Virginia Musician Introduces New Album, New Moniker | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

Virginia Musician Introduces New Album, New Moniker

Play associated audio
Andy Zipf, of The Cowards Choir, playing a set at Jammin Java, in Vienna, Va.
Jason Hornick
Andy Zipf, of The Cowards Choir, playing a set at Jammin Java, in Vienna, Va.

After more than 10 years in Arlington's music scene, Andy Zipf has earned his fame and name recognition the hard way: with long drives, and hundreds of shows across the country. With his latest album, Reunion, he's tossing his name recognition out the window, recording for the first time under the name The Cowards Choir.

With the new name, comes a new sound. Instead of a stripped-down guitar tracks common to the singer-songwriter genre, Reunion was recorded with a full band, resulting in toe-tapping, infectious melodies.

"The new sound is about capturing the performance," Zipf says. "Maybe showing some flaws, which aren't really flaws, just the humanity in [the music]."

Metro Connection's Emily Berman talks to Zipf about his latest music venture. Following are highlights oF their conversation.

On whether the music will be free to download and his philosophy on sharing music:

"You're not going to make much money with music downloads, unless you're Rihanna. I want people to hear the music and [come out to] see us play in a room. The whole point is to have that human interaction. The way we consume, share, purchase, I think that will continue to evolve. I want people to listen to it whatever way is best for them. If they feel like it's wrong to download for free, it's available on iTunes."

On how his music fits D.C.'s local music scene:

"When I first started playing, the D.C. music scene — Dischord Records, Fugazi — it's intimidating to a guy like me because I don't fit in with that. I think I draw from more of an Americana sound, so the D.C. scene is growing. It's not just hardcore and post punk anymore. When folks think of D.C. they don't think of music and the arts, so I think some of it gets over-shadowed. But I love this area. I'm not trying to be like, 'I'm going to put D.C. on the map!' I'm based here, but I make a living by traveling, so hopefully I can be an ambassador for this area."

On his goals:

"Fame and fortune, that's just smoke and mirrors. That's not my goal. I just always knew this is what I was going to do. I think of it more in a blue collar way. I get up, and I build songs. Sometimes its tighter from month to month, [but] I'm paying my rent. That's success."

[Music: "This will be our Reunion" by The Cowards Choir from Reunion]

NPR

Former Basketball Player Scores As A Filmmaker

While Deon Taylor was playing professional basketball in Germany, he had an epiphany: he wanted to make movies. The self-taught director's latest film, Supremacy, was released this Friday.
NPR

Surströmming Revisited: Eating Sweden's Famously Stinky Fish

Sweden has the distinction of producing surströmming, one of the foulest-smelling foods in the world. More than a decade ago, NPR's Ari Shapiro tried eating it and failed. It's time for a rematch.
NPR

What Romney's Retreat Means For GOP Hopefuls

NPR's Scott Simon speaks with senior Washington editor Ron Elving about the narrowing Republican presidential field for 2016 and what we've seen so far in the first month of the new Congress.
NPR

The Infinite Whiteness Of Public Radio Voices

The hashtag #publicradiovoices, about the "whiteness" of public radio, trended on Twitter this week. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Gene Demby of NPR's Code Switch team about the conversation.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.