Andy Katz has been through a lot these last couple of years. He’s seen the end of a musical project and dealt with on-going health issues, all of which facilitated time away from the hectic world of writing, touring and performing as a musician. Yet as life wielded obstacles at Katz, he found a way to get back up. He battled through, found new musical ground and called some friends and started a new band called Nude Shoes. They recently signed to Philly-based Know Hope Records and have just released their debut EP Suburban Ceremonies.

Like any good redemption story, it’s filled with introspection, pain and hope. And like any good redemption story, it’s only the beginning.

We spoke to Andy about his new band and what’s in store for Nude Shoes.

Congrats on the EP release, how does it feel now that it’s done and available for everyone?

I am so so happy it’s done! I do miss the process though. I am writing again now so it feels great to be crafting new ideas. I hope everyone loves it as much as I did creating it. 

Tell us how Nude Shoes came about and some of the reasons why you decided on the new project.

So this project was in response to a flare up (relapse) I had concerning my battle with ulcerative colitis. I needed to find an outlet to cope and starting a new project and writing again helped a lot. Those days spent writing and revising eventually turned into songs. I am incredibly fortunate enough to have friends who are wonderfully talented musicians with access to tools I don’t have. My buddy Pat Risi and his studio, Bear Away Studios is the reason this record and band exist. Without his guidance, I wouldn’t have this EP. I work with him to this day. 

How did you get the rest of the band together?

On this record, my buddies Tom Risi and Charlie Cohen of As Always (also from NJ) played bass and drums respectively. My buddy, Adam Cichocki of Gatherers and Timber Studios played drums for the last two tracks. Pat also plays additional guitar tracks on the record too. I have a band (more official details about that soon) that is getting ready to hit the road with me and play shows. A lot more will be announced really soon!

What were some of the records and bands that shaped you as a musician? 

New Found Glory, Transit, .moneen., and Senses Fail are huge influences on this record. Mike Kinsella of American Football and Owen is my all time favorite guitarist. Huge influence on how I play and the tunings I use. At Home With Owen is my all time favorite record. 

2017 was a tough year, what are some of the most important things you learned from it- as a musician, a person?

That year taught me to appreciate the times when I am healthy. Fortunately, I am doing well now. I appreciate this time and cherish all the things I can do without thinking of my stomach and how limited I am when things get bad. Without the support system of my girlfriend Ash, and my friends and family, I wouldn’t be able to get through anything. I owe my life to them (and to my gastro too!)

Love the EP. “Mental Stencil” is my favorite- do you have a favorite song?

Thank you!! That is my favorite track too. Jesse Cannon mixed the record and he executed it perfectly. That song was fun to write and sing. My buddy Kyle was there while I was singing that track. I remember him telling me jokes between takes. It was the hardest song to track so having some comic relief helped. 

Listen to “Mental Stencil”:

Was four songs a conscious decision?

Yes it was. I wanted to give folks a sample of what this band will be. 4 just seemed like a good number. I wanted to do 5 originally, but when these tracks were done it felt complete. 

Suburban Ceremonies is a very personal record- was there any trepidation with being so honest and open on the record?

Honestly there was, but I am an open book. I wear everything on my sleeves to a fault. I think “Gamma Jack” was the most scary track to write lyrics too. I am open with my illness but being open about my anxiety was tough for me to write. 

How did you connect with Know Hope Records? They seem to be working with a host of great up-and-coming bands and artists like yourself.

I am huge fan of Post Season, a band on their roster and found Know Hope through them. I decided to take a chance and email Shawn. At the time, I only had two tracks completed (the other two were completed soon then after). He got back to me and we have been working together ever since. I am so thankful to be on Know Hope. This label has been a guiding light and the artists they have on roster are immensely talented. It is an honor to be among them. I am so grateful to Shawn and Jordyn for taking a chance on me. 

What are the plans for Nude Shoes in 2019? Is there a full length in the works?

Shows shows shows. I am eager to play out and hit the road. I have been playing lots of shows solo breaking down these songs acoustically. They have been awesome and I am ready to play as a full band too. I have some tours in the works for the spring and summer. As per a full length, I would absolutely love to do one. I am writing again and have been hitting the studio so we will see! 

Nude Shoes’ debut EP Suburban Ceremonies is out now via Know Hope Records.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Notify of