Ahoy, deckmates! Captain of our ship of fools here, s'mee, Andy Partridge. That's right, the same smart ass who wrote most of the songs for the English pop group XTC and played guitar when they let me. That'll be my seal bark you hear on DEAR GOD, MAYOR OF SIMPLETON, SENSES WORKING OVERTIME and countless other chunks of musical driftwood bobbing along on the mighty pop ocean. Albums, singles, you name 'em ... we've melted 'em.

When XTC got bored they became the Dukes of Stratosphear and musically thanked off bands from the late 60's.We were also the Three Wise Men for a Crassmas single, and Terry and the Lovemen for our own tribute album. Tee hee.

I'm still writing songs (I never learn do I?),although these are mostly for other young folks these days, such as Miles Kane and The Monkees. I've also worked with Peter Blegvad, Lilac Time, Terry Hall, Mike Keneally, Harold Budd, Blur,(hang on, let me take a peek at Wikipedia) ... oh yeah, and Pugwash, the Heads, Robyn Hitchcock, Charlotte Hatherley, Nicky Holland, and other too numerous dementia.

Right, that's me. It's been a long old musical road, but I have peed in all the layby's en route.

Doubt it’s me? Here’s proof for thee.

Today I’m joined by my lovely assistant, Todd Bernhardt, Man of Many Fingers (some of which reputedly work), who will be typing in my answers, so forgive the ‘murican spellings.

UPDATE: We've done more than two hours, and have to go, but a big wet sloppy THANK YOU for all the questions. If we didn't get to yours, it doesn't mean we don't like you, we just ran out of time. Let's do this again?? If you'd like that, let us know, let Reddit know, let your friends know, let the world know. Bye bye!

Comments: 433 • Responses: 55  • Date: 

AlonzoMoseley542 karma

I read that as I'm Alan Partridge - AHA!. So my question is, what do you think about the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre?

AndyPartridge254 karma

Heaven help them if they follow the Swindon model!

Drums_and_Wires67 karma

I'm gonna get this out of the way now for everyone: When – yes, WHEN – will you be releasing a solo album (of either the bits and pieces you've written post-XTC or, potentially more excitingly, a whole new solo project)?

AndyPartridge74 karma

I haven't thought about a solo album much, because I don't -- and never have -- thought of myself as a solo artist. I've always been part of a group. Seeing as I don't have a group...

I'm mulling over the idea, so never say never, but my mindset has always been to be part of a group. I'm not of the Bowie or Prince mold -- much more of a Beatles or Rolling Stone.

Gapehorner31 karma

Hello Andy! First off let me say I have been a huge fan of you and XTC all my life. I can pinpoint most XTC songs to the time where I first heard them and some of your songs have a great memory associated with them for me.

  1. Do you personally think XTC was underrated?

  2. If you could go back in time and change things in order to make XTC more commercially successful, what would you do?

  3. Is the rumour true that there is a male version of the Skylarking cover and it's you?

Also, could you check out these videos? I try and get the lyrics to XTC songs in emails to a Christian TV show. Would be awesome if you saw some :)




Thanks Andy once again for doing this AMA! Keep doing what you're doing.

AndyPartridge39 karma

I do think XTC were underrated. We'll probably have to physically die off before we get more general kudos -- and if we don't, I won't mind, because I won't be here! You can't be annoyed AND dead, can you??

2 -- Nothing, because it primarily wasn't about being commercially successful. It was about having fun and being ourselves, and if we changed it, we wouldn't have been ourselves. I've sometimes thought, would I go back and give everything on the first three albums a disco bass drum? But it would have killed it -- it wouldn't have had that same spark.

3 -- No, not at all. I can't tell people because I promised I wouldn't. It's nobody you know. But it's definitely not my dong!

Will check out the videos later.

plan4nigel27 karma

Andy and Todd, thank you so much for joining us today!

I have a ton of questions, but this one came to mind today: I've been thrilled (as I know have other XTC fans) with the work that Mr. Steven Wilson has done remixing and expanding "Drums & Wires," "Oranges & Lemons," and "Nonsuch." I was wondering if there were any plans to release stems—that is, individual audio files of each track—of any XTC songs? I can't imagine a more wonderful way to spend a weekend than by importing, say, "Yacht Dance" into Logic and fiddling around with each track to my heart's content!

