Every year, Radio 104.5 scouts Philadelphia for a local band to open their massively popular birthday show held at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, a venue holding 25,000 people. For the second year in a row, Philly alternative rock band, Andorra, has won the coveted spot opening for the Lumineers, Elle King, Florence and the Machine and more. We chat with lead singer Kevin McCall about the tremendous opportunity, the band’s middle school beginnings and his “Game of Thrones” doppelganger.
So how does it feel to be playing the Birthday show for a second year in a row?
We are very fortunate to be able to do it again. A lot of great things happened from our last performance.
Who are you excited to meet?
I’m really excited to meet Florence. It’s going to be like seeing Disney World for the first time. She has a magical element to her. The atmosphere she presents in her songs has an enchanted vibe about it. I also am excited about Elle King. Apparently she went to UArts so it would be cool to meet her.
Do all the band members in Andorra go to UArts?
No, just me and Dante. Michael goes to West Chester and Jordan goes to Drexel. We are all going to be juniors in the fall.
It’s hard to believe you guys are still in college and you’ve achieved so much already. How did the band get started?
Andorra was this idea that our drummer Jordan and I had. We went to St. Helen’s in our middle school years and talked about this band during recess in 6th grade. We kept playing together and had different members over the years, but now in college, we’ve really made our way. We picked up Dante [on guitar] and Michael [on bass and vocals.]
Wow! That’s a lot of history for a band. Talk about staying power. Why the name Andorra?
We were friends with this guy named Bill who lived in Andorra, a suburb. We hung out with him a lot there and liked the name. At the time it was the best thing we could come up with so we stuck with it. I guess it’s all thanks to that guy! [laughs]
Who would you say are your biggest influences?
For me, Bob Dylan has always been a big influence as a lyricist. I’m really into Modest Mouse right now and the Foo Fighters, too. Those have always been our go-to bands.
So I’ve gotta ask. Has anyone ever told you that you look like Jon Snow from “Game of Thrones?”
[laughs] Yes. Plenty of times.
Does it annoy you when people say that? Are you a fan of the show?
Not at all. I did not see Sunday’s episode, but I absolutely love the show.
Ok. I won’t give away any spoilers! So what is Andorra working on right now?
We’re putting out a new video for a song called “Four Corners.” We’re doing it in a boxing ring. It’s going to be at a gym in Chester, where they did some of the last Rocky movie. Our friend Nathan Martin is directing it.
What’s the song about?
A lot of the themes for our upcoming album have to do with being at home, where you’re comfortable being yourself. I think it comes from me moving out of my parent’s house for the first time. Cooking for myself and I’m not very good at it. [laughs]
Peanut butter and jelly honestly.
It’s impossible to mess that up — a winning combination. So where do you see Andorra in three years?
I hope they’ll just invite us to play the Birthday Show three years from now instead of us winning a contest [laughs]. We always talk about touring but it’s been hard with our schedules. No other city is as good as Philly for music. We like it here. [pause] If Josh Homme could produce our next album that would be awesome.
Follow Jennifer Logue on Twitter @jenniferlogue
Andorra performs the Radio 104.5 Birthday Show on Friday, June 17th at BB&T Pavilion.