For most casual fans of music, the forty-five minutes that a band spends on the stage is all they can see. However, when the guitar cases are closed and the venue’s floor is littered with empty beer cans and trash, most bands load their gear into the van and return back to their normal lives.
Mother Church Pew’s Off The Stage is a series that celebrates a band’s path to where they are and the things they do behind the scenes to stay there.
When Andrew Schneider isn’t propped up on stage, wielding a guitar for Los Angeles Americana outfit The Lonely Wild, he’s a homemaker.
“My wife, who is very supportive, is an ICU nurse. So she makes a pretty good paycheck,” says Schneider. “So for balance, I do all of the day to day stuff around the house. I make sure the laundry is done. I make sure the house is clean. I make sure dinner is on the table. She will work an extra shift or two a week to get a bigger paycheck. When she’s home, I’ve been driving for Uber for some additional income.”
When people ask how Schneider got into driving, he hesitantly responds, “I do this because I’m in a band.”
Like clockwork, his riders with respond with excitement. “They also respond that’s so cool. It must be such a cool life,” Schneider admits. “I kind of have to put it out there. I’ll say, it is not as glamorous as you’d think. It is really hard work. We all have to work our asses off to get out on the road where we have to work our asses off on tour.”
“We all work. This band is not making a ton of money,” making it clear that The Lonely Wild is a labor of love. “What we do make all goes back into the band so we can keep the machine going. But when we’re home, Jessie is working in production. She makes music videos as a freelancer. Andrew Carroll, our lead singer, also has a very supportive wife. He has been bartending at a bar downtown for about ten years. Ryan Ross works for a company called Havoc TV doing on demand music videos for Time Warner and Comcast. He can do most of his job remotely, so he’s working in the van. Dave, our drummer was teaching at a small community college. But he teaches chemistry. For a while he was designing lesson plans. Right now he’s teaching science at a high school. He’s made a YouTube channel explaining chemistry, so he’s working towards making that a source of income. ”
However, due to the constraints of having adult responsibilities, like spouses and children, flexibility is key in sustaining the band. “With our families and our jobs we can’t do a three month tour. We have to do short bursts. We’ll go out for three weeks, come home for a few weeks.”
“I have a daughter,” Schneider adds. “Jessie has an eight year old daughter. Andrew Carroll’s just had a kid. There has been family the whole time we were in the band. Andrew and I are both married, so we have families. We’ve dealt with it the entire life of the band. When we go on the road, obviously you have to leave home for a while. But we’ve tried for Jessi and our wives.”
Schneider is humble and honest about the sacrifices that his family makes for him. “The truth is, my wife keeps the family going and I contribute what I can,” he candidly confesses. “So she is just as important to the band as I am.”
Read our “Off The Stage With” The Lonely Wild’s Jessi Williams here.