Stream Andy B & the World’s ska/folk/punk album ft. 172 musicians
Andy B & The World is an international ska/punk/folk collective led by UK singer/songwriter Andy B and featuring literally 171 other ska and punk musicians from around the world, including members of Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, The Slackers, RX Bandits, Zebrahead, MC Lars, Hayseed Dixie, Death By Stereo, Bracket, Ten Foot Pole, Skatune Network, [Spunge], Call Me Malcolm, Captain Accident & The Disasters, Jaya The Cat, The Godfathers, I Divide, Bite Me Bambi, Suburban Legends, MONKEY, Random Hand, Housebound Ska Collective, The Toasters, Thieves, Rude Boy George, Orange, The Resignators, Abraskadabra, Just Say Nay, The JB Conspiracy, Beat The Red Light, The NPCs, Cartoon Violence, Los Nahuatlatos, Faintest Idea, Tef London, 4ft Fingers, Backyard Superheroes, The Stiff Joints, Los Skagaleros, Rundown Kreeps, Vix20, Codename Colin, Last Edition, Bergen Vista Social Club, The Hostiles, Lead Shot Hazard, and more.
Andy B recently released the collective's five-years-in-the-making debut album The First One, and it was worth the insane amount of work it took to pull something like this off. It's equal parts ska-punk and folk-punk, and it very much sounds like the international project that it is, with the distinct sounds of all the contributing artists' home countries coming through. Andy recently spoke to Bearded Gentlemen Music about how it all came together:
The idea itself came from, I guess, years of being in bands, and touring loads. Once I left two bands within two years of each other (New Riot & Upbeat Allstars), the signs were there that I definitely wanted to do something different, not away from music, but within it. I love making music, and so it was just a case of finding out how.
I did try to start a couple of bands just before the inception of this around 2014/2015, but it just wasn’t happening, and the more time that passed from touring made me miss the amazing friends I’d made on tour, and all over the place, and so the idea hatched to record these songs with all of these friends, as they’re all super talented and it’d just be nice to see them – and of course, we’d make connections along the way.
I’m really keen on over-the-top plans and trying to be ambitious and so, yea, that’s where it came from. I actually remember when I launched the idea properly right at the turn of 2017, jokingly saying “we’ll end up with 100 musicians or something mad like that.” Oh if I knew… As the project took shape, I just felt like I’d found my calling music wise, and so just wanted to push the project bigger and bigger!
...once the tracks started coming in remotely from afar during lockdown, it just meant a lot of EQ’ing and back and forth to ensure each song kept it’s own character, that every layer I added in did something and wasn’t just dropped in randomly. I wanted everyone that got involved to know their part was part of the end result, community is very important to everything we’re trying to create here.
Andy also adds that the group will be announcing their next project in March, so stay tuned for that. Read the rest of the lengthy interview here.
The album is out now on vinyl via Pookout Records (order yours), and you can stream it via Bandcamp below. All profits will benefit Centrepoint and Music for All. Andy spoke about that aspect in the Bearded Gentlemen interview as well:
On this release, we’re supporting Centrepoint and Music For All. Back when I was living in Devon for a while, I went out with a local group and we took hot meals, and supplies in winter to the homeless community there. It’s always been something I’m aware of and very often I’ll help homeless people with some decent food when I can. Centrepoint focuses mainly on helping in matters of youth homelessness, be it assisting with housing, with help on support, education, health, life skills and so on.
With our second charity being Music 4 All, that came about as I’ve long felt that everyone should be afforded the opportunity to experience music, and how it can positively benefit us. Music 4 All focus on exactly that, both through donated lessons, donated instruments through community grants, so that people of all backgrounds and situations are given that chance that so many of us can take for granted.
Also watch the new music video for "Frantic" and a video that gives some behind-the-scenes insight into making a 50-person gang vocal during a pandemic, below.