Interview: Andy Gollage Band
By Marjie Saunders
You’re playing at the Lansdowne Hotel tonight.
Andy: “It’s just sold out.”
Who are you supporting acts?
Andy: “Indera Alives and Dominic Bryne and band. Dominic Bryne is wonderful, I don’t know much about Indera but Dominc’s live music is fantastic.
And will they be supporting you for these last few shows?
Andy: “Yep, this is the last show they’ll be supporting us and then our next run of shows is the Tamworth Country Music Festival.”
Are you happy to be heading back home then?
Andy: “yeah I’m stoked to be heading back home, I’ll probably head back home sooner or a bit earlier.”
Andy picks up the phone “I’m just going to do that” and hands it around to see everyone in the band.
This is such a view. I’m loving seeing everyone’s smiles and faces. Are you just having a cheeky drink before the set?
Leroy: “it’s just me.”
Andy: “Leroy’s having a cheeky one.”
Leroy: “It’s happy hour!”
Andy: “I haven’t had one yet, it’s a bit early. I’ve got to take care of the pipes beforehand.”
Andy: “Oh there’s Dominic Bryne.”
Hi, how are ya?
Dominic: “I’m well thanks.”
I’m Marjie, by the way.
Someone off camera to Dominic jovially “don’t budge in!”
Andy: “We’re doing an interview Dom. We just spoke about how much of a fucken piece of shit you are. ”
So you’re playing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival are you bringing any new music to there?
Andy: “oh yeah we’ll bring some new songs. There’ll be some new songs in there. Caitlin’s playing her music there too.”
And you have known each other for a while hey?
Andy: “How long have we been together for Filty.”
Filty: “Ahh, 9 years?”
Caitlin: “Ten I reckon.”
Leroy: “I’d say 10 years.”
Andy: “10 years there you go! I thought it was much less but it turns out alcohol will do that to a brain. That’s Ollie.”
The camera changes to another face.
Ollie: “Hi there.”
Andy: “That’s Leroy. Nick I believe is sucking back darts back there.”
As Andy points the camera, to look behind the group.
Leroy: “It’s his pre-show ritual that’s important.”
Do you have any specific pre-show rituals that you do?
Andy: “Not really, I have my warm up routine, I do some yoga. Yesterday I did Zumba, which was hilarious. I’d definitely do it more often.
Do you go to a local class at a place wherever you are travelling to?
Andy: “Absolutely, just me and 15, 60 year old women. It’s so funny like I do all the classes at the gym and then I just realised how much fitter all these older women are compared to guys just lifting weights. Because they’ll do like 10 reps and then sit there for half an hour looking depressed.”
Zumba is definitely the well kept secret of the middle aged ladies.
Andy: “They are all about it.”
Did anyone else in the group have any pre-show rituals?
Andy: “Filty might put the kettle on.”
Filty: “Yeah I do like smoking a little bit of marijuana.”
Just have a nice brew before the set?
Andy: “Just a couple of kettles.”
Ollie: “I’ve quit drinking so I’ll probably go and hide for 2 hours and avoid socialising until we play.”
Leroy: “Two beers and a stretch. Gotta stretch the legs out.”
Andy: “Caitlin what about you?”
Andy: “ Tequila and wine, we start up straight and then we do Westy Margaritas.”
I don’t know what that is, what’s a Westy Margarita?
Leroy: “The finest..”
Andy: “A Westy Margarita is squash, slice of lime and tequila.”
Leroy: “The finest tequila and like Solo.”
Caitlin: “I actually just made a Westy Margarita recipe, ample pour tequila, pub squash, no ice. Not cocktail hour, no wait, no salted rim! Ice.”
Andy: “What kind of cocktail doesn’t have ice! Oh wait, actually it would be a ture Westy cocktail without ice.”
How do you feel about frozen margs then?
Andy: “The lack of availability, i mean i haven’t seen a frozen marg in awhile.”
Filty: “Love a frozen marg though.”
Leroy: “Lately my pre-show ritual has been drinking two Andy Gollage beers.”
Andy: “Oh Andy Golledge lager!”
Leroy: “It’s on tap when we play so yeah I drink that.”
Andy: “Yeah we have our Andy Golledge footy shorts also.”
We’re they a limited release just for you or do you sell them as band merch?
Andy: “Yeah yeah we do sell them, We’ve sold out obviously. As soon as we get them they’re gone. Everyone wants to get their glow sticks out, you know? Ready to climb anything.”
So you are playing Tamworth and then heading to some festivals including Splendor in the Grass?
Andy: “Yeah we’re doing one show in Melbourne, Caitlin is doing her own shows so we’ve got fill in’s for that one. Then we’ve got Splendor and a whole bunch of festivals towards the end of the year that were postponed. They were booked in January, February but now are towards the tail end of the year and I’m sure there’ll be another tour in between all that.”
Do you prefer playing the smaller intimate pub vibe or to do the bigger festival stage shows?
Andy: “At the moment I think the smaller venues. I appreciate them much more. I think once you kind of establish yourself as much more of an artist I imagine those big stages would feel a lot better.”
Caitlin: “Nick’s over here.”
Andy: “Nick’s finally made it! And yeah we will have a tour in between all those festivals”
Do you enjoy playing the regional areas or more the city shows?
Andy: “Oh everywhere! I go everywhere man, just like the song”
Leroy: “I’m keen for small towns. We’ve got to hit those small towns”
Andy: “We do need to hit those small towns, go rural! You know I grew up in Tamworth so I’m all about going rural.”
