Eric Himan and Andy Moore Together Again
Richmond singer/songwriter Andy Moore has been performing around the area for many years and has recently announced that she’s moving to the West Coast. But before she leaves, she’ll be performing one more time with good friend and fellow musician Eric Himan, who’s been on a national tour himself in support of his newest album “Supposed Unknown.”
We caught up with Eric and Andy before their upcoming show at Babe’s of Carytown on Saturday, July 23.
GayRVA: What have you both been working on lately? What can fans expect?
Eric: I just released “Supposed Unknown” and it features my brand of folk and pop rock. People can expect to hear a more relaxed side than ever in my music. I recorded this with trans singer/songwriter, Namoli Brennet in Tucson, AZ and even had it mastered by Chris Bellman, who has mastered albums for some of my musical heroes like Ani DiFranco, Elton John and Alanis Morrisette. It has been doing very well on SiriusXM’s CoffeeHouse channel.
Andy: I’m currently working on completing the songs for my next album. As of right now, I’m not exactly sure when the release of that album might be, as I am not an artist who can easily persuade the creative muse to descend (My writing style is anything but forced). I’m hoping that i can wrap up these songs by the end of this year and get into the studio by next spring… but we’ll see. When the album does reach the public, however, they can expect a really stripped down acoustic collection of inspired songs. With my last EP, “5 in Common,” I wanted to experience a bigger band type production, and I think we were able to accomplish that. I want this next project to reflect what one typically encounters at one of my shows, namely a girl with a guitar singing simple, but heart-felt songs.
Who would you say are your biggest musical influences these days?
Eric: I’ve been highly influenced these days by bands such as The Cure and The Smiths (which I never really got into before) and of course, my friend and collaborator for my new disc, singer/songwriter, Namoli Brennet.
Andy: I’ve been listening to a lot of Richard Shindell lately. His style as an acoustic artist is really quite impeccable. And as a lyricist, I find his work to be unmatched. And interestingly enough, I’ve also been listening to a number of more mainstream musicians, including Lady Gaga, the now quite popular Mumford & Sons, as well as The Shins and Samantha Crain. It’s a bit of an eclectic mix, I know.
As an LGBT artist, do you feel an sense of obligation to help the community? Have you seen any impact from your songs personally?
Eric: As a musician who is also in the LGBT community, I do want to help my community grow and gain the equality we deserve. I perform regularly at Prides around the country, support local events (I live in Tulsa, OK) and awareness for the LGBT community and have contributed my songs to projects that support gay rights. I’ve seen the impact from my song, “Protest Song” that discusses my opinions on marriage/military/religious discrimination, at my shows and online. It’s great to be a part of the community.
Andy: As a gay person, I feel a responsibility to show support to the community whenever possible in any way that I can. If this means, filling a spot at a Pride Event or a community function, I’ll gladly do it because I think it’s important to show solidarity when it comes to some of the on-going struggles we face as gay individuals. As a gay artist, however — and this may come as a bit of a surprise — I do not feel compelled to “rally the troops,” if you will. My music does not hold my sexuality at its core, and it most likely never will. It’s just not what I’m thinking about when I’m with my guitar and hashing out new verses. When I write songs, I write from my own experience, primarily about themes that are quite universal: love gained, love lost, places, and people, etc. I take great pride in the fact that my music appeals to ALL people — straight, young and old — just as much as it appeals to the LGBT community.
Eric, how’s touring been this time around? Any new discoveries around the country?
Eric: Touring has been different than the past because of this new material being a bit more laid back than previously. I have discovered a few new cities and towns that I haven’t toured through that has made me excited again about reaching new places. I just toured up in Montreal and I swear I walked around for a day taking in all the architecture. I really enjoyed it there.
Any surprises that Richmonders can expect at your show?
Eric: They can expect some old favorites, some new sing-alongs and definitely a few choice covers from bands and musicians I am listening to (The Cure, Adele, etc.) – i.e. A REALLY FUN TIME!
Andy: It’s been a few years since Eric and I last played together, so I’m sure we’ll have plenty of material to slog through before the show begins. From what we’ve spoken of already, it looks like we’ve got a good mix of old and new tunes to prepare. If everything goes smoothly (or maybe if not), it should be quite a fun evening.
What made you two decide to perform together for this show?
Eric: I LOVE Andy! She and I have been friends for a long time (I think 12 years) and we’ve shared a lot of stages together singing and playing. I haven’t had the chance to perform with her in a while and being able to swing through Richmond right before she makes her exit there, is such a treat. I miss singing with her and I can’t wait to get on Babe’s stage with her.
Andy: Eric and I have known each other for quite some time now. Given our past history of recording and touring together, sharing the stage just feels like the right thing to do when he comes through town. I think he’s wonderfully gifted and I just adore his music, so naturally I want to offer my support when he’s here.
Andy, what are your thoughts on leaving Richmond? Will you miss it here?
Andy: I still have every intention of keeping with my music and pursuing the craft of songwriting. Having been on the East Coast for some time now – albeit in various regions over the last 15 years – I look to California as simply the next chapter of my life. I know it’ll be a little bit of a challenge to get established again, but I’m patient when it comes to such things. I just hope they have room for one more girl with a guitar.
And of course, I’ll miss Richmond. When I moved down here from Boston, I wasn’t sure what to expect, being south of the Mason-Dixon line and all. But Richmond has really embraced me. My listeners here are some of the most loyal and supportive I’ve had anywhere. I feel very blessed to have spent the last six years of my life here, building relationships and sharing my music with the people of this wonderful city. And, just so you know, I will return to share new music. Make no mistake of that.
Andrew Cothern is a music lover and media professional in Richmond, Va. specializing in photography and video production. Check out his music blog Richmond Playlist.
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