Matt McAndrew on ‘To Better Days’ and Looking Ahead in Slaves

2020-08-18

Matt McAndrew found himself in the spotlight on NBC's "The Voice,&quot.

Story by Anne Erickson, courtesy photo

Matt McAndrew found himself in the spotlight on NBC’s “The Voice,” and now, he fronts Los Angeles rockers Slaves

Los Angeles’ Slaves recently released their new album, “To Better Days,” and the set marks a new chapter for the band. “To Better Days” is the group’s first album recorded with new vocalist Matt McAndrew, who America grew to know and love as the runner-up of Season 7 of NBC’s “The Voice.”

McAndrew spoke with Audio Ink Radio about the new album and his experience stepping into the role of frontman in Slaves.

“To Better Days,” he explained, is a good descriptor for how the band has battled through difficult times and is looking to the future.

“The title was taken from a lyric from the song ‘Heavier,’ which is a thing I like to do with records– to borrow an album title from the lyrics so it feels connected, but I’m not the biggest of naming an album after a song, because I think it gets a little confusing.”

McAndrew added, “It’s the idea that there’s been this cloud hanging over the band’s head for most of its career with past members and lots of ups and downs, which I’m sure people can relate to on all kinds of levels. It’s a sign of us looking forward, and hopefully things are looking up.”

McAndrew and company recently performed a live streamed record release show at The Whisky in Los Angeles, and McAndrew says it reminded him of his days on “The Voice.”

“In terms of the performance, I can compare it to being on ‘The Voice,’ where that’s essentially a live streamed kind of thing, but we also have a studio audience,” he said. “That’s my way of dealing with it being broadcast to so many millions of people. I would really just say, we have a crowd right here, lets perform to those people. I think even a live stream with a small audience would be the best of both worlds, but that’s obviously not possible right now.”

“I thought it was cool,” he added. “It was a little hard for me to not just stay here in the house with the all the COVID-19 stuff going on, that was a little trippy, but everyone did their best to be safe.”

Being on “The Voice,” McAndrew said, was a “tremendous confidence boost to me, in general, in life.”

“I had been pursuing music for a while and had been a singer-songwriter and had been in bands growing up, but never saw myself as the type of vocalist that would do well on a show like that,” he said. “I had a picture of more of a Kelly Clarkson singer. But, I grew tremendously as a singer being on the show, and it was a tremendous boost in my confidence and as a human being. I made a lot of friends, and it got me out in L.A., and I’ve been here ever since. It was my first big break.”

Stepping into the role of lead vocalist in Slaves, McAndrew says, felt natural.

“What surprised me was how well me and the guys all got along and connected with one another immediately– just best friends vibes,” he said. “Also, how much I really enjoyed that record (that he was brought in on), ‘Beautiful Death.’ I really liked ‘Beautiful Death’ as I listened to it and got to know it and tried to put myself in to the music as much as I could. It seemed natural, and cool.”

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