Little Stranger & Andy Frasco take us to church with new single, “God At A Festival”

Little Stranger & Andy Frasco take us to church with new single, “God At A Festival”

If you’re drawn to alternative hip-hop, jam bands, bluegrass, or honestly, any other genre of music– you’ve probably come across Little Stranger or Andy Frasco & the U.N., maybe respectively, maybe through their previous collaborative single, “Oh, What A Life” but if you haven’t yet heard about either of these genre blending musical titans, you’ll soon be slapped in the face with their glory because their latest single dropped today!

“God At A Festival” is out now and available on all streaming platforms.

Being at a music festival is akin to having a religious experience. The blissful feeling of securing your wristband onto your wrist as security guards guide you through the gates is equivalent to a spiritual awakening. Music has always brought people together and music festivals physically bring people together; strangers dancing with one another, women complimenting women on their form of individual expressionism, camping side-by-side, supporting each other, and escaping realities are sacred elements that are not common to come across.

Finding your “festie-besties”, getting caught up in the emotional release of scream-singing your favorite songs back to artists that have no idea how much they have changed your life, letting go of your personal demons with every dance step is nothing short of enlightening.

Little Stranger and Andy Frasco have taken that transcendent feeling added a touch of “Sister Act”, sprinkled in some ayahuasca with a dash of aliens and wrapped it up in all the different kinds of love we crave as humans and as individuals.

We had to chance to chat with Kevin Shields of Little Stranger and Andy Frasco about the song, music in general, and a variety of weirdly self-reflective questions. Keep scrolling to hear what they had to say.

