Please introduce yourself, what you do, why you do it, and what you want people to know about you.
Hey there, my name is Andi Lechner, and I’m a singer and songwriter from Vienna, and my project is called “The Ghost And The Machine”. I describe my sound as “Dark Academia Pop”.
I come from a quite musical family: my grandmother played a bunch of instruments and I remember her playing songs on organ or on guitar. I think that was quite impressive for me as a kid, because she played in a very organic way and not academically, with a whole lotta soul.
My mother sent me to classical guitar lessons when I was 6 years old – and I totally hated it, haha!
But later on, I discovered rock’n’roll music, then blues, jazz, hip hop… I all soaked it up like a sponge, because for me there was no real difference between genres. Every so-called “genre” is just a different form of expressing the same thing.
I think I became a musician because I can express things in a very profound way, and I don’t know how else I could do this. I wanna get in touch with people on a deeper level this way, and I feel that music is my way to connect with other people anyway.
Hopefully I can give people solace with my music, make them laugh or cry, make them FEEL. I see myself in my profession more as a magician than as a musician, because music has its very own magic that I always want to keep and pass on to others.
What qualities makes you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I think the first thing is that I have a pretty unusual taste in instruments. My main instruments are resonator guitars, basically old metal body guitars from the 30s. They used it to get more volume when playing on the street or in big bands, and they have a very unique sound, and I tune them in a special way.
My vision for my upcoming records was to create a sound like Billie Eilish and Nick Cave on a road trip through the Grand Canyon.
I put a lot of time into writing my lyrics, because I want to be poetic and at the same time tangible for my listeners. A song has to touch me first before it can touch others, that’s my main priority.
What’s also exciting about my music is that I mix those qualities I’ve mentioned with a big pop production, ‘cause I want to prove with my music that sophisticated and thoughtful songwriting and pop production can go hand in hand and are by no means mutually exclusive.
I call the result of that ‘dark academia pop’, because I’m an old fashioned and romantic guy who also wants to participate in modern life.
With that in mind, I had the idea of creating two albums with the exact same songs, but produced very differently. As a result, the albums “Alice In Contraland” Part 1 & 2 will be released on September 24.
The first part is a full pop production, the second is just me on vocals and guitar. So the listener has the option to hear the songs as the were created in my room, and has the choice which version is more appealing to ones very own taste.
If that sounds intriguing to you, check out my free fan club here: https://bit.ly/3BcjA31
Describe THAT moment when you realized you wanted to do what you do now. Who did you tell first? What has it been like since that moment?
I was about 6 years old and was messing around with the acoustic guitar of my older sister in the living room. Since I didn’t have a clou how to play that thing right I just tried to make sound with it.
I saw a video of Chuck Berry the other day on television, and that was quite a thing for me seeing him doing the duck walk and rockin’ out like there’s no tomorrow. So I jumped on the couch and beat the hell out of that run down acoustic guitar, making wild moves and screaming round.
My mother had an old friend over who she hadn’t seen in ages, and I didn’t notice that she already had arrived and they were having coffee in the kitchen. Suddenly the door opened, and my mum’s friend walked into the room, where I was totally feeling it, still jumping and screaming on the couch with my guitar. She looked at me dumbfounded and frightened, and said: “Jesus Christ! Boy, what are you doing?!?”
As the little rebellious boy I was, I just thought: wow, now that was easy pissing her off, haha! I think it was that moment where I first realized that music is a very powerful tool in many ways.
I took me some years until I made my final decision (I think I was about 16 years old), but someday I said to my mum: “I think I want to become a musician.” And, again: “Jesus Christ, boy…”
It’s been a wild ride since that moment, but I think it was worth the trip all the time. I really feel blessed to have the opportunity to express my most inner self through music.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to face and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge in my musical career was an operation on my left hand I had 10 years ago. I studied jazz guitar and really practiced a lot. One day, I began to feel a dull pain in my left hand. First I didn’t pay too much attention, but it became increasingly worse and finally I went to a doctor.
After checking my hand thoroughly he said that a joint became loose and that he couldn’t do the operation because it was too complicated. He also added that I probably would have to stop playing guitar. I was devastated.
It was a very hard time for me and I got depressed, but one day I found a doctor who would do the operation. It took me a bit to recover, but I did and even played my exam shortly after I started practising again.
I think I overcame it with patience, endurance and the inner belief that somehow it would work out. And it finally did, and now I can appreciate being able to make music even more than before.
If you had to pick the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could take your career (or business) to the next level…who would those 3 people be?
Bob Dylan, because he’s one of my greatest idols and knows the game of the music industry since the 1960s. It would be very interesting to hear his opinion on that and also the stories he would share.
Andrei Tarkovsky, because he’s a genuine visionary and has a very unique and highly inspiring approach to art.
Elon Musk, because he’s also a contemporary visionary and really knows how to run a business obviously 😉 .