Andrew Feyer releases debut album

We reached out to Andrew Feyer, who attended Summer Arts at Putney in 2009 and 2010, to see what he has been up to. Andrew recently released his debut-album, Signals Internalized through various streaming platforms.

Andrew Feyer

Andrew Feyer is a singer/songwriter/composer/producer and multi-instrumentalist with diverse musical experience spanning many genres and styles. Feyer constructs his unique sound combining personal lyrics with his classically influenced melodic and instrumental style, and Electronic/Rock production.

 

Dan - How long have you been playing music for? Was it an early passion for you?

Andrew - It all started when I began taking piano lessons at age 6, so I got into it pretty young. My mom discovered I had perfect pitch, and had a good ear for picking up melodies, so piano lessons just seemed like the right thing to do. From there, I developed an interest in playing drums, and also taught myself how to play guitar. By the time I was around 12, I was writing songs on a fairly regular basis. Most of the friends I made at that age were through playing music, and by the time I entered high school, I was playing in a few bands. I was playing drums in one band, bass in another, and continuing to write and perform as a social artist, mainly with a singer-songwriter vibe. Upon graduating high school, I was also learning how to compose contemporary classical music for various chamber ensembles. When I got to college, I developed an interest in electronic music, and decided to compose primarily through software. This led to me learning about the world of music production, and how I was able to not only write and perform music, but also shape it and arrange it.

D - When you attended Putney back in 2009, and 2010 you took mostly music related workshops. What was that experience like and how did that carry over to your work?

A - I had been songwriting for a little while before attending Putney, but felt myself come more into my own while I was there. I took both 3-week sessions in 2009, and the first 3-week session in 2010, before spending the rest of that summer at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. In 2009, I took a variety of courses such as Songwriting, Music Composition, Vocal Ensemble, and the Theater Intensive. I was also involved with many creative writing electives. I continued with Songwriting in 2010, and also partook in a filmmaking course, which got me interested in directing my own music videos. For the second round of Songwriting courses, I decided to take more risks and put myself through more challenges until I came up with ideas I never knew I had. In fact, some of the themes and musical motifs on my album stem back to ideas conceived at Putney. I’ve kept with me the tricks and tools learned at Putney to continue my creative path.

D - Where did you go to college? Were you making music then?

A - I went to Bard College in upstate New York, and graduated in May 2016. The feel of the college was very similar to Putney, as it was an outdoorsy rural area that placed great emphasis on strengthening creativity. What was great about going to a liberal arts school with a music program rather than a conservatory was that I was able to dabble in a variety of musical courses rather than focus only one playing one instrument really well. My concentration at Bard was composition, but I also branched out into production as well, learning how to record and produce my own music. I took both classical composition and electronic composition courses, eventually combining both styles into my own voice as a composer. My four years at Bard culminated with a senior concert performance, where I basically just took the songs I’d been writing and performing for years, but arranging it for a large ensemble. It was very ambitious, but also challenging. Since then, I’ve downsized my band and have kept more instruments in the live backing track, but still finding the delicate balance between live instruments and pre-recorded tracks.

D - Who have been your influences?

A - Everything I listen to influences me in some way. I could go on for days listing my influences. Name a well-known artist; they’ve probably influenced me in some way. I get inspired even just listening to my own friends perform their songs.

D - What inspired you to create this album?

A - Before putting out this full length album, I had released an EP of four tracks, as well as a follow-up single. The sound was relatively underdeveloped, so I then spent the next year or so trying to sharpen my skills as a producer. My main inspirations for this album in particular stem back to both physical and emotional difficulties. You’ll hear from the lyrics that I have had my fair share of mental health issues, which I make a conscious effort to work on all the time. One form of therapy is channeling it into music. Music lifts up my mood when I’m down and helps me channel my feelings of anxiety into something creative. The other inspiration came from a serious foot injury I sustained in 2014. When I suddenly broke six bones in my foot, and there was talk as to whether I would ever walk normally again, I realized that life is too short and precious not to be ambitious. I had always dreamed of putting out a full album, but never thought I could execute it. As I was recovering from my injury, I changed my attitude and buckled down to get to work on trying to take what was in my head and turn it into something that other people could actually hear.

D - It’s an eclectic mix of genres. Did you plan it out to be, or did you arrive to it organically?

A - The concept of blending genres has always been fascinating to me. I always thought: why does something have to be just one thing? I suppose the genre mixing became so engrained in my writing style that I started writing and producing like that subconsciously. Since I try to draw inspiration from as many places as possible, the result is not your typical sound. Sometimes I start writing something, expecting it to go one way, and the result is something totally different. There are so many steps that go into writing and producing a song that things are bound to change often when I keep coming up with new ideas on the spot.

D - What was the recording and writing process like for the record? Did you play all the instruments yourself?

A - The writing process stems back to lyrics and melody ideas I had in high school, but never really developed until recently. Before I got into self-producing my music, the songs were just written to be sung and performed on guitar or piano. But I decided I wanted a fuller, more complex sound. I did play all the instruments, with the exception of the featured artist, Marcel Rudin, playing guitar and singing on Communication. Some of the parts I came up with weren’t even humanly possible to play, so I just programmed it in the software. The majority of the album was produced right on my laptop, using Logic Pro. I suppose the main organic elements of the album are the vocals. I’m very picky about how I want my takes to sound, so each line was recorded multiple times, and then edited and re-edited until I thought they sounded right. It made for very long nights in the studio. I had some friends help with engineering, mixing and mastering, just to get additional sets of ears. My hope for future albums is to become more collaborative and take more people’s ideas into account.

D - What about your music videos? Do you put those together yourself mostly?

A - Yeah, mostly my music videos are self-directed, and I edit them on my laptop myself, since usually I have a pretty solid idea of how I want the video to turn out even before I start filming it. Usually I enlist the help of my friends to do the filming, and sometimes they help me with some special effects, but as of now, for the most part, it’s me doing the brainstorming, directing, producing and editing. Currently, I have two music videos out for this project: one for I Just Don’t Know and one for Taking a Turn for the Worse. I Just Don’t Know was shot within the course of an hour and features me playing various instruments and singing in an empty garage. Each instrument I play is assigned a color, which is then placed over the footage. Taking a Turn for the Worse is slightly different: it was filmed in various subway and transportation hubs and features attempted communication between two masked figures. Both videos are meant to be slightly abstract and not tell a direct story-line. Currently, I am working on some more music videos for other tracks on the album, and I want to get more into a collaborative mode with them so I’m not just doing all the work myself, and can use the talents and skills of others to help bring these projects to life.

D - What are your plans for the future? Working on material, touring, etc?

A - Now that my first album is finally out, I can focus on working on new material, while I continue to promote old material. Albums generally have a 6 month lifespan after the release, and within that time, we need to keep the energy alive by supplementing the release. I have some new music videos in the works for some of the songs, and I’m planning to go on tour this July to support the album. The tour will take me all across the Northeastern United States, hitting most of the major stops between Boston and Washington. Once tour is over, I’m able to have a clean slate and focus on writing, recording and producing. I’m looking forward to continuing the process over and over. With each new release brings a new musical journey.

 

Feyer Signals Internalized

Signals Internalized is available through

The Putney School Summer Programs
Elm Lea Farm, 418 Houghton Brook Road,
Putney, Vermont 05346 USA
802-387-6297 (main), (802) 387-6216 (fax)
summer@putneyschool.org