Mic CheckMusic

Mic Check: Indira Andrade Finds Her Place


She learned the basics on an acoustic, joined her first band with an electric, then picked up a bass and decided it was just right. You could call Indira Andrade the Goldilocks of Guitars, except her locks are usually red.

You can definitely call her a kickass bassist for two local bands: The Local Odyssey and Uncle Buck, the latter plays with Tokyo-based Pinky Doodle Poodle tonight at Tommy’s Pub. But before then, we sat down with the Angolan-born Andrade to talk about her musical journey, her inspirations and what Uncle Buck fans can expect in 2019.

Uncle Buck (from left): Josh Kogas, Indira Andrade, Jesse Vetrone and Quinn Sommer.

Queen City Nerve: How long has music been a passion of yours?
Indira Andrade: I always appreciated music, but I first showed interest in actually playing an instrument when I was around 15. My parents kind of discouraged me, not too sure why, but later on, around 2010, I bought my first guitar. It was an acoustic, I named her Raven.

How long have you lived in Charlotte?

About 11 years now. Before that I was living in Miami for about 7 1/2 years.

So you were here when you bought Raven. How did that progress into deciding you wanted to pursue music and join a band?

That was around 2012. I had been trying to teach myself guitar and felt like I wasn’t really getting anywhere with it. I played well enough, I learned some chords and just the basics that I was able to teach myself. Around that time, my now-ex-husband was hosting an art gallery show called Player Controller, so me and one of my best friends and a couple of his other friends all got together and decided, “You know what, we’re going to play a show during it. We’ll play music while everybody goes around [the gallery.]”

We all got together and created a band called Critical Hits, the first band that I was in. That got me in line to start actually practicing, actually being a little more diligent about playing music. I played with them for about a year but we did only get the one show out in public. We kept trying and then our drummer dropped out, we tried to replace him, it didn’t really fully fizzle out until 2014.

So you played electric with Critical Hits, but currently play bass with two bands. How did that come about?

Eventually I ended up joining my second band [The Local Odyssey] — and I’m still currently in the band — in around 2015. I was almost going to set down guitar, but then my friend Daniel, he kept mentioning, “Hey, I’ve been writing some songs, I want to get something together.” I picked up the electric for that one.

We’ve had a lot of changes in members, and that was the main thing that eventually led to me picking up the bass. We had our first bassist, but he eventually just stopped showing up to practice, so we found another bassist, and he just wasn’t as good a fit, so we decided it was best to part ways, and at that point we were a three-piece again, wondering what should we do. During one of the practices, Danny grabbed Will’s bass and said, “Hey, want to just try? Start playing it and see how you feel about it.” Within two months I bought my first bass.

What was it about bass that you took to so quickly?

The thing about The Local Odyssey is that I sing in it as well. Playing bass and singing is not as easy as just playing rhythm guitar like I was before. But I don’t know, something about the power behind the bass, I very much enjoy that. That and creating the groove, staying with the beat a little bit closer to the drummer also helps out a lot. I just felt like I was doing more by playing bass.

You’ve since joined up with Uncle Buck on bass as well. How would you compare the styles between the two bands?
Very different. The Local Odyssey, we’re more of a dream rock, surf rock, shoegazey kind of sound, where as Uncle Buck is just straight up heavy rock ‘n’ roll. If you’re thinking Odyssey, you’re going to think more like Zeppelin. For Uncle Buck, people’s first comparison is Black Sabbath.

Uncle Buck (Photo by Emma Hill)

What’s it like for you to bounce back and forth between bands with such contrasting styles?
It’s definitely very different, considering that with The Local Odyssey it’s more melodic in a sense. For Uncle Buck I still have the flourishes that I learned from The Local Odyssey, but it’s just more straight forward for them.

Which style do you prefer when you’re just listening on your own?
I’m kind of in between.

So what music are you listening to that’s out now?
My favorite band that’s out now is Of Montreal, which is absolutely not like either one of them. Nothing really compares to Bowie, but it’s pretty close to that and The Beatles and just a lot of insanity kind of hooked together into one. The harmonies and everything that he does and the way that he arranges the songs and how he pretty much creates a whole orchestra out of it, but at the same time it’s almost very poppy, very beat-driven.

How about locally? What bands do you enjoy playing with around town?
We love Anchor Detail. The Donner Deads, we love playing with them, and The Business People, that’s a staple.

You’ve got this Tommy’s Pub show coming up, and we originally met when you played there last year. What are your thoughts on the return of Tommy’s to the Charlotte scene?
It’s always really fun playing there. Usually the crowd is very, very much into it. Even if they just showed up to have drinks, eventually they’re like, “Wow,” and get into whoever’s playing. So it’s a little more interactive than all the other bars. Especially the way that it’s built, you wouldn’t think that a lot of people would be paying attention, but they are, and it’s really fun.

Uncle Buck released a single in August (listen below). Is there any other material we can look forward to?
We did record some, and now we’re waiting on a good opportunity to actually get the tracks mastered. We have four [tracks] that we got recorded, and once we get that done we’re going to release our EP; we named it Supermoon. It was supposed to be this summer, but I would say that it’s still undetermined until we can figure out the mastering.

Uncle Buck plays with Pinky Doodle Poodle, No Whammy and Cheveron at Tommy’s Pub, 3124 Eastway Drive, Suite 710, on Jan. 25 at 9 p.m. No cover. 21 and up. 

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