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An interview with Andy Hull

Andy Hull posing for his solo project, Right Away Great Captain!
Andy Hull posing for his solo project, Right Away Great Captain!

Over the past four years, Andy Hull has established a record as one of the most talented and emotionally honest emerging musicians.
As the frontman for Atlanta-based rock act Manchester Orchestra, his band’s brand of intricate, stripped-down and highly charged rock leads to a multitude of critical acclaim and an impassioned, firmly established fanbase.
Thanks to Macon’s music news and review site, Manchester Orchestra’s lead singer Andy Hull performed in Macon at the 567 along with fellow indie-troubadour Kevin Devine on Dec. 3.
Hull and Devine have toured together previously and even collaborated together, releasing a record under the name Bad Books.
Their set was noticeably intimate, featuring songs from Manchester Orchestra, Kevin Devine’s solo material, Bad Books, Hull’s side project Right Away Great Captain and various covers.
After the show, I spent a few minutes with Hull discussing playing in Macon, the band’s early shows and what to expect with their latest record. A transcript follows, edited for clarity (and to cut out a few words the paper won’t let me print).
Eric Brown: I know Macon’s a lot smaller than many of the places you’ve played in the past few years, so what was behind your decision to come here, and how did you feel about playing the 567?
Andy Hull: I mean, Macon’s not too much smaller than other places we’ve played in before. It was a great show with great energy. I loved it. But we came here because Sean [Pritchard, booking agent for] is here. We know him, and when Kevin [Devine] and I came up with the idea to come do the solo tour, out of the five venues we could have played we decided to do this one.
EB: It was really fantastic.
AH: Thank you. Thank you.
EB: I actually saw you guys, I guess five years ago with Anathallo at Swayze’s in Marrietta.

AH: Oh, Jesus Christ!With, like, Colour Revolt, and that other band—I forget their name… [A long section of us trying to remember the band’s name follows. We couldn’t do it, though Hull remembered that it was “super emo” and “Something Tomorrow”.]
EB: Well, since then, you’ve had a very different sound — it’s a lot more raw, a lot more aggressive.

AH: Yeah, I mean, I think back then we were pretty raw and aggressive, but we didn’t know what the hell we were doing. Those were the first shows we’d ever done, man. Colour Revolt and Anathallo broke our band, no doubt.
EB: Yeah, those were some fantastic shows. But as your sound’s been maturing, what kind of direction are you moving in now?
AH: Uh, it’s like some really raw, classic rock s***. Kind of like Neil Young, Built to Spill, Pavement, Pixies. Kind of a mix of all that. So that’s on the new record. It’s done now, actually, and it’s coming out in a couple of months and it’s definitely different than anything we’ve ever done before. A lot more singing and screaming, I would say. A bunch of harmonies and s***. Yeah. The other thing [“Mean Everything to Nothing”] was more like a temper tantrum; this is more like a thought.
EB: I can’t wait to hear it. So, are you going on a big tour to support that?
AH: No,we’re just gonna stay at home. But yes, we’re going on a big tour. I mean, I hope it’s big. Maybe a small tour if it doesn’t sell so well. That’s what we do, you know? Make record and tour.
EB: What’s been your favorite part of touring so far?
AH: Nothing, man. I hate f***ing touring. I don’t like touring at all. It’s not fun. I mean, if there’s a good part about it, it’s time with friends and time with the realization that what you do doesn’t have to do with you, so for me, I kind of see God when we play, because I don’t feel like anything I’ve done has been—I’m blessed, is all. That’s it. I’m f****ing blessed to have people that give a f*** what I’m talking about.
Manchester  Orchestra fans can expect to see their latest record “Simply Math” in stores next year. It was produced by Dan Hannon at both the band’s own Atlanta-based Favorite Gentlemen Studios and Nashville’s Blackbird Studios.

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