Interview: Andy Suzuki (& The Method)

By now, you all must know about the series of coincidences that led me to Andy Suzuki & The Method’s subway pop-up show and my album review. After that, I sent his manager an email, and while I was going stir-crazy on a family vacation looking for something to do (I’m definitely not a beach person!), I got an email and prepared for an interview in thirty minutes. It was easily the highlight of my week. Check out our conversation below, where Andy talks musical diversity, subway shows, and lots of exciting new content.

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Indientry: Hi!

Andy: Hey, how are you? It’s Andy!

I’m great, how’re you? Nice to meet you!

Good to meet you too! Are you back in Ohio?

I’m actually in South Carolina right now.

Oh, wow. You’re all over the place! Pretty mobile. What are you up to in South Carolina?

Family vacation, mostly. Beach stuff, but I’m not really a beach person, so I was pretty excited to get that email today.

Word, word. Well, that’s awesome. Let me just verify, I’m trying to find the link to the post you wrote.

The album review?

Yeah, the album review. You are a super good writer, for real for real.

Oh, thank you! I loved literally just stumbling into your show. That was so cool.

Amazing. What were you doing in New York? Oh, wait, you were taking a journalism class.

Yes! But I was just like, this is such a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so cool. On top of that, I was with some friends and they were like, “Abby! Where are you going?” But I had to find out the name of your band.

That’s awesome. That’s so great. So are you in school currently, are you a student? What’s your scene?

Yeah, I’m in high school.

Oh my gosh. Holy sh*t, you’re a really good writer. That’s crazy. Oh my god. That’s epic. That’s, like, crazy epic! Cool, well, happy summer vacation! And you’re from Ohio?

Thanks! I am, I’m from Columbus. 

Now I’m starting to get the picture. Awesome.

Yeah! So do you guys do a lot of those subway shows?

We do. We’re actually about to do another one this Sunday. We’re about to do four in the month of July, and we just did a big New York City show. Do you follow us on Instagram? We just posted a bunch of stuff on Instagram from the show. But leading up to New York shows we like to do that a lot. It’s actually kind of a new tactic for us, we kind of became part of that whole subway program a while back, and kind of used it a lot at first but it’s been years since we’ve really used it again. So we’re gonna try to do four in July, four in August, four in September, and try to grow our New York fanbase that way.

Do you guys get a lot of attention that way?

Yeah, for sure. Like, every time we do it, something really cool happens, whether it’s like a cool blog post album review or new fans. You know, we just played a venue show, and definitely, there were some people who caIndientry up to us after the show, who were like, “We saw you in the subway and had to come!”. So it definitely translates to real fans, and we’re just trying to figure out how to optimize it even more, whether that means filming in the subway and posting it or whatever.

It’s such a mob mentality thing that you have to work with, you know what I mean? When it’s a big crowd, you’ve gotta milk those opportunities, and when it’s not a big crowd, you’ve gotta choose the right kind of songs that will draw a big crowd. So it’s an interesting thing, but yeah, we definitely do it and I think it’s kind of big for us. Our recent venue show was super packed and I think the subway shows definitely had something to do with that.

Awesome. And I think that’s a super unique thing. In Columbus, we don’t have a subway system, but we also don’t have nearly as many pop-up shows as I’ve seen in New York.

I hear you. I played at the Rumba Room, is that what it’s called? In Columbus once, I played there in the fall of 2016.

Cool! I love the Rumba Café, I’ll have to catch you the next time you come back.

What year in high school are you?

I’m a senior.

Congrats, you made it!

Thanks, but hopefully I’ll still be in Columbus after high school so I can see you when you come back! So I know that both of you guys [Andy and Kozza] have quite a diverse background in music, how does that influence the way that you guys write music and play music?

Yeah, I mean honestly, I think our diversity music-wise has in some ways actually hurt us a little bit, because we like so many different kinds of music, so we like to make so many different kinds of music. So finally, as you saw in your review of “The Glass Hour”, you recognized like, “Wow, there are a bunch of different genres on here, but it all kind of ties together.” We feel like we’re honing in more from “The Glass Hour” to all of the music we’re making now, the new stuff we’re making now, it has this future pop aesthetic with an R&B vibe, so that’s kind of what we’re honing in on even more, but you know, we met through a love of singer-songwriter stuff. Like, that’s what brought us together and we’ve been evolving ever since. We put out this album, our last album was like a soul-pop album, and this one was a future-pop album, and now we’re like, you know what? We’ve always loved R&B and we’re finally stopping running away from it. We’re just embracing it. So that’s kind of our vibe that we’re settling on.

