Photo by Rick Wenner
Photo by Rick Wenner

Exclusive: Interview with Andrew Como of The Como Brothers Band

Long Island natives Matt and Andrew Como both expressed an interest in music at an early age. The singer-songwriter duo combined their talents and went on to form The Como Brothers Band, creating a distinctive pop-rock/bluesy sound that you can’t help but crave. From having their music featured on television shows such as E! Network’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians and MTV’s Real World, to opening up for well-known names such as David Cook, PJ Morton of Maroon 5 and Howie Day, these brothers have a niche for writing telltale lyrics and creating memorable melodies. We caught up with Andrew to discuss their latest single “Magic,” musical background in the Empire State and a little story about John Mayer that has been permanently glued into his brain.

CelebMix: How long have you been involved with music? At what age did you realize you really wanted to pursue your passion?

Andrew Como: I’ve been playing in bands since I was in high school. It’s been about 10 years now. I was in a Beatles tribute band from 2008-2011; I played George Harrison. Matt would sub in for the John part towards the end of the Beatles band. My dad played Ringo and my Uncle played Paul. I was raised on the Beatles and older music from a young age. The first song I ever remember hearing was the Beatles rendition of “Twist & Shout” in my parents’ 1993 Plymouth Voyager in my garage. I’ve been hooked ever since. I didn’t think I could actually pursue a music career until I was 21. I always wanted to before then, but my doubts didn’t allow me to believe a music career was possible until I was a senior in college. Ever since then, it’s been a lot of hard work, writing, practicing and fun.

CM: How did the band ultimately come together as a duo?

AC: Matt and I started writing our own songs around 2010. Songwriting was a hobby that turned into a passion. The duo was just the result of wanting to perform our own material.

CM: Did growing up in New York have any effect on your style as an artist?

AC: I actually haven’t thought too much about that until this question. Now that I think about it though, New York had a big influence on my singing. I’m a Yankees fan, and I went to the games with my dad and Matt a couple of times every summer while growing up. Whenever the Yankees won, Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” would come on over the PA. That’s another one of the earliest songs I can recall hearing. Sinatra was a gigantic influence for me. I loved how effortless and cool he sounded when delivering a song. I am by no means saying I sound like Frank Sinatra, but his style and songs impacted me a lot. I’m half Italian and half Irish. On my dad’s side, my grandma was the daughter of Italian immigrants, and my grandpa was straight off the boat from Sicily. Frank Sinatra actually sang at my grandma’s high school prom in New York City right as he was blowing up in the early 1940s. Even though Sinatra was from New Jersey, he emitted a sense of New York in everything that he did. So between Sinatra being associated with New York, the Yankees, and my grandparents, I associate Sinatra’s influence on me with New York’s influence on me.

CM: What was the inspiration behind “Magic?”

AC: It was about a girl I dated. It captures what I felt when I first met her. The ironic part is that I wrote the song after we broke up. So, “Magic” was really me reminiscing on that relationship and how I felt when I was in the thick of it.

CM: What made you choose this track as your next single?

AC: I just love singing this song. It’s about a relationship that was very real to me, and I love being able to share that experience with an audience whenever I sing it live. It’s a very fun song for us, so we naturally ended up taking it to the studio to record. We ended up recording the song in three different sessions from April 2016 until October 2016. Pieces of it were recorded In Los Angeles, New York City and Long Island. A fun fact is that our good friend Sam Woolf sang harmonies on Magic!

CM: Can we expect any visuals to follow?

AC: Yes! We have a new lyric video for “Magic!”

This past October, I saw a bride and groom on the sidewalk in front of a church while I was busking with my guitar up in Buffalo, New York before a show. I played them “Magic” and threw in some of Bruno Mars’ song “Marry You.” Easily one of the coolest moments I’ve had playing music.

 

CM: Do you have a standard routine when it comes to songwriting?

AC: Matt and I find that songs always come in different situations. For us, there’s no set routine to writing a song. Personally, whenever I try too hard to write a song, it ends up coming out not so great. “Magic” actually happened as I was driving to the gym. The melody and lyrics all just came at once. I started recording everything on my iPhone and quickly turned the car around because I knew I was onto something. By the time I got home, I had both verses and the chorus completely done. The only thing I needed to do was write the bridge. For me, the best songs always come when I’m doing something completely unrelated to music.

CM: What artists do you look up to in the industry? What is it about them that influences you?

AC: For the first three quarters of my life, The Beatles were my main influence. When I was about 19, I discovered John Mayer and then he became my main influence. He really opened our eyes to groove based music and a different kind of musicality/virtuosity. He’s the one that really got me to dive deeper into guitar, as I’m continuing to do. He also influenced Matt heavily by making him aware of some of his now favorite bass players; Pino Palladino and Sean Hurley. These two combined influences make us what we are now. We like to write pop songs with groove.

CM: What has been the most rewarding moment in your career so far?

AC: We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to record some of our songs with our musical heroes. There’s something really special about playing your own songs with the people you look up to. Aaron Sterling and Andy Burton played drums and keys respectively on “Magic.” Going out to LA to record at Aaron’s studio was definitely the most fun Matt and I have ever had.

CM: What songs can we find on your personal playlist at the moment?

AC: “Moving On and Getting Over” by John Mayer, “Lover Come Back” by City and Colour and “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran.

CM: Best piece of advice you have ever received?

AC: We played a show with Aaron and Andy out on Long Island. Right before we went on, Aaron leaned in and said, “just be cool man.” I said wow that’s so awesome… he could have literally said anything, and I would have thought it was the coolest thing in the world, haha! So I asked him, “what do you mean?” He said, “Andy and I were onstage in London with John [Mayer], and his amp blew out before a song… but he couldn’t care less! He didn’t get nervous or let it bother him. He just stood there and waited for it to be fixed, and since he was so cool about it, the crowd was cool with it too. If you don’t care, nobody else will, but if you do, they’ll eat you alive.” At that point Andy leaned in and said in a dramatic joking way, “…like SHARKS!” The point Aaron was making has really stuck with me. Just go up and do your thing. “Just be cool” as he would say.

CM: For those who have yet to hear your sound, how would you describe the Como Brothers?

AC: Hmm. I would just tell them that we write some grooving pop tunes.

What would be your dream collaboration?

AC: The dream collaboration would be a session with Paul McCartney, John Mayer, and Dave Grohl. Because Dave Grohl is just a total badass.

CM: What are you most looking forward to in the new year? Anything you can spill to fans?

AC: We’re going to continue working hard to become the best musicians we can be. Thank you for supporting us. We couldn’t do this without you. Also, come out to our next show that we’re playing with Sam Woolf! It’s at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, NY, at 2:30pm (doors open at 2:00pm). Here’s the link for tickets.

You can stream The Como Brothers’ new song “Magic” below. For more information, check out their official website.

Don’t forget to tweet us your thoughts as well, @CelebMix.

 

Featured Image Credit: Rick Wenner

Written by Cayla Masters

Music, pop culture and cheesesteak lover. Follow me on Twitter, @caylamasters