AndyPartridge25 karma

I wouldn't mind, but I don't think we own the rights for doing that. Universal still own the rights -- we are merely leasing the rights for a while. Any XTC things that come out on APE are merely temporary leases -- unfortunately, we still don't own them.

MeatMarketJumbo21 karma

Hey Andy ... one of your biggest fans here. Was wondering if you missed Terry Chambers after he left the band? I loved his drumming and though all XTC drummers were great, Chambers was perfect for the band. Ever hear from him?

AndyPartridge44 karma

Yeah, very much so. I thought he'd be the last member of the gang left standing.

We speak about every six months. He usually rings me up a little "relaxed" -- before he goes to bed. I saw him a few years ago when his mum died, and he and I went out together for a drinking session one afternoon -- very enjoyable. He lost his Australian accent in 10 seconds flat!

K_Lover2320 karma

When your kids were small, did you make up your own lullabies to sing to them and is Knight In Shining Karma one of them?

AndyPartridge33 karma

I did -- I made up stupid songs, bathing them, putting them to sleep, walking around town -- every reason, all the time. "Knights" is not one of them -- that was more written to calm myself.

Frajer17 karma

What's your favorite XTC song?

AndyPartridge53 karma

It tends to be "Easter Theatre," because that ticks a lot of boxes, and I think we finally climbed on a podium level with The Beatles with that number -- if that's not too immodest to say. I also loved arranging the orchestral ideas.

uni-twit16 karma

What artists are you listening to these days? What record was last on your turntable?

AndyPartridge34 karma

I tend not to listen to much in the way of current music. I don't have to go finding it out -- it always finds me out. The last CD I put on the player was a "Best of the Bonzos," actually. But that was for a nostalgic kick.

Who would you recommend I listen to? Warning: You're not allowed to say anyone who sounds remotely like XTC has done.

BongoFatFace15 karma

Which XTC song do you wish you HADN'T written? Or a Top 5 if you fancy? ;)

AndyPartridge30 karma

Sgt. Rock should have been an instrumental, I think. The lyrics are not good.

Also, anything on the first album. It's got great energy, but it's a bit dumb. No wisdom in it.

I'm sorry I hurt Erica's feelings by writing "Another Satellite," but I thought it was a pretty good song.

Otherwise, I'm really proud of the vast majority of the catalog.

Drivingfrog14 karma

You once said on Twitter that you'd like to do an XTC biopic with Japanese girls playing every character. Still interested in making this happen?

AndyPartridge29 karma

I would LOVE to do it. I would set it all in Japan, and find four or five teenaged Japanese girls that looked vaguely like us. I would write it all out for them to act. They would act it in Japanese, with English subtitles. (Japanese teenagers are not a kink of mine, by the way!)

I really think it would put an interesting spin on the whole mundane XTC story, if they were female and Japanese, not male and English.

A few producers have offered to make biopics of us, and when I mention that, they always mutter, "Far too expensive," and I never hear from them again!

andrevgardner14 karma

Hi Andy! Thanks for doing this, and for giving us that wonderful Complicated Game book!!

My question: what's the happiest little studio accident you left on a recording by XTC?

AndyPartridge19 karma

It was probably when Colin and I were trying to do the backing vocals for a song of his, which ended up coming out on "Coat of Many Cupboards" -- "Sleepyheads." He and I were in the booth doing the vocals, and there was a fly in the booth. Every time one of us opened our mouths to sing, the fly would head straight for us, and we couldn't sing for laughing! You can definitely hear it on there. We were trying to keep straight faces, but the kamikaze fly made it very difficult.

Mummermen14 karma

Is there an artist that said they were influenced by you that took you by surprise?

AndyPartridge36 karma

Generally no, because English musicians think we're too uncool to name-drop as an influence, even though you can hear a lot of us in English bands over the last 20 years.

One of the biggest shocks -- and delights! -- was the Red Hot Chili Peppers' guitarist, Frusiante (sp?), who cited us as an influence.

But our influence is generally not acknowledged in England, even though I hear it everywhere.

BongoFatFace12 karma

I'll start by saying this question isn't meant to come off as rude or an attack it's just I have too much respect for you and your work to sugar coat it. If you do ever want to record new XTC music with Colin/Dave (and even Terry!) have you ever found yourself holding back from asking them both after Apple Venus/Wasp Star? I understand the recording of those wasn't exactly the easiest thing in the world, is that what lead to Colin gradually stepping back from music? In short what would it take to hear the three of you bury the hatchet and play together again? Even a real group effort of an EP or something would be amazing.

