• Kesa Janes

Artist Interview: Andrew McMahon

This year has looked very different for everyone, but especially musical artists. With no tours, concert cancellations, and social distancing, most artists have had to get creative with how they are releasing new content. Andrew McMahon was definitely expecting a much different 2020 than the one he ended up getting. Gio Battaglia and myself sat down with Andrew to discuss this year, and what new content we can be expecting from him.

Andrew had a lot of plans for this year that were forced to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Andrew told us that he had to take some time off and postpone some shows in 2019, so he had to postpone them even further. Andrew also planned to take Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness on the road this year on a tour with alternative rock band AWOLNATION, and was supposed to open at some stadium shows for the Piano Man himself, Billy Joel.

“It was a pretty shocking change of plans, you know? A real pivot for me” Andrew said. “But I’m just really glad that we have managed to survive it. I really, really count my blessings for that.”

Andrew revealed to us that his family sadly lost a friend of theirs to the coronavirus, but that staying home and quarantining has prevented anyone in his household from contracting the disease. And while a lot of people have complained about being stuck at home and ripping their hair out being around family all the time, Andrew finds himself thankful.

“It’s been kind of crazy, being at home with the family a lot more, but it’s also been a blessing,” Andrew told us. “Like, I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with my wife and with my daughter.”

Andrew went on to gush about his six year old daughter, Cecilia, who he described to us as “such a great kid”, and she sure sounds like it! The virtual learning has been a struggle at times for Andrew’s household, but they have gotten through it with the help of his wife, Kelly, who just so happens to be a teacher.

A lot of musical artists have used 2020 to dive into their music, and even release new albums that they had to get creative with due to social distancing. However, Andrew has told us how he has been using this year to just step back and focus on his family. He did release a single over the summer called “Get On My Wave”, that was written last year but not released until a few months ago. McMahon was hesitant to release the song this year because it “sounded too happy” considering the circumstances people have found themselves in. However, he decided to go through with releasing it because he wants the song to inspire people to “ride this out together”.

Andrew also revealed to us that new content of his will not include an album, but a new book that he is writing. While Andrew didn’t want to give too many details, we know that it’s a memoir, and we can expect it to hit the shelves next year.

Finally, we discussed Andrew’s 250K Challenge for the Dear Jack Foundation. McMahon is a survivor of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), and was diagnosed in 2005 while on tour with his former band, Jack’s Mannequin. He created the Dear Jack Foundation in July 2006 to help adolescents and young adults with cancer. Andrew has made it a goal to raise 250 thousand dollars through the foundation by November 11th of this year.

Andrew told Gio and I how he has met and talked with many cancer patients who have been assisted through his foundation, and how rewarding it feels to have made a difference in a person’s life like that. He never wants a person to feel alone in a difficult time like that, and he knows that he is helping people with that feeling.

“We want to make sure that they don’t feel alone on their journey” Andrew said. “That we are there to help them.”

If you want to learn more about the Dear Jack Foundation, visit their website at www.dearjackfoundation.org.


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