Scene Point Blank: Though it's obvious that you're writing music for your self, as your fan base increases and people become more and more fanatic, do you ever take into account that you're songs are going to be judged by other people?
Andrew McMahon: Um, no. It's a factor, but I think I can say I write for me first because I want to present something that I connect to, but on a universal level something others will connect to as well. I know that sounds a little backwards, because I say I'm doing it for myself, but that's how I like to write. The music I grew up listening to was largely pop and radio music. Not what I would consider pop in the sense that it lacks credibility but just music that was so well written that from one sense you could get that they were saying something that meant something to them, but also something that really did connect at a larger level.
I don't really feel a large sense to go beyond that and maybe find producers that are the " now/it" producers or try to really shoehorn myself into what's going on at the time. I think that's where I differ from some of my contemporary's who are going out of their way to fit the scene, or mold that's going on. Good song writing is good song writing and those songs will stand the test of time. I don't want to create music that intentionally sounds like something popular now, because my hope is that I can make songs that will be good enough to be successful on their ownâ?¦or at least successful enough that I can keep doing my job.
Scene Point Blank: You've spent the better part of your adult life playing music, and being more or less in the public eye. As all of this is so well documented, do you ever look back at what you've done, or something you put out a couple years ago, and cringe?
Andrew McMahon: I think that it happens, but it happens to every artist. When I do cringe, it's not with a lack of respect for what I've created in the past. I'm sitting there thinking, "I'm so young, I can't believe my voice sounded like that" or " Why did I think it was okay to say that?" You do it, and then you back off, and realize well that's where I was so of course I was going to say that. You grow, and you evolve, just like anybody does in his or her own life. Somebody who is a writer, a singer, or a painter, or anyone who does what they do on an artistic level leaves a trail of who they used to be.
You look back on it as the same way someone might look back on their teenage years and think "Can you believe the stupid shit we were doing?' Even my buddies and I look back on the stuff we did on the weekends in high school and just wonder how we ever thought that was cool. In that same way, sometimes you look back at what you did when you were seventeen or eighteen years old and it's incredibly profound and really say something about where you were at the time. You take that away and know that this song is a piece of me, it will always be a piece of me and I'm glad I said it.
Scene Point Blank: I remember some weekends friends and I spent throwing donuts at pedestriansâ?¦
Andrew McMahon: That used to be a huge part of our weekend, not the donut thing, but water-ballooning pedestrians. It was horrible. We'd run out of water balloons and just throw whatever takeout we had in the car. I remember this one time throwing a cup of guacamole at somebodyâ?¦
Scene Point Blank: Ketchup was always a favorite of mine.
Andrew McMahon: We had our asses handed to us one time by this high school football team. We were like fifteen at the time and could just drive and I made a mustard packet into this guy's window. He chased us down and stole our money and stuff. We stopped doing that after awhile.
Scene Point Blank: Me too. One thing I've been trying to do is get all the artists I've been talking with lately to pick one of their songs which they feel best defines them, what would be yours?
Andrew McMahon: I'd say "Made for Each Other."
Scene Point Blank: Parts one and two?
Andrew McMahon: Yeah. For me that track as a whole is really repetitive. And the reason I made it last on the record is because it spells out an over all philosophy. It definitely is in line with who I am, and what I believe.
Scene Point Blank: I haven't got much elseâ?¦um, if the moon were made out of barbeque spare ribs would you eat it?
Andrew McMahon: Would you eat it? Would you eat it?
Scene Point Blank: I know I would. In fact I've had seconds. Your thoughts?
Andrew McMahon: Cubs win! Cubs win! You've got your ear to the ground, Graham.
Scene Point Blank: Thanks a lot for everything, Andrew.