AndyPartridge38 karma

I wouldn't particularly want to work with them in future -- would you want to sleep with your ex-wife after your divorce?

I honestly don't know what led Colin to semi-hermitude -- it wasn't me, I hope. I just think he was sick of it.

What would it take to get us back together? How about this -- we'll support the Beatles on their reunion tour! I hope you've got your Ouija board ready....

BongoFatFace11 karma

  1. Are you a fan of Radiohead? Have you ever met them? What do you think a collaboration with you and any of them would sound like? (Always thought you writing with either Thom Yorke or Phil Selway would be very interesting.)

  2. I'm sure you get asked this all the time, but do you have any advice or cool tips for aspiring musicians, especially procrastinating guitarists with writers block? Oblique strategy style curveball tips? Things to avoid?

AndyPartridge35 karma

  1. Not particularly, but we both like Can, so that's good enough for me. People have told me that Thom Yorke looks like my lost love child. I think we'd probably sound like Can if we collaborated. And no, I've never met them.

  2. If you need lyrics, learn to make a fool of yourself, and speak in tongues. Describe to yourself the music you're making, and that will help with lyrics. If it's music in general, learn to play some music that you don't like, like opera or country, or whatever. That will help get you off the rails. Things to avoid? Record companies. Other band members. VD.

bicrophone10 karma

Hello Andy! Thanks for the great music. I just got done playing 25 of your songs in an annual xtc tribute. I have one questions. What is the 2nd chord you play on guitar in the intro and verse of Respectable Street? I'm close but I'm not close enough !

AndyPartridge21 karma

First chord is a B, second chord, notes in ascending order are: D-flat, F, B, open G, G-flat, open E. That's it! It's none more blues.

xmess10 karma

On an episode of the Sodajerker Songwriting Podcast .. Interviewee Johnny Marr started by remarking he particularly enjoyed the episode that featured you a few years back.. Are you fans of either Marr or Morrissey .. or both?

AndyPartridge17 karma

I really respect Johnny Marr's playing -- I think he's very much School of Graham Hicks of the Hollies, who always played just the right thing. And, in that respect, he's very much like Dave Gregory. And I'm a big fan of Morrisey's words.

ReidFleming10 karma

Hello! Thanks for all the great music over the years. It got me through some odd and trying times and, for that, I'm very thankful. Most of my other questions have been covered already but I wanted to know if you are aware of a place I could buy your guitar lesson not filmed with a potato. Does such a thing exist? I've only ever watched in this quality:

Andy Partridge Guitar Lesson Part 1 and

Andy Partridge Guitar Lesson Part 2

BTW, you are fantastically under-appreciated as a guitarist.

AndyPartridge15 karma

They're not really guitar lessons -- I was merely cornered by a guitar magazine in my hotel room. It's not even my guitar and amp.

Thanks for the kind words. I think I'm a lot better now than I was then! I'm much more fluid now.

humble_colossus9 karma

Hey Andy! I'm 17 and I've been listening to XTC (and affiliated acts) since I was very young. I remember listening to Wasp Star and Apple Venus when I was a wee lad, and since I've expanded my horizons to the rest of XTC's discography... In other words I'm a huge fan. Desert Island sounds like a track that could have been initially recorded for an earlier album, so was it originally set for English Settlement and pushed over as a bonus track for Mummer? But my main question is: What advice would you have for someone who's learning guitar and interested in entering the songwriting world?

AndyPartridge9 karma

"Desert Island" was one of the first songs written for Mummer, so maybe it still had the English Settlement "acoustic hangover." But definitely written for that album -- I have a four-track cassette demo of it, and I didn't get that recorder until just before Mummer.

Advice? 10,000 hours, and when you sit down, never play the same thing twice. Songwriting? Imitate the greats until you can find your own voice.

rtalbot7379 karma

Hi Andy! I'm really looking forward to the upcoming 5.1 Blu-Ray release of "Skylarking" this year, one of the best XTC albums! After that, what's the next album that you hope will be remixed by Steven Wilson? My hope is for "English Settlement". Thanks! :)

AndyPartridge13 karma

It's simply a case of what can be found in the Universal vaults -- which we have to pay for them to search! It's really what they can find -- that's why they haven't been in chronological order.

hipsterreplacement9 karma

Digital has been a mixed blessing for many musicians. It allows unknown musicians to easily distribute worldwide and become known, but it's also normalized downloading but not actually buying an artist's work. I have read how ripped off you felt by the traditional label music system. How do you feel about the digital music distribution we've had for a decade or more now? Is it better or worse for you?