Would you consider Tamworth rural or regional?
Andy: “Yeah Tamworth is definitely regional i mean it’s considered a city..”
Nick: “It’s got a craft beer bar now so it’s no longer regional.”
Andy: “Yep that’s when you know something is not regional or some sort of ebike, if there is one ebike. It’s not regional.”
Leroy: “As soon as it has ebikes or scooters it’s a tech up!”
Andy: “So we plan on hitting rural and tech ups.”
So, are you planning on heading into the studio and doing any recording in that time as well?
Andy: “Yeah absolutely. We are looking at recording before the end of the year. What that will entail we will soon tell but we will definitely have a few more singles released before the end of the year.”
Do you go through quite a lengthy songwriting process or is it just as it comes to you and then get it ready to record and release singles?
Andy: “Yeah basically. I mean at the moment. I mean the last two records we’ve recorded live so whether we do that or not I mean we’ll see what happens. I’ll go in and record some demos and then if we feel we want to record it live or separately we will cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Do you find that live recording easier to do or is it just hard to get everyone in one place to do it, how is the process there?
Andy: “I mean when you’ve got six friends it’s always hard to get everybody in the same place at the same time but I prefer to record live. Just because it’s got a better feeling and it seems easier. I seem to get distracted pretty easily.”
Leroy: “..for anything”
Andy:”For most things.”
Leroy:”You’re pretty good at concentrating when you’re fishing.”
Andy: “Well fishing is a form of meditation, if you know you know”
Are you a fly fisher, an open sea fisher or a on the bay person?
Andy: “I’m a bluer guy, not fly fishing, maybe I’ll get Andy over here, he’s a fly fisherman, pur management, he’s a keen fly fisherman…it’s a pretty expensive hobby I’ll do music until I can pay for my fly rod.”
I’ve heard you did a road trip in America early in your career? Tell us about that.
Andy: “I did one by myself, but we did do one as a band in 2017. We went and played Americana fest which was awesome.”
Has being on that trip changed or influenced your song at all?
Andy: “I think our sound was already heading in that direction well and truly. I think if anything it just gave us a sense of confidence. You know? The sky’s the limit.”
Was there anyone that was a standout that you met while you were there?
Andy: “There was some loose units.”
Caitlin: “Reallllllly loose units!”
Andy: “What was the guy that had the chevy van with the bull horns on the front? Man they were legends. We were friends and kept in contact for quite awhile. Friends we met friends, I don’t think there were any musicians that were standouts.”
Filty: “Oh Colin Hayes”
Andy: “We definitely met more interesting characters along the way that piqued our interest more than music.”
Leroy: “Lots of eccentric people, eccentric people tend to gravitate towards this band and just hangout and party. And there’s probably more eccentric people in the U.S per capita then there are here.”
Ollie: “And I think that is because Andy is quite an earnest performer and when he goes on stage one of the things I really admire about Andy is that when he goes on stage he’s 100% himself which I think really comes across for the audience. And I think that’s why audiences love him so much; it’s because he’s always himself, never a character.”
Filty: “Oh i dunno about that”
Ollie: “He’s a character but he’s himself and I especially think Americans really like that too. American audiences really like seeing someone that’s really earnest.”
Nick: “Americans have got that on-going scene where they are doing like that many gigs a day, they are just going bar to bar (and performing) they’ve just got their music down like a super train. Like total pro sets but it’s like very pro! Haha”
Ollie: “Well it’s a performance”
Nick: “Like everyone in Nashville had a pitch. One night Andy and I got in an Uber and I think we had some guitars with us and the Uber driver was like: oh do you guys play? And we were like yep. She just switched and was like: oh well here’s my demo and I’ve recorded this many songs, I have over 1200 originals… and I’m like I don’t know if that’s a good thing?” Nick chuckles.
Nick: “Then she started to play her demo for us and was like: yeah if you want to pass that over to your manager. It’s an odd resume. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone measure the success of their band by how many songs they have. It was just funny everyone had such a pitch, if they thought you were a stepping stone to anything like they did with this bloody head” Nick hands the phone back to Andy.
How do you feel Andy being described in that earnest way?
Andy: “As a head? Yeah, honesty is the key to life. I just try to be myself. I look like a bloody galah but as long as I’m telling the truth through my song then that’s all that really matters.”
So is that a big theme of your music that comes through? Songs just come from that honest place?
Andy: “Yeah totally. I think originally it started from not being able to express myself verbally. And you know the only way I could really express it is through music. With music you kind of get to wear a mask and you get to be a character. So that just kind of came naturally and then once you’re able to express yourself more openly and freely outside of that scope it comes across in every faceit of life. When we’re on stage we are just being dorks, loving playing music you know?”
Ollie: “I think people see that in there, when people see Andy and hear those stories and it really touches them in that way, and that’s why they like it so much. Because it’s also really fun and party. There’s moments within the set and moments within the music that are really real and are about anxiety and about a lot of things that people deal with. Especially in Australia and in Sydney, I think that really helps connect the audience to Andy so closely.”
Leroy: “Yeah I think we live in pretty pretentious environments and it cuts through all that stuff. So people are quite disarmed and willing to sort of have a good time and probably be less self conscious. To the point of taking their clothes off at the shows, I see that happening.”
Andy: “Yeah, it’s vulnerability. It’s a powerful tool.”