About Stellar Art Wars - Official Site Of Andy, Twiggy and Friends

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Andy's Bitz

Andy's Music Bio

I'm not a "natural" musician, not learning to play until about 16. Had happy childhood enjoying sailing, trains and model cars. I love computers and gadgets, anything weird, kitsch and camp. As well as music, I work in IT and as a writer. I hate marketing and demographics, satelite TV, "lads mags" , rightwing politics and internet explorer 7. The first record I owned was "and then he kissed me" by The Crystals. 
I got into making music with schoolfriends Mark and Carl using ataris and drum machines to provide the noise. Since then I taught myself to play acoustic and bass guitars and keyboards. I even had a go at singing whilst at college. 
My musical specialisation is brass and string arrangement, a lot of it inspired by Stax records, Motown and Phil Spector. My favourite producers of pop are Lieber and Stoller, George Martin, Norman Whitfield, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Clivilles and Cole, and Stock Aitken Waterman. 
I'm a Rhythm & Blues fan and like most music from Duke Ellington to the Spice Girls, as well as English folk, classical, jazz and world music. My musical clock stopped in about 1998, as its all about fashion now (remember when fashion followed MUSIC not vice versa). Happily the internet has made more music available to the public, which is a good thing as commercial FM radio, music TV and the output of the major labels is universally shite. I ain't gonna fit into some advertising agent's stereotype- as MJ said "I ain't gonna spend life being a color

Andy was born sometime in the early 70's (in many ways he's still stuck there) in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England. Had a nice childhood with loads of friends and hobbies- sailing, horseriding, R/C car racing and Sinclair Computers (perhaps the ultimate in 80s naff) He got into music in 1989 with school pals Mark and Carl, forming "the rock and roll dogturds", sort of dead or alive meets kevin bloody wilson, singing and writing "playground" songs about pornos and motorbikes. Unable (then) to play any proper instrument then he descovered the drum machine and atari st, and realised that talent can sometimes replace technology. Musical influences include anything comic, punk rock and girl groups. Scraped into Sheffield University to study software engineering (but too crap at maths, so spent three years in a drugged and drunken stuper, meeting guitarist Tim Muckle and forming naff Carter USM rip off Doss (the name is a parody of 80's boyband bros) and having a go at singing. After that ended he teamed up with local musicians Kevin Scott and Dave Nevard to form Love Asylum. Between gigs Andy and Dave were prone to necking vodka and lusting over comedy gospel outfit Eternal, for who they wrote a couple of songs.They approached Stephen Branch aka "twiggy" to engineer their album. After the band folded, Andy joined "Gutt" with twiggy, Sean Roff and Phil Lines and recorded a couple of alums. Sean was replaced by Steve Kemp, who later sacked Andy and Twiggy and renamed the band Dog Salad. Sometime around this era Andy was admitted to rehab to recover from methamphetamime induced pyschosis. Andy, Dave and Twiggy, plus Tammy Hales went on top form studio band Nudge, recording the album "a bunch of number ones and number twos". Out of this grew (the then) punk band Stellar Art Wars (with neville dean) and later the "serious" band Gravytrain (with whom andy was an occasional player) as well as soundman. During this time Andy collaberated with Aussie songwriter Paul Wilson, producing the track "once bitten twice shy" At this stage it was back into rehab again following excessive mdma and skunk (we're talking real heroic doses here) misuse. Since then andy has unfortunately declined into something of a syd barrett character (real mind mince man....), recording the solo album The Surviving Beatles- Words And Music By McCarney and Lennon (deceased) in which he tried to excorcise his david-icke-esque mentalist conspiricies.

A nice naturally tanned picture of Andy, despite being an Essex boy there's no sprays, sunbeds or sunny country vacation. I've sort of done a reverse Jacko, growing darker with age- even had blonde hair when little!

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Andrew Wainwright is happily married to soulmate Katy, and the two of them run Emotional Overload studios. He's also technical director of Absolutely Multimedia Ltd and libertarian left political think tank Positive Party Solutions,

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Finally, Andy and Katie believe that music should be about fun and freedom, expression and sharing. We think we should be able to have a laugh and joke and gossip about popstars and the like without getting nasty or heavy. When we were kids there might have been no MP3s or web forums, but we'd tape the top 40, compile our own mix tapes and chat amongst our schoolmates about the world of pop. If you're a music exec reading this remember that pop music is fun, and as soon as you start getting "mine, mine mine" you kill the goose that lays the golden egg. There's a time and a place for lawyers and egos, but please don't squash enjoyment and creativity.
It's our personal mission to bring a light touch back to the music biz, but at the same time tackle real issues and real lives with the lyrics and tunes.

Why We LOVE Free Music - and why it even makes financial sense for musicians!

In the last few years, I’ve noticed that most of my favourite tunes are from free distributing artists, the few commercial albums I’ve bought have been from artists who’ve contacted me directly to tell me about their music.


There’s a great line in The Jam’s “Going Underground” - “the public get what the public want, or the public want what the public get”. A lot of mainstream music seems to be the latter these days.

I’m happy to pay for music, but I like that music to still be free in another sense of the word - free expression. It doesn’t matter to me if the act is a trendy indie band or disposable teenybop- as long as it’s from the heart. Career paths are for bank workers and the like not artists- the artist to me wants to create art and if money and fame come along, that’s a bonus.
In yet another sense of the word “free”, great music cries and inspires freedom, as opposed to conformity. I’d rather have an artist make a statement I disagree with than have an artist putting on a front and shutting up just to not rock the boat.

One of the saddest thing has been the equation by some in the industry of alternative business models such as creative commons and copyright theft. After all, with the artist’s permission, the work can be licensed commercially. Look at commercial software such as Chrome and Android, instead of complaining about Linux as a threat, they’ve built on it and made a commercial success. This shows that free software can create a market as opposed to destroying one.

If music was software, anyone who wrote a driver for Linux would find themselves unable to get a job for a commercial developer- this seems madness!

Popular music today is too much of a cartel with a handful of people controlling everything from the output to radio playlists. This is what kills scenes, corporate sausage machine mentality.

Thanks to all on this and other cc music sites for putting in the effort to bring music back to the people by producing output which has love in it. We’re stoking the creative fire that’s been smothered so badly by corporate greed and lack of imagination.

If you’re a commercial record exec reading this- it’s not an attack, but a suggestion- there’s money to be made in selling a better product with lower costs involved.

A profession scene isn’t possible without a healthy amateur one- if there were no kick abouts in school playgrounds and sunday players meeting a pub car parks, there’d by no Premier League, because there would be no way for talent to rise.

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