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Interview: Andrew Fagan and The People - 'You'll Be Fine' Tour

Interview: Andrew Fagan and The People - 'You'll Be Fine' Tour

Steve Mathieson / C.C. / Photo credit: Mark Derricutt / Live band photo credit: Matt Davison / Tuesday 13th April, 2021 9:37AM

Steve Mathieson (ex-Collapsing Cities, who is finishing off his debut solo album under the moniker Lunavela) interviewed iconic Aotearoa musician Andrew Fagan (The Mockers, Andrew Fagan and the People), avid sailor, published poet and journalist about his latest album Act Normal, and long-awaited release tour. Fagan met up with Mathieson for a lunchtime chinwag at Westhaven Marina, where he's been working on his boat. With two shows of the tour already done and dusted (including a sold-out gig at Auckland's The Wine Cellar), don't dare miss Fagan with bandmates Darryn Harkness (New Telepathics, Loud Ghost), Kurt Shanks (stellar*), Joe Dekkers-Reihanna and John Murray as their You'll Be Fine tour continues to blaze trails across Te Ika-a-Māui this week...

UPDATE 14/04/21: the interview transcript has been updated at Andrew Fagan's request — an earlier draft version was originally published...

Undertheradar proudly presents...

Andrew Fagan and The People

Wednesday 14th April - Nivara Lounge, Hamilton
Thursday 15th April - Two Mile Sailing Club, Taupo
Friday 16th April - Haumoana Hall, Hawkes Bay
Saturday 17th April - Meow, Wellington*
Sunday 18th April - Snails, Palmerston North

Tickets available HERE via UTR
*Tickets available via Plus1

Steve Mathieson: Congrats on the new album bro, I really enjoyed it. 'We Fell Out' is a great song and very relatable. Will the person whom it's about know it's about them or is it a form of amends?

Andrew Fagan: I'm not sure they know it's about them. It's more about extracting life lessons from multiple falling outs and learning and reflecting.

How does your writing process work and can you tell me how this album came about?

I finished up at Kiwi FM in about 2010, then I did Talkback 'til 2015, then I got a job on a cargo ship going to Pitcairn Islands. Each trip would take about three months. We'd leave from Tauranga, it was about 3000 miles. When I wasn't 'on watch' there was nothing to do, others would watch Netflix and it was the impetus I needed to get me back into writing songs. The first song I wrote was 'Act Normal' on a nylon string guitar, recording it on my phone. Having lots of time on my hands, i then took my laptop and got into Ableton. I half recorded the album on the ship and finished the rest with the band at the Tone Exchange studio with Darryn Harkness in Auckland. I did all the vocals on the ship on a Beta 58a through a laptop interface.

How do you start your songs?

I usually start with open tunings on a nylon string guitar, simple chord progressions and repetition, playing a riff that you like. Others start with a vocal chorus in my head.

What can people expect from the live shows starting this weekend at the Wine Cellar?

We'll be doing a mixture of all the songs over the last thirty years, songs of this album, songs of Admiral of the Narrow Seas, Blisters with 'Jerusalem'.

Mean, I love 'Jerusalem'.

A handful of Mockers songs. Punk rock versions of Mockers songs, they are more grunty live. I started off in a punk band called The Ambitious Vegetables. I'm always more excited by the new songs.

When was the last time you experienced nostalgia?

I experience nostalgia all the time on my boat from recalling adverse and elation situations.

What are you passionate about other than music and sailing?

Staying alive and trying to enjoy myself,

You've done both sides of the coin as an interviewer and musician interviewee, what have you never been asked, that you'd like to answer?

I've never been asked who is my current favourite band. It's the British band the Idles. Check out the songs 'Mother' and 'Hymn'.

Ah mean, I've heard they are good, I'll check them out.

Some quick fire questions:

Flying Nun or Britpop?


Same. The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

Rolling Stones

Are dreams prophetic?

Not for me.

Musical thing you are most proud of?

The latest album.

What country do you want to travel to the most?

Tristian da Cunha (it's an island in the South Atlantic).

Any irrational fears?


How misanthropic are you out-of-ten?


Haha same. Favourite local artist?

Elliot Brown.

Shitty food weakness?

Trident hot 'n' spicy two minute noodles.


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Andrew Fagan and The People
Wed 14th Apr 8:00pm
Nivara Lounge, Hamilton
Andrew Fagan and The People
Thu 15th Apr 7:00pm
Two Mile Bay Sailing Club, Taupo
Andrew Fagan and The People
Fri 16th Apr 7:00pm
Haumoana Hall, Hastings
Andrew Fagan and The People
Sat 17th Apr 8:00pm
Meow, Wellington
Andrew Fagan and The People
Sun 18th Apr 3:00pm
Snails, Palmerston North