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The Andy McKee FAQ
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Andy McKee
1986 NE Kansas Hop-Scotch Champion
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Post: #1
The Andy McKee FAQ

Hey guys! I read alot of the comments on my Youtube videos and on my Myspace page, and frequently there are questions and rumors floating about. I thought I'd make a thread here to answer those questions and dispel any odd rumors. Here ya go!

Oh and if you have any questions, leave them in this thread and I will try to answer them and add them to the FAQ!

Basic info

Andy McKee
Born April 4th, 1979 Topeka, Kansas USA
Currently residing in Topeka, Kansas USA
I live with my fiance, Christine Porubsky and our long haired Chihuahua, Sammy

Hobbies

What do you do besides music?
I am all about video games. I got hooked at a young age and still love to waste time playing games. I am into most genres of games except sports and driving. I've got an Xbox 360, Wii and quite a few PC games. My favorite video game of all time would have to be Starsiege Tribes on the PC. It was one of the first games to have such a dedicated online multiplayer component with up to 128 players on one map! I have yet to play another FPS that offered so much strategy and action. Plus I loved the audio commands and animations, modders made it possible to have your character say phrases from famous movies or sing lyrics to popular tunes. Man I love that game... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starsiege:_Tribes
I really don't have any other hobbies. I enjoy other things but music and video games are really where it's at for me!

Music

When did you start playing?
13 years old

Did you used to play heavy metal?
I was really into Metallica, Pantera, Dream Theater and a lot of other bands when I first started. I had a band through high school and we would compete in the talent show and all that. When I was 14, we did an instrumental version of Enter Sandman because none of us had hit puberty and could sing like James Hetfield! Ha!

You must practice 8 hours everyday...
No. I used to play a lot when I was in my teenage years but now I am usually just trying to write something new when I pick up the guitar. I used to sit in my bedroom and practice along with Eric Johnson and Dream Theater CD's back then.

Why did you begin to play acoustic?
My first guitar was actually a nylon string classical guitar. Since I didn't have an electric yet, I worked on Dust in the Wind and Stairway to Heaven. When I got an electric about 6 months later, I really started to rock out. I got back into the acoustic guitar after seeing a performance by Preston Reed. I was stunned.

Who are your influences?
For acoustic guitar; Michael Hedges, Don Ross, Billy McLaughlin and Preston Reed. These guys directly influenced my ear and compositional style. I do get inspiration from all sorts of music, though. I can't list all of the stuff I love here, I'm afraid. Here are some examples though; Peter Gabriel, Bjork, Journey, Earth Wind and Fire, Crash Test Dummies, Eric Johnson, Pantera, King Crimson... I am rarely listening to acoustic guitar music, honestly.

What guitars/strings do you use?
I play Andrew White, Avalon, McCollum, and soon Greenfield guitars. When I receive the Greenfield, I am sure it wil be my main 6 string. I will still carry my McCollum baritone and Spillers harpguitar of course. For strings I use Dean Markley Alchemy Gold/Bronze medium gauge.

Why do you use altered tunings?
Quite simply, because I like the way they sound. That's really it. Aside from that, in more practical terms, it allows for chord voicings and melodic passages that would be impossible or extremely difficult in standard tuning to be managed with ease.

How do you come up with new tunings?
I have a few ways. Sometimes I'll "borrow" one from Michael or Don or Preston or Billy. Somtimes I will try to find a way to tune the guitar to a chord I like. A good example for that is the tuning for Art of Motion. I found a way to get all the intervals from an F#m11th chord to fit on the neck. The last way is when I just tune the guitar by intuition and find something cool.

How do you write music?
I come up with a new tuning in one of the above mentioned ways and start playing around. That's pretty much it. I make some choices about what sounds good to me and eventually have a finished piece of music. I usually try to do something interesting with each song to keep it fresh for me and the listener, like a new technique or approach. But I am really interested in writing a good piece of music and that is my priority. The song never has to be flashy or difficult to be good.

Did you study music?
Not really. I had about a year and a half of electric guitar lessons early on and that is it. I did pick up some knowledge about chord construction and scales and modes as I went on. I never went to university though, or anything like that. I used my ear a lot and lifted tunes from CD's.

