Exclusive: : Andy Lampert
Joseph Bruen: What was it like being Andy Lampert as a kid growing up?
Andy Lampert: I didn’t really fit in anywhere so I spent most of my time day dreaming.
Joseph Bruen: From prior conversations i know you're a big wrestling fan. What was your first LIVE wrestling experience in person?
Andy Lampert: I was 15 years old when I went to a live wrestling event for the first time. My Father took my Brother, two friends, and I to the Providence Civic Center (now the Dunkin Doughnuts Center) for WWF Wrestling! The main event was Bob Backlund vs Adrian Adonis! I had seen wrestling on TV a few years before this, but there is nothing like going to see it live. This was the era before RAW and Pyro at a Wrestling event. The Wrestlers used to just walk down the aisle. But that night was special. I was hooked from that moment on!
Joseph Bruen: What are your first memories of music? Explain that discovery to us.
Andy Lampert: Besides my Mom singing to me, “The Beatles” are my first music memories. I have two babysitters to thank for that. One bought me two albums and the other let me watch “A Hard Days Night” with her on TV and explained who these strange people were. I remember singing Beatles songs to my Grandmother and I knew all the words. I couldn’t have been more than five.
Joseph Bruen: Did you always want to be a singer/performer or did the urge come to you later in life?
Andy Lampert: Since I was a little kid, being a musician is all that I’ve ever wanted to do.
Joseph Bruen: When and where was your first performance in front of people?
Andy Lampert: My first official performance was at a 4th of July party hosted by my drummer’s Uncle. We played for a few hours. I was 19.
Joseph Bruen: Which venues have you performed in so far? Where would you like to perform that you haven`t had the chance to yet?
Andy Lampert: I have performed in just about every club in my home state with the exception of one or two. In recent months, I have performed at DUSK and Fatt Squirrel in Providence, Jimmy’s Saloon in Newport, and News Café in Pawtucket. All are really great places. I would like to play at the MET and Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel. And I would like to branch out of State and do a tour. I recently played a show in Brooklyn, New York!
Joseph Bruen: You have been a movie buff as long as i can remember. What are your top 5 movies of all time?
Andy Lampert: “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, “Metropolis”, “Dracula” (1931), “The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance”, and “Enter the Dragon”!
Joseph Bruen: What other hobbies have you had over the years?
Andy Lampert: I wish that I could tell you that I make furniture or paint, but I have never had any hobbies. Music has been my one and only!
Joseph Bruen: You have always been a big fan of the three stooges. Explain how it all started!
Andy Lampert: I first saw the Three Stooges on TV when I was a little kid. I was hooked immediately! To this day, whenever they are on whether it is on TV, videotape, DVD and whatever else, I will watch. I have seen every short ever shown on TV, and read every book I could find. I don’t have a favorite Stooge. I love them all! I might even watch them after I’m done with this interview!
Joseph Bruen: When did you first decide to branch out to having an entire band "The Andy Lampert Band"?
Andy Lampert: I knew that when I started to record my album “10 Songs of Pain” that I would someday form “The Andy Lampert Band”! I need to promote this CD and what better way than to promote it live….with a band! I have had the pleasure to work with some top notch musicians! My Friend Stu is the drummer and he has been there since the beginning. Through him we have Matt on bass and sometimes Wayne on guitar. Come see us…we Rock!
Joseph Bruen: Where can fans follow you on the Web/social media?
Andy Lampert: I have a website: andylampert.net. It is a work in progress. Facebook: facebook.com/Andy-Lampert
Joseph Bruen: One of your dreams in life came true in 2013 when you had the honor of being a wrestling manager at ringside at a live wrestling show. Tell us all about that day, the excitement leading up to it and the experience of it all!!
Andy Lampert: That night was a great time! To be a manager of a wrestler was something I have only dreamed about. And thanks to you, the dream came true! For one night, I was the co-manager of Wrestler TJ Richter! I can’t say that I was a bundle of nerves before the show and it wasn’t because I was overflowing with confidence. The truth is, is that I was tired. Just a couple of hours before the show, I played guitar at an outdoor show in Warren, Rhode Island! The show had plenty of bands and a lot of people. That meant, there was no place to park near to where I needed to be. I had to carry my equipment from my car to the show and back quite a long way. I was hurting when it was over.
