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Interview: Band of the Week – Andrew Osenga

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Andrew Osenga is a singer/songwriter living in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife and two beautiful baby daughters. Not only is he a dedicated family man, Andrew is also an immensely talented musician and producer.

He was the frontman for The Normals until they split in 2003 — due to financial and familial obligations — he is an active member of the folk-rock band Caedmon's Call, a founding member of the Square Peg Alliance, and a very busy producer for other bands. So with all this in his life it makes a person wonder where he gets the time to write, record and produce his solo albums – His third solo album The Morning is currently on sale.

Andrew’s unique sound is a fusion of folk, indie, country and roots-rock blended with power-pop. The intelligent, impassioned lyrics run the gamut from passionately breathless to sweetly romantic and regret-filled melancholy; this sound defies genre placement. Andrew’s tangled tapestry of sound and lyric paints an ardent, stirring picture of this deep, multifaceted and truly talented young man.

Looking for a beerHis newest album, simply titled The Morning, is split into two sections, “Morning” and “Evening”. Both show the different sides of Andrew’s complicated inner self, reflecting his passionate, sometimes angry, sometimes impassioned joy on “Morning” and his darker, deeper, more sensitive side on “Evening”. Andrew’s values, his love for his wife, children and life in general resonate throughout; but despite the depth of the emotion portrayed on the The Morning it maintains a playful, energetic, rock-music flavour.

Andrew recently sat down with me for a chat, during which we talked about his daughters, his charity work with orphans in India, religion, Battlestar Galactica and, of course, his music.

The Morning is your third solo album, you must be a prolific songwriter. How do you write songs?

I kind of like to tell a story you know. And I read a lot so I always kind of like to follow that. So there’s that. I really like short stories. I’m a big Hemingway fan. I’ve written a bunch of songs based on characters in Hemingway novels.

Andrew shinyReally? Which songs?

Yeah, “Marilyn” on The Morning is from the Sun Also Rises. It’s sort of about this guy, who falls in love with this girl, and she kind of plays him. She toys with a bunch of men. And at the end of the day they’re all miserable. It just kind of caught me. I changed her name to Marilyn. There is a line about bullfights in Spain and a sleeping train.

So you like to tell stories in your songs.

Yeah I do. Math and Science, the things that I should have been interested in I did terrible in at school. I loved stories, that’s how I learned. That’s what I liked to listen to. My favourites songwriters were, you know, Billy Joel. Guys that tell stories. Paul Simon. Those guys are just… I’m inspired by what they do.

Your family and friends are very important to you aren’t they? You have even set up the Square Peg Alliance to help support each other in your art. Tell me more about that.

Yeah, it’s a group of people that were all making music for a long time. A lot of us were friends first before we heard each other. We have all been making music for a while now. We all care about each other and think what each other does is great. It’s kind of a way to help each other out. It’s been really fun. We put a name to something that was already there. Created opportunities for us to do it more.

Andrew found the lightWhat do you want with the rest of your career?

I kinda don’t care. My serious end goal for me is to do what I am doing now. Where I make music in a community with people that I love. And whether it’s shows with my band, or with my old band, or friends with a few guitars or just making records.

At the end of the day I get to make music with people that love me and care about me and that I love and care about. Hopefully at some point some record company sign us and we’ll all make some money. So it won’t be so hand to mouth as it is now. But that’s the only thing I want. I want to make more money doing what I’m doing so I can support my family.

If you would like to hear Andrew Osenga’s album, The Morning, you can hear it at both this MySpace space or his own websiteThe Morning is available for sale on Andrew's site.

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