Andrew Tinker is a self-proclaimed pop-rocker with a passion for classical music. He was instrumental (get it?) in forming the Polyphonic Spree, and six years later he’s on his way to a successful solo career.
We made an e-mail beeline to Andrew before his in-studio performance Tuesday afternoon on KXT 91.7:
Art&Seek: You were one of the founding members of the Polyphonic Spree at the age of 15. How did you get involved with the band?
Andrew Tinker: In early summer 2000, Tim DeLaughter put the word out that he was looking for a French horn player for a new band that he was putting together. Some mutual friends introduced us shortly thereafter. I had played horn in junior high and high school for a few years and thought it might be fun to participate in an extracurricular ensemble. So I ended up going to one of their rehearsals. I remember thinking, “Wow, I’ve never heard anything like this!” I loved the expansiveness of the sound and eagerly accepted the invitation to join the band.
A&S: When you decided to leave the Spree to study at the UNT College of Music, did you have a vision of where you wanted to go with music?
A.T.: I went into my first day of class at UNT School of Music wanting to learn to write down all the melodies and musical textures bouncing around in my head. I just wanted to achieve an appropriate level of musical literacy to convey my ideas. That actually turned out to be the minimum requirement of my education. I had no idea what I was getting into in the beginning, but in my last semester at UNT, I wrote an analysis on J.S. Back’s Crucifixus, and Stevie Wonder’s ” Song in the Key of Life” while I was working on It Takes the World. I felt like, in my own little way, that I was a part of the legacy.
A&S: You are based in Denton, and your latest album, It Takes the World, is a self-proclaimed pop album. How did that go over in the not-so-poppy Denton music community?
A.T.: It Takes the World got a great review on MyDentonMusic.com, but other than that, I haven’t gotten much critical feedback from the press. I’m a much better musician than a promoter, so I’ve definitely been challenged in the pursuit of an audience. There aren’t a lot of local musicians doing what I’m doing right now, but I believe that the scene will grow, especially with more collaboration between artists.
A&S: If you could perform just once with any musician or band in the world (living or not), who would that be?
A.T.: I would perform with J.S. Bach’s Collegium Musicum at Zimmerman’s coffeehouse in Leipzig, ca. 1735. Of course, I’d need to go back a little early to start practicing! Will I have enough time if I show up somewhere in the 1720’s?
A&S: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A.T.: In 10 years, I’d like to be establishing myself as a contributor on the international stage. I approach pop music as an artistic medium, and I believe that with the proper balance of technique and inspiration, it can speak to an audience on cultural, intellectual and spiritual levels simultaneously. Through my art, I’d like to contribute to people’s personal enrichment, and in 10 years, I’d like that contribution to extend to the worldwide community.
A&S: What’s in your refrigerator right now?
A.T.: I’ve got a lot of miscellaneous food in my refrigerator right now, none of which would make what you might regard as a meal. However, if you’d like a hot dog wrapped in a flour tortilla and a handful of cheese cubes, I can oblige.
A&S: Spongebob or The Simpons? Why?
A.T.: I’m a Simpsons‘ man! I grew up with them. My family always watched The Simpsons together. My brother George and I used to record episodes and watch Simpsons‘ marathons when we’d stay home sick from school. When they moved the show from Thursday nights to Sunday nights, we had to totally rearrange our family time.
A&S: What are your thoughts and expectations on the launch of KXT 91.7?
A.T.: I know they are going to play tons of great music on KXT, and what’s really exciting is that it’s going to be music from the local, regional, national and international music communities. North Texans are going to love it, and I think it’s going to help create more enthusiastic listeners. More enthusiastic listeners make for a stronger music community and ultimately, a move vibrant cultural identity. KXT is certainly a welcome addition to my FM presets!
Click player to listen to “Mother Nature” by Andrew Tinker:
Andrew Tinker joins KXT host Joe Kozera live in the studio Tuesday afternoon for some great talk and music. Be sure and tune in from 3-6 p.m.