INTERVIEW: Andrea Nardello
by Cyrus Rhodes
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Andrea Nardello was sidelined by writerís block for two years before a simple love song she wrote for her girlfriend heralded a new era of emboldened self-identity and reinvigorated creativity. The CD "Echo" clocks in pretty short as an EP release but it is great while it lasts, and definitely helps Andrea Nardello make another notch on her way up the singer-songwriter ladder. I like EPís as long as theyíre full of equally great tracks, and this accomplishes that and more, so it has my attention and so does the artist because of it.
IMD How would you classify your music?
AN I feel like my music falls somewhere in the middle of Folk and Rock with a hint of Blues. It's honest and from the heart.
IMD Who are your top musical influences?
AN That is such a loaded question! At a young age my top influences were Dave Matthews, Janis Joplin, & the Indigo Girls. Over the past several years I feel like I am more influenced by Pearl Jam, Dave Grohl, Patty Griffin, & Brandi Carlile. I know that's a lot but it is the truth. I admire their musicianship and their song writing. It drives me to evolve.
IMD What do you want fans to take from your music?
AN If I can move someone with my music I feel like I've won the lottery. If my music empowers a fan to make a change in their life or just allows them to feel the emotions they are living with then I am over the moon.
IMD Howís the music scene in Philly? Has it shaped your sound?
AN The Philly music scene is extremely diverse and has a tight nit community that supports one another. The talent that is in this area is pretty mind blowing and dare I say underrated. I don't feel like it's shaped my sound as much as it's motivated me to become a better artist. Seeing performers like Matt Duke, Chris Casper, & Ginger Coyle really makes your jaw drop. They capture your attention instantly. No gimmicks, just great songs and flawless live performances. Now that I put those thoughts down on paper I realize that Philly has shaped my sound.
IMD What is the best concert you have been to?
AN Ever? Man that is a loaded question too. A concert that sticks out for me is the last show ever played at the Spectrum before it was torn down. Pearl Jam played for 3+ hours and probably got fined for playing past 11:00 PM. I was with my oldest brother who is a die-hard PJ fan. It was the first concert we ever went together so it has significant meaning all around. Pearl Jam was on fire that night and so were the fans. Pearl Jam fans intensify the show. I love it when fans are singing so loud at a rock concert their veins are popping out and they look like they could pass out from excitement at any moment. I've never seen a band tour as long as they have and continue to perform with the energy of a teenager.
IMD Is there a song ďECHO" that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?
AN I am really proud of ECHO. All of those songs have significant meaning to me for many different reasons. If I had to pick one song that stands out the most it would be "Home To Me". That is the song I used to propose to my wife and we got married this past October. That song has opened many doors for me in both my personal and professional life. It holds a very special place in my heart and I still get a goofy smile on my face every time I perform it live.
IMD How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?
"No gimmicks, just great songs and flawless live performances.
Now that I put those thoughts down on paper I realize that
Philly has shaped my sound. "
- Andrea Nardello -
AN I am very hard on myself. Which can be good and bad but that makes me constantly work at my craft. Whether itís singing, guitar playing, writing, performing, etc. I am constantly trying to evolve in those areas. I got to tour all over the US last year opening up for incredible musicians like Ron Pope, Tony Lucca, and Emerson Hart. I got to perform in new markets like the Mid-West and West Coast. It was an incredible year for me. The one area I feel like I evolved is talking to the crowd at shows at bringing up topics I would never bring up before. Like gay marriage; for instance. Obviously, gay marriage was at the forefront of my personal life J but we also tied equality to my EP packaging. The EP cover folds out and spells the word ECHO and when you fold it back together there is an equal sign in the center. Talking about this EP on stage opened the door to talk about a lot of topics. I never felt comfortable talking about being gay on stage until last year. I never spoke about being gay in interviews until last year. I always felt like I was ok and I was out in my personal life so why does it matter? Then I realized that just because Iím ok doesnít mean that everyone else is. This past year I really wanted to offer myself up as a resource and support system to anyone who needed it. Talking about these things on stage had an impact. It makes a difference. I would have deep conversations with people about marriage, self-esteem, being gay, etc. Whatever the issue was we would talk about it after the show. I was really shocked at the response but I was also grateful that people could open up to me like that after hearing me once. I have a lot to be thankful for. My fans and the people I meet on the road are a huge part of my evolution. I love it. It makes touring special.
IMD If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, get drunk with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?
AN The list is endless if Iím honest. Iíd play a gig with Janis Joplin, co-write a song with Dave Matthews, and get drunk with Dave Grohl & Eddie Vedder. Once we were good and drunk Iíd make a power trio with the boys. Ha! That sounds like a blast.
IMD You recently were in Guatemala with the Music Is Love Exchange. Tell us about your experience there and what itís like to work with that organization?
AN Being involved with the MILE Foundation has been beyond rewarding on many levels. Our latest trip to Guatemala was double the size when compared to my first trip two years ago. With a larger group we were able to make a much bigger impact. We helped clean up and design a schoolyard that had been over grown and neglected. We carried dirt up hills to make a garden bed, potted plants, and painted the walls and the schools mascot on the front entrance. We all pitched in a physical and creative way working as a team. We also performed for the students and I managed to learn 6 Christmas carols in Spanish. Crazy! The space we created for the kids was spectacular. We also visited the hospital in San Lucas to perform a show for the patients and staff. We cleaned solar panels, organized the pharmacy, and helped tend to their garden. After our service days we would return to the hotel and have concerts in the courtyard. Itís very special to connect with everyone on the trip in that intimate setting. We live a life full of social media, being connected to our phone, and constantly being on the go. Spending this time in Guatemala puts everything into perspective for me. I slow down. I breathe. I leave my phone behind in my room and spend my days and nights living in the moment. Lake Atitlan has a healing quality. The local people have a calming presence. The people that run the MILE foundation have become my family. The work we do there is very special to me and I would encourage anyone to go on that trip.
IMD Whatís next for Andrea Nardello?
AN Last year was a huge year for me. I have no idea how Iím going to top it but I am going to try! The first half of the year is already packed with exciting stuff. I am opening up for Brandi Carlile, which is a dream come true. I am going on tour in March with Matt Duke, Tony Lucca, Keaton Simons, and Rachel Platten, hitting the Southeast and ending up in Charleston, SC for the Off The Record Music Festival. This festival is always a weekend full of music and good times. I am also going to tour with Matt Duke in May hitting the Mid-West and the Northeast. Matt is a good friend and very inspiring. Getting to spend some time on the road with him will be special. I am also going to put out an acoustic EP scheduled to be released some time in the Spring or Summer. I am still writing a song a week so donít be surprised if a new album is on the horizon! I am very excited about 2015. I think it will be my best year yet.
interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.
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