Pack your bags and organize
Contemplate your last goodbyes
The first three installments of our series on Andy Gish featured songs from The Yum Yum Tree's Paint by Numbers album – which I highly recommend.
Today's fourth and final post in the series features a song from an EP that was released last fall by Andy's current group, Love Me Till My Heart Drops. (You can click here to read part three of the interview.) Here's how the one-sheet for the EP describes it:
"Intimate." It's a word that's often tossed around to describe art . . . but what does it mean, really? For indie duo Love Me Till My Heart Stops, it means making songs that may be a little uncomfortable, even for them as players. But it's this uncomfortableness, this vulnerability, that makes for an experience that is honest, real, and very relatable. . . .
|A very young Andy Gish |
with her father's guitar
2or3lines: What happened to Yum Yum Tree after Paint by Numbers?
Andy Gish: I was feeling restless in 2008 and I very suddenly decided to take a contract nursing job in San Francisco for a year. I love Atlanta, but I felt I just needed to leave it for a minute in order to appreciate it again. A year was a perfect break. It was quiet -- I knew no one in San Francisco and I was able to process my life and let some new songs start festering under the surface. I guess this is a theme for me. It may not be efficient or maybe not even healthy, but I have never been one to be able to produce album after album. I experience life, process it in my mind, and then put a group together and pull it all together. I am sometimes envious of people who just continue to write all of the time, but I obviously need a period of incubation between projects.
2or3lines: What have you been doing musically since moving back to Atlanta?
Andy: A few years ago I reunited with Matt Harr, the original Yum Yum Tree drummer. If I ever had a musical soul mate I would have to say it is Matt. We play with the same kind of heart -- and playing with heart is the most important part for both of us, I think. We’ve been writing songs together. I had some songs I had started to work on while in San Francisco that definitely had a theme to them, and that kind of became a theme for the group. We’re calling ourselves Love Me Till My Heart Stops.
2or3lines: There must be a story behind that name.
Andy: The name is based on a phrase that a San Francisco street artist would stencil all over the Mission District. It really spoke to me. We not only named the band that, but we also have a song with the same title, and it will be the title of our EP, which was released last September.
2or3lines: How do the songs on that EP compare to the songs on Paint by Numbers?
Andy: I guess this is a new direction for me. I would say the new music is much more vulnerable – and I love it. There are few metaphors. It’s more just “wearing your heart on your sleeve.” And I love that it is just a duo. Matt is on drums, of course and I’m playing guitar. We call it music for the living room because it is so intimate in nature.
2or3lines: So you’re playing guitar instead of bass these days? How’s that going?
Andy: I don’t much enjoy playing guitar. I miss the bass terribly. I am not a guitarist, nor will I ever really be one. I’ve thought about adding someone to play guitar but there is also something very special about it just being the two of us. It’s easy, it’s fun -- it’s awesome.
|Matt Harr and Andy Gish|
2or3lines: Andy, I’ve never heard of a musician who was also a nurse. How are you balancing nursing and music at this point?
Andy: Nursing is a great career for artists. You work a lot of hours all at once and then have a lot of time off. It also allows you to be a night owl, if you wish. I love nursing. It’s an amazing and rewarding job, especially working in the ER. But it’s not my life in the same way music is. Nursing is what I do between the times I’m doing music.
2or3lines: Tell us a little about the musical scene in Atlanta today. Who are some of the local bands that you think deserve to be better known outside of Georgia?
Andy: Georgia breeds amazing music and it supports it more than I’ve seen in other places. Perhaps it’s the do-it-yourself history of groups like R.E.M. and the B52’s but it kind of has this attitude that anyone can make music. I like that. There have been so many good bands in Atlanta that inspired me. Currently, I have been loving the music PLS PLS has been making. And I think the Liverhearts are a secret gem of ours. I also really love Hope for Agoldensummer, the Good Graces and Elf Power. I’m proud that all of these musicians come from Georgia.
2or3lines: Andy, one final question. What are your personal hopes and dreams with regard to music in the future? Where would you like to be musically in five or ten years?
Andy: I know I will always make music. I hope it will always be good! I don’t have the ambition to do a lot of touring or make a lot of money. I’d just like people to hear my music . . . explore it . . . and share what they think about it. It’s really just about sharing my art.
Click on the orange circle below to hear "Better" from Love Me Till My Heart Stops' eponymous five-song EP. The song's last verse is borrowed from a song by an Atlanta band called the Liverhearts. (Matt Weaver of that band sings backup on that verse.) "Better" also includes a reference to "Sun In An Empty Room" by the Weakerthans, a Canadian group whose music Andy is particularly fond of.
Click here if you'd like to download the Love Me Till My Heart Stops EP, or one or more individual songs from the EP.