Andy Stochansky

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With a cinematic flair for lyrical imagery and an intuitive feel for crafting indelible melodies, Andy Stochansky (pronounced, easily, "sto-chan-skee") embraces the visionary spirit and charisma of a 70's rock star in the body of a provocative modern singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Critically compared to gracefully evocative vocalists like Jeff Buckley, Bono and Thom Yorke, Andy Stochansky draws from a broad palette of deep-seated musical influences as varied as Curtis Mayfield, Brian Eno, The Beatles, Burt Bacharach, and The Kinks. Praised by Stereo-Type magazine for his "amazing sense of musical clarity," Andy Stochansky invites you to step into his richly hued world on One Hundred, his highly anticipated sophomore release.

Growing up in a household surrounded by his parents' wildly diverse record collection, Stochansky learned to play the family piano and got his first drumkit at age five. "Playing drums came naturally to me and I had a great sense of timing," he remembers. "As a kid, I was always listening to the radio, which also had a huge influence on me. Rather than telling me to turn it off, my parents encouraged me to sing along and harmonize with the songs." Though a future career in music seemed a given, the gifted musician nearly went off on an entirely different creative path.

After high school, Stochansky studied filmmaking at the Ontario College of Art and Design. "I wrote soundtracks," he says, "but mostly I wanted to make films for a living." As a way to support himself while at school, Stochansky turned to his skills as a drummer. "People started asking me to play drums on their records, which was cool because I was able to go into the studio while continuing to make my art. It's fate that decided my path for me, because eventually the music just kind of took me." Upon graduation, Stochansky started working professionally as a session and touring drummer.

Stochansky then decided it was time to start making his own records. His first two independent releases, While You Slept (1995) and Radio Fusebox (1999) were piano-driven, ambient pop records buoyed by a liberal use of samplers and classical instrumentation. "I was also interested in fusing soundtrack and pop music together," Stochansky explains of these Eno-esque albums. "Usually, an artist makes the experimental record on album three, but I worked backwards. I got all the weird stuff out of the way first," he laughs.

During an independent club tour of California in 2001, Stochansky caught the attention of an A&R representative for Private Music where he quickly signed and released his Private Music debut, Five Star Motel in 2002. With its classic pop arrangements informed by the Beatles and early Rolling Stones, Five Star Motel hailed Stochansky's transition into more traditional pop songwriting. To step up to that challenge, Stochansky taught himself to play and compose on the guitar for the first time. Receiving a flood of critical acclaim from publications like Blender, Alternative Press, Paste, ReQuest, Amplifier and The San Francisco Examiner, Five Star Motel raised the artist's profile significantly. One critic even cited the inspirational lullabye, "One Day" as the "Imagine" for the millennium.' "That was pretty amazing," says the songwriter. Along with the positive reviews, the song "Here Nor There" appeared on the soundtrack to TV's Felicity while "Wonderful" and "Stutter' both received airplay. "Five Star Motel really helped to get my name out there," says Stochansky.

The title of Andy Stochansky's new album, One Hundred has dual meanings. "The album took close to one hundred days to record," he says, "but it's also a metaphor for one hundred percent, as in full on. I'm proud of every note on this record." Produced by Goo Goo Dolls frontman, Johnny Rzeznik and recorded at LA's legendary Ocean Way Studios (Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, The Beach Boys), One Hundred finds Andy Stochansky carefully crafting each track for the simple pleasure of doing it right. "All the arrangements were there when I wrote the demos," he says, "but there's stuff to nip and tuck when making a record, which makes all the difference in the world." With Rzeznik producing, everything ended up in its right place. "Johnny worked really hard to get my best performance," says Stochansky. "He's amazingly talented at hearing what a song needs, so there's nothing extraneous on the record. He's also skilled at arrangements, tempos and how the instruments should sound." Rzeznik played guitar and contributed backing vocals to the album, while Goo Goo Dolls drummer Mike Malanin recorded all the drum tracks. " This album produced itself" says Rzeznick "its almost laughable how good it is"

Stochansky wrote forty songs for One Hundred and recorded sixteen of those, choosing the twelve best tracks for the CD. "One Hundred definitely rocks a bit harder than Five Star Motel," he says. "It was great to get a tougher sounding record." A tireless composer who spends twelve hours a day immersed in songwriting when not on the road, Stochansky offers that the songs on One Hundred come from very cinematic and powerful ideas. "I watch lots of movies," he says. "If something in a film catches my attention, or I like the vibe of some dialogue, I'll write a song about it. Films, plays, novels, I take influences from everything." Lyrically, One Hundred is also refreshingly angst-free. "I wanted to write lyrics that were positive or hopeful," he says. "The first single, "Shine" is a perfect example. "Shine" is about having the self-belief to step up and do your thing, because we're all listening, and 'the whole world is going to stop to watch you shine.'

Perhaps the album's most surprising track is the politically charged rocker, "America." Stochansky explains his source of inspiration; "I was reading an article that talked about America as being like a tribe," he says. "A tribe has its elders to go to for answers and advice, because they're the people who've been through it all. But the fact is, in this tribe many of the elders - heroes, leaders and even pop culture icons - are gone. They've either been shot or < i>shot down, in terms of the press, but there's still a very heavy, beautiful past legacy they offer. That song is my shout out to America, saying, 'don't forget your past.'"

Whether it's the Led Zeppelin-influenced acoustic finger picking of "House of Gold," the Ziggy Stardust glam rock slinkiness of "Loud," "One Man Symphony's" old-fashioned romantic sentiment and adhesive vocal hook, or the undeniable pop flow of "Beautiful Thing" (inspired by the movie, Shrek), One Hundred holds to a consistent arc, as Stochansky makes each song as dynamically captivating as possible.

The aural dynamics of One Hundred are echoed in Stochansky's live performances as well. "The live show goes from a Marshall amp on eleven to an intimate, acoustic guitar vibe," he says. "It rocks, but it also comes to a point where the band walks off stage and I do "House of Gold" alone with my acoustic guitar. Then the band comes back and we'll launch full-blown into "America." There's the Led Zeppelin influence but then there's a Woody Guthrie thing going on. It's extremely dynamic, and I think that's what's really cool."

With One Hundred set for release, Andy Stochansky looks forward to taking these new songs on the road. "The big joke around town is that I'm always writing and touring, but I don't see this as work," he says. "There isn't anything else on this planet I'd rather be doing than making music. Maybe the fact that I've been playing for a while means I have something to say or a gift to share with people. To me, it's all about loving what you do and not minding the physical hardships of being out on tour, because you get to play for people each night. My art is so involved with my life, there really is no separation of one from the other."

Linus will be releasing a five song commercial EP, called the Shine EP, on October 19th 2004, which includes three songs from the John Rzeznik produced Sessions - 'Shine', 'The Butterfly Song', and a B-side which will not be on the album called 'Hero', and two songs recorded live at the El Mocambo Tavern on August 28th 2004 for CBC Radios' "Definitely Not The Opera". 100 is being released on March 21st 2005 with a bonus CD of 13 of the CBC Live Recordings. Throughout the fall of 2004 several thousand promotional Eps will be given away at concert venues following shows by such acts as REM and The Tragically Hip to get the word out about the forthcoming album.

For further information, contact:
Linus Entertainment Publicity
[email protected]