What have you been working on? What have you been coming up with?
It’s early. I’ve got about five or six songs that are about to take shape. And I sort of play this game—kind of like leap frog—where I go up and I’ll work on a new song and I’ll start going back, and revising and working on the old songs. And this is the first time that I’ve done that in a while, where I’m really just writing a batch of songs for a week at a time. It’s probably too early to say what it is going to be. I’m definitely taking the opportunity to acquaint myself with the piano in a big way. I think my last couple of records got away from that and it was really kind of this moment where I was like, “Okay, you’re a piano-player. That is your heart and soul.” No pun intended. That’s the best of my work—with me at the piano. I’ve really just been focusing on developing the parts of the piano and really, I’m just digging in and not being afraid if it doesn’t come quickly. You know, not having any fear about revising, and rewriting and developing it causelessly and endlessly until it is finished. That is kind of the moment that I am in right now. I’m going to keep doing it until the end of the year.
It is nice to have the luxury to do that. You used to do that back in the day on Jack’s Mannequin records, but like now, you don’t have a timetable, I would imagine that the pressure is less.
That is true. For me, there is always this pressure to do things. When you tour as much as I have, when you go away from it for a while, it starts to scare you a little bit. I’ve finally come to a place where, you know what? I’m only going to get one shot to put out an Andrew McMahon record—my first full-length record under my own name. I have hired new management over the past couple of months and they, more than anything, were like, “Get off the road; what good is that going to do you if you don’t have the songs?” And I was like “Shit. I’m with you.” And so really, the game has just been writing and falling back in love with the piano and the process and not being too anxious and just running into a studio.
Once you’re going, there is so much pressure to hustle that you don’t want to fall behind, when—especially in music—there is so much competition. Either something tells you that you need to stop, or you get really sick or you’re like, “I’m done, I’m burnt out, I have to slow down.”
Well, that’s interesting. I definitely have these moments where I look at these songs that I have right now and I’m excited about them, but I’m finding all these angles inside of them that like I wouldn’t have seen if I had approached it like I’ve written and recorded in the past couple of years. It’s definitely an adventure and it’s definitely something that I kick myself about. Like if only you would have done something about this one song that you never really got your hands around. But in the interest of moving forward and I’m just trying to do my best, it seems like the right thing to be doing.
Is there anyone you’re looking forward to meeting at the Emmys?
Well, I’m a 30 Rock nut and I’m up against Tina Fey in my category, so in some dream scenario, my wife and I would get to shake hands with her.
I think you need to make that happen. And I think it needs to be Instagrammed.
I do too, man. I really love her. I still watch old 30 Rock re-runs all the time.
I love her because she’s a strong lady. And she takes no shit from people.
She’s a bad-ass. I think she is rad.
We will tag it on Twitter with Tina Fey and you and see if we can get some magic to happen.
Sounds good, yeah I appreciate that. alt.