’m very fortunate to have two of my favorite drummers as band members and they switch roles depending on availability. Each drummer is on five songs on the record. Rob [Avsharian] has been our main touring guy for the past several years.
Q: It has to be nice to work with these guys who you have chemistry with. You know each others’ styles.
A: Yeah, it’s extremely important to the music. Both the drummer and the bass player are your foundation. There are so many collective musical tastes, interests and history. When there’s any chemistry at all, that grows with time of course. The better you get to know peoples’ instincts, the better you know where things will go. Mike, Mitch, and Rob all have huge ears meaning they are very tapped into each element of music as it’s happening and they aren’t just aware of their own part. It makes for a rewarding live and studio experience.
Q: It sounds like they are big picture guys seeing the finished product.
A: Absolutely, especially for the rhythm section. The individuality is collective and for the good of the music. It serves our songs well.
Q: I was listening to Theme From a Perfect World and I love the laid back chill of the album. Tell me about the birth of the album.
A: I can’t say that there’s an overall concept but the original recordings began quite a few years ago. This record began when we did the album The Andy Timmons Band Plays Sgt. Pepper a few years ago. The initial intention [in 2010] was to record these songs that were the beginning for Theme From a Perfect World. We had three days in the studio and the engineer originally had a trip booked but it fell through so we had two extra days. They asked what other material we had and we were out of the new, original songs. We had recorded the tracks that we needed but I had this entire Sgt. Pepper record with which I had been playing. Mitch, our drummer, said, “What about those Beatles hits? Let’s do ‘em!” That was the catalyst and it went well. So, we finished that first [Sgt. Pepper] and it took on a life of its own.
Q: I could hear this record being played in coffee houses and other intimate venues. Do you think that will attract new audiences that you may not otherwise reach?
A: I think overall what I do love about the record besides the actual performance and the sound is that I think they’re good songs. At least, that’s my hope and intent. In the guitar instrumental genre, songs can be kind of an afterthought compared to the actual performance. It’s demonstration of the ability on the instrument. Certainly, early records are guilty of that. There were good songs along the way but there were different overall objectives like wanting to be known as a virtuoso. Over time and with maturity, you just realize that none of this means anything unless there’s a great song. It stems back from my love of 60’s pop. All of The Beatles, The Beach Boys…just a good song! And even though some of these songs are lengthier and more detailed, thematically there’s a nice thread throughout all of it.
Q: You combined solid guitar riffs that showcased that virtuosity with memorable melodies. It makes for a nice balance.
A: Thank you, very much. I want the existing fan base and of course, other guitar fans to gravitate toward it. I do think that it could appeal to a wider base audience that would maybe appreciate some good songs. It’s a challenge when you don’t have lyrics because some people don’t relate as directly to it. What I love about instrumental music is that you’re not constrained. Music is undeniably able to go deeper. There are songs that are very personal to me on the record and I enjoy letting people know what those inspirations were. A song can have a completely different outcome or be very cathartic [for someone else].
Q: I think the album is well suited for the smaller venues on the tour.
A: Yeah! We’re finding out where we are touring (Amanda: It’s okay, I did the homework for you, haha!) It’s a matter of this being our first US tour. We’ve mainly toured in Europe and Southeast Asia. We haven’t pursued getting in a van and hitting the road.
Q: The album comes out September 30, correct? In what formats will the record be released?
Q: Andy, thanks so much for your time! It’s much appreciated.
A: Thank you, Amanda! We appreciate you helping us out!
Be sure to catch The Andy Timmons Band on the road for a night of excellent music at a venue near you!
Writer: Amanda Knight