|Andy "The Butcher" Mrotek|
Picture from: thedeadhub.com
I recently had the odd-random-pleasure to interview Andy Mrotek or as many of you know him by, The Butcher , from "The Academy is..." I originally emailed him asking if we can set up an email with some questions (for an assignment in my music class). He said sure "fully down for a little Q&A" little did he know, the Q&A wasn't so "little". Sorry Andy!
*Anyway before you read the interview note that it was via email so automatically it was a little troubling.He could have been a total asshole..right? RIGHT. He wasnt, he was great, a real, nice, genuine guy. I really appreciate the fact that he took time to answer these ridiculous questions in depth!
TB: Alright, here we go! I'll just answer in the order they were asked.
Me: Anyway, since this is my first I interview via email, I want to start by asking: What is up?
TB: Not much! Just woke up. I fell asleep with all my clothes on. I feel like a scrub.
Me: TAI and TAU are your current music projects, which means you're constantly playing, so I have to ask, while you're drumming do you ever immediately get inspired and want to just go paint or create anything?
TB: I rarely mix art and music. In fact I tend to combat writer's block with the other art form. If I can't seem to get a song to come out, I switch to an art piece. If I don't feel like painting or drawing, I'll try to write a little ditty.
Me: For TAU are you looking for an independent label deal or a major label deal?
TB: I'm thinking I'd prefer an indie label. Labels are tricky as is, but majors throw more money at you, so you have to take on a bigger debt. Unless you're able to really use your music as a financial source (as in, writing songs just for success) I'd say a major label will ultimately own you. and that's bad, mkay.
Me: Financially, what is the toughest/most annoying part of being in the music business?
TB: There is no certainty in being in a band, even on a label. We get paid per tour, that's it. If we have one tour per year... well. I'm sure you can imagine how it might be tough to come up with rent. Good question though. I'm currently annoyed by my financial state. haha.
Me: A musician in one of my classes mentioned that the financial side of the business would really mess around with his creative flow. Does this ever happen to you? If so, what do you do about it?
TB: YES. It's almost impossible (in my eyes) to keep your head clear while trying to write for a purpose beyond creation. It's a high-stress situation, thus the last place an artist would want to be in. Sometimes people can utilize pressure or negative energy... but I'd only imagine that it'd last for so long,
until you wig out!
Me: Is the name "The Animal Upstairs" copyrighted? If so, what was the process
TB: It's not. Don't go stealing it! I have plans to, but that, like everything else, costs money, of which I am lacking.
Me: What piece of work are you most proud of?
TB: I'm most proud of "Untitled", which is a 3 foot by 6 foot mural depicting a Zombie wedding. I would truly love to show my art at a gallery, but I have two problems. 1- I end up resenting old pieces a bit, in comparison to new works. I'd rather hang fresh goods. 2- I tend to sell all of my original works. I'd hang prints, but I don't think people appreciate that.
Me: Have you created any sort of a career, marketing, or business plan for TAU?
TB: Due to writing the last album, and touring, I didn't go out looking for music. Which is a sin, but I just couldn't be bothered. I preferred to spend my time/money on finding good food. As far as artists go, my favorites were the ones on the street. My most favorite is SWOON. Check her out. It'll melt your eyes.
Me: I know you just relocated to California, but while living in New York what local bands did you get into, if any? Local artists?
Me: Random question: David Grohl or Ringo Starr?
TB: Grohl for days. I prefer his energy.
He wrapped it up with the kind words below:
"I'm so sorry for taking so long on this. Usually I'm good about these things. I tend to get lost in my head. At any rate. Thank you for thinking of me! I hope this is still useful! Feel free to post this anywhere you'd like."
All in all, he was fucking great! I'm super appreciative that he took the time to answer a random students email. I was such a huge fan in my early teen years when he was in TAI and I'm currently a fan of TAU. I will always follow his work whether it's his art or music. Be sure to check out "The Animal Upstairs" and keep your ears peeled for new "The Academy is..."!
By the way guys, this was my first interview! Yeah it was over email, and yeah I was obligated to do it but it was still a great experience! How did I do? Any tips? Leave suggestions in the comments below!