AndyPartridge17 karma

It's worse financially, because of the microscopic fraction you receive in payment for anything downloaded. But you have to say that maybe more people are exposed to it.

But the musician will always be ripped off -- there's no way around it, unfortunately. The Top 1% of musicians are rich, but think how much the record companies have made off of them. And, of course, the other 99% aren't rich at all.

If things had stayed the same in terms of record companies and artists selling only discs, the average album would cost about 50 pounds, in relation to the cost of everything else.

debsmooth9 karma

Would you like to see Dolly Parton cover Scarecrow People?

AndyPartridge13 karma

I'd love to see her cover that song, but only if she sang it live, not mimed it, like her set at Glastonbury last year.

PM3338 karma

Good evening from Yorkshire - my twofer question is what is your favourite Monkees song, and have you ever seen their film 'Head'? if you have, like or not like? thanks

AndyPartridge19 karma

My favorite song by them is probably "Randy Scouse Git." In England, it was called "Alternate Title," because it means "Horny Liverpool Bastard"! I think it has a wonderful melody, and I like the collision between major and minor over the end section.

As for "Head," I thought it was a bit of a psychedelic mess -- that wasn't psychedelic enough! I preferred their TV shows. I preferred "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" as a psychedelic mess. More tits. God Bless Russ Meyer!!

rtwww8 karma

If you were to listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Thanks for the music, my dad got a few XTC songs lodged in my head at an early age and they've never left!

AndyPartridge14 karma

Wow -- tough question. It'd probably be "Emergency," by Tony Williams' Lifetime. That's my desert-island album, really. Frantic, alien jazz.



AndyPartridge12 karma

I haven't designed any for ages, but when I get all of my current projects out of the way, I'm going to make myself a really big set of a game I call Peak (or maybe Pique?), which is my favorite so far. It's a three-dimensional wooden brick-based game.

Steamy-Nicks8 karma

Hey Andy! I'm an equally big Phish fan as I am an XTC fan (which is to say... an enormously huge fan). Back in 1985/86 Phish covered Melt the Guns a few times. Here's probably their best version of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DeVNQaZu3U

I wanted to ask if you were aware of this/heard it before and what you thought of it? Phish is a pretty big phenomenon in my corner of the US (Vermont) and when I found out they had covered my other favorite band it was a pretty exciting moment. More recently, they vocally teased it during a jam in 2013 and I had to pick my jaw up off the floor when I heard it during the live stream.

Thank you for writing some of my most favorite songs of all time. Train Running Low on Soul Coal is one of the best compositions that has ever graced my ears.

AndyPartridge15 karma

I have heard it before, and I was very flattered. Anybody that covers our songs, A) They're very brave, or B) [cod French accent] Dey are very foolish!

Dim-of-the-Yard8 karma

Who would be your band mates in your version of the Traveling Wilburys? And how about making that happen?

AndyPartridge15 karma

Can we have the Stay At Home Wilburys?

I seriously have no idea -- it's not a fantasy that I've ever subscribed to, jamming with famous people. But I'll force myself: We're going to cross the barriers! Dammit, I'll just have all of Patto, and Mike Patto can take the evening off.

coordinatezero8 karma

Hi Andy! A huge huge fan since 1980; never saw XTC live but I've made my own band cover "Mole from the Ministry", "Vanishing Girl", "Deliver Us from the Elements" and I did "Funk Pop a Roll" solo acoustic on the radio once (old truths still valid for that one!). Given the recent spate of musical losses, do you feel any new urge to perhaps take advantage of modern touring methods and technologies, patch things up with various parties, and give a live thing one last go?

And if so ... USA, please!!! ;-) (I flew to London to see Kate Bush and I'd do it for you too but I'd want my friends to see it too.)

Thanks for all the music and fun.

AndyPartridge14 karma

No, not really interested in touring. That was the past. This is the pheasant.

Malvaviscos8 karma

Hi Andy,

I have two questions for you: First, one of my favorite things about your songs has always been the lyrics. I'd like to know, do you have any suggestions on how a songwriter who focuses more on the instrumentation than his lyrics could improve his lyric-writing ability? Secondly, what advice would you have for an aspiring songwriter attempting to make it as a musician today?

