Andorra Talks Battle of the College Bands, New Music, and Favorite Philly College Bands

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Rock On Philly: Congrats on winning out first Battle of the College Bands!

How was the experience of not only performing at the Hard Rock Cafe, but also performing in front of the lineup of awesome judges?

Andorra: Playing at the Hard Rock was a blast! We must have eaten there a thousand times so actually being on stage at that place was kind of a full circle thing. Looking back at that show today, it felt like a much needed Andorra reboot. That was our first show with new guitarist Dante DiLoreto. At that point, we were still trying to feel each other out on a personal level and as someone to potentially be a full time member. The day of the show was also the first time he met Michael Trycieckyj, our bassist. However, this show was a turning point for us because not only was it one of our best shows to date, but we were really glad everyone in the crowd and even [the] judges were feeling what we were doing. We had such a great reaction from the judges and everyone that came out to see us. The room was packed and that crowd erupted after every song. We’d love to play to a crowd like that all the time. Our friends were super drunk, too, which probably helped.

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Andorra recording at Philly Sound Studios

ROP: How have things changed for you guys as a band since you opened the Radio 104.5 8th Birthday Show back in May 2015? 

Andorra: The Radio 104.5 show was probably the greatest experience of our lives. We knew that nothing would top that, but gotta say, Hard Rock was pretty close to it! So, we soaked in every second that we could at the Susquehanna Bank Center [now, BB&T Pavilion]. Since then, we played one of their New Music Discovery shows at XFINITY Live! with Sonnder and Alright Junior, which was a blast. We got to dance on tables with Wendy Rollins and hung with her all night.

They’re all really great people. Would love to keep working with them! One significant difference from our Birthday show outing is our current lineup. We had a falling out with our guitarist at the time, but we quickly replaced him with our buddy Dante DiLoreto. He’s a better hang and has long, gorgeous hair.

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Drummer Jordan Petrellis (left), lead vocalist Kevin McCall (middle left), and bassist Michael Trycieckyj (right) cheer on new guitarist Dante DiLoreto (center)

ROP: Are you guys working on any new music? 

Andorra: YES. We debuted a new song at the Hard Rock and another one at A Very Philly Christmas, the other Rock on Philly event we played recently. The tune we played at Hard Rock is called “Four Corners.” We just finished tracking it at Darla Hood Productions which is located in Germantown. We are going to be releasing it with a music video, so be sure to watch out for that. We also debuted a song called “Indian Queen,” with ROP at our Christmas show at World Café Live. We are heading into Philly Sound Studios soon to start tracking that song. If all goes well, maybe you’ll see another full-length soon!

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Drummer Jordan Petrillis of Andorra recording at Philly Sound Studios

ROP: Do you have any favorite Philly college bands outside of your own that we should keep eye on?

Andorra: RFA comes to mind when we hear “college band” because they personify it well. Their song “Freaking Out” is basically about getting smashed the night before, meeting girls (majoring in accounting) at parties, and recovering from hangovers just in time to do it all over again. All the while trying to manage classes–essentially, a typical college life style. We’re kind of traveling at the same rate, involving ourselves within the Philly music scene and both experiencing successes, so that is cool to see. Both of us were finalists in the Radio 104.5 Birthday Show, and we were kind of from the same area before moving to the city too, so we’re pretty familiar with each other. We always check out their shows and hope to play more with them more in the future!

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Andorra looks on their shadows

ROP: How about any bands that you look up to/are influenced by?

Andorra: We listen to everything, man. Our sound is pretty rock-driven, but we like to think that we have “big ears” meaning that we can hear a Christopher Tin arrangement and take something away from it and incorporate it into our own music. Same goes for artist like Drake, Bob Dylan, and Miles Davis. All of various genres, but still they have something to offer us as influence. But, we like Pearl Jam, too.

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Andorra having some fun in the park

ROP: How do you plan on using your prizes to your advantage?

Andorra: Going to use the ZipCar prize to drive ourselves to Philly Sound Studios.

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Vocalist Kevin McCall of Andorra records at Philly Sounds Studios

ROP: How can other bands (college or otherwise) learn from competitions like this?

Andorra: For the Hard Rock show, I don’t think we even looked at it as a competition-based show. We were really just trying to have a fun night by celebrating Jordan Petrellis’s, our drummer, birthday and celebrate the fact that we were playing such a cool venue. It was all about fun for us that night. We got to play to all of our friends and family. We weren’t thinking about winning or losing–we just did our best to put on a great show and, I guess, the judges saw that.

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Bassist Michael Trycieckyj of Andorra records at Philly Sound Studios

ROP: Has this been a learning experience for you? In what way?

This way of thinking is how we have approached every show since. Play for fun and celebrate every little thing!

As part of their prize, Andorra recently stopped by Philly Sound Studios to use some studio time. Check out photos from the session below, and don’t miss out on this awesome band January 23rd when they play at Kung Fu Necktie and at our second annual Kurt Cobain Tribute show on February 18th!

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