Celebrating his stories through song
A musician with ties to Barton will soon return to town for a concert. Andrew Landers has released 11 records and is a two-time winner of the Seattle Wave Radio Hard Rock Café contest, having performed individually and as part of a band. Though Landers lives in Olympia, Wash., he previously resided in Barton.
Landers will perform from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, at Barton Church, 25400 S.E. Highway 224. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Pregnancy Resource Centers of Estacada and Sandy.
Landers particularly appreciates the storytelling element of being a musician.
"I never got into this to be famous. I just wanted to tell my story," he said.
The Estacada News spoke to Landers about his musical background, songwriting process and several other topics.
Estacada News: How did you become interested in music?
Andrew Landers: I grew up with music. My dad was a musician inside and outside of church. My mom loved music. I was around it from a very young age.
EN: How would you describe your musical style?
AL: The stuff I do is an Americana, grassroots style of music. It's anywhere from Tom Petty grassroots rock to Jack Johnson. It all bleeds into the genre of storytelling and blues acoustic.
EN: What was becoming a professional musician like?
AL: I started playing the drums at a really young age, and from there I started playing the piano, and from there I started playing the guitar. Things catapulted in college. I started playing shows and writing my own music and taking every opportunity I could.
EN: What's the significance of the name "Andrew Landers & Mainstreet Struggleville?"
AL: We all, metaphorically speaking, live in this town called Struggleville. We're trying to find a hand hold in the rock climb of life. We all come from that same town.
EN: Tell me about your songwriting process.
AL: I tell the narrative of the humanity in front of me. My song details come from real details. They're not fabricated or metaphors. The beauty of writing like that is that when I sing a song, it takes me back to that moment.
EN: What are some of your favorite songs that you've written?
AL: I'm constantly being inspired and learning from my songs, but certain ones come back and ambush me. ... A lot of the time, I sing the songs I need to hear. "Terminal B" is a song I wrote in an airport. It was an enlightening moment. I sat frustrated and tired of being on the road. (It's about) when the practical reality of following your heart causes tension. Life is hard and we all want to be in a place that makes sense, but maybe the greatest beauty is in the tough places.
"Hurricane" is about my fourth son, who was born with a rare birth defect. It takes me back to the moment, and I live in the miracle of that place. It's about saturating yourself with blessings rather than burdens.
EN: Tell me about the two records you're working on now.
AL: They're both in the birth stage. One is nothing but old hymns, songs for some reason have stuck around. Whether you got to church or not, these are songs that you would recognize. The other one is a record that's all traveling songs. They all sound like Bob Dylan and Mumford and Sons. They're songs about things I've learned on the road.
EN: What are you looking forward to the most about the upcoming benefit concert for the Pregnancy Resource Center?
AL: What they do is so important. They love, embrace and give a voice to these young women as they process a life-altering decision and what that means. They provide guidance and hope.