Coffee Break: A Q&A With Andrew Kelley Simons
John Oates of Hall & Oates and a panel of industry judges helped select Andrew Kelley Simons as the winner of The American Songwriter Coffeehouse Tour. Andrew hits the road Oct. 5 for 10 gigs across the northeast with a Fishman SA220 Perfomace System and $2,000 tour budget. We talked with Andrew as he packed up for the trip:
How did you hear about The American Songwriter Coffeehouse Tour Contest?
I’m a regular American Songwriter Magazine reader, and I frequently check out the contest section online. I’ve always wanted to go on tour, so naturally… I submitted my songs. The opportunity sounded amazing.
So you’ve never been out on the road before?
I’ve played a few one-off shows out of town before, for festivals or benefits, but I’ve never been on any sort of tour before.
Are you scared?
I’ve never played 10 shows in a row before, so I hope my voice holds up! I went to the Vanderbilt Voice Center before I left for advice, and they told me I should seriously limit my talking. I’m a bit gregarious, so this will be quite a challenge.
What are you most excited about, traveling from show to show?
Playing in front of different audiences in different cities. I’m most excited about the show in Boston, where I’m from, because my parents will be there, and they’ve never actually seen me play before.
Are you bringing along a travel companion?
For the first week, I’ll be by myself, but my girlfriend is meeting up with me in New York and finishing out the tour with me. I can’t wait to share this incredible experience with her!
So what can the people expect when they come to see AKS perform live?
I am really tall and really loud. If someone is trying to write their dissertation over a cup of tea, they’re probably going to be pretty mad at me.
Are you brining along a box of “merch”?
Yes, I made up limited edition (a.k.a. all I could afford) t-shirts, pins, and a special tour EP.
How are you going to document this fantastic voyage?
How important is touring for an independent artist?
Seeing as how this is my first tour, I’m unable to answer that question from experience per se. But I’m really excited to meet new people, see new things, and hopefully turn some folks on to the whole AKS thing.
What are your plans after you return home?
Everyone says you write your best stuff while on the road, so I’ll probably be pretty busy writing songs about isolation and stuff like that…