Interstate Island is a studio project that was primarily inspired by the Electric Light Orchestra’s classic albums of the mid-1970s.  Eddie Andrews, the project’s lead singer and songwriter, was first introduced to those albums by his older brother roughly a decade after they were initially released – and even as a boy, was profoundly inspired by their unique marriage of pop/rock and classical string arrangements. 

In early 2019, Andrews met with accomplished producer Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Andy Grammer, O.A.R., Maroon 5), who had listened to a few of Andrews’ demos and expressed an interest in working together on a project.  They initially recorded an early version of “Love Song” with a group of rock musicians who have regularly toured and recorded with some of the world’s most successful artists.  While the results were inspiring, Andrews believed there was an opportunity to expand on the concept by incorporating leading (as opposed to background) string arrangements – and perhaps using a live orchestra to perform those arrangements. 

Following a hiatus for the remainder of 2019 and 2020 primarily due to the Covid pandemic, Andrews began searching for a string arranger – and to his surprise, came across a profile for an arranger with an actual Electric Light Orchestra credit to his name.  After contacting the UK-based Steve Turner (who had performed with ELO on their pre-Covid world tours), Andrews expressed his desire to create albums in the same vein as ELO’s “A New World Record” – and given Turner’s experience recreating those string arrangements for ELO’s recent tours, he know exactly what Andrews was looking for.       

While Wallace and Andrews worked on recording the pop/rock components of eleven songs in Los Angeles during the course of 2021, Andrews and Turner simultaneously collaborated on the development of the string arrangements.  In early 2022, Andrews and Turner finally met in person at Assumption Studios in Glasgow, where those arrangements were performed over a two-day period by a 21-piece string section comprised of members of the Scotland National Symphony and BBC orchestras.     

Following a few months of careful editing and mixing of the string recordings by Kobus Frick and his engineering team, the results were sent to Wallace, who mixed those recordings with the pop/rock tracks – and the results of those efforts became Interstate Island’s first album offering: “Brave New World”. 

While Andrews will primarily be focused on promoting the current album in the months ahead, a second album has already been written and will likely be slated for recording in late 2023. 

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