1. Hi Andy, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I have been very well, thank you. It’s an exciting season of life right now between the new music, and traveling for both touring and some long awaited vacations.
2. Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Alright”?
“Alright” tells the story of my first year or so in Nashville. I lived in San Francisco previously while my now-wife was in school there, and I proposed to her right before we moved back down south. So, that was exciting, but soon after moving to town I had to face some hard truths, like dwindling money. I took a job cleaning houses and offices, which most days was pretty lonely, and uncomfortable work. My wife was in Kentucky finishing up grad school, so we were separated for the year of our engagement. It could be pretty tough, and some days while bending over a toilet I wanted to just give up. But there were also massive amounts of love every day, and I credit our relationship for the perseverance that I found.
3. Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
It was after a particularly hard goodbye to my wife on a Sunday afternoon before we spent another week apart. These were actually often powerful songwriting moments, when I was feeling flooded with a blend of sadness and gratefulness.
4. How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
It took us a while to find the right location, but once we did, everything sort of fell right into place. Sid’s in Nashville, the bar where we filmed, has that perfect colorful retro look we were looking for. I hadn’t acted much since I was a kid, so it was really fun to fall into that again. It was a full day. There’s so much thought that goes into every shot, like the technical details of lighting and color. Also, Sid’s is a legit piano karaoke bar most nights of the week. I went back a couple weeks ago with some friends and sang “My Girl.” I think that was actually my first karaoke.
5. The single comes off your new EP Together – what’s the story behind the title?
The title came to me about a month after we finished recording and I was listening to the mixes over and over again. Broadly speaking, each song is about a different type of togetherness. “Everybody’s In Town” is about friendship, “Alright” is about romantic love, and “If You Love To Be Right” is about coming together as a people. Also, I’m a bit of an introvert who enjoys time alone. I am always trying to be aware of and remind myself of the overwhelming joy that springs from coming together.
6. How was the recording and writing process?
These particular songs came together over about a year – some faster, some that kind of just slowly grew out of me. “Everybody’s In Town” and “Alright” came together over a few weeks of reflecting, while “If You Love To Be Right” came to me pretty quick one afternoon. As for recording, this was the first time I’ve ever worked with a producer or session musicians. Bobby Holland, the producer, hired a phenomenal band that I really enjoyed working with. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little intimidated in the room with all of them, but I really learned so much from the experience.
7. What role does Nashville play in your music?
I’ve grown and learned so much about myself and music since moving to Nashville, a move. I’ve dreamed about since I first started playing guitar as a teenager. It’s absolutely inspiring to be surrounded by such talent and passion. I also think it’s helped me focus on who I am as an artist. It helps me see that I can’t do it all, and to honey in on what really moves me.
8. What aspect of hopefulness did you get to explore on this record?
There is such joy that comes from coming together. Generally, when I’m feeling down, it’s because I’ve been keeping to myself too much – not reaching out to friends and family, not opening up to my partner, and letting my insecurities run rampant. Laughter, conversation, and celebrating one another fixes this every single time. I also was really inspired by seeing communities coming together, particularly over support for sexual and gender identity. I had my eyes opened up a bit, and feel hopeful to see people encouraging one another to be their true selves.
9. Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Lots of classic blues and soul music. That was the first kind of music I fell in love with as a kid, and I hit it hard again over the past year. Lots of Howlin’ Wolf, Sam Cooke, and Stevie Wonder were on repeat in 2021. I really like the straightforward and clever lyrics in some of those classic songs. ‘Wonderful World’ by Sam Cooke, for example – “Don’t know much about history, don’t know much biology…” It’s so simple, and even kinda silly, but so effective. Also I am always finding inspiration in Star Wars. I could go on and on about that, so maybe it’s best to save that tangent for another time. Lots of calling upon the force, though.
10. What else is happening next in Andy Kahrs’ world?
Well, I’m scheduling more and more tour dates, and trying to make the road a steady part of my life. So that’s exciting and really fun. I’ll get back into the studio for at least a couple more songs sometime this year. Otherwise, getting a dog soon and playing lots of Elden Ring and MLB The Show on PS5, and watching the Braves. It’s a good life.