WELCOME aboard ship Andy Godwin, the player of both straight and pedal steel guitar, born in the collegiate city od Ann Arbor, Michigan, but these days based deeper into the hills of Virginia. His lycanthropic locks are ready and waiting to welcome you into his musical world, which door he’s opening today with the razor-sharp, feedback-drippin’ riff fest of “Snipe”. Dive in, guys. It comes with a suitably low-tech, pencil-drawn video.
Andy came up playing bass in the local punk scene, and he’s been quietly self-releasing over at Bandcamp a good coupla years before signing with his new home, Luau.
Yep, “Snipe” has the plaid shirt with the minor tears, but there’s also that escapee pop melody in there, doing its do. He’s not afraid of genre-hopping, which eclecticism he attributes to his musical upbringing.
“My dad was a metalhead and a stoner,” Andy says. “He played a lot of Sabbath, Stones, Bob Marley; but especially the Grateful Dead. The Dead was always playing in my household.
“Grandma turned me onto Bob Dylan and Springsteen. My other grandma, who I spent a lot of time with, was from Puerto Rico. She had big parties where the women would all play traditional instruments and sing/dance while the men smoked, drank and played dominos. Even though it doesn’t show in my music, I really loved that as a kid.”
Elsewhere, friends got him in to emo, electronica, hip hop and more.
“I personally got really into old country and western music because I was enamored with the sound of those old recordings and also cause of my love for Dylan, the Dead, Neil Young and The Band,” Andy continues.
“It was a natural progression for me. I also really love The Replacements, The Cars, Sparklehorse and Neil Hagerty’s [of Royal Trux] solo work.”
He’s been Werewolf Hair since he was 21, musically speaking, and it’s strictly a personal vision he’s espousing.
“I play the parts by myself at home or wherever I have my gear. There’s no real specific goal in mind, I just do what I’m able to do.
“However, with tracks like [last year’s deliciously spacey] “Tumble” I had a solid vision of Aphex Twin being in a country band (haha). I’ll have different ideas like that when I start a new song.”
His forthcoming first album for Luau is a ragbag assemblage of tunes, both old and new, and defiantly unre-recorded or remastered.
“A lot of my first tape was recorded while couch surfing in Kalamazoo, living in hotel rooms or staying in my girlfriend’s college dorm cause I was homeless for a while,” he admits.
“I recorded a lot of those vocal parts in my car – I would drive to a McDonald’s parking lot or something like that and let it rip.
“I even did some guitar parts sitting at park benches if it wasn’t crowded. I’m not really proud of it, but that’s just how it was.”
Deerhoof’s master of sonics John Dieterich was brought in to make the songs sit together, honour both recording styles, and make it all make sense. And if you love the lo-fi visions of early Pavement, Ariel Pink, early White Denim, even Jon Spencer, Bob Log III, there’s a lot of delightful scuzz to immerse in; trust us.
Werewolf Hair’s album for Luau Records is forthcoming later this year.