We had an awesome music scene going on…Space Bike, Norm’s Headache, Bombpop, Hick…legitimately weird stuff, especially for a city of 50,000…it was mind opening to witness…(on La Crosse’s 90’s music scene).
We chat with La Crosse Local, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Andrew born and raised in the area discusses his intro into music, early influences, including time spent at La Crosse’s all-ages music venue, the Warehouse. We talk about some of his work with the bands All Tiny Creatures, Cap Alan, and Bon Iver. We get into the struggles of being a musician during the pandemic, new music, and what’s next for this talented musician.
Andrew Fitzpatrick Transcript
Amy Gabay, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Brent Hanifl
Amy Gabay 00:00
We chat with La Crosse Local, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Andrew born and raised in the area discusses his intro into music, early influences, including time spent at La Crosse’s all-ages music venue, the Warehouse. We talk about some of his work with the bands All Tiny Creatures, Cap Alan, and Bon Iver. We get into the struggles of being a musician during the pandemic, new music, and what’s next for this talented musician. You can find more conversations on our website, lacrosselocal.com. I’m Amy, and he’s Brent and this is La Crosse Local.
Andrew Fitzpatrick 01:07
My name is Andrew Fitzpatrick. I was born in lacrosse, Wisconsin. And I got interested in music right around fifth grade. Growing up my family, like we enjoyed listening to music had a bunch of tapes and records and we’re always listening to the radio and stuff. But we weren’t, it wasn’t like particularly musical family. Like I didn’t have people that played instruments in the family, extended family or anything. Although my dad did store his old guitar from college in my bedroom closet, which is what like sometime around fifth grade, I think in fifth grade, I just randomly kind of picked it out of there and started messing around and yeah, kind of kept at it in seventh grade, I think I joined my first band.
Brent Hanifl 01:59
Speaking of, you know, seventh grade, what are some of your earliest influences? I remember when we were actually in high school, a unique amount of different bands were highly original. And I don’t know if that was because of people just weren’t, I guess were amateurs and they had to go that route, but like what was some of your earliest influences?
Andrew Fitzpatrick 02:17
Well, yeah, I think that was that era, like fifth sixth seventh grade, like the mid 90s it definitely started with Nirvana for me. And then like other alternative rock, I guess like Helmet and like Weezer’s first album and Siamese Dream from Smashing Pumpkins, but like, Nirvana was definitely like, the gateway for me. There’s a really good, like, biography on Nirvana that I read around that time. And like, I started investigating a lot of the influences that they kind of named drop in there like, like a bunch of touch and go record stuff like Big Black Shellack, the Jesus Lizard, Butthole Surfers, and stuff like, Flipper and Divo. Which like, so having like Deaf Ear in town, it was huge to be able to, like get almost I think all of that stuff there. And to like, listen to it before you buy it, which is awesome. But yeah, and then like, having Dave’s Guitar Shop, obviously, like spending a lot of time there and probably no, like Greg Reed and I going there all the time. Probably annoyed them, but they were they definitely like Jeff shared in particular, like, aside from being an amazing guitar player, introduced me to a lot of music, like Let Me, Captain Beefheart, Trout Mask Replica, like, the original was probably worth a lot of money now. But lent that to me, which totally blew my world open because it was like the way this was being made in 1969. like, Whoa, that kind of put me on a different path. Like when I was 12, or whatever. Also, like, Guided by Voices and Sebadoh and Pavan stuff, they turned me on to that kind of stuff too. But simultaneously in La Crosse too, like, we had an awesome music scene going on, like, Space Bike, Norm’s Headache, Bomb Pop, Hick, like, and they all did that, like double seven inch around that time, which was like very representative of the scene at that time. But then there are also a bunch of weirder bands like, Zero Dark 30 like a very legit industrial band and the Dallas S who had like, they had like, 30 effects pedals on stage before I knew like what exactly that was and just like, legitimately, like weird stuff, especially for a city of like 50,000 live is pretty mind opening to witness that as a like, 12-13 year old so kind of opened my eyes to the possibilities that Oh, people in my town are doing this. Like I want to do this to make weird sounds in front of people or make tapes.
Brent Hanifl 04:58
Now that you just nailing those off, I always think of Workhorse Movement around that time was another band, that it wasn’t from the area. But it’s just, you know, there’s just these highly original weird music coming out of the Warehouse.
Andrew Fitzpatrick 05:10
Oh, yeah the Warehouse with huge for Yeah, I mean, instrumental in letting that happen like, oh, you’re a couple of 14 year olds and you want to play here? Sure. Like, or like yeah, like, whatever Nine Inch Nails having played there back in the early 90s.
Brent Hanifl 05:28
Yeah. So things that I’ve really kind of followed along with you and stuff I’ve really enjoyed is that All the Tiny Creatures. What part Did you play in the creation of that project?