Who is Rylynn?
Rylynn was the daughter of good friends of my family. Rylynn was only about 2 years old when she passed away suddenly. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fus...=169564969

Who is Heather?
My sister.

Who is "She"?
Christine

Internet Rumors and Weirdness

Are you Muslim?
I guess because of my look in the November 2006 Youtube videos, many people came to assume that I am Muslim. Well, I am not Muslim. I am actually an atheist. As a side note, I believe in anyone's right to believe in what they want and kindly ask the same. So please don't message me trying to convert me to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or anything else.

Are you into the "bear" scene?
No. Apparently there is a community of gay men around the world known as "bears" that look pretty much exactly like I did in the November 2006 videos. Bearded, heavy set guys. So anyway, I got quite a few emails from interested men. Man that was awkward! So just to reiterate, no I am not into the "bear" scene and no I am not gay.

Dude, what drugs were you smoking to come up with that tune?
None. I don't take drugs. Never smoked weed in my life. That's not to say I haven't been around it before, I practically grew up around it! It just never interested me. I was just having a discussion with Don Ross (also never into drugs!) about this topic and we both have the same feelings about it. Why do people assume because you are creative that you MUST be into drugs. That's bullshit. I can tell you that I never would have come up with any of my music if I were high all the time. I may have come up with some music, but I am sure it would have been quite different. And again, I don't care if you are into weed or cocaine or whatever. That's fine! Just don't assume I am into it because I am a musician. Frankly, I find it a bit insulting. It's as if these people are saying I couldn't have written the music without some drug in my system.

What does "Bump of Chicken" mean?
Bump of Chicken is a Japanese band. I first heard about the band from Don Ross. The story goes that the drummer for (Don Ross' wife) Brooke Miller's band was flipping through a drum magazine when he spotted an endorsement from the band. Everyone couldn't get enough of the name and when Don said it to me I nearly died. Bump of Chicken??? Hilarious. I thought it was so funny that I made a few t-shirts for Don, Brooke, Christine and I with the bands name on the front and a deer and some mountains. On the back I tried to come up with some really authentic "engrish" and put these words:
"To having chicken is best when a feeling is enjoyment and sunshine pleasant! Let's spend time together finding as good time in the company of others. It is frequently better than an alternative!" My good friend Hideaki "Pooh" Matsuoka found the origin of the name and explained that the band was wanting to convey the idea of "the hit of a coward". They used bump as a synonym for strike, or hit. And chicken was used in place of coward, like when you call someone a chicken. It makes sense, but not really.
http://www.bumpofchicken.com/ http://www.engrish.com/

Dude, do you only have one tee-shirt? Why are you wearing the same clothes in all of your videos?
The November 2006 Youtube videos were all shot in one afternoon. I was on tour with Don Ross and Michael Manring and we had a free day in Milwaukee. So Rob from Candyrat set it up that we could shoot some video and throw them on this site called "Youtube" and see if we could get some new fans. Anyway, it was around early November and we shot all of the videos where I am wearing a red shirt and blue jeans in about 3 hours or something. If you look at some of my other videos, you can see that I do in fact own other pieces of clothing.

What is your YouTube screen name?
TheRealAndyMcKee. In spite of trying to make it really obvious that it REALLY is me, I still get tons of "Dude quit acting like you are Andy McKee..." and "You wish you were Andy McKee" messages all the time. I even included a 2 second video on my profile where I am holding my harpguitar and I say "Hi, this is my harpguitar, hi." to help prove it really is me. Oh well, what can you do? The account associated with all of the YouTube postings is rpoland, Rob Poland from Candyrat Records.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
All right! I hope that clears up any foggy areas in your brain about who I am and what I am about. Please feel free to add questions to this thread and I will answer them and post them in the FAQ when I have time!

Rock on out,
Andy

This post was last modified: 01-31-2008 06:22 PM by Andy McKee.

