SPB: How much does the music you listen to shape you as a person - is it difficult to separate yourself from the music, or is it who you are, etc.
Andy: My taste in music has evolved and expanded greatly over time, and to some extent, I am not as connected personally to music today as I was at various points in the past. At times, I've found albums or pieces of music that I really felt a strong connection with and seemed in perfect harmony with where I was as a person. Songs About Leaving by Carrissa's Wierd was one such album - for better or worse, it represented where I was at the time when I discovered it. Even today, it ties me to a specific place, time, and mindset even though that mindset isn't where I'm at now. Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Vol. II will always remind me of a friend's apartment where it was often played almost continuously.
In the past decade or so that I've been doing music reviews, I've explored more music rather than really dwell on albums like I did in the past. This has been exciting in its own way since I've happened upon a lot of interesting material, but I haven't gotten as connected to most of it since I often simply move on to the next thing - I don't have as much time as I used to to devote to listening.
Still, it's hard to deny that music has shaped my personality. Though I still have an appreciation for harder and more aggressive music that I listened to almost exclusively in my youth (and definitely played a part in shaping who I was at the time), I'm more interested today in finding new adventures with music that stimulates my imagination. My recent listening habits almost certainly have toned down certain aspects of my personality, which probably isn't an altogether bad thing.