Andy Joseph releases a new EP, 'Betafish,' at the Fine Line

"I got into Iron Maiden as a teenager.  My taste in music progressively went back in time as I got older.  That's a bit of wisdom that my mom gave me: always go back to the source of where things came from," Andy Joseph shares.

The Madison-transplant is set to release his first  solo EP on Sunday at the Fine Line after gaining some success in the local band Sticky Byte. 

Gimme Noise sat down with the youngster before his album release show.

When asked what influences him now, Andy replies, "Hip-hop.  It's what you truly are; you let people in, and I try to emulate that with my lyrics.  The more personal something is, the more passionate you are." 

Shifting between genres on his new album, Andy implements the sitar and Martin Luther King, Jr. in "Fruition," the single off of Betafish.  "I really liked the sound of the sitar and wanted to include it into my music.  One day I said to myself, 'I know I can play this,' and taught myself.  Expressing a song with a guitar is a bit different; it's a bit more regimented.  I was drawn to the instrument because I get bored easily.  I always like to be adding new stuff into my life."

Fruition by Andy Joseph Yo!

Although Andy has just released his new album, he is already working on his new project.  "I have been working with a few people, Tony Kollman, Jose Myerchin and Luke Young, on another album called Songs From the Underbelly.  They're a collection of songs I wrote when I was really depressed and doing a lot of drugs.  It's really terrible stories that I would hear from people or things that would happen to me and my friends." 

When asked about the pivot point that forced him to get clean from drugs, Andy says, "It's not so much one thing rather than a snowball effect.  As I kept doing drugs, I kept having the same mentality, and I continued putting out the same things out into the world.  I thought, 'If I'm not happy with my life, I need to do something different.'  So I moved into a new place, bought a sitar and took up capoeira (a form of martial arts). It snowballed into something good, and that's the kind of transformation that comes from accepting something."

As a free spirit, or some may refer to it as being a hippie, the singer's philosophies on life are based on kindness and empathy.  "Together, we are all something larger and more beautiful than we can be as one.  The energy flow stops with selfishness, and our jobs as a living creature is to keep the energy going.  In birth, we are given an amount of energy, and when we die, it all empties.  I think to be a satisfied human is not determined by how much energy you accumulate, but how much you can give back."

Andy Joseph will release Betafish at the Fine Line Music Cafe with Hummingbirds, Highland Paddy and Beg for Justice on Sunday, January 22, 2012.
21+, Free, 7 pm

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