21 Questions: Nate Anderson

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Nate Anderson at the Compound Grill

Welcome to 21 Questions​, a regular feature where PHXmusic.com goes to the favorite hangout of a notable Phoenician and asks the "big" questions. This week we met up with Ear Candy's Nate Anderson at the Compound Grill

Name: Nate Anderson
Age: 28
Occupation: Founder and President of Ear Candy Charity

New Times: In one sentence, what do you do all day in your job?
Nate Anderson: I'm perpetually creating a sustainable, community-driven solution to provide kids access to music education.

NT: What's wrong with the world today?

NA: I think we're uncultured, disconnected with "reality," and I put that in quotes. I want to say that we're not very proactive. We're only reactive to whatever the hell we're dealt. And we don't smile enough. No, no. I'd say that we take ourselves too seriously.


NT: Who's your favorite local band?
NA: It's probably got to be What Laura [Says]. They're so good. Yeah. What Laura. I think given the right management and marketing they'd actually make it, and I'm hopeful that in time they'll find that.

NT: What was the last show you attended?
NA: Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival. Last Saturday. No. Two Saturdays ago. That was awesome. We got to be backstage and meet all those cats like Buddy Guy, Ronnie Wood from The Rolling Stones. Derek Trucks. That guy's legit. I got to get a picture with him. That guy's officially a badass.

NT: If you could time travel, where would you go?
NA: I'd have to say I would want to be in England; like late '60s. I think there was so much great music going on. All these guys just playing together. Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood, then George Harrison. And, by the way, let's go checkout The Stones down the road. I'd want to be in the inner circle with those dudes, hopefully doing something music industry related and helping them be even more awesome. I'm a good entrepreneur, not a good musician. I feel like the majority of those cats are still the head of music. Like Clapton and The Stones. They've never sold out. They're just that awesome. It's so much fun to rediscover those albums. Like, Exile on Main St. will blow your mind. It's just out of sight good.

NT: What's the worst job you've ever had?
NA: I think I'll start out and just say, for the record, I'm a horrible employee. I'm a natural entrepreneur. I haven't had any good jobs. I'm going to lump them all into one. I'm really good at what I do, but don't try to make me do it for anyone else.

NT: How good are you at cooking?
NA: Good. I love cooking. Cooking is fun. Because, first off, I love the environment of cooking. I'm at my house which I love, with a cocktail in my hand and and whatever music I want. I get to share a meal from my childhood with a new audience. It's fun to share that. I love cooking. I don't do it enough.

NT: Where do you go to be alone?
NA: I think the only time I'm really alone is when it's just me and my iPod. And that either just  driving aimlessly, in my truck which I love, or at the gym. I won't socialize at the gym. If someone I know comes up to me, it's like "no." So, the only time when I'm alone is me and my pod and my truck, preferably with a sunset. And some JJ Grey. Swamptastic.

NT: Who's your all-time favorite fictional character?
NA: Either Jeff Lebowski or Chunk from Goonies. Jeff Lebowski. That guy's unbelievable. His vocab is out of sight. The dude abides.

NT: What's the first album you ever bought?
NA: Nirvana Unplugged. That was the first CD I ever bought. Nirvana Unplugged and Green Day Dookie.

NT: Where is the best view in Phoenix?
NA: I'm a big fan of... I think it's McDowell. Driving west on McDowell through Papago Park. So you can see the city coming though, but you're with these rocks and you're like, how the hell did these get here?

NT: What's one thing you hate about Arizona?
NA: I don't want to bash. It's summertime. Enough said. I think that's all I need to say there. I don't want to live here during the summer. I hate having to hibernate while the rest of the country is out enjoying the weather.

NT: What's your homepage?
NA: Ear Candy Charity. I've got to make sure that's updated all the time. That's my life.

NT: Do you give money to panhandlers?
NA: I'd say 50 percent of the time. No. Less. Probably 40 percent of the time. I appreciate a creative approach, most of them don't have one. I don't want to get sucked into a story, but I feel that I should get some form of entertainment out of that. Without sounding like a self-righteous middle class person who makes no money on a charity budget.

NT: What's your drink?
NA: Bell's Two Hearted Ale. It's typically my go to here [at Compound Grill]. I've only ever seen it here and in some bar in Minnesota. I could say Smithwicks, but you can find that anywhere. People need to know about this beer. I wish I could get Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter year round. I've never been so satisfied drinking beer. It just really captures the season. Man that's something to really look forward to in a couple months. That's better than Christmas.

NT: Who's your mortal enemy?
NA: Nate Sanderson [Nate Anderson's fictional alter ego slash evil twin]. He is impacting more kids, having more fun, and building a larger empire, and getting more kicks than Nate Anderson. I always get trumped by Nate Sanderson.

NT: What's the deal with Sheriff Joe?
NA: What I don't understand is how the guy gets reelected constantly. So there has to be enough support out there for him, but it's the quiet polar opposite of what all the articles are written about. It's kind of like the new immigration law, and the outrage. If you look at the polls, there's all this support for it. Sheriff Joe represents how polarized humanity is. I would never think that someone like that would exist and be in power. And people would elect him. But then again I never thought that George Bush would be in power, for two terms. Look how that turned out.

NT: What would you do if you won the lottery?
NA: Exactly what I do right now. Grow Ear Candy into a national model. Impact millions of kids, but not on a restricted budget like I am now. I frankly love my life. It's a good one.

NT: What's hanging above your sofa?
NA: I have this really cool Rolling Stones European tour canvas that's like three-foot by four-foot, and it's like number one out of 250. It's just gorgeous. I love it. My entire house is all concert art, rock art, record albums, guitars everything. I think guitars have the sexiest curves in the world, next to a woman. Even though I don't play one, I have plenty.

NT: If heaven exists, what would you like to hear god say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
NA: I think I'd want god to say, "It's about time. Let's turn this mother out." Followed by a wicked high five. Just get up there and have a big dance party. Like a Simpsons episode where all the characters are dancing.


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