Mustard and Mister Substitute had the pleasure of speaking with Andy B of Andy B & The World. Together we discussed being joined by the world, collaboration on a global scale, Andy’s “desert island” album, and so much more!

1. Mustard is grateful to have Andy B & The World join them at Music Shelf. How is everyone?

Well my good condiment, I’m very grateful to be asked to join them! Happy and healthy thank you, happy and healthy. Unbelievably busy lately, with a lot going on – not only working on the second chapter of this ABATW project, but a couple of other bands, freelance work, remote work, sorting our house out, training to be a counseller – it’s a feature packed existence, I’m not going to lie! How are you?

2. You are joined by the world. What countries and territories join you when making music? Is the weight of the World heavy?

The world can definitely be heavy, but there’s so many lovely people in it that is soon lightens up 🙂 So, we had 5 continents join in on The First One – you can probably guess that I’m aiming to beat both the 172 musician count and the continent count on The Second One, hey? I really value representing as many different cultures and genres as I can, really peppering our ska/punk/folk core with as many different vibes as I can. Variety was the name of the game on The First One, this time the songs are perhaps more centred together at their core, but with a much wider range in everything else about them. Wait, does that even make sense outside of my head? Haha!

3. You’ve toured with bands such as The Upbeat Allstars. When did you decide that you wanted to branch out?

I just, at the time, got to a point where I was a bit fried from touring and working freelance. Before UA, I was in Fandangle and New Riot, and we toured a lot – There was one year that between gigs, recording, and general music things I was away from home over 300 days of that year. I knew I wanted to do something politically and socially voiced, rather outspoken lyrically in a way, and this was just the way I saw that happening in the end. Ironically, I’m now playing bass for out labelmates Roshambo so that I can enjoy playing some shows with friends – and I love their music – without the pressure that I find singing as a frontman brings. I love being on stage, and I love talking to crowds, but I am anot, by any means, a natural singer. In the studio I’m happy enough, but live… it’s just not a skill or ability I possess!

4. Mustard loves how you collaborate on a global scale. Was there a collaboration that inspired you? How do you coordinate and plan with so many artists from around the world?

Oh my god, I love admin. Okay, love is a strong word haha, but it’s just the way my mind works – I’m way better at having a million things on at one time than focusing on one thing, so the process of having dozens of different people all at different stages, on different instruments, on different songs all at the same time whilst being able to hear them all in my head clearly comes really naturally to me. However, I’m an awfully forgetful person, so whilst the albums might be a lesson in organisation skills, my personal life probably is the polar opposite – I lose my keys, phone and wallet almost daily! I’d say the inspiration for collaboration was more human connection than any other collab project, per se – I started the project back in 2015/2016, on a small scale, so it was a long time in formation, and more became what it is than being pushed in one direction from the get go.

5. What is your songwriting process?

I’m a producer, so I have the ability to record most instruments here at home – so that definitely plays a big part in helping the whole process – I write straight in to demos. Songs either come from noodling around, and then turning that into a slice of music and then just seeing here it goes – in that case, music comes first and words after the event – however, sometimes I just hear a finished song in my head, and the task is getting that down in recorded form before I forget! I like to get others involved on vocals, from the melody to the lyrics, wherever I can as I love to see where others take the songs, but I’ve usually a hook, melody or line in there somewhere ready as an anchor to base ideas and developments off of.

6. “The First One” featured 172 musicians. When did you initially have this idea? Did you have a list of artists you’d like to collaborate with?

So, it wasn’t so much that I set out to record it with that number, but I was just missing friends we’d made through touring, and I really liked the idea of getting to catch up with them, and create something together too, like a lovely bonus. I was doing a fair bit of travel at the time and learning how to use a camera so it came about fairly organically I’d say. The idea kinda came around as I’d come away from touring bands, and I was finding it hard to form new bands, in that everyone at my age was up for doing things but just didn’t have the free time to do it, or to travel around playing as much, and so eventually I just decided to go for it alone – but collaboratively! We were lucky to have toured with some bigger bands back in the day, like Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish and so on, so there were a few artists I wanted to collaborate with that were easy to tick off the list as there was already some form of contact in place, but for the rest – I just reached out, by email or however. I had a few say no, many non replies, but thankfully many said yes! I’d love to really expand the boundaries genre wise the second time around, but from our own ska-djacent genres, honestly everyone! I’ve long had my eye on members of The Cat Empire, The Suicide Machines and Frank Turner – I think they’d be up there for sure! Talking of The Cat Empire, it was actually in Australia that the final piece of the puzzle happened – I’d been thinking about how to do this project whilst there, but I also got to spend a fair few hours late one night chatting to and hanging out with the homeless community behind St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne – I’d been doing some work with a homeless group back at home just before – anyway, the idea that the album’s profits could all go to charity happened right there and then, and I spent the rest of that trip planning the album in my head.

7. (Mr. Substitute) You’re from the UK where there is this bedrock of 2-tone and ska/rocksteady, do you take history into account when writing your music or is there a desire to sound completely new, fresh? Who were some of the UK bands that you would listen to that would help listeners gain a better understanding of Andy B & the World?

I honestly just write music that I think I’d like – if I want to listen to a demo over and over and over, then I feel like some people out there will enjoy it too, but if not, at least I liked it – it’s definitely important for me to be in to the music I’m playing. I do write a little for other things outside of music, and that’s more for a purpose than to enjoy it myself, so when it comes to my own music the passion is the most important part.

8. (Mr. Substitute) I think an important question to ask all musicians is what are your “desert island” albums (you’re stranded on a desert island and can only take 3 albums to listen to) AND on what medium? You can choose up to 3.

Well, I’m starting to build up my vinyl collection, but I think if we’re dealing with wet/dry/hot/cold, it’s got to be CDs haha. (1) The Suicide Machines – Destruction By Definition (2) The Cat Empire – Self Titled (3) Zero 7 – Simple Things

9. (Mr. Substitute) Who is on your radar for new ska-punk being put out right now? Who should we all know about? W

ow, I mean, there’s just so, SO much I think it’s a really exciting time for the genre – back here in the UK, you’ve got bands like Call Me Malcolm, Rude Six, Redeemon, The Hostiles, Lead Shot Hazard, Filthy Militia, Last Edition, Faintest Idea, The JB Conspiracy, Mighty Vipers, my pal Common Sense Kid – bands like Jet 8 over in Europe, and just look at how many bands are exploding in the USA at the moment – I really like inventive bands like Flying Racoon Suit, they just sound like no one else and that’s a great thing. How long an answer can I give haha, there are SO many….

10. Where can readers listen to your music? Do you have a preferred platform?

So, you can find us everywhere digitally, your usual spotify/apple music/bandcamp/amazon etc by just searching “Andy B & The World” – We’ve also a bunch of videos on our youtube and a new song releasing on Monday 13th February too. Lastly, and most importanly you can get the beautiful vinyl version of our 172-musician debut “The First One” from our lovely label Pookout Records ❤


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s