Interview with Nic Andrea

Written by Divine Magazine

Nic Andrea & The Verdict is a rock band formed in 2021 consisting of Nic Andrea (vocals/trumpet), Gary Swan (keyboards), Eric Garcia (bass), Ricky Z (guitar) and Lynn Coulter (drums).

Nic released a solo album in 2022, Blues @ Dark which was a critical success and includes the top blues single of 2021, Whiskey Whispers (UK’s BluesBlues). The other band members have played and recorded with musical legends such as Bob Dylan, Chicago, Steven Tyler and Deep Purple. The band has released two albums this year, A Night at the Wrecking Yard, Pt. 1 and Jimi Come Home, with a third album slated for release in April of 2024. The Jimi Come Home concept album film was recently recognized by the Munich Music Video awards as the Best Musical Film (Short).

Photo Credit: Gary Swan

 How would you describe the music that you typically create?

Original songs with a retro-rock feel infused with unpredictable influences from different genres.

What is one message you would give to your fans?

Don’t pigeonhole music into inflexible “genre boxes.” Open your mind to the immersive feel and energy of a song rather than try to categorize it- e.g., “this band is influenced by The Doors” or “this song has a ZZ Top influence.” Paradoxically, there is no music which does not derive from some past artist while, at the same time, each song is its own totally unique creation. Accept each musical moment in real time as its own experience. 

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Make the music that is in your heart rather than what you think others want to hear. In most cases, if you try to do the latter, you would be wrong anyway! The audience wants something different even if they do not necessarily know it going in.

Photo Credit: Moses Sparks

 If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

Streaming. We put our songs on streaming platforms because that is now the way of the World. However, because of streaming, audiences rarely listen to entire albums robbing them of the experience of understanding the artist’s greater message through a body of work. Also, the artist gets ripped off to an extent, because millions of streams, if you are fortunate enough to get such numbers, translate into a shockingly low payout which makes it hard to keep the lights on. 

How would you describe your music?

While we undeniably tap into the listener-friendly melodies and energy of a bygone era of rock, we build on that foundation to bring something fresh with plenty of unanticipated “curves in the road.” Listen and you will see what I mean.

What do you enjoy most about being an artist?

The challenge of rising above the collective howl of thousands of aspiring musicians and hundreds of thousands of new songs every day to break through and connect with the audience.

What is your current music project about?

Jimi Come Home is a concept album which is one-part true story and three-parts fiction.  The true aspect is that I was in a band with a guitarist named Jimi who unplugged during the middle of a song, walked off, never to be heard from him again. The remainder of the album is fictional speculation as to the demons which drove Jimi to this point and the impact of his escape from life on those around him. The concept album film of the same name (November 3 release) adds a visual element to help tell the story.

 What is the most useless talent you have?

Impressions. I can do a spot-on Jimmy Stewart and Sylvester Stallone. I’d do it on stage but the audience would think I’m even stranger than they probably already do! 

Which fictional character do you wish was real?

Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction played by Harvey Keitel. We all need someone who at a moment’s notice can be on the scene and clean up the messes we’ve created for ourselves. Problem? Just “call the Wolf”!

If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?

To be in my twenties again, with more time ahead of me to create and play music.

Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?

In addition to being a “band geek” growing up, I was also a “Dungeons & Dragons nerd,” so definitely- dragons. 

What’s your favourite children’s story?

“Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak.  It’s about a child who is sent to bed without supper for dressing in a wolf costume and his bedroom transforms into an island inhabited by monsters. The power of childish imagination is something I hope I never lose.

Art Credit: Monica Marulanda

Hot off the release of their concept album “Jimi Come Home” Nic Andrea and the Verdict has premiered the album’s short film companion with It’s Psychedelic Baby Magazine.

The film has already garnered acclaim from early viewers and earned a spot at festivals such as the Rome Music Video Awards and the Prague Music Awards. The “My Felony” music video released last month is the first look at this footage.

Jimi Come Home is a concept album which is a lost art in the streaming era where people jump from artist to artist and track to track without hearing an entire album,” explains Nic. “Growing up with Pink Floyd and The Wall, it made perfect sense to make a short concept album film. This meant script writers, actresses, dancers and film crews. But it was important to me to give the audience a visual element to accompany the story the songs tell.”

The film has been selected at the World Music & Independent Film Festival in Washington, D.C., Rome Music Video Awards, and more.

Fans of iconic artists like Bob Seger, Don Henley, Rod Stewart, Robert Palmer, or Mick Jagger will undoubtedly discover a kindred spirit in the music of Nic Andrea & the Verdict.

Instagram: Nick Andrea & The Verdict

Facebook: Nic Andrea Music

Website:Nick Andrea Official

© 2023, Divine Magazine. All rights reserved.

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