I've been a huge fan of your music for my entire life, thank you very much for doing this AMA. If you are interested in hearing my music, here is a link to one of my songs: https://soundcloud.com/victor_reynolds/shes-an-artist

AndyPartridge13 karma

Most of my lyrics come from me describing to myself the sound of the music. So, talk to yourself, describe to yourself, what you're hearing -- your lyric will be in there.

To aspiring songwriters: Tour your ass off, and if you don't become destroyed by that, you'll find you've left a lot of fans in your wake, if you do it long enough. Or get on a TV ad! That's the quick router.

PsamWreynolds8 karma

Your best advice for aspiring young artists is to... ?

AndyPartridge26 karma

Go work in a supermarket!

But seriously folks ... learn to play and write songs like your heroes, and take apart what they did. Eat it up, crap it out, and that will be you -- that will make it yours. Nobody has ever come along and been phenomenally different from the start. They always started by emulating people they liked.

Peason8 karma

Would you ever consider reconstructing XTC's Bubblegum album? It always seemed like a fascinating project.

AndyPartridge11 karma

That was a project that had its shelf life, and its time, and I couldn't get Virgin interested enough. I think the band as well lost interest.

So, it had its time, and because it wasn't allowed to be born, it sort of died in utero. I even wrote songs for a Merseybeat version, which I found the other day. They're not bad actually. I may do something with them ... mwu hahaha

schipperc8 karma

When you and Brian Wilson met (terrific photos, btw), did the two of you chat? What did you talk about?

AndyPartridge12 karma

He didn't really know who I was, and was in his dressing room just trying to be calm before the show. I was introduced to him, then slotted in next to him for a photo. As soon as it was taken, I was "obliged" to get out of the way. So, unfortunately, a bit of a non-event. No time to talk.

Could have talked after the show, but we had to catch the last train.

kingzog7 karma

Hi Andy,

Thanks for doing the AMA.

I think the loss of XTC as a touring band has caused people to massively underestimate your significance to the British music scene

Could you ever be persuaded to do a televised gig where the audience aren't present at the recording which could then be streamed live to a festival, or people watching on the Internet?! I'm sure the first XTC gig in umpty million years would be a big draw :0)

AndyPartridge17 karma

I was trying to set up something before Dave left, where we played in the round, with about 100 invited friends and fans, to be televised. Then Dave left, and took the wind out of that. Then Colin and I split, and the idea totally dissolved.

But I wouldn't do it on my own, because I don't view myself as a solo artist. The magic for me is in records, you see -- the magic is in the plastic, not in the live performance.

PsamWreynolds7 karma

Dachau Blues or Doctor Dark?

AndyPartridge9 karma

Dachau Blues, if only for the vocals blowing the mic out, and the bass clarinet.

requinball7 karma

Hi Andy--as a historian (and a long time fan) I have always been struck by the historicism in your (and Colin's) lyrics as well as the band's own awareness of history (musical and otherwise). When and why did your interest in history develop as a form of inspiration in your songwriting? Thanks so much.

AndyPartridge13 karma

I think, living in Wiltshire, you can't escape history. It's the most prehistoric place in Europe. I certainly didn't get history from school lessons, though I did love the textbooks in school that had little line drawings of historical subjects. Maybe by R.J. Unstead? Those went in deep. But Wiltshire's the main culprit.

But, because I'm an effete indoor boy, I always wanted to be out in the fields, while Colin -- the outdoor boy -- wanted to be inside.

I started reading when I left school, and that's when I really got into history.

K_Lover236 karma

Are you still in contact with Martin Newell and are you ever gonna collaborate ?

AndyPartridge6 karma

I haven't heard from Martin for many years, and probably not, after he turned down an offer to be on the APE label. That upset me.

cQ_Q6 karma

Song order is great, all of the album. When it turned into CD from vinyl, Do you had a hard time in the order of the songs? It is from "Nonsuch"?

AndyPartridge12 karma

My original suggestion was to put the B-sides in the middle of the running order, because I wanted the same first song and the same last song for each album. But, I don't think it worked, and that's why newer versions of the CDs have the original running order, with extras at the end.

