Local Spotlight is a monthly feature where we showcase and support talented musical acts from Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.
Philly Alt rock foursome Andorra first gained our attention at this year’s Radio 104.5 Birthday Bash, a group of comic and TV loving lads after our own heart, vocalist/guitarist Kevin McCall, drummer Jordan Petrellis, bassist Michael Trycieckyj and lead guitarist Sam Carlen released their first full length record, “etc, etc, etc…” in January, and it’s full of punk riffs, pop hooks and a deliberately 90’s sensibility, though refreshingly original and underivative.
We were lucky enough to talk with Kevin about his origins and experiences…
Riot Nerd: How did you guys come up with your sound?
Kevin McCall: We never really sat down and said, “hey, let’s be a punk band” or anything like that. We really let our songs write themselves. Based off of our album “etc, etc, etc…” one can tell that our sound varies from song to song. For example, a song like “Suits” I would classify as a blues-y-ish song. This song sounds completely different from “Wired” which is one of our more heavier songs that kicks off the album with a Theremin. You know, a Theremin? Beach Boys? The Day The Earth Stood Still? However we do keep the AC/DC symptom in mind while writing. We never want to write the same song twice so we keep that in mind during the writing process to explore different styles to incorporate into our alternative rock rooted sound.
RN: What are your biggest influences?
KM: We def have strong roots to a 90’s rock vibe. However, we try to take it further than that. We don’t want to get wrapped up in the same sound so we like to think we have “big ears.” I mean that in a way in which we can go out and hear a Philip Glass choral piece then find ourselves listening to Drake then switch over to some Miles Davis and yet still be able to take something away from our listening and incorporate it into our material. Take all of these artist and more, add a couple of distorted guitars and some big-ass drum sounds and those are the ideas that influence us.
RN: How did you guys meet?
KM: I met Jordan Petrellis through catholic school in the 6th grade. We jammed a bit and figured out some sort of line up that would later be changed again and again and again. From 2010 to 2014, the band has played multiple different venues with an interchangeable line up consisting of different rotations of guitarists and bassists. Michael Trycieckyj has most likely attended ALL of those shows. He was basically our number 1 fan and would always support us and give constructive criticism about live shows and new songs. We put off putting him in the band for the longest time for whatever reason, but since moving to Philly this year we decided it was time to make that official. Along with adding Mike, we also added Sam Carlen, our Scranton boy. We met through our MBET program at University of the Arts in the fall. Moreover, this has been the most successful line up thus far and we hope to continue take this as far as we can.
RN: Where are your favorite places in the area to play?
KM: Recently we played this house show in Wyndmoor and it was THE best show we’ve played in awhile. We had played a string of horrible house shows leading up to this event so we weren’t expecting much. To our surprise, it was an amazing night as we played to a packed basement to so many supportive people. It was just a very involved show with so much talent. World Cafe Live upstairs helped us out with our release show back in February and that was a fun time as we played to all of our University City friends. We’ll always remember that night. It was such a great bill, we played with our friends in the Escape and Reckless Serenade. They’re such great dudes and they always put on a great live show.
RN: Any current favorite artists?
KM: Philadelphia has a lot of great local music and a lot of our favorite artists are actually our friends. Sonnder, RFA, the Districts, Brosef Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Piergiovanni, Seoul Delhi, Sleeptalk, as well as the Escape and Reckless Serenade that we mentioned earlier are all super talented people! We recommend you listen to them all on their respective band camps.
RN: What was it like to play at the Radio 104.5 Birthday Bash at the Susquehanna Bank Center?
KM: Playing the Susquehanna Bank Center was a trip! It’s hard to believe we played on the same stage where I saw my first concert (Pearl Jam, 2008). I didn’t realize how much of a big deal it was until we walked on the stage. The crowd roared when we came out. I did not expect that at all, but they treated us like rock stars. We don’t typically talk a lot during our sets, but the few things I said, the crowd went bananas. I could have said “F your mother!” And they STILL would have cheered. That was pretty awesome.
Catch Andorra live this summer at the following events:
July 9th – Bourbon Branch
July 11th – Dave & Buster’s Indie Rock Fest w/ Sonnder
July 17th – Doc Watsons
July 18th – Phillywave BBQ w/ Bad Tequila Experience
July 19th – Dobbs Rock Con Fest
August 8th – Hollystock w/ Rusted Root & Mount Holly
August 8th – The Bone Yard w/ Anthony Piergiovanni & Seoul Delhi