  • What inspired the concept behind “God At A Festival?”
  • Kevin Shields: In this case, Andy was visiting Charleston and came over to create a song together with us and our buddy, Ross Bogan (keys player in Doom Flamingo & Wolf Mask). He wanted to try out an up-beat gospel song so John and Ross dove in quickly, coming up with the drums and key parts that set the stage. I feel like because we jumped on the gospel-feel for the track that we got the God side of this equation then with a lot of things we do as Little Stranger, we wanted to talk about aliens which gave us the alien side of the equation.  
  • Andy Frasco: We wanted to write a gospel feeling song that wasn’t religious. Showing the beauty of what music brings to a community and how important the festival scene is to the people who love live music.
  • How did Andy get involved?
  • KS: We’ve been lucky to become good friends with Andy over the last couple years. We started hearing about him and his band’s shows and songs and general wildness several years back and were very interested in linking up and it finally happened at Summer Camp Festival in 2021. Andy and Ryan Stasik, of Umphey’s Mcgee came to watch our set and then we partied and gambled all night which led to an opening slot on tour with Andy. The rest has been a beautiful, blurry bliss.
  • AF: I had a day off in Charleston, and it’s been a couple years since the boys and I got into the studio to write one so I surprised them at their house (they aren’t really morning people) I told them to wake up, we’re writing an upbeat song. After 10 cups of coffee, “God At A Festival” came out of us.
  • What is the best thing about collaborating with Andy? What about the worst thing? (haha)
  • KS: The best thing about working with Andy is how close you get to celebrities. The worst part is that you find out that he’s actually really cool and down to earth. Did I do this backwards? lol
  • AF: I’ll answer that, I love working. Even if we’re partying until 5am, I’ll get up at 9am and get the work done. Sometimes John and Kev aren’t the morning person I am, hahaha.
  • The song seems to explore themes of the human condition, individual spirituality, life experiences, and “end of the day” stances – Can you elaborate on the message being conveyed in this track?
  • KS: Oof, that’s getting really smart for a bunch of dumb guys who wanted to make a fun track but if anything, for me, the song is about a few personal experiences, whether lived or not, at a music festival and the love I experienced with it.
  • AF: We wanted to change the idea of what God can be. Is it a person? A spirit? A goddess? An alien? Music? It doesn’t matter what you make God out to be, just as long as you believe in something to help you keep going through this life.
  • As is your usual style, the lyrics of the song paint a very vivid image. Can you share any personal experiences or influences that contributed to the storytelling of this track?
  • KS: You know when you are a case of beers deep and your stomach stops turning after an eighth of mushrooms and from the corner of your eye you catch the lights from a hotdog stand. It’s kinda like that.
  • AF: I remember meeting Little Stranger at summer camp and I just knew they were going to be my best friends when we were hanging. If I can have that feeling about people I see at music festivals I know others go through the same feeling when they are putting up their tents in the camp grounds or watching their favorite bands with strangers they just met.
  • How do you feel this song fits into the broader sound and style of Little Stranger?
  • KS: It’s definitely an outlier in a lot of ways but we often find that some fans enjoy those songs of ours the most. Check back when we drop our Irish folk-tune about our TM. 
  • Are there any interesting or unexpected anecdotes from the recording or production process of the song that you can share with us?
  • KS: Nothing too out of this world but we were lucky enough to get a lot of incredible musicians from the jam scene to help build the music on this one. Ryan Stasik from Umphrey’s McGee played bass on the track. Ross Bogan from Doom Flamingo, Wolf Mask and most recently, Big Something, played all the keys. And Kanika Moore from Doom Flamingo and Tauk sang back-up vocals on the track to give it that extra bit of sauce. The third rapper on the track is our best bud and John’s roommate, Damn Skippy, which is pretty fun to have our own in-house rapper.
  • AF: John’s an amazing producer and a great collaborator. I’ll throw an idea out there and he receives it super well and always tries to make it the best and the weirdest it can be. He truly is one of the G.O.A.T.S.
  • What do you enjoy about collaborating with other artists?
  • KS: We’re so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to collaborate with some stellar artists over the years and my favorite part is that there is always something there that will surprise you.  I still feel that way when John and I work together. No matter how long you know or work with somebody, they can throw you for a loop and bring a new perspective. 
  • AF: It gets you out of your comfort zone. Music is about throwing curve balls so you can get more and more comfortable with writing all types of songs.
  • What comes first, lyrics or music?
  • KS: With most of our newer works, it’s been built off of music first. John will come in with a guitar riff or chords and start chunking it out and then we dive into the nitty gritty while letting lyrics come to us. 
Photo by Port City Daily // MoonFrog Media // Tom Dorgan
  • What is your favorite instrument to listen to?
  • AF: I love the violin 
  • What’s your favorite song to play?
  • KS: My favorite to play live right now is probably ‘Way of the Ghost’ from our last album.  We tend to play it early in the set and it has a bounce to it that helps me get loose and reminds me to have fun up there if I’m not feeling as comfortable or warmed up as I’d like to be.
  • If you could create a Little Stranger-themed amusement park ride, what would it be and what kind of experience would it offer?
  • KS: Who have you been talking to and I’m not sure I can legally talk about this, but it involves a splash mountain remake and animatronic Beastie Boys.
  • If you had to swap places with any other famous duo (dead or alive), who would it be?
  • KS: Probably Bert and Ernie. Seems like a simpler but fun way of life and they also make music. 
  • AF: Shaq and Kobe.
  • Imagine that you’re stranded on a desert island with only one of your songs to listen to on repeat. Which song would you choose?
  • AF: Angels by Chance the Rapper
  • If music ceased to exist but you had the power to preserve one album, which album would you choose?
  • KS: For me, it’s probably RX Bandit’s The Resignation. Happy 20th anniversary fellas! I just asked John and he said he would preserve our new album which is coming out later this summer!
  • If you guys starred in a buddy-cop movie, who would be the rule-following detective and who would be the rebellious loose cannon?
  • KS: I know you would think with the blue hair and earrings that I might be the more rebellious loose cannon but I also really like to be in bed before midnight lol. I think we might share that rebellious attitude a bit and a whole lot less rule-following. We might need to do a buddy-jewel thief movie or something to fit more into character.
  • If you could have any comedian open for one of your concerts, who would it be and how do you think their humor would complement your music?
  • KS: This may seem like the obvious choice because they’ve been blowing up so much but Shane Gillis would have to be the guy. He’s also born and raised in Pennsylvania and makes us laugh like our friends growing up. 
  • Do you have any good book recommendations?
  • AF: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson and any of Alan Watts books.
  • How do you maintain your mental health in this industry? What advice would you give to struggling musicians?
  • KS: We definitely don’t have the clear answer to that question, but I do feel lucky that our band and crew are some of the most thoughtful and caring peeps out there and even when we get pretty fed up with each other, we always make time to work through it. Moving forward, we’ve just started partnering with Backline Care, a nonprofit organization that connects music industry professionals with mental health and wellness resources. They have a program where you can add $1 to every ticket you sell to go towards care for anyone within your team. So, I guess my advice is that it’s always good to ask for help and to not be afraid to ask for qualified professional help. 
  • AF: By making sure your brain knows everyday that you are not alone in this fight with your thoughts. A lot of people go through this. We just have to change the stigma that fixing your brain isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of waking up.
  • If you could snap your fingers and be anywhere in the world right now, where would you want to be and why?
  • KS: Right here in the motherf*cking studio with my best friend, John. And my girlfriend…and my other friends… and with all my loved ones…and all our pets. Or maybe Hawaii. 

Little Stranger Links: Website | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

Andy Frasco Links: Website | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

Damn Skippy Links: Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

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