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article imageAndrew McMahon talks music, longevity and Dear Jack Foundation Special

By Markos Papadatos     Feb 17, 2019 in Music
Huntington - On February 17, singer-songwriter Andrew McMahon, the front-man of Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, sat down and chatted with this journalist prior to his soundcheck at The Paramount in Huntington.
"It's good to be back. I really love this room," he said, about playing at The Paramount. "It's been good to us over the last few years."
He revealed that he would be playing songs from his Upside Down Flowers album, as well as his hit singles. "It's a good two-hour show. It's the longest full band set that I have ever done in my career," he said.
McMahon noted that his song "Cecilia And The Satellite" is still a fan-favorite and the past few days he has played it towards the end of his set. He also added that he does a ballad version of Cher's "Believe."
On the key to longevity in the music business, McMahon said, "Staying true to who I am and write songs that reflect what I am going through personally. Also, trying to be consistent in playing good shows for people so that they can come back and see me."
For young and aspiring musicians, he encouraged them to "write good songs and learn the craft of writing." "At the end of the day, if you are a great songwriter, there are so many avenues to explore," he said.
He also opened up about the Dear Jack Foundation, which started about 12 years ago. "I have been in remission from leukemia for 13 years," he said. "We have two programs that we implement: LifeList is for adolescent and young adult patients who are in treatment and Breathe Now, where we work with survivors."
McMahon listed Elohim and Amelia from the electronic duo Sylvan Esso as his dream female duet choices in the music business. He also complimented Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine for being an incredible artist.
Digital transformation of the music industry
Regarding the impact of technology on the music scene, McMahon said, "From a negative standpoint, it has certainly changed the economics of the music business. The positive side is it has made music more accessible to fans, and we are able to reach a broader audience. Now, there is a lot more innovation taking place in popular music. The gatekeepers are now the people that hold the device in their hands, and that is very powerful."
McMahon acknowledged that he "threw his hat in the ring" to support the Music Modernization Act. "Any time that we can get lawmakers and Congress to pay attention to songwriters is important," he said. "There is still some controversy within the passage of that. No matter what happens, the labels are going to hold the purse strings. My philosophy over the years has been to make it about great songs and putting on great shows, and you'll be able to make a living."
He defined success as "getting to do what you love and be able to make enough money to live and feed your family."
Upside Down Flowers is available on iTunes.
To learn more about Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, check out their official website.
For more information on the Dear Jack Foundation, visit its official homepage.
More about Andrew McMahon, Singersongwriter, elohim, cecelia and the satellite
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