By Yeti Collier
Andrew Sergent is know around Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia as a great drummer and musician. He has played in all types of different bands ranging from hardcore to folk. Now he the president of Gold Ship Records and looking to help great bands get the recognition they deserve.
Yeti sat down with Andrew to talk about his music history, his label, and to release some exclusive news to Monsters of Geek.
Yeti: Thanks Andrew for setting down with Yeti Music Review hosted by Monsters of Geek. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me!
First and foremost, for those that don’t know you introduce yourself.
Andrew Sergent: My name is Andrew Sergent and I’m President of Gold Ship Records. I’m a beer connoisseur, kayak fisherman, Glasgow Rangers supporter, disc golf enthusiast, and I have an obsession for music
Y: Can you tell the readers a little about your experience you have with music?
AS: Well, when I was five I would put on a suit and pick up my dads guitar, and pretended I was in a southern gospel band like my father, but that’s not when my career started. Or maybe it was. My music career started when I was 15 and playing drums in a successful christian rock band which is where I learned a lot about the industry from my manager , agents , and multiple labels . When I turned 18, I left Southwest Virginia and moved to Tennessee to pursue my music career as a drummer. I started playing in multiple bands and teaching drum lessons until I was lucky enough to receive a drum endorsement. At the age of 21 I started touring with a hardcore band called Stand Your Ground and I signed my first record deal. I toured with those guys for a few years until I decided to take a break from music . After [the] short break, I started playing again with a band called Scratch River Telegraph Company until received a random message from a band called If Birds Could Fly. I signed another record deal and spent the last couple years touring with IBCF until I called it quits to pursue this new endeavor of Gold Ship Records last October.
Y: I think it’s safe to say people around these parts know you as one hell of a drummer. Are you hanging up your sticks and focus on the business side of music?
AS: Thank you sir for the kind words. Putting down my sticks permanently has definitely crossed my mind a few times, but I will never hang them up. Music/ drumming is in my blood and I can never change that. Its a blessing and a curse. My main focus is and will be the record label, but under the right circumstances and timing I may have a couple tours left in me. I will also still be doing studio and session work as well.
AS: It has always been a dream of mine to work for a record label and then last year I decided to just start my own. I’ve always felt as if a lot of “Nashville” and “LA” record labels take advantage of artists and that’s why I wanted to start a label in Northeast Tennessee. This area is rich in music history and still has some of the best musicians and bands that people may never get to hear about and I wanted to help some of those artists because there are no labels that do what we do in the area. This label is by no means a label that only works with local bands to the Tri-Cities because some of the future signings will be out of the area. We’re also excited that those bands will get to experience the wonderful music scene in the Tri-Cites.
Y: Your first artist you signed was Joshua Harper, tell us what made him so special?
AS: I met JGP Harper during his time playing bass for If Birds Could Fly . He’s an absolutely amazing musician [with] whatever instrument he is playing . When I started the label he was the first to come to my mind because I wanted everyone to see how great of an artist he is. Everyone at Gold Ship is extremely excited to help develop him and push him further in his music career.
Y: When will his album be released?
AS: JGP Harper’s album Post Folk will be out in late-May or early-June. We are currently finishing up his new EP called Lake Sessions which will be released on February 11th. We’re currently taking pre-orders from our store and it will also be available on iTunes.
Y: You signed a great group of guys in Wayne Graham and we can tell from their Facebook and Gold Ship’s Facebook you are recording their new album. What can we expect out of the new album?
AS: We’re so excited to release their new album! Kenny Miles from Wayne Graham is finishing up the mixing for the album as we speak. I’ve listened to a few of the tracks off of the new album and it’s amazing to see how their sound has matured since their album Brighter By Now. The musicianship is amazing on this album and Hayden Miles has now become my favorite drummer to listen to.
Y: Can you let the readers know what makes Wayne Graham so special?
AS: Wayne Graham is band that’s passionate about their music . They’re not in it for fame or fortune, they just want to play music and let people hear what they do . I met these guys about 7 years ago from the hardcore music scene, and its crazy to see them signed to my label now . These guys have a very bright future and 2014 will be a big turning point for their careers.
Y: Are there any artists you may be able to let us break that you have signed?
AS: Actually, yes I do! Gold Ship Records is happy to announce the signing of Rickshaw Roadshow! We will be releasing their new album To The Crows that will be released March 21st. We will also be signing the new up and coming band 49 Winchester to a developmental deal and we will be releasing their freshmen album. It’s going to be exciting to see how they grow this year.
Y: Being from the area and you were a big part in the music scene, what do you think the music scene needs to be able to grow?
AS: The music scene is lacking unity. I feel as if a lot of bands look at the local scene as a competition and in doing so they’re hindering their growth and the growth of other bands. We’re all in this together.
Y: Its 2014, what can we expect to see from Gold Ship Records this year?
AS: This year is going to be amazing for everyone involved with the Gold Ship Records. We will be putting out a minimum of 8 releases and more bands joining the label over the next few months. There are a couple surprise limited vinyl releases in the works. We will also be seeing Wayne Graham staying extremely busy touring and the same for Rickshaw Roadshow. The Rickshaw boys are currently in need of new transportation for touring. They are starting their Kickstarter on February 31st so they can reach their goal for a van and trailer so they can stay busy on the road doing what they love.
Y: Lastly let the readers know where they can keep up with what Gold Ship Records and its artist are doing?
AS: You can keep up with Gold Ship Records and its artists through Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Reverbnation, and our websites. Also check out our memberships that we’re running through our store for all of the releases and artist merch for the year, which will be worth way more than the initial cost.
Y: Thanks Andrew for setting down with what I hope to be the first of many interviews. Who knows, Gold Ship Records and Yeti Music Review might be working on a little something.
AS: Thank you so much Joe and I definitely hope this is the first of many!