Being an independent songwriter and artist has its challenges these days and Andy Stochansky has a sensible handle on what the real issues are. Having been signed and now “on his own again” this multi-talented artist isn’t easy to put a label on and he is definitely not your average rocker ‘wailing and thrashing’ out there. He simply likes to do it his way … and he does it well.
Asked about how he manages the business side of being an artist this veteran clarifies, “It’s a small pie with so many of us…and it’s ruthless. The music industry has changed in the last ten years. Record companies do not have the money that they used to have and as a result everyone’s job has changed.”
He goes on to explain the importance of being able to wear more than one hat and of staying aligned with the most up-to-date activities and trends of the day, “I not only write and play but I also engineer. And now that I run my own ship, I have to be constantly on top of everything current out there like downloading and digital media – I can’t miss a beat not even for a day.”
Canadian born and based in Toronto, Andy is a singer, songwriter and muti-instrumentalist. In the early nineties, he began a seven-year stretch playing and recording with indie queen Ani DiFranco, Janis Ian, among others. Well known for being Ani’s drummer, his main ambition was to make his own music and he put out his first independent release While You Slept (1995) followed by Radio Fusebox (1999).
During an independent club tour in California in 2001, Stochansky caught the attention of an A&R rep – he quickly signed and released his first major label (RCA) release Five Star Motel (2002). Critically acclaimed, this album raised his profile significantly.
Back to flying solo, Andy is coping well (having since had other successful independent CD releases) and is presently in the process of writing again. “I enjoy writing on the piano and guitar. It depends on my mood… I like the piano for the ballads and the guitar, well it attacks and I like it for the more rock songs.” With a talent for lyrical imagery and a flair for creating unforgettable melodies Andy has been compared to vocalists like Jeff Buckley, Bono and Thom Yorke.
Staying in the vein of doing it his own way, this gifted musician likes to get involved in his videos on an artistic level. “I wrote the Super Man video. It was based on the movie King of Comedy which is a very odd and humorous film.” Speaking of videos he has always enjoyed writing music for films. “I attended the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto where I studied filmmaking. I‘ve always had an interest in film but people started asking me to play drums on their records which was cool and eventually the music just took hold of me.”
I asked him where he would like to be ten years from now and he replied without hesitation, “self-sufficient, writing and being able to pull it off live.” And for him there is no greater high than having his fans love and sing to his songs. After a show in New York a woman approached Andy backstage and thanked him for writing a particular line – it meant a lot to her. “This is a big compliment. It’s intense when you write something and it means more to someone else.”
Go to Andy’s official website at www.andystochansky.com