Sunday, October 18, 2009

Drummers of Next Big Nashville: Andy Grooms of Autovaughn

If you've been in Nashville more than a month and have even glanced at the local rock scene, you've caught some of the buzz for Autovaughn. They're recognized for their tenaciousness, tireless work ethic, and...well...their music, as you'd expect. They've been around quite a while, stuck it out through a few label hits and misses, and have come out the other side determined to do it their way. I was able to catch up with Andy through the miracle of e-mail (it's this new thing...seems to be catchin' might want to check it out...Along with the Internet, check that out out too cause I think it's gonna be big in a few years...).

How long has the band been around, how long have you been with them, and how did you get the gig?

Our lead singer, Darren Edwards and I moved to Nashville via Indiana and started AutoVaughn about 5 years ago after a band we were in decided to call it quits.

What's your background with the drums?

I began playing on buckets with pencils when I was really young along with some Beatles tapes I had...I believe I got my first set at 10 and learned by listening to records and many nights of turning on the radio and just playing along. I joined the school band in 7th grade. Played in Jazz Band, Marching Band, and Concert Band until I graduated High School. Started playing in Rock bands at 15. I went on to study music at Anderson University with Indiana Session great Dane Clark.

Traditional or Matched grip?


Favorite drummer?

A hard question...Vinnie Colaiuta is probably my fav to geek out to.

Favorite band?

Pearl Jam

Do you have a consistent practice time outside of rehearsals?

I try to get in and play for at least a couple hours a day with some headphones and my i-tunes library. It's been hard to practice sitting in the studio all day making a record for the last couple of months. I'm got some work to do to get back into shape before we tour again!

Do you have any endorsements?

All are cost endorsements...Gretsch..Innovative Percussion..Evans.

Do you have a day job?

Nope...I'm broke and couch surfing while we make this record...Sometimes you have to make some pretty big sacrifices to make dreams happen. Anyone need their yard mowed this weekend?

Are ya'll signed to a label?

No...we have done the dance with several labels through the years...none of the deals worked out, thank goodness. We have full creative control, own everything and it is nice not to have a 500,000 dollar debt to pay off. Like I said before is hard to make any money sitting in the studio.

When you're on the road what do you travel in?

We have a 1995 Ford Econoline conversion van named Carla...she runs like a champ at 190,000 miles...even pulling a trailer

Best part about being on tour?

Seeing the world.

Worst part about being on tour?

I miss my own bed after a couple months.

What is your band doing to think outside of the box when it comes to attracting new fans?

Videos videos....we are always putting up behind the scenes vids of what we do in the studio, on the road, in the bathroom etc.

What's the biggest challenge you face as a band?

Releasing an independent record amongst the sea of other independent records...It has to be great to stand out.

With the major labels struggling, do you feel it's more important for a band to focus on getting signed or focus on getting a significant buzz within a given group of people?

We have given up on major labels unless we see a REALLY good deal...with all of the ways a band can promote their own music online it's not worth taking the risk of your record getting shelved.

Give a brief summary of your future plans in music...

We are releasing a song a week for the next four weeks on leading up the the release of our new album "Rise"...then back on the road.

How much does chance play a part in the success of your band and how much of the success comes from sheer blood, sweat, and tears?

You need both luck and work ethic. I've seen some hard working, great bands never get a break.

If you had a fifteen year old sitting in front of you and could tell him/her anything about the music business, being in a band, or drumming, what would it be?

Work hard...good luck.



Post a Comment