Candyrat Guitar Night Returns to Anthology

Monday, March 19, 2012 13:43

An Interview with Craig D’Andrea

by: Casey Pukl

Boutique label, Candyrat Records, is known world-wide for featuring some of the most gifted instrumentalists today. D’Andrea is no exception. This acoustic guitarist may still be in his twenties, but his playing ability far exceeds his years. Named the Canadian Fingerstyle Champion in 2006 & 2007, D’Andrea was influenced by guitarists like Lindsay Buckingham, Don Ross, and Leo Kottke. Now three releases into his career, he’s out on the road with fellow Candyrat guitarists Ewan Dobson, Gareth Pearson, and Matthew Santos. Read on to find out what they’ve enjoyed most about this tour, what’s on deck for D’Andrea this year, and what they’re most looking forward to about returning to Anthology.

CP: How’s this tour going so far?

CD: It’s going great. Just driving to Kansas City right now.

CP: How long have you guys been out on this tour?

CD: Well, this group of guys, we all did this tour last year, but as of right now, we’ve been out on the road since March 8th. We met up in Milwaukee, and we just worked our way south and now west. It’ll be a total of two months on the road by the end.

CP: That’s a pretty long time.

CD: Yeah, it definitely is.

CP: What’s been the best part of the tour so far?

CD: The best part so far, speaking for everyone, would be being able to play with people we get along with and have fun with as friends. Bringing four distinct different styles of music together and being able to bring them to different parts of the country is the best part.

CP: Do you feel like being on Candyrat Records really challenges you as a guitarist?

CD: I think being on Candyrat does challenge us. It puts us in a position to come up with the next cool thing or the next new thing. There are a lot of people who are listening to the label and latching onto it. It definitely challenges us to try and continue to be innovative and most of all stay busy and interesting. Hopefully that will translate to the fans.

CP: Being on a label with that many amazing guitarists has to be inspiring.

CD: It is. When you go to shows and people say that they loved so and so’s song or it made them want to be a better player, it means a lot to us. Hearing that kind of thing is really nice. It puts things into perspective. We might actually be doing something that people latch onto and care about. It feels nice to hear that and makes me want to work harder.

CP: Do you still get a lot of time to practice technique often?

CD: I’d say when we’re not on the road, we practice more, but when we’re out on the road, there really isn’t time to practice. To get to a certain level of playing, in the developmental years, there was a lot of practicing going on. We’re talking about multiple hours per day, and in some cases even double digit hours per day for some of these guys. We pretty much just perform on the road. If we can find an hour or so, it’s nice to practice and work on some new material, but it’s not always that easy.

CP: Your last record, “…And the B.L.Ts”, let’s talk a little bit about it.

CD: I think that record was the most fun for me to write and record. I kind of had fun with the artwork and title. I tried not to take it too seriously and just put it out as music. It wasn’t a statement or anything. It was just music I’m happy to be playing. There are a few seven-string guitar pieces on it that I enjoyed playing. It’s a good mix of energy and mellow music. It was a lot of fun for me.

CP: When you’re writing, do you write from a concept or story, or mostly melodic and harmonic ideas?

CD: All my songs have stories, but a lot come after the fact. I usually sit down and mess around in a new tuning or some sort of melodic idea and then fill in around that. Sometimes I’ll sit down and a song will come out in an hour, other times it takes months or weeks or whatever it is. It’s not always the same, but there’s usually some sort of idea blowing around before I finish a piece.

CP: What’s on deck for you after this tour?

CD: I really don’t know. I think I’m going to try and continue writing a new record. I’d like to get a few pieces in the works for a fourth release. I don’t have any touring plans at the moment. I’m not sure about that, but I’m definitely going to concentrate on writing a new CD.

CP: I saw on your Facebook page that you’re advertising recording sessions at your home studio. Will you be doing more of that in the future?

CD: Yeah, I do that when I’m available. I enjoy recording, and it’s usually just local people, singer/songwriters and stuff that want to record a demo, stuff like that. I’m definitely still doing that. I really enjoy it.

CP: Did you go to school for audio engineering?

CD: Yeah, I went to the University of New Haven in Connecticut for sound recording. There was also a little music theory in there as well.

CP: Who are you listening to lately?

CD: I’ve been listening to a singer/songwriter named Madi Diaz a lot. She’s one of my favorites. I also really like this girl from San Francisco named K. Flay. She’s kind of a hip-hop emcee. It’s really catchy. I like stuff like that.

CP: What are you guys looking forward to about returning to Anthology?

CD: I know Garrett is looking forward to the food (laughs)! He really liked the food last time. We definitely love the sound. It’s a great place. Everyone was really friendly, and the audience was really awesome. We were well received. Plus, it’s San Diego! What’s not to like about that?

Be sure to check out Craig and the rest of the Candyrat gang next Saturday night!

Craig D’Andrea on Spotify

WHAT: Candyrat Guitar Night ft. Ewan Dobson, Gareth Pearson, Craig D’Andrea, & Matthew Santos
WHEN: Saturday, March 31, 7:30pm
TICKETS: $10-$32 Buy Tickets
MORE INFO: Artist Profile