An interview with saxman Andy Meyer from Minneapolis jazz-funk-rock band, Bluehound
by Mike Huberty
February 2020

Minneapolis' Bluehound

Minneapolis' Bluehound

A funky and jazzy act from our friendly neighbor to the West, BLUEHOUND is a a Minneapolis seven-piece band reminiscent of Steely Dan. With seven dudes in the band, there’s a massive sound. Vocals and keyboard are handled by Noah Quam, guitar by Nathaniel Gillen, bass by Matthew Zyla, sax and flute by Andy Meyer, trombone by Dan Rowe, trumpet by Alex Bouvier, and drummer Traiveon Dunlap sings as well. We took some time to talk to Andy to preview their upcoming appearance at The Rigby Pub on Valentine’s Day.

Maximum Ink: Why do you wanna make music?
Andy Meyer: Music has been a part of my life every since I was a little kid, but I didn’t start playing an instrument until I was in 6th grade and I joined band and ended up picking the saxophone. When it was time to go to college, I decided to explore my musical interest and went to community college for music, majoring in saxophone. I fell in love with the history, theory, and performance aspect of music, so I went to Augsburg University to get my Bachelor’s in Music Education, where I met Nathaniel, Noah, Matthew, Traiveon, and Alex who told me they were trying to start a band and wanted a horn section, and asked me to play in their band.

MI: You guys have a lot of influences in the music from rock to jazz to funk, who are the artists that you all gelled on as a band?
AM: I think the one band we all nerd out equally over is VULFPECK. We have had numerous conversations about what their best songs are, which songs we should cover, and stuff like that. I frequently call our bass player Matthew “The New Joe Dart” which he does not appreciate.  Other than that, I think we all have a pretty good appreciation for jazz artists like Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck and soul artists like the Blues Brothers and Aretha Franklin. Several of us will often quote the Blues Brothers movie at each other.

MI: What Bluehound track should people check out first?
AM: The songs on our album are all a little bit different and explore a different section of our individual taste, but I think the song that shows off our combined skill and style as a band is “Our Bridges Are Burning”. You get to hear some slick grooves, plus both of our vocalists Noah and Traiveon, plus a sax and trombone solo.

Our guitarist Nathaniel wrote that song, and I don’t particularly know what inspired him to write that song, but I think our individual performance on the song shows our inspirations for our own instruments. You can hear Noah’s classical and jazz experience in his voice and keys as well as Traiveon’s R&B background in his voice and drums. Everyone really shows who they are on that song.

MI: Is there any theme that runs through your All These And Other Things album?
AM: When we decided to put out an album, we realized that none of the songs really follow a specific theme. You have slow burning powerful passion songs like “Our Bridges Are Burning”, quick dance-y songs like “Willow Tree”, relaxing vibe songs like “Little Fish”, and funky songs like “I Don’t Want to be in Love With You”. So we decided that since this selection of songs was a bit eclectic, we would name the album “All These and Other Things” to represent that this album is a mix of everything we have to offer as a band, kind of like when you are flipping through a used record bin and see all the different kinds of stuff you like in it.

MI: What’s one of your favorite performing experiences with the band?
AM: There was one show where our trombone player Dan, who also plays piano in his personal life decided to start playing Noah’s keyboard during a solo on one of our songs, and Noah grabbed Dan’s trombone and started blasting it. We get into a lot of shenanigans on stage, and that was one of my favorites.

MI: What kinda Valentine’s Day action is gonna happen at the Rigby?

AM: Shenanigans, mostly. A bit of malarkey and tomfoolery, but mostly good music and good fun.

If you want to see a bunch of nerds play some really dope music, come out to The Rigby Pub on Friday February 14th in Madison, The Riverwest Public House on Saturday February 15th in Milwaukee, or The Basement Bar in Minneapolis on the second Saturday of any month.

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