Photo Credit: Andrew Hutchins Photography
They say when you hit absolute rock bottom, the only place to go it up and for Andy Frasco, there is no better sentiment. He’s been to the lowest level a human can inhabit, looked around, and knew it wasn’t meant to be. Raising spirits with his music as well as awareness for mental health, he’s an advocate. As well as an artist, a creator, a podcast host who dives into life on the road for entertainers both musical and comical. Now he’s looking at the silver lining of the world’s current situation as he looks to release his latest album, ‘Keep On Keepin’ On,’ April 24th. We talked about all of the above and more, so check that out below, the album this Friday, and keep tabs on Andy Frasco for updates on live stream entertainment.
Kendra: Right before you started working on ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ you were in a dark place; pitch black. Once you sort of hit bottom, you picked yourself back up and from it this new batch of tracks on the album. Has music always been the way you sort of find your way back to good?
Andy Frasco: Totally. A lot of people see me as an extrovert, but when it comes down to it, I’m really shy when it comes to being vulnerable with myself. I needed to find a way to stop suppressing my feelings when I was feeling that low…So I started writing how I actually felt in my music instead of imagining happiness and it has helped me recover.
Kendra: You split your time between working with Dave Schools and Kenny Carkeet. What did each of them bring out in you during their studio time?
Andy Frasco: Dave taught me to hear the notes and rhythms in-between what I would normally play. It taught me that there are so many different ways to express what I want to express instead of going back to something that makes me comfortable. With Kenny, he taught me that I was capable of writing music and writing lyrics without having the band there as my balancing rod. He gave me the confidence that I am a good songwriter and I can stand on my own two feet as well.
Kendra: You’ve been very open about mental health and this album touches on that, as well as the idea that we tend to play hide and seek with our sadness. Why do you feel we live behind false smiles on social media?
Andy Frasco: I think social media only shows the good in people, but life isn’t only about good things that happen. I mean, look at what’s going on right now…chaos and misunderstanding…people are stressed and filled with anxiety because we are seeing the other side of life that we tend to hide under the bed. The silver lining of all this quarantine madness is that we’re actually getting to know our loved ones and ourselves a little better. The world is healing from the lack of pollution and our brains are slowly starting to trust that we can overcome anything. We are that creative and that loving. We’re not as selfish as we tend to show on our socials. Hopefully, this pandemic will help with our cure to recovering who we were when we were kids.
Kendra: On top of music and extensive touring, you do a podcast about life on the road not only for musicians but for actors and comedians. Being an actor, comedian and musician comes with so many similarities but also their fair share of differences, but when it comes to the road – what’s the biggest commonality you’ve found between the three?
Andy Frasco: I think the similarities are how lonely the road can get. It doesn’t matter what type of entertaining you do, your job is to make people smile for 2-3 hours a night but then you go back to your hotel room or someone else’s couch and you’re alone. Only to wake up and drive 8 hours by yourself to do it all over again. It’s how entertainers deal with loneliness that helps us figure out how our mental stability is. We’re all sad, but we all need that time on stage to make people happy to show our worth. My job as a journalist and friend to the entertainers I interview is to figure out how we can keep our brain happy when we are off the stage but still on that long road trip.
Kendra: Speaking of comedians, you scored Judd Apatow’s ‘The Great Depresh’ on HBO. How’d that come about and how did creating music for that project vary from when you’re creating your sounds?
Andy Frasco: Gary and I have a mutual best friend named Todd Glass – one of the best comedians around. He was talking about me on his podcast and Gary was listening. He then started diving into my music and he thought we shared the same interests in mental health, so he and Judd asked me to score the movie and have the title track be one of my songs about mental health called “Somedays.” Since then, Gary was the guy who found me my therapist and helped me open up to be the person I am slowly becoming. Gary and Todd truly saved my life.
Kendra: Usually, this is where I ask people what they have planned in the coming months but with the world in a strange place right now, plans aren’t as concrete as they typically are. You can go ahead and let us know what you have tentatively planned but can you also share a song that never fails to get you through when the world around you feels like a mess?
Andy Frasco: Right now since the music industry has all their shows canceled until June or July, I’m working on taking care of myself and my mental health. This is a time for the world to take a step back from our everyday lives of over-working and thinking of others and just relax. Let’s all just take a deep breath right now and just try to relax. Who knows when the next time will be where we can sit on our beds and couches with the ones we love for at least two weeks and have nobody think you’re crazy. Enjoy this time with your loved ones.
The song I would pick is “Manifesto” by John Craigie.