Ridgefielder blends rock with rap to create new sound
Andrew Schur is an up-and-coming musician to watch but he’s been honing his craft for years. All through middle school and high school, he played guitar in a band, doing local gigs and working on his sound. Struggling firsthand with the financial and logistical challenges of putting out their first record, “Broken Radar,” he and bandmate Drew Sennet launched Rock Cottage Studios in Ridgefield to help other youth musicians record and promote their music.
Now in his junior year at Columbia University, majoring in philosophy, Andrew is still gigging during semester breaks and working with local youth musicians but is also hard at work focusing on his own sound. Think Led Zeppelin meets Kanye West. His newest single, “Tossed,” dropped Dec. 6 on streaming platforms like iTunes and Spotify.
Andrea Valluzzo: How did you get started, musically?
Andrew Schur: When I was about eight years old, I started listening heavily to classics from the 60s and 70s like Led Zeppelin, The Who and The Rolling Stones. That really inspired me to start playing guitar. I was in a band for a while, Pampalibros, and we played shows all over the tri-state area, mainly in Connecticut. All the members are now in college so it’s been hard. We are still together in the sense that we play every now and then.
AV: What does your song, “Tossed” say about the ups and downs of college nightlife?
AS: I think that a lot of modern music doesn’t necessarily paint nightlife, especially college life, the way it actually is. Sometimes in movies it’s boy gets girl or girl gets boy ... it’s not the most realistic depiction. I want to show how despite the lack of a fairytale ending, you still have fun. I wanted to talk about how one of the most important aspects of college is nightlife simply for the social aspect. I think what this song does is it paints a picture of nightlife not as some crazy idealistic ballistic party where there is a fairytale ending but as a natural succession of events where despite the fact that you end up walking home alone, you’ve gained something from that experience.
AV: How is your sound unique?
AS: When I talk about the intersection between rock and hip-hop, I feel what differentiates me is the rock music that I’m trying to record is much more instrumental than what people think of nowadays. The rock I’m specifically referencing is things of the British Invasion: the sound of Led Zeppelin with the crazy guitar solos, the very distorted grungy vibe kind of garage rock that exploded in America in the 60s and 70s and Pink Floyd with their very psychedelic sound. What differentiates me too is the fact that I record most everything live. It gives it a very open and almost unrefined very raw sound.
AV: Why did you decide to open a recording studio?
AS: The idea of the studio was more or less to make recording available to youth musicians because we had experienced the duress of trying to record a professional album. It’s very costly and time-consuming. What my friend [Drew] and I decided to do was renovate this old stone cottage on my dad’s nursery. We spent a few months in the summer renovating it, buying gear and taking out loans to buy gear. We started marketing ourselves to musicians that were in our same position, recording them, helping them get their music out and eventually word got out to businesses in the Fairfield County area that we knew all the local youth musicians.
AV: Did those connections help you to help Horns for Kids in raising money for music education?
AS: Restaurants and venues would call us and ask us to put together shows together for them. We were doing about one every other week, sometimes once a week. We were making a fair bit of money from it and we donated almost everything to a charity called Horns for Kids. So that was more or less what my high school time looked like: running the studio and working on my own music.
For more information, visit schurmusic.com.