Folk-punk rocker Andy Warpigs highlights Phoenix's evolving music scene

The Phoenix music scene continues to evolve as emerging artists drive the desert sound into new directions. Spearheading a growing movement is folk-punk rocker Andy Warpigs. He has become an established local icon since the release of his debut album "Folk Punk Yourself" in February 2014.

The Phoenix New Times named him one of the "14 Local Bands/Artists You Need to Hear in 2015", and listed his song "Love is Like a Stabbing Pain in the D---" as one of "The 10 Best Love Songs By Phoenix Bands."

Growing up in west Phoenix, Warpigs credits folk punk legends The Violent Femmes for initially inspiring him to make music. He was also influenced by local bands such as Andrew Jackson Jihad, the Sun City Girls and Meat Puppets.

"I think Phoenix makes weird music better than anywhere in the country," Warpigs said. "A lot of the most legendary, most f---ed up bands in America come from Phoenix. I definitely wouldn't have started my band if I didn't listen to all those weird bands, and if I didn't just know that I could be as f---ed up and as weird as I want here and get away with it."

Warpigs said he started going to First Fridays on Roosevelt Row in 2006 when he was 16. He described the event around that time as a "crazy street party" where art vendors handed out free alcohol to patrons, a far cry from what the event is today.

As he got older, Warpigs said he befriended people in the local art and music scene, and was encouraged to start performing by local drummer Ariel Monet. She was, at the time, a member of the all-girl blues rock outfit Sister Lip. Monet also ran Live Music Tuesdays at Lawn Gnome Publishing, where Warpigs played his first show.

"She pretty much convinced me to do it," he said. "I knew it was doable, but I didn't know I could do it. Now I have a band, and we play four times a week. It's crazy."

Today, Warpigs continues to make appearances at the used book store and volunteers at music venue The Trunk Space

Since releasing his debut album with independent label 56th Street Records, Andy and his band (also named Andy Warpigs) moved to a new label, TVLife Entertainment. It is headed by Tempe-based, hip-hop artist and producer Dadadoh, whose real name is Bryan Preston.

Preston performed on Feb. 13 with Warpigs at The Lost Leaf, along with Tempe rapper Daniel Suber, known to the local scene as MC/DC, and chillwave artist Wolfzie.

"I feel like we're on the forefront," Preston said. "It's not even just a sound, it's a way of life for young, urban people."

Labelmate MC/DC collaborated with Warpigs on his latest EP, "Onions Make Me Cry, But Mondays Make Me Really Sad," a unique blend folk-punk and street rap.

"(Warpigs) hustles hard," Suber said. "He puts himself out there. It's not just happenstance, he really puts in the work."

Warpigs will be performing at The Rogue Bar in Scottsdale on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

Related Links:

Diamonds in the Dust: Refused's crusade on punk rock conventionalism

Billie Joe Armstrong behaves like punk-rock princess


Reach the reporter at idickins@asu.edu or follow @sailormouthed92 on Twitter.

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