MugsieRimmer5 karma

Hi Partsy, me old matey... Ha. Loved the sound of your guitar on Liarbird. How was it recorded? Sounds like loads of Dave Gilmoury compression.

AndyPartridge13 karma

It's my Ibanez Artist, in open-E tuning, with quite a lot of chorus and compression. It's the open-E tuning that makes it ring the most. I'm hitting the strings really hard, and they're doing that kind of gnurling against the frets, which is aggravated by the chorusing.

timelord935 karma

Have you toyed around with the idea of maybe working on a musical before?

AndyPartridge10 karma

I've got a fantastic idea for a cross-dressing Western, but I'm probably too lazy a bastard to write all the songs for it. It's actually a really good story, though. I'd love it to be a really good film -- find me a really good producer, and give me a schedule, and I'll write the songs!

pollo5 karma

Thanks for doing this Andy. My questions (1) I know that live dates are off the table but would you ever consider doing a you-and-an-acoustic-guitar streamed thang ala NPR Tiny Desk Concerts? (2) XTC don't fit in with and are rarely mentioned in the official BBC Stalinist History of Pop/Rock. Does this airbrushing of history irk you? (3) The house is on fire - family and pets are safe - which guitar do you run into the flames to salvage? (4) Which act do you rue never have seen live?

AndyPartridge10 karma

We've already answered question 1, but regarding question 2, yes, it really does -- and I don't know why they've done it. I think the fact we come from Swindon has a lot to do with it, especially for the English.

Regarding question 3, probably the Ibanez Artist. But she's in the Shed, so hopefully it won't be an issue!

Regarding question 4 -- nobody -- because the magic is in the recording. I don't need to see the person making the music, I just need the music (not their sweaty carcasses).

TimboToonz5 karma

Just remembered the question I REALLY meant to ask... You've said you use the Line 6 'Pod' for your guitar sounds on many recent albums. Any chance you'd make your presets available online sometime? Just curious... And desperate...

AndyPartridge8 karma

Just select the Blackface amp, and in the speaker selection, go for the nearest-sounding speaker, which is (if I remember right) about 7 o'clock on the dial.

xmess5 karma

Favorite beer of the moment or ever?

AndyPartridge10 karma

At the moment, it's Bass, straight out of the barrel.

troubleondemand5 karma

Hey Andy. Was just listening to Love On A Farm Boys Wages. Great Sunday morning song.

My question: It's been 37 years. Were the plans for Nigel a success?

AndyPartridge6 karma

You'll have to ask Colin about that ... Primus's version was "goofy attractive."

xmess5 karma

Do you still do some recording on Apple Macintosh computers? If so, can you describe your current setup and do you use Logic Pro to record and Mix?

AndyPartridge6 karma

I'm on a Mac, but I'm still on Logic 7. I'm going to leap up to Logic 10 this year. I would love to work in a higher resolution -- either 96 KHz or 192, but I'd need all of NASA to help me with the computer power for that.

xmess5 karma

What ’s the story behind the guitar on the cover of “Complicated Game”? It looks to be made out of an olive oil can?

AndyPartridge10 karma

It's my StratoCastrol! It was a 50th birthday present from Dave Gregory, and is made out of an oil can. Bristol guitar maker John Kincade was on holiday somewhere in Africa and saw kids playing them in the street, and when he came back started making them. He showed one to Dave, and Dave gave it to me.

It gets played on "Impeccable Dandy in White," on the Gonwards album. Listen to that, and you'll hear what it sounds like.

Dymobe5 karma

Andy, big fan of all of your work!

I have a couple of questions, actually:

You have a really great presence on social media and I was just curious how that came to be?

Do you have any favorite current mainstream bands?

What's your favorite song off of each of your albums?

Any chance we get a solo album from you at some point in the future (or even a new XTC album please? :P)

Thanks for answering! :)

AndyPartridge14 karma

Andy is insisting that I answer, says Todd -- I helped him dip his toes in the water with MySpace originally, then as MySpace started to die, convinced him to get involved with Twitter -- using the same name as the MySpace site (which is why his Twitter handle is @XTCfans). He originally gave me tweets that I'd post, but now does it all by himself. WHAT A BIG BOY. :-)

Back to Andy: Don't really have any favorite mainstream bands. If they're mainstream, they're probably a bit on the dull side -- let's be honest. Which is why they got mainstream!

