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Meet Andy Goodwin, the Gen Z indie provocateur who is refusing to back down

He might wind up a few people on Instagram, but Andy Goodwin knows it's better to command their attention than not.

By Nick Reilly

Andy Goodwin (Picture: Press)

“I lost my job last week haven’t even noticed, been out all night just getting pissed,” comes the bold manifesto from Andy Goodwin on ‘Funemployed’.

And then comes the next line. “I wake up in the afternoon and have another one off the wrist.”

Ah. Subtlety might not be the order of the day here, but that’s arguably the mantra of the Manchester singer, down to the finest of tees. Goodwin deals in songs that contain the no-fucks-given spirit of Britpop, but sonically, at least, are somewhere closer to a revival of 00s indie.

But it’s on Instagram where Goodwin’s admittedly provocative presence has found him a captive audience – for better or worse. “Did someone spunk in the Inbetweeners boxset?” reads one comment on the video for ‘Funemployed’.

As he explains though, it’s better to be noticed than not. His debut EP Tales of a Likely Lad, is out now and songs like the laid-back ‘Fred Perry Girl’ go far in proving more depth to the singer than the social media snipers would have you believe.

You can read our whole interview with Andy Goodwin below.

We’re speaking a month or so before you release your debut EP, Tales of a Likely Lad. Given the captive Instagram audience you have, does it feel like you’re on the edge of a storm?

I feel like there’s been about five storms since I started this, and I can never tell whether I’m in one or coming out of one or going into the next one. That’s kind of how I like it, I’d be bored if it wasn’t like it. I think it’s building up for another one and it’s gonna kick off hopefully before it comes out.

Few musicians on social media are creating a stir like you. You’re a provocative presence, but it almost feels like you enjoy it. Is that fair?

100 per cent. There’s a lot of love and hate, but I enjoy winding people up too much and then I get myself in trouble. I think it’s quite nice that everyone is trying to be a people pleaser these days, but they’re so run of the mill. If you are run of the mill , you just end up playing the same fucking 200 capacity venue for the rest of your life.

Being Marmite is something that just comes so naturally to me mate. I’ll be in pubs and people will say, ‘That guy’s a dick’. I’m not one to shy away from that.

00s indie was famously full of outspoken mouthpieces like Johnny Borrell. Do you look at people like him when you’re on the wind-up?

It’s not something that I’ve done thoughtfully, wanting to be a fucking gobshite. But every band I’ve ever liked has had a bit of it, so maybe that’s what has fed into it. People don’t expect some lads from Manchester to come down to London and be like, ‘Fuck you lot’, and then they become the biggest band in the UK like Oasis did. That’s what pisses people off I think. Why can’t I do that?

Some of the comments on your Instagram are a sight to behold, though. On your video for ‘Funemployed’, one fan said it was a “real bellwether of the UK’s rampant cultural decline”. What do you make of them?

That’s a funny one, because I feel like they’ve lost the argument there. That’s quite a lot to take from one single 30 second clip, right?

I remember when I put out ‘Fred Perry Girl’ too and I posed with a Union Jack umbrella which in my head was a nod to Britpop, but that obviously got missed because everyone on Instagram is a fucking idiot. It was a big argument in the comments section about whether the Union Jack should be used and I just thought you lot can keep arguing because you’re getting my engagement up, the views are going up and the likes are going up.

Does ‘Funemployed’ reflect your lived experience in any way?

That song stems from me coming down to London and just jumping from job to job because I was picking to go and do gigs or picking to go in the studio rather than going to work.

I’m not saying that’s a fucking ideal model for being a musician or even trying to get a job ,that’s probably the worst way you could go about it. But I was writing a song about this because I was always being caught in these weak periods of having nothing to do and try and look for the next thing to do.

That’s what the song’s about. Suddenly you’re just sat in the house for a week and you end up going to the pub and wanking or whatever else I even reference in that song.

Look, it’s just about me fucking about and knowing that even if everything’s going to shit, go down with a smile on your face. It’s what I’ve done with all these hate comments, you just gotta laugh at them.

Your debut EP then. I think it might surprise a few of those haters. It’s quite melodic in places and there’s a bit of a mellow groove.

Yeah, I think the clips hat I post on Instagram aren’t trying to show how good the songs are. You post it to get a reaction to piss people off, to get eyes on it, and everyone misses that. But once it’s out, people will listen to the actual thing and give it the kind of credit that it’s worth.

I might be trying to get the views up, but I guess in this modern world Instagram is what it is and if that’s the game then you have to play it really.

I get stick from bands that are like, oh, we’re just gonna do the small circuit for 10 years. They hate me because I’ve kind of just jumped over that bit. I bit the bullet and saw the power of social media and yeah, it’s a bit embarrassing. But you either sit there and slave away playing small venues for ten years, or you just crack on with it.

Have you always been a wind-up merchant and provocateur then?

Depending on who you ask, the majority would probably say yeah. My mum and dad would always tell me to stop being a tit. I’m just a fucking attention seeker, mate. That’s the bottom line of it.

This being our PlayNext series, what’s your elevator pitch to our readers. How would you describe Andy Goodwin?

Andy Goodwin is a lad from Manchester with big dreams who famously wrote a song about having big dreams. It’s music with a very British sound and lyrics influenced by songs that you heard in the back of your dad’s car and lyrics that you understand from growing up in Britain. And all that encapsulated with some catchy fucking choruses.

Anything else we should know?

I want people to judge me for my music, not my personality. If they are judging me for my personality, then at least they’re thinking about me or talking about me.

I know I get brutal Instagram comments, but I go and look at the accounts and without fail, it’s always a middle aged man with three kids and a missus who is wasting his time slagging me off. Go and speak to your kids, go and do something with yourself!

Or it’s a 14 year old lad who’s got a band’s Instagram in his bio and his bands isn’t doing that well and he’s taking it out on me. They’re the two ends of the spectrum and then there’s just every fucking idiot in between…