20 Questions: Andrew Paley

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016
Andrew Paley | photo by Ben Bernschneider

Andrew Paley | photo by Ben Bernschneider

Perhaps best known for his work in The Static Age, guitarist/vocalist Andrew Paley released a new solo album, Sirens, in November 2016 via Paper + Plastick Records (in the States) and Makemyday Records (in Europe). The first single, “Come Home,” features The Lion and The Wolf, and can be streamed here. While you give it a listen, read through Andrew’s answers to 20 Questions With Verbicide.

Which band or performer would you love to see, but haven’t yet?

Peter Gabriel or Kate Bush. I actually had tickets to see Peter Gabriel a few years ago during the stretch of shows where he was playing So in its entirety, and my then-girlfriend’s apartment got broken into the afternoon of the show in Chicago. The thief didn’t get away with much, but her cat did get out. So, we spent the evening trying to track down the missing feline.

The good news? We found the cat. The bad news? No Peter Gabriel.

How many states have you been to?

Forty-nine of them — all except Alaska. It’s so damn out of the way.

If you could only appear on one late-night television show, which would it be?

Conan, hands down. I tagged along with the Explosion guys when they performed on his show in like 2007 or something. It was a blast. As I recall, during the pre-show, one of the other guys from Tarantulas Records with us jumped up and danced with Conan as Conan worked his way through the crowd — and Conan was so impressed he insisted the guy go down to the band area and dance with Max Weinberg. I believe Conan’s quote was “Max, you haven’t lived until you’ve danced with George.” George set a high bar.

When you die, do you want to be buried, cremated, stuffed and mounted, or something else?

Uploaded and then the leftover bits can be cremated.

Which artist or album did you listen to most when working on your current/upcoming release?

It’s probably a tie between Tycho’s latest album Epoch and Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love.

If recreational space travel ever becomes possible, where would you be most interested in visiting?

In our solar system, Mars, Pluto, and Titan (a moon of Saturn). Beyond that? I have no idea. The universe is a pretty vast place, so there’d be plenty of adventuring to do.

Ever heard of Verbicide before this interview? We’ve been around almost 20 years for Christ’s sake.

Yeah! In fact, I was interviewed by you all a bunch of years ago for something related to The Static Age.

What is your favorite website?

Reddit (when properly set up to filter out some of the garbage on the site, of course).

Iron Maiden or Megadeth?

Iron Maiden. No question. Is this a question? Has anyone said Megadeth, ever?

What was the first album you ever bought? What format was it in? Do you still have it?

The first album I ever had was Tears for Fears Songs From the Big Chair — but I was probably five when I got it so there’s no way I bought it myself. After that, the next album that comes to mind is Metallica’s …and Justice for All — though I think I actually got that as a dubbed cassette from my cousin. I seem to recall buying a Nine Inch Nails CD during a school trip in like seventh grade. Maybe that was my first CD purchase actually. I must have spent my food money on it or something.

If you are an American citizen with voting privileges, who do you plan to vote for in the next presidential election?

Well, we’ve got to wait a little bit now to correct the huge mistake we just made in November. I was a Sanders supporter (going way back, actually — The Static Age used to play rallies with Sanders back when he was running for reelection to Congress in Vermont), then a Clinton supporter. Now I’m just shocked, saddened, embarrassed, and disgusted by the clown show we’re going to be stuck with for the next four years (hopefully not more).

Which social media site do you use/like the most? How can people find/follow you?

Instagram by far. I’m not active on it on a daily basis, but definitely more so than elsewhere. My username is andrew_paley.

Australia or New Zealand?

I’ve never been to Australia, but I’ve visited New Zealand, as I have family there. Absent the experience in both, it’s a bit hard to compare…but New Zealand is amazing. Also, I think my cousins over there would be quite pissed if I didn’t say New Zealand. So, hey…New Zealand.

Glasses or contacts?

Glasses. I can’t do contacts — they drive my eyes nuts.

Where did you grow up?

In the woods of Vermont. We bounced around a little bit before that (born in New Haven, Connecticut, and then spent a few years in Madison, Wisconsin first), but grade school and high school were all in various spots in central and northern Vermont (just outside of Burlington).

Who is your all-time favorite author? If you can’t decide, list more than one. Which is your favorite book by your favorite author(s)?

It’s a multi-way tie between the likes of Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Bukowski, Douglas Adams, Joe Sacco, Marjane Satrapi, Manuel Puig, Carl Sagan, Oscar Wilde, and Harvey Pekar (and plenty more). [Favorite books are] probably Cat’s Cradle, Post Office, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Palestine, Persepolis, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Demon-Haunted World – Science as a Candle in the Dark, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Our Cancer Year, respectively. Honorable mentions also go to Richard Thaler for Misbehaving and Nick Lane for The Vital Question.

Favorite thing about being on tour? Least favorite thing?

Best: playing shows, seeing the world and meeting people from all over the place. Worst: public bathrooms.

What is your favorite video game?

The Last of Us. I didn’t really play games for a string of years there after college, and I had a roommate who reintroduced me to them in the late PlayStation 3 era. I eventually got to play The Last of Us, and it completely changed my expectation about what you could do with the medium of a video game. If you happen to have a PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 and have yet to play that game, please go do so immediately.

In your experience, just how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop?

Licks? About three bites.

How many pets do you have, what are their names?

I have one cat who came to me as a kitten found dirty and starving a few years ago at about 2 a.m. by my then-girlfriend. I took the cat in that night expecting to either find her family or take her to a no-kill shelter within the week. Over the course of the ensuing week, we got to be pretty tight. When no one responded to the posts or flyers, I decided I had a cat. Her name is Newt (as it happens, I really like the movie Aliens).