Since his beginnings as a busker in Santa Monica, Andy Grammer has always had a passion for bringing positive music to the world. With songs like “Keep Your Head Up” and “Good To Be Alive,” many of Grammer’s songs leave audiences with a smile on their face and an uplifting motto in their head long after his shows are finished. Since releasing his self-titled album in 2011, Grammer has gone on to achieve platinum certification for many of his songs and perform his hits around the world.
Set to tour with Alex and Sierra next month, Grammer recently sat down with Blast Magazine to discuss his latest album, Magazines or Novels, and his ongoing tour plans.
Blast Magazine: One of your most popular songs, “Keep Your Head Up,” was released in 2011 on your debut album. The lyrics focus on finding the good in every situation and always thinking positively. Are you a naturally positive person? What makes you happy?
Grammer: Yeah, I definitely lean to the positive side. I’m a pretty happy dude. Really good music and lyrics makes me happy. When a crowd all sings something together, whether it’s my lyrics or not, that is really amazing. There is this bond with everyone because you all love the same music and are all there in that moment.
Blast Magazine: You are known for being incredibly fan friendly. One way you make people feel appreciated is by putting their tweets and Instagram posts on the front page of your website. What has been the best interaction you have had with a fan?
Grammer: The most memorable interaction happened in LA. A girl came up to me in a diner and told me that I saved her life. I asked her what she meant. She said that she was on a bridge in her car and was ready to drive off and end her life. Suddenly, “Keep Your Head Up” came on the radio and as she listened to it, it changed her mind about the whole thing, and she drove home. That was an incredible moment for me.
Blast Magazine: Your latest album, Magazines or Novels, came out in August. Where did the inspiration for the album’s title come from? Which song do you feel best represents the album?
Grammer: I enjoy messing with sounds that are outside my comfort zone. I like pop and almost-pop sounds. However, often what comes with that is that the song has a quick burn or cheesy lyrics. I wanted to make an album that was shiny and grabbed your attention with its sounds but also had music that I cared about. I tried to walk the line between those two. A magazine is something you read and throw away and a novel is something you treasure and hold onto. I wanted to be both of those. The album is a pretty varied landscape. There is some hip-hop, some folk rock, and some rock. I really can’t pick just one song honestly. “Honey, I’m Good” is doing really well and that gets across my idea. It is pretty pop-y but about a deeper topic.
Blast Magazine: The video for your song “Honey, I’m Good” features many of your fans. It’s a great song with lyrics that focus on the idea of someone staying faithful to their partner. Who came up with the idea to include some of your married enthusiasts in the video?
Grammer: My manager and I were trying to come up with an idea to get the point of the song across. It’s almost risqué, because it’s like a love song but you are singing it to someone else. The song is about staying with someone that you love and we wanted to celebrate that bond so we had my fans show how long they had been married.
Blast Magazine: You have released music videos for many of your songs. Which has been your favorite to make?
Grammer: For my music videos, I have two favorites. Feeling-wise, it would be “Honey, I’m Good” because it always makes me feel really good when I listen to it. Production-wise, it would have to be “Back Home.”
Blast Magazine: You are about to embark on a tour with Alex and Sierra across the United States. What do you enjoy most about the touring experience?
Grammer: I love that I can just be me. I get to run around the country and be in a room with everyone that loves the same music. The hardest part is the lack of sleep and not having a routine, like at home.
Blast Magazine: Most of your songs tell a story that listeners can genuinely relate to. Do you write lyrics based on events that have actually happened to you?
Grammer: I write about my own life as much as I can. I wrote 100 songs, but after a while, I got tapped out on my own stuff. I pull from different people in my life. My inspiration is like Newton with gravity. He was the first one to write about what that was, but everyone agreed after that that they had always felt it. A good song does that somehow. I want to capture that feeling, whether I’ve had it or someone else has.
Blast Magazine: With so many songs to choose from, which is your favorite song to perform?
Grammer: I love performing “Back Home” because it is such a big song, but I feel like “Honey, I’m Good” is going to be fun to perform too.
Blast Magazine: What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Grammer: The best piece of advice I was given was from my dad when I was entering high school. He told me that all the cool people change, so be nice to everybody.
Blast Magazine: What is the best piece of advice you could give our readers?
Grammer: My best advice would be that it’s all about service. If you can create something that makes people happy, that’s what it’s all about. It’s about what you can do with someone else, as opposed to your own ego and how “cool” you are.
Be sure to check out Andy Grammer on tour with Alex and Sierra. They will be hitting Boston on March 19 at the House of Blues. Also, follow Andy on Twitter at @AndyGrammer and check out his latest album Magazines or Novels.