Black Needle Noise Artist Spotlight with Andrea Kerr ‘She Stands On A Storm’

Andrea Kerr grew up in Glasgow, which is a port city on the River Clyde in Scotland’s western Lowlands. It’s a national cultural hub famed for its Victorian and Art Nouveau architecture, and home to institutions including the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and National Theatre of Scotland, as well as acclaimed museums and a thriving music scene.

She’s always loved singing for as far back as she can remember but didn’t pick up learning guitar until there was a separation with parents in the family. Her Father often enjoyed playing the guitar even in lieu of bedtime stories. Filling a space that was now gone, the music brought a great deal of comfort for Andrea.

She injects her love of music, nature, and spiritual beliefs into not only her music but also into jewelry making. Because of a lack of finding jewelry that was more personal she decided to start making her own, . This eventually grew into a business called Lunarray because people were curious about the jewelry she was wearing and wanted to know where they could find it.

Based in London, Andrea Kerr and Jared Hawkes formed the ambient darkwave band ‘Living With Eating Disorders’ (LWED) in 2003 and on the strength of demos attracted the interest of legendary producer John Fryer. In 2004, they released their debut EP ‘White Like Snow’ and have supported such acts as Psychic TV and Whitehouse. They eventually changed their name to COLT and returned with critical acclaim from the independent media with their debut album ‘These Things Can’t Hurt You Now, So Throw Them In The Fire’ on Halloween. In 2008, ‘COLT’ released an EP ‘You hold on to what’s not real’ on Obvious Records along with a video for ‘Black Rabbits’. This same year COLT re-released ‘These things can’t hurt you now, so throw them in the fire’ through Obvious Records.

Andrea Kerr spoke to TM about ‘She Stands On A Storm’, her contribution to the BNN project, her jewelry business Lunarray and growing up in Glasgow.

Black Needle Noise is a 50/50 partnership between Fryer and many different talented singer/songwriters, including Attasalina, Mimi Page, ZiaLand, Omniflux, Jarboe, Betsy Martin, Andrea Kerr, Ledfoot, Spectra Paris, Jennie Vee, Ana Breton, Kendra Frost, Elena Alice Fossi, Antic Clay, Andreas Elvenes, Bill Leeb, and Sivert Høyem.

andreakerr photo by Jared HawkesTM.jpg

TM – John says “every song should be like its own movie, you should close your eyes and get taken to a different place.” Where do you see “She Stands On A Storm” taking you?

AK – This was written around the memory of my grandmothers funeral; I remember not only feeling desolation at the loss, but an intense fear, like a panic that after this day I must let go and that the night would be a lonely and frightening one. The line standing on a storm came from the change in weather after the funeral from a sunny morning to black clouds and a thunderstorm as we left the church. It seemed to me rather poignant and I imagined it as a messenger from the afterlife coming to take her soul.

TM – Tell me a little about your creative process with John.

AK – It’s very easy to work with someone so far away these days, I download a file and work on a vocal, then record it and upload a file for John. The tricky part was recording the vocal, which Jared (my writing partner from Colt) very kindly did. John knows me well from working together on Colt so we already knew we were compatible in musical direction.

TM – What are some of your past, present, or future projects that you’d like to note?

AK – The reason John contacted me for this project was because we worked together when I was in Colt; John released the EP ‘White Like Snow’ and the album ‘These Things Can’t Hurt You Now, So Throw Them In The Fire’ on his label, and was also involved in the process of recording, production, and mixing. Jared and I met him when we were working at Nomis Studios and John was in the SSL studio working on a Rico album. Jared and I have spoken recently about writing some more music, and I’d like to work with John again on any of his projects as well.

TM – Tell me a little about Lunarray?

AK – I started Lunarray because people were curious about the jewelry I was wearing and wanted to know where they could buy it. I started making my own jewelry a few years ago because I wanted something more personal than what I could currently find, so I did some Jewelry courses and started making pendants and rings with silver. The pieces reflect my love of music, nature, and my spiritual beliefs.

TM –  What other creative ventures have you had besides music?

AK – I enjoy drawing up designs for jewelry I’d like to make.

TM –  What was it like growing up in Glasgow?

AK – Everything about my early childhood was kind of great as far as I remember. My parents were quite young when they had me, they ran their own hairdressing business and remained youthful because of their profession. We always had animals in the house, we used to drive to the west coast of Scotland at the weekends, and my parents loved music so there was always something I could sing along to in the car. The first gig I went to was Boney M when I was only four.

TM – When did you start playing music?

I’ve always enjoyed singing as long as I can remember, but the first time I decided to learn to play guitar was when I was eighteen and my parents had separated; my father plays guitar and all my life I’d been used to the sound of him playing, he played every day, and when I was a young child he played guitar rather than read bedtime stories, so when he was no longer around every day I missed the sound of guitar. I’m not good at it, but I can play alone in my house and it makes me happy.

For further information

Colt  / Lunarray