‘I consciously decided to sand down some of the jagged edges and make a nice collection of lesser-known pieces that have a more friendly or straightforward approach.’, says Nick Bertling about An Andy Bopp Compendium (reimagined and compiled by Nick Bertling).
The result is overwhelmingly beautiful, a work of art, a great introduction or a most pleasant re-acquaintance.
Nick Bertling explains how this anthology came about.
How would you describe An Andy Bopp Compendium (reimagined and compiled by Nick Bertling)?
I would describe the album as a playful, lighthearted glimpse into the vast world of the records of Andy Bopp.
How did the idea come about, and how did you proceed?
Andy has been part of my chosen family for many years. He’s always been supportive, critical, and brutally honest with me about my work, and I’ve been a fan of his for years. I’ve taken the de-facto role of “archivist” since I’m more familiar with Andy’s back catalog than he is.
As we’re both home recording artists primarily out of necessity, I was allowed access to multi-tracks, and we have a back catalog of work together. I decided to take songs I knew I liked and edit them with no regard for anything other than showing a slightly different approach.
Basically taking a piece of artwork and coloring over it for the pure joy of doing so.
Andy Bopp is a great songwriter and musician. What do you find attractive about his songs? Why did you think it was a good idea to redo the songs, and how did you decide which songs they should be?
Both Andy and I share mid 60’s and 70’s AM radio music as a musical language despite the 19-year age difference. Andy is a tireless songwriter, and he’s always written songs with a few core musical values that we share.
I started by asking Andy about songs he likes of his, and then picked songs I had either multi-tracks that I could remix or alter, or simply used existing mixes to modify the speed, equalization, and pitch. I overdubbed parts where I felt they might help a song keep its momentum and generally tried to have a good time reimagining songs I’d known all along.
You and Andy are both special, a little different from the rest, and certainly not average. Isn’t it complicated when two such personalities have to work together?
The easy answer is “yes, it’s complicated”; however, it’s far more complicated than that. We started working together knowing “things we’d heard” about each other, so we made a pact to be friends above all things.
At this point, we’d both seen and heard enough that we could relate on an almost telepathic level since I was a fan, and I already had my own musical path that wouldn’t be strayed by anything we did together.
When we started the band Alto Verde, we got on like a house on fire. Loudfastchaoticaudiencepummelingvolumelunacyfulltiltwholealbumin22minutes. That’s how we used to do things. At the heart of all of that volume and destruction is a great songwriter.
I consciously decided to sand down some of the jagged edges and make a nice collection of lesser-known pieces that have a more friendly or straightforward approach.
How will the record be released, and when?
Much like all of my academic life, I’ve come unprepared. At this very moment, Andy has several copies with him for the next few shows, and I’ll be sure to coordinate with his label so it can see a proper digital release and a more deluxe cd package.
I told Andy that I think he will gain a lot of extra listeners with this collection; there’s no denying the quality of what’s on offer. He won’t take it from me like that, do you?
I truly hope he does gain some new listeners! He’s one of my true musical brothers, and there are a lot of really sweet moments nestled inside a bag of broken glass. I decided to pick them out and present them like a little art piece. I hope it’s fun for those who are already fans, and maybe a fun little ride for folks who’ve wanted to dive into an extensive catalog of music.