On Saturday, May 7th, Andy Jackson will headline LIKEYOUSAID Fest, our official magazine launch party. The acoustic performance will take place at Firebrand Saints in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Limited tickets are still available for purchase.
LIKEYOUSAID caught up with Andy Jackson of Hot Rod Circuit during the Where’s The Band Tour, where we had the chance to talk about the 15th anniversary of the band’s beloved album Sorry About Tomorrow and his newest project, Andy Jackson and the Mary Tyler Mormons. The brand new supergroup which includes members of New Found Glory and Northstar, and spoofs the name of a popular 1970s sitcom, released their debut album just days before we met up with Andy. During our conversation we discuss the side project, Andy’s fascination with the television show Dexter, and what the future of Hot Rod Circuit holds in store for all of us.
This is Kayla Dupras from LIKEYOUSAID and we’re here to talk to Andy Jackson.
Andy: Hey Kayla!
Congrats on the new album, it’s really great. Tell me how you came up with the name Andy Jackson and the Mary Tyler Mormons.
Andy: My wife and I just had this baby and her mom had just bought her this dress halfway through the pregnancy, it was a maternity dress. When she came around the corner to show it to me, she looked embarrassed and asked, “What do you think?”
I told her, “You look like Mary Tyler Mormon”. At the time we were trying to come up with a band name and she laughed and said, “There’s your new band name right there.”
[Laughs.] That’s a great story.
Andy: The biggest thing about the band is me and Ian [Grushka of New Found Glory] came up with the concept of doing this six years ago and “Cry Me a River” was recorded with those three guys— Ian, Cyrus Booloki [of New Found Glory], and Gabe [Renfroe of Northstar] . We never did anything with it and we had all these stupid names so when this clicked, every person I told it to liked the name and I was like, ‘Okay, this is it’. It’s funny enough to where it’s tongue and cheek and I’m actually using my name this time so it might tie in the Hot Rod fans… A lot of the projects I did, people don’t even know about and I wanted to do something fun and recognizable.
Did you grow up watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show?
Andy: Oh yeah. I’m 41 years old, I grew up watching all that stuff. Bob Hope and Bob Newheart, my grandfather watched all of it. I watched that show all the time too so I’m a fan.
Like you said, there are members of New Found Glory in your band. Is there going to be a pop punk tour that you might be planning involving those guys?
Andy: There could be, they’re already talking about making another record [Laughs.] We’re already at that point. I definitely want to, that’s the plan. And part of it was to have a collaboration of whoever, like if I want to get Chris [Conley] or Matt [Pyor] to be on the next one. That’s my concept, to have a revolving door of people involved in it. You never know who’s going to be on the road.
Tell me about Alabama. What was it like growing up there?
Andy: Growing up in Montgomery was really weird. There was definitely no music scene there. That’s where all that MLK stuff happened, Rosa Parks. I live in Birmingham now, which is a bigger city, you got your rock clubs and coffee shops. It’s funny, we had this conversation this morning, it’s not all sticks and tumbleweeds [Laughs.] It’s not what people always assume Alabama to be or what movies make it out to be. It’s actually a very big city, it’s huge, me and my wife have a house right outside of Birmingham, so we’re close enough to the city, but far enough to enjoy country life.
And you’ve toured Boston a lot.
Andy: Almost 20 years. Since ’97.
Any favorite spots?
Andy: I used to love the Avalon, the Middle East obviously. What’s the name of the record store? The comics! Newbury Comics!
Let’s talk about Hot Rod Circuit. The 15th year anniversary of Sorry About Tomorrow is approaching soon.
Andy: Is it really? I didn’t even know that!
It is! 15 years. You gotta do something.