Breaking into the music business and building a sustainable career requires hard work, dedication, patience, and not a little bit of luck, but it also requires a single-minded focus on the music, which today’s guest has in spades! Andrew Sandoval is best known as a Grammy Award nominated reissuer, compiler, and engineer of historical albums, containing popular music from the rock era, but he also has ongoing independent careers as an author, DJ, journalist, songwriter, and professional musician.
Andrew’s journey began in 1986 as the editor and publisher of the fanzine, New Breed. This project blossomed into work as a reissue director for labels such as Rhino Records and PolyGram, where he compiled and reissued classic albums by everyone from The Kinks, The Beach Boys, and The Zombies to the Bee Gees, Elvis Costello, and Big Star. He also toured and recorded with the legendary Dave Davies of The Kinks, was a ‘tour producer’ for 60s TV pop sensation, the Monkees, and authored the 2005 book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story, which he has since released a fully updated and expanded version of. Additionally, Andrew hosts the weekly radio show, Come to the Sunshine on Luxuriamusic.com. His encyclopedic knowledge of and love for everything 60s pop is truly awe inspiring!
Today, Andrew joins us to discuss how he turned his deep love for music into an enduring and sustainable career, highlighting the critical role of self-motivation, learning by doing, and separating the art from the artist, as well as ensuring that your skillsets are versatile enough to help you make ends meet! Andrew’s story illustrates that, in order to make it in music, you have to love it, but you also have to do your homework, put in the time and, sometimes, fake it till you make it! Make sure to tune in today to learn more from the one and only, Andrew Sandoval.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Andrew reflects on what it took to create a fanzine like New Breed from scratch.
- How his deep love for music blossomed into a sustainable career.
- The story of how he came to work at Rhino Records and the education he received there.
- Insight into the process of reissuing an album and Andrew’s advice for getting started.
- The critical role that self-motivation plays in the music industry.
- How artists react when Andrew reissues albums with raw or forgotten recorded material.
- Why Andrew tends to separate the artist from the art.
- His experience of receiving a Grammy Award nomination for the Los Angeles Nuggetscompilation, 'Where the Action Is!’
- A glimpse into Andrew’s journey as an author and the process of publishing a book.
- The story of how he became the Monkees’ manager and went on to revise the book.
- Why he chose to publish and distribute the revised edition himself through Beatland Books.
- Andrew highlights the importance of flexibility and versatility in the music industry.
- What his job as ‘tour producer’ for the Monkees entailed.
- What it was like to work with Mike Nesmith in the final months of his life.
- The preparation and passion that goes into running the radio show, Come to the Sunshine.
- Why Andrew believes that, to make it in music, you have to love it but you also have to do your homework and put in the time.
“I wanted to communicate with people about music, talk about music, and learn about it, and the only way I could do that was [through my fanzine, New Breed]. I didn’t have the best writing abilities, but I learned by doing and I can say the same of my entire musical career.” — @cometothesun [0:04:12]
“The best way to get started [in album reissuing] is how I got started with my fanzine, which is to make something yourself, discover something yourself, because getting your foot in the door and saying, ‘I want to compile the Best of Led Zeppelin’ is probably not going to happen.” — @cometothesun [0:20:57]
“There’s the artist and the art. I love their art and, sometimes, I love the artist too. Sometimes, they’re great people and you hang out and have lunch, but would I have them watering my houseplants or taking care of my cats? No, because their job is to make music.” — @cometothesun [0:32:53]
“If you want to sell a book, it has got to be more than just a one-sheet pitch page of [the story]. If people are interested at all, they want to see a sample chapter from you, even if the book isn’t done.” — @cometothesun [0:43:17]
“There’s no money in reissues anymore. [I was] making $2,000 a year, which doesn’t pay for me to eat or put gas in my car. I do it because I love doing it and it’s what I’ve always done, but I have to do all these other things in music to make ends meet.” — @cometothesun [0:54:56]