Q&A: Andy Hull (Manchester Orchestra)

Andy Hull Interview Cover
[ARTWORK by: Andy Hull]

With perhaps The Blue Indian’s most unique and exclusive interview to date, Luke Goddard gives you “10 Questions with Andy Hull, front-man of Manchester Orchestra.” Andy and his band, Manchester Orchestra, are a couple of shows away from touring for 13 months straight. And over the course of the past 2 years, he and the rest of the band could probably count on their one hand the amount of weeks they’ve had at home with their families. Well folks, it’s true. Hard work does pay off.

Considering the fact that they’re approaching 12 million plays on their MySpace along with the ridiculous amount of fuss they’ve stirred on nearly every music website under God’s creation, it’s safe to say that this man and his band have reached a certain measure of success that I’m not sure they envisioned when they were playing shows in backyards of homes in the Atlanta suburbs. Folks, this band gets hundreds of requests a week for interviews. And not only did Andy respond to my request for an interview, he wrote back hand-written responses and even took time to draw that lovely header image above.

I’m not sure which Andy Hull you know from the distorted images the media often make of stars, but the Andy I’ve grown to know over the past month or so is a man of grace and patience. He’s a man with a big heart and simply refuses to let success get the best of him. Meet Andy Hull: the family man who jokingly (I think…) admits he suffers from a “dusting of autism.”

Blue Indian (Luke Goddard) : Andy, you’ve gone from a church youth group to playing Lollapalooza with your band, Manchester Orchestra. You went from playing in your bedroom to playing in front of a national television audience, and this ranges from David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, and the list goes on. Have you truly taken it all in or is it hard to take in at times?

Blue Indian: I understand. So, let’s talk about your upbringing. Raised in a Christian home. Your father is a pastor. Do some of the Christian values your father and mother instilled in you as a kid still go with you everywhere today?

Blue Indian: Okay. This is good stuff, man. You’re a pretty complex guy. I guess most artists are. I mean, you write one thing for Manchester, then you turn around and write songs about a sailor going off to sea knowing that his wife back home is cheating on him with his brother. Where did your inspiration for such a story line come from?

Blue Indian: You mentioned to me that you are show or two away from 13 months of straight venue-to-venue touring. What are some ways you keep your sanity? Or at least how do you try to keep your sanity? It must be overwhelming at times being gone for so long.

Blue Indian: Is there a difference in the process of writing a song for your band and writing a song for RAGC? Do you approach them differently? It’s pretty amazing, really.

Blue Indian: You’ve played shows with some pretty awesome bands over the course of the past couple of years. Could you see yourself collaborating with anyone in your upcoming efforts? If so, who would they be?

Blue Indian: You wrote a song called, “50 Cent.” In it, you talk about a pretty brutal encounter with one of his bodyguards. Do you know if this song got to his ears?

Blue Indian: So, you’re about to go home after a massively long tour. What do you have planned for your break during the holidays?

Blue Indian: I heard from a bird that MO may be taking O’Brother on the road in 2010. Any validity to this statement? If so, would you object to that fella Anton Dang breaking out the green speedo during an O’Brother set?

Blue Indian: Wrapping it up… could you let your fans in on anything that you guys may be working on? Any news for 2010?