Fave songs from each album: Into the Atom Age; Life is Good in the Greenhouse; Roads Girdle the Globe; Paper and Iron; Jason and the Argonauts; Ladybird; Train Running Low; What in the World?; Season's Cycle; Collideascope; Garden of Earthly Delights; Rook; Easter Theatre; Wheel and the Maypole. THAT WAS HARD.

voxkev5 karma

Hi Andy. Always enjoy your tweets and nice to see you here. This finally prompted me to create an account here.

Question: Where do you like to go on holidays? Outside the UK? Spain? Brazil? Tokyo? Florida? Wales?

AndyPartridge10 karma

I never take holidays! I never go on holidays. My idea of Guantanamo-type hell would be to lay on a beach. I've wandered round so many towns in the world that I'm practicing my professional staying at home these days. Holidays just don't thrill me! Or, they don't NOT thrill me -- which is the purpose of a holiday, isn't it.

Last one I took was nine years ago, to Amsterdam.

ThatCuntCallen5 karma

Hi Andy, ever had any thoughts about teaming up with the old offspring to record/perform? I know Holly is a talented musician and writer.

AndyPartridge10 karma

No -- she occasionally helps me out with my demos, if I need a female voice. She's an excellent singer. But I'm wary of working together with my kids, because we'd fall into the father/child roles too easily, I think. I think we do get away with it in small doses, though.

paulnave4 karma

I notice modern groups cannot invent delicious inventive chord progressions like the Beatles, however you did it numerous times on simpleton, earn enough for us; did you do it on purpose, and, once you do it, why would you stop doing it? I have the same question for McCartney who seems to have abandoned it.

AndyPartridge6 karma

The answer is, yes, I did intend to do all that on purpose, and once you've done it, why would you want to do it again? Would you want blanc mange for every meal, forevermore?

ahkond4 karma

Hello Andy. Just finished reading "Complicated Game" and enjoyed it greatly. Did you take photos or otherwise make copies of the custom covers you painted for it, or will we need to rely on the winners tweeting them or whatnot? I would pay good money for a "coffee table" book of them.

Thanks for everything

AndyPartridge6 karma

I'm going to be scanning every one of them, so fear not, because we're talking about a pack of prints that you could buy to frame or to do whatever you want with -- paper your lavatory, make into a pair Oxford bags, whatever.

BongoFatFace4 karma

How often do people send you their music? Do you ever listen to any? What's the best you've ever been sent and are you open to collaborating with someone if the demo was good enough?

AndyPartridge9 karma

I get far too much sent to me! I usually store it up for listening sessions, and all I can say is, Put your best number first. But there's nothing I can do otherwise, because I've stopped signing outside acts to APE now -- unfortunately, it's lost me too much money.

Sometimes I collaborate with people -- Steve Eggers from The Nines comes to mind. I wouldn't want to collaborate with anyone whose band sounds like XTC. Plus, I'm really genuinely busy these days, so it looks as if those days are over.

Dalriada354 karma

Hello Mr P. So happy that you're still communing with the faithful. I heard some rumours that you're going to realease some of your wonderful Fuzzy Warbles as fully fledged productions. Hope so. Sqweeeee! To whom would you consider relinquishing the Editor's Chair to, if anyone?

AndyPartridge5 karma

Not a true rumor ... I may well be releasing a lot of the demos of songs I've written for other people, but none of them would be anything to do with the already-released Fuzzy Warbles.

Shaqspeare3 karma

Hey Andy, big fan. Can we expect a 5.1 mix of Black Sea any time in the future? Thanks.

AndyPartridge4 karma

See the answer above!

xmess3 karma

XTC’s “Wasp Star” was mastered in Portland, Maine by Bob Ludwig. Did you guys ever come to Portland to be a part of the mastering process? What do you think of the job he did on that album?

AndyPartridge6 karma

All the tweaks were done over the phone. He'd post each revision to England, and I would call him up and suggest tweaks, and we got it right on the third pass. It was the most expensive mastering we've ever had done! But he did do a great job.

eatingapizzarn2 karma

Hi Andy! You mentioned on twitter you wanted interesting questions so here goes: Do you have any hair products you can recommend?

AndyPartridge5 karma

Yeah, a sandpaper block! I use a very fine-grain paper. Works for me (obviously).

When I had hair, I used to wash it in egg and all that, so they could audition me as the fifth Monkee. I'm still gone remnants of that hairdo by the time we've done White Music, but it's gone by Go 2.