Andy Frasco and the U.N. released their third full-length album, “Half a Man”, on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 on Frasco’s own label, Fun Machine Records.
Frasco sought to create, as he says, “an album that compliments our live show; raw and soulful songs with my favorite musicians backing me up.” Half A Man bounces seamlessly from song to song giving the listener plenty of feel good tracks like the Motown inspired “Main Squeeze”, the Prince-defied “Commitment Deficit Disorder”, and the Jerry Lee Lewis-esc “Shakin Ain’t A Crime”, while also showing a more affable, earnest side with songs like the opening track “Sunny Day Soldier,” and “Don’t Ya Worry”.
Hype-mag editor, Phil Sunkel, sat down with Frasco to talk about the new album:
P. Sunkel: So lets talk about the new album “Half A Man”, that just recently dropped right?
A. Frasco: Yeah the album has been released. I love this album and I’m really proud of it. We got Charles Goodan in as the producer, he also produced Beck’s “Odelay” and “Midnight Vultures” and he won a grammy for Sanatana’s “Supernatural”. I’m just really proud of the album. It’s probably one of the best things I’ve made so far in my career.
P. Sunkel: Could you tell me a little about your backing band, The U.N.?
A. Frasco: We’ve got Ernie Chang on Sax, he’s one of the guys whose on most of the tracks. I also have two different rhythm sections one from Omaha, Nb, called The Chris Lager Band and the other section out of Los Angeles called Philosophy of Soul.
P. Sunkel: Your out on tour right now in support of the album, what are you most excited for?
A. Frasco: We’re doing something like 72 shows, 40 states and 60 cities in 82 days or something like that. We’re also gonna head to Europe as well. We’re gonna hit Berlin, Germany and the Netherlands.
P. Sunkel: This all must be sort of a whirlwind to you. I mean this is only your third album and you only started playing music when you were what, 19 and your 26 now?
A. Frasco: Yeah, I started to play piano was 19. I also used to manage bands when I was younger, from like 15-19. I worked at a bunch of record labels, booking bands and stuff. I finally realized one day that all my hard work booking bands only led to them breaking up at some point. So I said screw it, I’ll learn instrument and I’ll micro-manage my own musical career. You know here we are seven years later and all that is helping out.
P. Sunkel: It certainly is.
A. Frasco: I just really want to show people that working hard can really pay off. You don’t necessarily have to be born with a gift, if you work hard to achieve something, you can get it.
P. Sunkel: What do you think are some of the most memorable moments that your hard work has brought you to?
A. Frasco: I’ve slept on something like 600 or 700 couches and been doing about 250 shows a year for the past seven years. When we got to open for Joe Walsh of the Eagles and to have him tell me “Welcome to the big leagues”, that really helped to change my perspective on life and how my hard work really paid off.
P. Sunkel: So now that the album is out what are some of your goals?
A. Frasco: I just want to keep giving people an entertaining show. We’re a live band, plain and simple. We’ve all spent most of our lives entertaining people in person. So I just want to make sure people don’t get bored of our show, that people still have fun and hopefully I can keep people entertained for three or four hours.
P. Sunkel: On your website, it calls your music “Party Blues”, could you elaborate on that for me and tell me in your own words what that means?
A. Frasco: I fell in love with the blues when I first began touring. So I wanted to make music that had blues influences, but I didn’t want it to be the sad type of blues that everyone cliches blues music to be. I like it to be happy and enthusiastic, we all go through sad times in life but we should celebrate while we are here because those sad times will fade away. Everything has its course.
P. Sunkel: Last question, what would you say is your mission with your music?
A. Frasco: I just really want to show people that you don’t need a record deal, you don’t need a major label or a producer, to make it in the music industry today. You can literally just go for it. Play every small town you can, if you’ve got a dream then go for it. I gave up everything just to follow this dream, I see it paying off now and I couldn’t be happier. I just want people to understand that they can do this to. Stop living daydreams and put those thoughts into action. Make your dreams a reality.
For more info on Andy check out: AndyFrasco.com