Discover more from Remember The Lightning
Guitar Pop From The U.S.A.
Led by pop obsessives Andy and Candy Cline, Phoenix, Arizona's Astrologer are something of a family band. Aided by a cavalcade of friends and family, including but not limited to Don Bolles and Wyatt Blair, Astrologer are concerned chiefly with songwriting and the pursuit of mixing elements of high art with pop music, as evidenced by their debut Legerdemain EPs, released in 2021 and 2022 by Lolipop Records.
Andy and Candy Cline Interview
There are a lot of great bands playing guitar pop around the world these days—but there are many different terms for it. How do you describe your own music?
Andy: Call me anything but late for dinner! I don't think we are any one thing, just a continuation of all those types of music, and more... it is certainly guitar-based pop trope music, but we don't care much for trying to fit in one genre-specific box.
Candy: I kind of think there are so many genres and sub genres and categorizations of art and music nowadays that it’s hard to keep up. With that being said, I would say our music encompasses the bygone era of rock and roll, from an eclectic modern perspective. Someone once said we make “avant-pop” music and I liked that.
How do you feel about genre labels in general?
Andy: I don't think genre labels really mean anything at this point. There are bands (or PR people) who say, "Here is a post-punk band influenced by Joy Division, Bauhaus, etc.." and come to find out, when you actually hear it, it just sounds like tired dance rock of the 2000s. We don't claim to be anything, and we do anything that feels authentic to us, period. Whatever we contribute to the mosaic will be unmistakably ours.
Candy: They serve a certain purpose but this present day generation is obsessed with labeling and categorizing everything into nothingness. I like the idea of art or music (or anything really) existing within the realm of multiplicity.
“I love the way Chrissie Hynde sings, and always loved The Pretenders since I was a kid. I was massively influenced by Television, and Andy and I would both agree the album ‘Adventure’ is up there for sure. I don’t get sick of hearing it.”
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Candy: I’ve gone through sooo many phases, but if I boil it down… the first album I ever bought with my own money was Loaded by the The Velvet Underground in high school, which lead me to being a huge fan of everything they did in addition to Lou Reed as an artist.
I love the way Chrissie Hynde sings, and always loved The Pretenders since I was a kid. I was massively influenced by Television, and Andy and I would both agree the album Adventure is up there for sure. I don’t get sick of hearing it.
Love Cleaners from Venus and their approach to recording. I love Phil Seymour and I think his first album is literally a perfect 1980 pop masterpiece. T. Rex, Flo & Eddie, Todd Rundgren, the list goes on and on.
Andy: I love songwriters. I am influenced in my approach to music by people like Lou Reed, Jonathan Richman, Mark E. Smith, Tom Verlaine, Robyn Hitchcock, etc.
Adventure by Television has a pretty serious claim to being my favorite album. The songs, the flow, the words. It is everything I want from my own music; succinct, artful, evocative, and unique. It sounds like the morning.
New Sensations by Lou Reed. Well-crafted, mature, calculated, but natural. Pop music. Eye by Robyn Hitchcock. Absolute masterpiece. Literate, whimsical, breathtaking. Rockin' and Romance and Modern Lovers '88 by Jonathan Richman! Sincerity, authenticity, joy... An abiding wonder at the world that cannot be extinguished.
What's the local music scene like where your band is based? Any other local bands we should know about?
Candy: I’m pretty new to living in Phoenix, so I’m deferring to Andy on this one.
Andy: I don't get out much, but Phoenix always has a couple dozen great bands at any time. A few come to mind. Citrus Clouds are cool, spacey shoegaze stuff. They're like listening to a movie.
One of our guitarists, Nick, is a death metal guy, for those into extreme stuff. He has a band called Knights of the Abyss. We saw them last month and it was phenomenal.
Our other guitar player Blake started a dreamy pop band with Chris Jordan from Nightmare Boyzzz and Drunk Jim Outlaw called Blue Heaven. They just started playing out but I imagine we will do some stuff with them.
In LA, our labelmate and producer and #1 friend Wyatt Blair is doing new stuff. I don't know what else to say, I love the man! If you haven't listened to his albums, drop what you're doing and start now.
Our pal Don Bolles is great. Noah Wallace and Don are insanely well-versed in bubblegum and glam. Listen to Wired Up! on Saturdays on WFMU to hear their amazing collection of 45s. It blows my mind!
Anything that's happening in the Curation Records universe is electric right now. Billy Tibbals, Uni Boys—that's the Now Sound of Yesterday and Tomorrow. Great music. And so young!
What's happening for your band right now? What's next?
Andy: We are putting out the next single off our upcoming album, Eternal Friday, on May 9. The song is called “Out of Step.” After that, we will have a video for our own glam rave-up song sometime in July, and we will be touring the Southwest in late August. Everything is working in our favor!
Candy: And the gradual descent into madness! And maybe a commercial placement! That would be cool.
Three Artists Recommended by Andy Cline
Thanks for reading Remember The Lightning! Subscriptions rule. ⚡️💥 Tell 10 friends.