Interview: Andy Shauf

Andy Shauf

Hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf has had a whirlwind couple of years. Prior to 2012 he released a slew of singles, EPs, and full length albums, from his debut album Darker Days to the independently released The Bearer of Bad News. In 2015, Shauf’s momentum picked up when he signed to the Canadian label Arts & Crafts Productions and the American label ANTI-, a subdivision of Epitaph Records. In May of 2016, after starting the year in Europe touring with The Lumineers, he released his next long anticipated album The Party, which promptly became a finalist for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize. The Party is a concept album of sorts. It tells multiple stories, all which seem to happening over the course of one night. Listening to the record captures the intense swinging emotions of a hazy night with the clarity of the morning after.


Andy Shauf will be coming to The Cedar Thursday March 30th. We spoke to him about The Party, his inspirations, and his favorite Canadian artists in advance of the show.


Q. The Party tells many stories, all seemingly taking place in the substance altered haze of a single night. Are there real life people or events behind these stories?
A: I mean, I’m sure these events have all happened to real life people at some real life party somewhere in the world. But these songs were written about a few common characters that I’d been thinking about for a few years who you’d find at any normal party, I guess.


Q. You began recording for The Party in Germany back in 2014, but ended up scrapping most of the work you did there. Can you tell us a bit about your recording process?
A: Yeah, I’m really picky and can spend hours working on one drum part, for example, so generally I like to write and record by myself. Germany was a good experience to work through a few ideas with some input from friends and it was also cool as the studio was in a haunted castle.


Q: Your parents owned an electronics and music store when you were a kid. How did this early access to music affect your trajectory as a musician?
A: I was lucky to have instruments in the house all the time, as my parents are both musicians. I started playing music really young because of that and had lots of time to experiment and make embarrassing music at a young age. Had my parents not had instruments around when I was growing up, I might not be in Minneapolis playing this show.


Q: In recent years we’ve seen a ton of great new musicians coming out of Canada. Who do you think is the most underrated Canadian act?
A: Kacy & Clayton are pretty nice. A friend just put out an album under his name D.A. Kissick which I played a part on.


Q: What has been inspiring you lately?
A: Lately I’ve been inspired by a few creative friends and their own projects. I got a subscription to The New Yorker which I try to read through every month. The New Yorker Fiction Podcast is good too.