Gino DePinto, AOL Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra and singer-songwriter…
- Posted on May 26th 2011 4:00PM by Lonny Knapp
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"I went to a really s---ty but really expensive school called Holy Trinity," he tells Spinner.
"It was awful, and I got picked on a lot."
It's hard to imagine bullies targeting Andy Hull, but he wasn't always the burly leader of a rock band
In 1993, Hull's father, a televangelist, moved the family to Toronto where he was a pastor at the popular People's Church. At that time, Hull was just a chubby seven-year-old from the American south.
It probably didn't help matters that that new kid wasn't allowed to listen to rock and roll music, either.
"I was brought up in this conservative family, and my dad was a pastor that was on TV," says Hull. "When I lived here [in Toronto] I wasn't allowed to listed to secular music. But that all changed when I moved back to the States."
Back in Atlanta, Hull discovered rock and roll. Still in high-school, he hooked up with bassist Jonathan Corley, keyboardist Chris Freeman, guitarist Robert McDowell and drummer Tim Very to form Manchester Orchestra. And, finally, instead of picking on him, his schoolmates lined up to see his concerts.
The band recently released their third album, 'Simple Math.' The record, a concept record that Hull describes as "a conversation between me and my wife, and me and my God," is the group's most realized effort.
Critics described the band's previous work as derivative, but 'Simple Math' reveals a more authentic and rootsy sound.
Hull says the musical traditions of the American South inform the record, and credits a Canadian icon as the best representative of that sound.
"There are these essential guitar riffs that come along with being a band from the south. It's just born inside you," he says. "It's ironic, but Neil Young might be the best representation of that sound."
Despite his rough go, Hull harbours no grudge against Torontonians. Whenever Manchester Orchestra rolls into town, he reconnects with friends from his father's former ministry, and is even friendly when the former bullies try to make amends at his gigs.
"Some of those kids came weeping back because they want to hang out with a rock star that they beat the s--- out of," he laughs. "They don't matter that much to me."