01-31-2008 04:40 PM
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Walesy
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Post: #2
RE: The Andy McKee FAQ

Andy Wrote:
Are you into the "bear" scene?
No. Apparently there is a community of gay men around the world known as "bears" that look pretty much exactly like I did in the November 2006 videos. Bearded, heavy set guys. So anyway, I got quite a few emails from interested men. Man that was awkward! So just to reiterate, no I am not into the "bear" scene and no I am not gay.


Well, I guess everyday is a school day - I can't say i've heard of the 'bear' scene before but you certainly gave me a good laugh reading that!

Oh, and thanks for the other info too Smile

01-31-2008 10:59 PM
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Patrick
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Post: #3
Wink  RE: The Andy McKee FAQ

Mann, Now I feel like shaving my beard Wink

Well, nice FAQ anyhow, even if it did add a tad of self consciousness to my life!

02-01-2008 08:08 AM
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KDMAnderson
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Post: #4
RE: The Andy McKee FAQ

Never played Starseige, but I sure do love Tribes 2. Pity, I bought it at the end of it's CD printing, one of the last ones to have a Online key. Now that I want to play it online, I can't find the key!

Oh well. Botmatches for me.

-Mike


My Youtube Profile
http://www.youtube.com/KDMAnderson
02-02-2008 03:25 PM
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Jason
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RE: The Andy McKee FAQ

Regards from North Carolina, Andy.

Me and the Big Jones are getting by, hope to see you have a show around the Charlotte area, would be great to meet up with ya again.

Also.. Bump of Chicken.. I've heard of them, got quite a collection of various Jpop. Big Grin

--edit

Oh yeah, how is the one guitar holding up? (Can't remember, I think the headstock got snapped off by the airlines.)

This post was last modified: 02-13-2008 08:50 PM by Jason.

02-13-2008 08:48 PM
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Riley
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Post: #6
RE: The Andy McKee FAQ

Andy,

On the subject of video games -

It looks like you like some PC games... You said FPS. Do you ever play RTS like Starcraft?


http://www.youtube.com/rileybrady

Riley Brady
02-16-2008 04:05 PM
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Andy McKee
1986 NE Kansas Hop-Scotch Champion
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Post: #7
RE: The Andy McKee FAQ

Riley Wrote:
Andy,

On the subject of video games -

It looks like you like some PC games... You said FPS. Do you ever play RTS like Starcraft?


Love Starcraft! That and Tribes are why I bought a PC in the first place.

I never really played online, but went through Starcraft and the Brood Wars expansion. Looking forward to the sequal!!!

Andy

02-16-2008 07:39 PM
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Dan_Aus
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Post: #8
RE: The Andy McKee FAQ

hi Andy,
my name is Dan and I live in Australia, i purchased one of your cd's online, felt like it took forever to receive ( because i couldn't wait to play it ) but it made it here safe and sound ! ( Art of Motion ) the CD was
worth every penny your music is brilliant. i am going to get more.
i was wondering if you had any plans on coming to Australia to play in the near future ?
would like to see you here would be excellent.
thanks all the best.
Daniel

02-16-2008 11:42 PM
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Riley
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RE: The Andy McKee FAQ

Quote:
Love Starcraft! That and Tribes are why I bought a PC in the first place.

I never really played online, but went through Starcraft and the Brood Wars expansion. Looking forward to the sequal!!!

Andy


Ah.. Well if you still have Starcraft and Brood Wars we should play a game online! Playing starcraft with my idol? Pretty damn cool haha..

There is a program you can download called "Hamachi" where we can go into the same channel and play over the LAN feature in the game, so we don't have to go on BattleNet.

IF you are up to it let me know. I haven't had a good game of Starcraft for awhile.

Riley


http://www.youtube.com/rileybrady

Riley Brady
02-17-2008 08:54 AM
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SteveB17
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Post: #10
RE: The Andy McKee FAQ

Great bio Andy. The "bear" thing was definitely a good laugh. I'm also a video game dude. I'm a Final Fantasy (the classics...not the new stuff), World of Warcraft kind of guy. If you like FPS, I can't recommend Half-Life 2 enough....that game is epic.

02-18-2008 03:54 AM
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