When I arrived at the Wrestling event I was lead to the back where all the talent prepared themselves. This was an amazing experience because I saw and got to speak with a couple of Wrestlers that I had seen before on TV. These guys seemed 10 feet tall. Others were doing exercises to pump themselves up! It was a special night because it was to honor a fallen comrade. The night started but I didn’t see any of the matches because the rest of us were backstage.
Then we were on! TJ went in first, followed by Derek Destiny and myself. We entered the ring to an ocean of boos. It was fantastic. In the ring, the ring announcer was to do a quick interview with us. TJ talked first getting a negative reaction from the crowd. The mic went to me and I just said whatever came to mind. The crowd hated me, which is what every heel manager wants. The ring announcer told me that I did a good job. I was over the moon!
We came out one more time that night for the match. It was incredible. I thought that we were going to get killed. These people hated us. Even though I was nervous, I loved it and was trying not to laugh. Whatever I did, it fit with what TJ and his co-manager Derek Destiny were trying to do. The match was great and I walked backstage having fulfilled a dream!
Later on in the night, I shook the hand of a little boy who came to the show. He looked at me with a surprised look on his face. My Girlfriend told me that she was sitting next to this little boy the whole night and he was explaining to her that I was a bad guy. She asked why and he replied, “He cheats.” Like I said, whatever I did worked!
Joseph Bruen: Who are some of your favorite music artists of all time and why?
Andy Lampert: I’ve always liked music from the British Invasion and those bands are my biggest musical influence. The Kinks and the Who are my favorite bands of all time. There was something about the songs these bands released that made me happy when I heard them. It made me want to write my own songs, which is what I did. I (and just about everyone else) love The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I also love and was influenced by artists like Slade, T. Rex, Kiss, and Black Sabbath. I could go on and on. I love many artists/bands and all influenced me in some way.
Joseph Bruen: Tell us the story behind your latest CD "10 songs of pain" and what that process was like.
Andy Lampert: Well, everything started with me returning home from a trip. I had songs and ideas in my head and I had the attitude that I must record them as soon as possible! I don’t have a lot of recordings of myself, but 80% of everything that I have ever done was produced by Joe Auger. I have known Joe for many years. He is an incredible songwriter, musician, and producer and I knew that if I was going to put out something good, he would have to produce it. I visited him at the open mic he was hosting and told him what I wanted to do. He told me that he was busy at the time and didn’t know when he would be available. I told him no problem, and was trying to think of what I should do, when he asked me more about what I was looking to do. I joked that I wanted to do an album called “10 Songs of Pain” and that the cover would be me giving a thumbs up sign. We all laughed, but even though he had no time, it was a project that needed to be done.
The next week I gave Joe a cassette tape of my songs. Soon afterwards we met to discuss which songs should be on the record. The thing is, even though “10 Songs” was in the title, Joe thought that 15 of them were strong enough to go on. So, why not put on all 15? I then re-recorded the songs with a click track so I would play in time and also have reference for a drummer.
I asked my friend Mike Rovin to play the drums. He and I played in a band a few years earlier and I thought that he would be the right choice. He is a versatile player and since there are a lot of different styles of music on this album I needed the right drummer. Mike played all of his parts in two sessions, which took place in his basement. Joe was at the recorder and I was standing in front of Mike conducting.
From that point forward, I met with Joe when our schedules allowed. Slowly and surely I recorded my tracks. Joe not only produced, and engineered, but also helped me with background vocals, handclaps, various percussion, and programed the keyboards. He also remastered the recording after it was mastered! Joe Auger is the greatest of the great. He was open to any of my ideas and open to try to make it happen. I too had an open mind. As a producer, Joe would make suggestions and have good ideas as well.
We spent a couple of sessions, just listening to what was recorded so far, he would ask me, “What do you want to do for this song?” I would say something, he would say something and something great was achieved.
Some of the songs I had been playing with my bands over the years or by myself at an open mic. Some of them were just sung in my room after I wrote them. But they all needed to be recorded. I played guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals, background vocals and handclaps.
The final recording session took place in a Unitarian church, where Joe recorded two saxophone players as well as a small group of people (many of them you know) to sing background vocals. That night was so much fun.
It took a while until all was finished but it was worth it! I hope that you like the album!
Joseph Bruen: What's next for Andy Lampert?
Andy Lampert: My friend John Cabral and I are collaborating on making videos for the songs on “10 Songs of Pain”. I will be putting them up on youtube. I will be playing more shows with The Andy Lampert Band and solo acoustic gigs. I am continuing to write songs and my goal is to make another album!