Andy McKee Interview
YouTube sensation Andy Mckee chats to us about guitar techniques, his forthcoming EP and the future of fingerstyle guitar playing .
When you first picked up the guitar did you have any idea that it would be such a big part of your life for years to come?
It didn’t take too long for me to decide that I wanted to do something with music after I picked up the guitar. I think about after a year I really decided it was for me, but I didn’t know if that meant being a guitar teacher or a performer or what. Fortunately it’s all worked that I get to play for a living.
Have you ever had any injuries that kept you from playing and what do you did you do when you couldn’t play?
I am very lucky in that I have never had any sot of injuries to my wrists, hands, or arms.
Are you still finding new guitar techniques to incorporate in your songs or is there a point when you have pretty much everything covered?
Oh I guess there are occasionally new things that happen when I am writing, but I am not really looking for new techniques necessarily. I am focused on writing the best music that I can come up with and if during that process I come up with a new technique for achieving the music I want, than great! Having said that, I think there is always more to learn and I am pretty far from having everything covered.
Do you listen to much pop music nowadays or are you primarily interested in instrumental music?
I don’t listen to too much pop music that is coming out these days, but I do listen to older pop music. Stuff from decades past. I don’t listen to too much instrumental music either really, but I was listening to Joe Satriani’s “Extremist” album earlier today. I am listening to Bruce Hornsby’s album “Halcyon Days” as I type this.
What was the last gig that you went to and who did you see?
The last gig I went to watch was Steve Vai in Kansas City a couple of months ago. He can still tear it up, what a talented guy!
What do you like to do when you’re not practicing, writing, recording or touring?
I’ve got two sons now and I really enjoy being a dad and hanging out with them. We play around a lot! It’s made touring more difficult, being away from them and all. We would love to hit the road as a family in the future, maybe in a couple more years.
What have you got planned for 2014? Any signs of a new album in the near future?
Yes! Actually, I have an EP called Mythmaker coming out soon. It’s got 4 tracks on it, two solo guitar pieces, one solo piano tune, and one tune that has guitar, piano, and electric guitar! I’m really excited about getting it out. Should be by late February. I intend on having another EP out later this year.
What do you think the future has to offer for finger-style guitar players?
I am just as surprised as anyone at how popular this sort of style has become in the last few years. When I was learning Michael Hedges and Don Ross songs decades ago, this style was not particularly popular so it’s great to see so many young guys getting into it. I think the future looks promising with guys like Calum Graham and Mike Dawes around!
Would you ever like to compose the soundtrack for a film and if so what sort of film would you choose and why?
I would like that! I think would go for a serious sort of drama film, my music tends to lean in that direction naturally. That or some sort of high-fantasy epic like Lord of the Rings!