It’s been fun because we’ve been able to make tons of different sounds over the years, but it’s been in some ways a gift and a curse, because people love to know what they’re listening to, for better or for worse. They love to be like, “Oh! This is a rock band. This is a folk band. That’s a punk band.” But we’ve loved our journey of taking all of these different kinds of sounds and now we’re settling on this future pop with an R&B vibe.

Wow. That’s awesome! How did your fans respond to that diversity on “The Glass Hour”?

To be honest, our fans are just the best, so they just love what we do. Even though “The Glass Hour” was so different from “Born Out of Mischief”, which was the previous album, the same fans who fell in love with “Born Out of Mischief”, I think it’s more that they fell in love with us, and so they were down and trusted us to put out good shit. They like our taste, so whether we make a future pop/R&B album, or a pop album, they were down.

Definitely, I think, they were impressed production-wise with “The Glass Hour”. We worked with this producer named Juny Mag from LA, who challenged us and took us to a new place, and he kind of inspired us to stop running away from the R&B vibe so much. They loved it, though! They came to the New York show, it was crazy. We had fans come down from Maine, fans come down from Canada, fans come up from DC, fans come from Boston, from Philly. We have some loyal fans, which is big.

That’s cool. That’s how you know they’re really devoted to your sound, that they trust you so much. That’s really cool.

It’s amazing. I definitely don’t take it for granted. It’s crazy that all of these people are getting tattoos of our band logo and song lyrics and all of this stuff, it’s crazy and I think, honestly, it comes down to our live show. I think it’s the same thing that struck you about us; you saw our live show and you liked it, and I think it’s the strongest thing we do. Some people say that their album, their recording is the best, but our live show is definitely what we love doing most, and it hooks people. I think that’s what gets people the most.

For sure. I know you guys actually have a string of touring shows coming up, what are you most excited about for those shows?

Oh, man! I was super excited for New York, which happened and it was great. Super fun. It was one of my favorite shows ever to play. I don’t know what part of the subway pop-up show you were at, but there’s a lot of moments where there’s freedom, improvisation, and not just with guitar solos but things where, as a band, we know that this part’s kind of loose, and I’m gonna call some things out or take it someplace and we can just follow each other. That’s why I love music, that’s why I’m still performing and getting onstage. Every night is gonna be different, and it’s gonna be cool.

Specifically, we’re playing our major markets this time around, so it’s Boston, New York, Philly, DC. These are just places where we have real fans, and I’m so excited to meet them. We’ve updated ourselves since the last tour, and so I’m just super excited to bring all of our new bells and whistles to some of our biggest fans on the East Coast.

That’s exciting! I know that “The Glass Hour” was pretty recent, it came out earlier this year in February, but what’s next for you guys?

We’re currently recording a covers EP, so in that same future pop/R&B style. We’re working with Juny Mag, we’re recording a bunch of covers that we’re gonna put on Spotify. We’ve got some remixes, a bunch of the “Glass Hour” songs have been remixed, so we’re gonna put those also on Spotify. And beyond those few things, we have a few more originals coming. Oh, and we have music videos! We’re just in the editing process.

So we have a lot of new content to put out, both “Glass Hour”-related and completely separate. We’re always trying to move forward and make progress, we have a bunch of the subway dates scheduled, which has been a huge way to build our New York fanbase. Yeah, just keep on keepin’ on, you know?

Oh yeah. Lots to look forward to! So if you could say one thing to someone who’s never heard your music, never heard of you guys, what would it be?

“What’s wrong with you? Why haven’t you heard it?” *laughs* What do you mean, like to explain the music?

Yeah, to explain who you guys are and what you do, what your sound is like, along those lines.

I would say, “First and foremost, come check out a live show. I’m not super biased, but I think it’s one of the more dynamic shows you’ll go to.” The other thing I would say, in terms of artists that we’re like? For a while, we were saying that we’re similar to Miguel but whiter. We were saying that we were kind of like The Weeknd but like way more sober. You know, that future pop with an R&B vibe. Some combination of those things.

I think you’ve summed it up pretty well! Lastly, what are you currently listening to?

Oh, good question. You know what I’m listening to a lot right now? The song is called “Give It Away”, it’s by Caleb Hawley. I’ve had this on a one-song repeat right now, he’s a fellow artist in New York City, and the song itself is super Prince vibes, and the arrangement is crazy and exciting. Super good.

Awesome! I’ll have to check it out! That’s all I actually have, so thank you!

Enjoy the rest of your vacation, and find us on social media so we can be homies that way and be in touch! Bye!

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