Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats
interview by Harley Wince
Andrew Scotchie is an Asheville-based musician and event coordinator. He currently is the lead vocalist and guitarist for the band Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats, as well as being the head coordinator for Asheville’s own Barnaroo Festival. 2015 saw the release of their most current studio album, “We All Stay Hungry”, followed by their live album “Live from Highland Brewing” in 2016. Scotchie and his group deliver high-impact, high-intensity shows in what seems like a never-ending tour cycle. All information can be found on their website. While you’re there, buy a CD. Help a River Rat out.
Do you find being an event coordinator helps you when promoting your band?
“I think so. It opens my eyes to different aspects of the industry. It establishes an audience: who you’re playing to and who you’re marketing to. I make a constant effort to market to the people. It’s also a personal thing. Fans of the music, and people in general, want it to be personal. I constantly make an effort to get to know the people we work with. I think delegation is huge. Letting people help you with your music is so important.”
What projects do you have planned in the future?
“Right now we are really focused on delivering high-performance shows. This fall, we’re planning a new album. The last studio record came out in 2015, and a live album in 2016. We’re due for a new studio album, but at the moment we want to deliver high-energy shows and break into new markets.”
What is something you would like people to know about your music that you often don’t get the chance to express?
“I don’t want to say a message that can get lost. Sometimes when you play a loud rock show, it’s hard to hear the lyrics and truly pick apart the lyrics. We write a lot about family. We pick apart greed. These things matter to me and I don’t want the message to get lost.”
Tell us about your current group, Andrew Scotchie and the River Rats.
“Primarily, we tour as a three-piece, but it actually started as a busking duo in 2012. All I wanted to do was go back into acoustic writing. I spent some time in punk bands and I got very tired of playing three chord songs. Soul music speaks to me. We added a drummer (Eliza Hill) in 2012. Our first electric show was in the same year. At that point, we were trying to do anything and everything to get a show. We ended up releasing our first album, “Soul & Sarcasm”, in 2012. In 2013, we started touring regionally.”
What upcoming gigs do you have?
“The easiest way to find that info is on our website. The biggest event we have planned this year is Barnaroo in the last week of September here in Asheville. A lot of the hometown fans come out for that.”
Where do you think the future of music is headed?
“I don’t know! (laughs) Oh man, I don’t know. It’s not really that I don’t know, but there are so many different ways that can go. I think
that soul, rock and roll, and blues are on an upswing. I love to think that it’s 2017 and bands like St. Paul and the Broken Bones are selling out shows. There are people who more or less produce music, but they don’t perform it. The future of music will be quite healthy. Some people now say that it’s harder to be a band since so many people are doing it, but consistency is key. In short, I’m not scared for the future of music as long as people continue writing truthful music. It’s cool that people differentiate between Top 40’s pop and truthful music. It’s cool that it’s 2017 and people are still into music of the past.”