Andy Frasco has had a busy 18 months. When the world shut down last March, the piano player, singer and band leader, who’s played 250 shows a year for nearly 15 years, kept going. Though COVID-19 took Frasco and his band, The U.N., off the road, the afroed Californian managed to continue what he’s done for his whole career and give his audience an escape for an hour or two.
Frasco’s World Saving Podcast launched in 2018, and this week released episode #137, but the start of the pandemic forced him to look for other ways to stay busy.
“I knew that people were sad and lonely, and I didn’t want being stuck in my house to stop me from trying to help people feel good about themselves and feel happy again, so I just started doing a bunch of online shows,” said Frasco.
Instead of live streaming an acoustic set from his living room, Frasco took things a step further and created the World Saving Shitshow, which featured two seasons of interviews, performances and sketch comedy from himself, his band members and other musical guests.
Frasco also began hosting dance parties, which started with a video feed and Spotify on an iPhone, and eventually turned into a partnership with Relix and an interactive live stream series where fans can join via webcam. A dance party earlier this month had over 300,000 viewers tune in on Twitch.
“Even if we can’t be next to each other, we’re still together, and we’re still trying to figure out a way to build community,” said Frasco.
On top of podcast, video series and dance party duties, Frasco continued to push forward with his music, and is set to release a new album towards the beginning of 2022. The album features music that was written over a two-month period where Frasco traveled to Nashville, Charleston and LA to workshop songs and write with over 15 musicians, including Leftover Salmon’s Vince Herman, Umphrey’s McGee’s Ryan Stasik, and SUSTO.
The album confronts Frasco’s biggest fears around death, dying and saying goodbye (the music video for the first single, “Dancin’ Around My Grave,” depicts a lively, happy funeral for the musician).
“I don’t want to be afraid of death anymore, or worry about letting my friends down or having people feel sad if I died,” Frasco said.
“I want them to celebrate the times that we had together, which is what this new record is all about.” The new material should feature heavily this Fall, and Frasco says the set lists will look different than they have in the past. With the number of songs in the band’s repertoire now, and the road warrior’s penchant for avoiding monotony, the shows will have a distinct freshness to them.
However, as soon as Andy Frasco and The U.N. are on the stage, longtime fans should expect the same “organized chaos” they’ve come to know and love over the years.
“We want to throw a party and have people get out of their heads for a couple of hours,” said Frasco.
A year and a half removed from the mental health issues that came with pandemic isolation, Andy Frasco and his band kicked off their tour at Summer Camp Music Festival. The tour, with stops in over 50 cities, is another opportunity for Frasco to bring people together with his music and his energy.
“I’m going to get out there and keep fulfilling my dreams and keep doing what makes me happy. I’m not going to let my anxiety affect what I was destined to do.”
Who: Andy Frasco and The U.N. with Josh Daniel
Where: Heist Barrel Arts
When: Wednesday, September 1 at 7:30pm
*This Article Originally Appeared On Recsonthewall.com*
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