Andorra is Making a Splash in Philly this Summer

Fresh on the scene Philly rockers Andorra have been making quite a name for themselves in the region as of late. The gritty act won Radio 104.5’s Birthday Show contest and will be opening the festival-style show this Sunday May 10th ahead of a stacked line-up of acts that include Of Monsters and Men, Death Cab For Cutie, Hozier, Passion Pit, Walk the Moon, AWOLNATION, Vance Joy, Coasts, Meg Myers, X Ambassadors and Night Riots. Amidst the growing buzz surrounding the band and the show, Rock On Philly sat down with Andorra’s Kevin McCall to talk Philly, music and the big show.

Rock On Philly: You guys are from right here in Philadelphia where there are so many great acts and sounds emerging. A lot of the bands in our local community are making a lot of different kinds of music and are creating the type of buzz that is putting Philly on the map in our national music scene. Tell us about how your band got started and walk us through what you guys have done here in Philly from the beginning of Andorra up until the present?

Kevin McCall: The idea of Andorra spawned from multiple recess conversations between myself and drummer, Jordan Petrellis while we both attended our grade school. We knew that we were different from the other students at the school and music was what drew us together. Andorra didn’t actually become “a thing” until freshman year of high school. Under various different line-ups, we played non-stop for about 4 years at multiple venues, bars, churches, etc. It wasn’t up until recently that we realized we got to get down to the city more! Since having moved from the burbs to Philly, we have been exposed to the Drexel/Temple house show circuit and we love the community in which has been built around these shows. Moreover, since having moved to the city, we recently met and added guitarist Sam Carlen to the band as well as Michael Trycieckyj on bass and vocals. They have been helping us perfect the songs released on our full length album “etc, etc, etc…” that was put out January of this year. Moreover, we have been consistently performing throughout the Philadelphia supporting this album. We are still new to the Philly scene and we are excited for the things that it will bring.

ROP: You have several releases to your credit, what has been the subject matter for your music and what is the recording process like for a band like yours that is now really beginning to cut their teeth in the local music scene?

KM: I have been the only one thus far to be the lead lyricist on all of the songs off the album as well as the other releases. The band has always functioned in a wave of layers. Usually I will come to the band with a song mostly done with the lyrics that I wrote along with a basic riff/chord structure and the band will build upon that adding their own parts to make the song feel like there own. Seeing how we have a newer line up, this may change as the new members would like to be more involved with the writing process which will be exciting to unravel. Every song is about something different and along with that every song somewhat stands apart from it or at least we try to make it that way so there is a little variety. As stated earlier, we have been a band for a while now so we have had the time to write a lot of material. The 11 songs of the album have been around since we started so recording them was a weird process having final see them take shape. We featured a lot of friends on the album that played with us throughout the years and in the end we created a big, ol’ collaborative album. As a lyricist, I usually tend to leave my song meanings up for interpretation so that if someone has an interpretation of their own for my song, my interpretations does not cloud their judgments as to what they thing the song is about.

ROP: Your music ebbs and flows between a very 90’s rock sound and some of the more recent pop-punk genres of the last 10 years, who is it that has influenced and is influencing your sound?

KM: Andorra never really sat down and had the discussion of what we want to sound like. We really just try to keep things free flowing and let the songs write themselves. We just so happen to write songs that have loud guitars and big drums so I think that’s what gives people the impression we go for that sound. We really just keep our ears open and listen to everything that comes our way and in some type of way we incorporate that while we are writing parts for songs.

ROP: You guys are opening the Radio 104.5 “8th Birthday Show” Sunday May 10th at the Susquehanna Bank Center, what does this type of opportunity mean to you and your music in terms of potential exposure to a broader audience?

KM: It was a funny experience. We submitted our song “Aint It A Shame” for a few local opener events that Radio 104.5 was hosting. Nothing really came through until we put together our music video for it. And not to take anything away from us, but there was some AWESOME bands that band the top 25 along with us so to be apart of this is really special, especially having beat out some of our friends. It is an honor and we are truly blessed to be playing at a show this awesome. Even though we thought it was weird that our family were the ones that had to get us to this spot, at the end of the day, family is first and they are the ones that do get you to these places.

ROP: With the momentum you are gaining locally, what direction to you feel the development of the band signifies as being the one you are headed in?

KM: Hopefully lots of new fans. Hoping to see new faces in the crowd instead of our girlfriend’s all the time.

ROP: What are some things that you have found to be characteristics unique to the local Philly music scene and its artists?

KM: There is a lot of good and bad about the Philly scene. I found that it can be very exclusive at times and it is hard to bridge that gap especially when you are the new kids on the block. But once you’re in, YOU’RE IN. We hope to eventually get to this point and play with bands that we look up to within these scenes.

ROP: What is your favorite aspect of being a Philly band and where do you see yourselves taking your music to in the future?
KM: We hope to get involved more with some the fabulous DIY communities like I mentioned at Drexel and Temple and just get to play with some awesome people. Currently we have a few show dates lined up including a North Star Bar date May 21st as well as a few weekend tours this summer and a new music video. Philly is great. Lot’s to offer and it is an artist city. So many great artists started here and have emerged from this area and we hope to add our name to that long list.

You can check out Andorra’s music below!

1 Comment

  1. Amanda

    May 11, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    It’s so awesome to watch local acts gain more traction in the area!

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