Andy Grammer excited to bring new tunes to Boston

, Staff

After scoring a pair of top ten singles on pop radio with “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me”, Andy Grammer felt extra pressure when he the studio to record the follow-up to his successful 2011 self-titled debut album. So much so, that he wrote about a hundred songs for possible inclusion. After the intense process, he whittled it down to 13 tracks that comprise his forthcoming sophomore effort.

The highly anticipated Magazines Or Novels will hit stores on August 5, but Grammer has wasted no time in returning to the road to promote the release. Buopyed by the success of its infectious lead single “Back Home”, the Los Angeles native will hit Boston this Wednesday for a performance at the House of Blues. With that in mind, we recently caught up with Grammer to discuss the new album, the current tour and what fans should expect at the concert.

Boston Music Spotlight (BMS): How is the tour going thus far?

Andy Grammer (AG): By far my favorite tour yet. It’s a lot of the same crew and band. It’s like getting back to summer camp with old friends after a long break for writing.

BMS: Your new album Magazines Or Novels is due later this summer, are you playing any of the new material? If so, how has the reaction been?

AG: Yeah we’re playing a lot of new stuff, almost half and half. Reaction has been really awesome. I think that my fans have been listening to the same music for quite a while now so they are ready for some new jams. I picked the ones I knew you could get on one listen so it’s been pretty seamless. Feeling out new songs live has made the tour feel a little unpredictable and exciting.

BMS: After such great success with your debut album, did you feel much added pressure with this follow-up?

AG: Yes, huge enormous amounts of pressure. I think that’s why I took so long to write it. The first batch of 50 songs had a tinge of that pressure lingering in them. So I wrote another 50 and in those I got to the pure stuff I’d been searching for. I love this album.

BMS: Aside from that, was the recording process any different this time around? Was their a specific sound you were looking for or a certain direction you wanted to take your songwriting to?

AG: I feel like the first album was like a great conversation getting to know someone. Magazines Or Novels is like a conversation with a best friend. It’s more vulnerable and there are some different sides to me I’m excited for everyone to hear. I think we all have edges it’s just how honest we are with ourselves about them. I tried to be more honest and I love the way it sounds.

BMS: Are there any tracks in particular you are most proud of?

AG: There’s a song called “Remind You” that I used a vocoder on, kind of like an Imogene Heap “Hide and Seek” kind of track. It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written. My producer Jon Levine absolutely crushed that one.

BMS: You recently released the video for the album’s lead single “Back Home” (streaming below). It looks like that was a very fun experience for everyone involved. Tell us about it.

AG: Most fun I’ve had on a video shoot hands down. We shot in Salt Lake City at a color festival. Performing to a huge crowd that was hurling color at my face was exactly what that song needed. The hook feels huge to me and I knew we needed something visually massive to do it justice. It was directed by one of my best friends from home, Justin Baldoni, which I thought was totally fitting.

BMS: You spent many years as a street performer, how did that help shape your live performances?

AG: The biggest thing about street performing is coming to terms with the fact that you aren’t entitled to anything. If you aren’t amazing or captivating you end a song and there isn’t even anyone there to clap. So I learned early you better bring a show. I feel like this tour brings a quality show.

BMS: What can fans expect from your upcoming show in Boston?

AG: About half new half old, leaning a little heavier on the old songs. But they can expect to be surprised by album #2. A little higher energy and some tricks up my sleeve.

BMS: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

AG: If you are a fan I want to say thank you for giving me that real estate on your iPod. I don’t take it lightly, and put a lot of love and care into delivering on this album. If you’re not a fan, come on down and let me take a crack at you.

Andy Grammer will perform at Boston’s House of Blues on Wednesday, June 25. Tickets for the show are available through Live Nation for $20 and $35.

Leave a Reply