You can also see Transit of Venus perform on Friday, Dec 6 at the Temescal Alleys in Oakland. Rumor has it Andrew will even be wearing his Classic Grey Zip Tie.
Tell me about your history as a musician.
In high school I started playing the electric bass and learned rifts from bands like Rage Against the Machine. After starting college I realized that music was the main thing that spoke to me, so I took a year off to learn the upright bass. I went back to school for music and learned classical music. Afterwards, I moved to Washington D.C. and played electric bass in a hip hop band, but was exposed to blue grass and old time music through friends and started experimenting with it. Then I moved to California and took a break from playing music. Later some big changes happened later in my life, and I hit a point when I needed to reinvent myself. Music kept resurfacing. During this time I met my friend Mike when he was playing at the Berkeley Farmer’s Market. For the last five years we have been getting together to play music in Transit of Venus, an acoustic band that has a mandolin, guitar, and bass.
What do you like about playing music?
Music is a language that everyone speaks. It creates a connection that is deeper than everyday interactions. I feel so connected to the guys I play with. It makes me feel good, but also vulnerable. I can really dive into that emotion through music. Plus shows happen in real time, so you just have one shot to do it. I really enjoy playing with people listening. Sometimes we play gigs where we are more in the background and seeing even one person who is really listening gets me fired up to play even better.
What inspires you to play?
I love the sound and vibration. I think that at the root of everyone is a pure vibration and sound of energy. Playing music allows me to connect with a deep layer of myself. The happiness that music brings to others also inspires me.
Why the bass specifically?
The bass has a sound I can feel in my stomach. I also love that it is the anchor in the band for the rhythm and harmony.
What type of music do you play the most?
I was first drawn to music through singing in plays as a kid. I’m a sucker for a great melody regardless of the genre of music. I really enjoy playing songs that were not written originally on acoustic instruments. I like challenging myself with singing and playing at the same time because it forces me to get out of my head.