Q&A: Country musician Andrew Combs

Rachel D. Holtzman, Reporter


Country musician Andrew Combs performed at Evanston SPACE on Sunday night while opening for musician Anderson East as part of the Devil In Me tour. The Daily sat down with him to talk about his second album, released in 2015, and what he likes about writing.

The Daily: What was the creative process behind your second album, “All These Dreams”?

Combs: I didn’t really think about it too much. I’m sure there was some sort of idea growing in the back of my brain. I didn’t go into it thinking about what I should write. Now once I wrote a bunch of songs, then I chose songs that I felt fit a mold and what I wanted to say. It fit a certain musical vibe, as well as lyrical, maybe a touch of melancholy. I focus a lot on the spiritual side of looking at art.  

The Daily: I noticed there were a lot of soul influences in your country music.

Combs: Yeah, I grew up listening to my parents’ records, which ranged from folk music to soul music, which influenced a lot of what I did and what I still do.

The Daily: What is a main theme in the album?

Combs: I’m a pretty average middle-class white kid, but I was always drawn to film and literature and music that, you know, touched on that kind of melancholy vibe. I think there’s a lot to be said about sadness. There’s a line in “Rainy Day Song,” which is the first track on the [album] … “laughing ain’t a pleasure ‘til you know about crying.’” And I think that really sums it up what I was trying to pinpoint with the record.

The Daily: How did you first start working with music?

Combs: I grew up playing piano because my dad was a piano player. And I hated it and said, “I want a guitar.” And my cousin, who’s a great guitar player down in Austin, Texas, gave me my first guitar. And my dad taught me the first chords.

The Daily: What’s your favorite part about being on stage?

Combs: It’s tricky for me because what I really love about this business is writing, and it’s not necessarily the performance. I haven’t really figured it out; there are nights when I thoroughly enjoy it and there are nights when it frightens me, and I’m still trying to figure that out. I’m learning to love performing — it can be a really rewarding thing, but it can also be very discouraging.

The Daily: What are the next steps in your career?

Combs: My goal is to go back into the studio in the summer of this year and have a record done by winter of 2017. So far, the songs I’ve been writing lend themselves to be a bit more stripped down, kind of in the vein of like a ‘60s folk record. Now that being said, that could change next week — my vision is always changing. It’s always exciting to me to be able to get into the next record, as like I said before, what I like doing is the creating part. Maybe one day I will be, but right now, I’m not an entertainer. I’m a guy who’s trying to write great songs and sing them to people.

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