Andrew Fitzpatrick 05:38
Oh, well, that started out as the solo project of Tom Wincek. And I mean, he’s still like the main songwriter, producer. I met him when I was attending UW Eau Claire. And we kind of just bonded over common musical interests. We’d never played music together when we were living there, but kind of became friends. And then we both moved away, like he moved to Minneapolis, I think. And I moved to Madison. And then he actually eventually moved to the Madison area a couple years later and asked me to join this band that was starting. And yeah, he asked me to play guitar. And yeah, we’ve been sort of dormant for the last, I don’t know, five or six years or so minus a couple shows here and there. But we started writing some new songs recently, slowly, but yeah, hopefully, they’ll see the light of day sometime soon.
Brent Hanifl 06:36
Before we started recording here, you kind of talked about having a show about one year ago, you know, in March, as a musician, as a traveling musician which you are, during the pandemic, what have been some of the struggles you referenced, not touring? How is this time been for you?
Andrew Fitzpatrick 06:51
It’s definitely been an adjustment. Bit of a bummer not playing music with people that had been a big part of my life. And so it’s weird getting used to that, and just honestly getting used to being home a lot more cuz I was, I had been traveling for most of the year, you know, in the years prior to that. So just kind of getting used to being home a lot is a big thing. But the same time, my wife and I had a kid about a month after the lockdown started. So I’m thankful that I’ve gotten to spend all this time with him, that wouldn’t have happened otherwise, it would have been a lot more. There have been a lot more things to arrange as far as like childcare and all that stuff.
Brent Hanifl 07:38
Being able to spend the first year of his childhood seems like it would be something you wouldn’t want to give up on. You’re also part of the internationally I mean, basically world ronowned band, Bon Iver, what led you down the path of with those guys?
Andrew Fitzpatrick 07:52
I met Justin from Bon Iver when I was when I was going to school, and UW Eau Claire as well. And like Tom, I never actually played music with him, but we bonded. And then he moved to North Carolina with his band at the time. The Arm and Edison the same time I’m at the Madison and kind of lived lives and ended up linking back up. I ended up joining Volcano Choir when they were finishing their second record, and joined the band and started touring with them. And yeah, a year or two later, he asked me to join Bon Iver, and I played my first show with them in summer 2015. And then the last show was almost exactly a year ago in Phoenix.
Brent Hanifl 08:47
You have multiple projects coming up, you know, you talked about your, your new music that I believe just comes out as your name Andrew Fitzpatrick, but then you also have the band or collaboration Cap Alan, how do you describe that project?
Andrew Fitzpatrick 09:00
Oh, that’s evolved from where it started. Jeff Sauer and I Jeff Sauer on drums, kind of started out several many years ago as just guitar and drums improv, like no, no meter, just kind of being inspired by like free jazz and stuff. And then it kind of turned into synthesizer and drums improv. But then we started to kind of like gravitate, gravitate towards these like, sort of musical rhythmic phrases sort of hybrid. I know something somewhere in between music and musical and rhythmical. And then we started it became more of a, we started playing like kind of a little bit more standard songs with standard structure, I mean, if there is even is standard structure, but there’s a little bit more of a like a techno dance. Pop techno is probably not a good term to use, but Yeah, just a weird blend of like The Residence and Coil and Divo kind of.
Brent Hanifl 10:06
Yeah. I mean, just listening to you know, most recently what’s on your band camp from that I was really surprised how dancey It was. It was interesting to see. So what else is coming up for you? Do you have a new album that you’re putting out yourself or getting excited about 2021 potentially touring or anything like that?
Andrew Fitzpatrick 10:23
Yeah kind of just waiting for COVID to dissipate. So concerts can start happening in as it stands. Right now, Bon Iver has, like a bunch of Europe, dates scheduled for the like, kind of towards the end of the year, but who knows if that’ll actually happen. So kind of wait and see if that actually occurs. And the meantime, like I said, Tom and I have slowly been working on some new Tiny Creatures songs. That’ll eventually see the light of day. Same with Cap Alan, we’re slowly working on a record, trying to finish that up. And yeah, I have some solo music that I’m put up, a new records worth of material on Bandcamp towards the end of this month, or next month. Yeah, other than that, just kind of waiting for COVID to go away.
Brent Hanifl 11:17
You and me and everybody else in the world. So where can people find out more? What’s the best avenue? You’d have quite a few projects, but where you know, are you active on social media? Do you have a website?
Andrew Fitzpatrick 11:27
I’m not super active on social media, but I yeah, I’m on Instagram, And Fitzpatrick, Twitter And Fitzpatrick, also my band camp And Fitzpatrick. But then yeah, boniver.org All Tiny Creatures band camp, Cap Alan band camp, volcanochoir.com. I think I got them all.
Amy Gabay 11:57
La Crosse Local Podcast is a production of River Travel Media. Do you have an interview idea you’d like to share with us? Message us on Facebook @lacrosselocal. Find out more about us at lacrosselocal.com. And you can subscribe to the La Crosse Local podcast on your favorite podcast app. If you’d like us, rate us five stars. We appreciate it.
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About La Crosse Local
La Crosse Local is an arts, food, and entertainment podcast and publication for La Crosse County and its surrounding communities.
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