An Interview with Andrew Necci of RVAMag
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Andrew Necci, Editor and Chief of RVAMag and RVAMag.com and we dished the dirt on Richmond music, Richmond life, and I learned a lot. Seriously. That dude knows a little bit about everything. In addition to his vast knowledge, he happens to be super nice and super cool, and he didn’t care when I ordered the same thing as him at Sticky Rice. Sorry, I’d only ever eaten the tots. Here is the interview, the best I can transcribe it from my hastily-taken, teriyaki-splattered notes.
You’re from Warrenton, Virginia. When did you move to Richmond and why?
I started out at Randolph Macon on a full scholarship. I was pretty bored with Ashland, so I’d come into Richmond to see shows and visit people. I dropped out with a year left on my English degree, and moved to Richmond for good in 1995.
RVAMag started in 2005. The website says that there was a need for artists and activists to have a voice, but it also mentions that the magazine came about with the help of people who had “found themselves” in Richmond. This indicates that a good number of the startup team were, in fact, not native Richmonders. In this “new Richmond” the magazine envisioned, what of the “old” did the magazine want to promote and nurture, and what of the “new” excited the founders so much they decided to create this magazine, and later the media company?
Some of the founding members are, in fact, from places other than Richmond. They saw Richmond as a place with a good music scene, a good art scene, and a lot of potential. I’ve only been there about a year.
What is your role with RVAMag?
I started out writing about music, and was then asked to be the music editor. After I stared editing some pieces that weren’t technically part of my responsibility, and after we started doing the web stuff and I started editing that, the previous Editor in Chief quit and Tony offered me the job.
Starting out as a music writer, I assume you have a musical background. Am I right about that? Plus, I looked at your Facebook pictures.
My first band was called Make Believe, and I was the singer. We were in Ashland. After I came to Richmond I started a band called Tri State Killing Spree, and we were together in some incarnation or another until 2002. Eric Smith from The Catalyst joined the band when he was 15 years old after he answered an ad we put up at Soundhole. Jason Steed (Tink) of My War and Mason Dixon Disaster was in the band as well.
What are your favorite Richmond bands, past and present?
Back then, it was Avail, Four Walls Falling, Inquisition, Ipecac, and Action Patrol. Now my taste goes all over the place – The Catalyst, Inter Arma, Hold Tight, NoBS!, The Greater the Risk, Long Arms, Worn in Red, Flechette, White Laces, Young Adult Fiction, Fight the Big Bull, the Spacebomb records crew – there are so many.
*At this point in the conversation, we went off on books, both being English majors and owners of far too many books. This part of the conversation may or may not interest you, and may be available in my memoirs. For now, I am skipping it because your brain might explode from how much awesomeness went down over bowls of udon teriyaki.*
What are your favorite things about Richmond?
The cost of living here is not prohibitive. I have journalist friends in New York and they really struggle. Here you can work part time, play music, and live in real house instead of some pre-fab condo. Richmond also has a rich history – not just the Civil War stuff, but a solid history of music. It’s a town with enough to do, but it’s not too big. You don’t technically “need” a car. There is ample practice space, and winter is short. There is plenty of nice weather.
What are your least favorite things about Richmond?
You know? I don’t really have any of those.
And now the question I ask everybody – if you had my job, and could interview anybody in Richmond, who would you interview?
1. Greta Brinkman. She’s music for life.
2. Tim Barry. I interviewed him in 1995 and would like to interview him again. He’s been playing some acoustic stuff out, but I’d like to see where he’s been and what he’s up to and planning.
And that concludes a great interview with a great Richmonder (because he chose to be, like me).