Tonight on the couch, I have with me the maestro of music ops, the taster of tiger bread, Ciao's NNM and winner of a coveted Diamond award, give it up, if you will for our very own ANDYSTRONG.
If you're wondering why the couch looks wider than usual it's to accommodate my ever expanding frame and Andy's ever expanding ego, due to the fact that he is in popular demand and this is the second interview he has agreed to. (sloppy seconds for me as usual ;).
Ok, less of the mindless chatter and onto the task in hand. To find out what make Mr Strong tick (and if we're lucky tock).
- Wendy* Anyone who knows you will realise your love of music, man utd, and that you are in the throes of writing a book. If you could choose between playing for united just once with Scholesy et al, to play in front of a massive audience of adoring fans, or have your book a bestseller acclaimed by critics, which would you choose and why?
Bit unromantic I’m afraid. It would have to be the book. The reason being is that as much as I love football (and would love to have persued a career in it had I possessed the pre-requisite ability) I feel deep down I have a book in me. It sounds clichéd, but I’ve felt for five or six years that I should write a book, it’s just disciplining myself to do so. I would add though that a bestseller doesn’t interest me. My only aim is to get it published and amuse at least ten readers.
*Wendy* "Wow a whole ten reader's? Your ambition knows no bounds.*Andy* "Expletive Deletive"
*Wendy* If one of your favourite bands approached you to be their lead vocalist, who would you choose and why?
That is an incredibly hard question to answer. Due to the nature of live performance it would be helpful if it was a band whose members were all still alive I suppose. I am tempted to plump for Idlewild, because I’d love to have all that noise raging away behind me as I whined out some chorus about nothing in particular. However, I’d say The Cure, as I’m a huge fan of all their work and it would be amazing to have them all chugging away alongside me. Robert Smith would have to be in the band though, I wouldn’t want to join at the expense of him leaving….oh dear I’ve got a bit TOO in to that question haven’t I??? Haha…
- Wendy* "No not at all mate, the sight of you up on stage with rotting corpses doesn't bode well"
- Wendy* In your 'Ten Things For Room 101' Opinion you said that you hated 'pun headlines'. Pick three Ciao members and make up a headline for each of them.
Purebitch in Shoreditch on a Long Weekender, Crazy Bender – not a pun I know
Legal Eagle StarScally is a secret, closet RedA Big Mac with Relish but hold the Lwperkins
*Wendy* If you had to spend 24 hours alone with any person of your choice (dead or alive) who would it be and what would you ask them?
*Andy* What other than you Wendy! Oh that is tricky. I think maybe George Orwell. I wouldn’t try and pro-create with him, I’d just ask him about his time fighting the fascists and how he felt about the way British society (and the wider world) developed after World War II.
*Wendy* Flattery will get you everywhere . And here's me thinking you were going to say Jade Goody. Ok onto the next question. You have what I would describe as a dry sense of humour. Do you often find people take you the wrong way, how do you deal with this?
*Andy* Very occasionally my sense of humour has got me into trouble. I used to work with a young lady who had no sense of irony (I won’t say sense of humour because she wasn’t that bad). She took everything you said at face value. It can also be a problem in that I tend to joke around with people when I first meet them, thus skipping that whole “I don’t really know you” phase out entirely. At times I wind my mates up to the point where they say; “Oh just piss off.” I can’t help it. I genuinely believe as a species we are too serious about ourselves. To pick up your second point (and to prove my dad wrong) I’ve never been punched or anything by people I’ve wound up, I normally talk my way out of things. Most people realise that it is a compliment if someone likes you enough to take the piss out of you. That probably makes no sense at all to anyone reading….
*Wendy* Nope I agree, I've often come close to a thumping myself for the same thing but that's another story. Ok, here's a question that I'm sure you've been asked many times but would you tell our good readers 5 things you would like to achieve in the next ten years.
1) Financial Security – least important in many ways. However you need money to live and we are seriously skint at the moment. I may have to resort to selling my body to the butchers…
*Wendy* That's me going vegetarian
2) I would like to have achieved a move to Devon/Dorset for Becky and I by then. It’s fair to say that I hate the South East – it just isn’t me!
3) Get at least 1 novel published.
4) Try and collect some of my poems and prose together and get that knocked out – BE JAYSUS I’M GREEDY AREN’T I?
*Wendy* Yep ;)
5) To have continued all the friendships and relationships I have now. I don’t like the idea of people falling by the wayside, which can happen so easily if you let it.
*Wendy* Some great answers there Andy and none of them out of reach for a talented bloke like yourself.
*Wendy* Would you like to share with us what your biggest achievement is in life up until now and why? (Don't include your interview with me ;).
Probably getting married. People as daft as me, are I believe, destined to live alone. It is lucky I found someone who saw my insanity as a positive quality. It was a great day and some two years later I still have to remind myself that I am an adult and that I am married. After that I would say getting a degree. At primary school my teachers thought I was thick because I wasn’t interested in engaging. I’d love to go back to ‘em and wave my degree under their noses, even though it is a crap degree in a crap subject. That makes me sound mature doesn’t it???
*Wendy* Oh yes mature beyond your years ;). No seriously it is a fantastic achievement you got a girl like Becky to marry you at all.
*Wendy* If a genie granted you one wish in life (and you cant say winning the lottery/pools etc), what would it be and why?
Good health for myself and family and friends. My Dad was seriously ill about three months ago and at one stage my Mum and I were really seriously worried. It makes you realise how important your health is and how time is finite.
*Wendy* I'll second that. Now my next question is how did you feel about being voted Notable New Member and getting your first diamond even though you are fairly new to the site?
*Andy* Well I thought I’d been around too long to be a notable new member – but that’s Chow for you – full of surprises. It was nice though. My diamond was a welcome little bonus – I do feel it was the best op I’ve written to date (along with my M.E one), so it was nice to be rewarded. I never knew before that loving Joy Division could be a profitable hobby.
*Wendy* Yes they are full of surprises, which leads me onto my next question which is name the good and bad points about Ciao.
Good points are that you get to learn about products and people you wouldn’t otherwise come across. Also, if you are someone who loves writing, you get paid a small amount for doing so. There are some talented, funny people on the site, who make reading others opinions a joy not a chore.
*Wendy* And the bad points?
Bad points would be the little things like getting thrown out all the time by that Websearch thing and also getting new product added – which can take a while. The only other negative I can think of is when people want justification for a less than VH. A helpful rating is not a bad thing, lets face it you have to be prepared for the fact that if 60 people or more read an op, at least one or two aren’t going to think of it as brilliantly helpful.
*Wendy* I couldn't agree more, I think you rated one of my opinions as helpful at one time but we will discuss that in PRIVATE ;). Ok Andy I'm now going to ask you some quickfire type questions, feel free to cop out at any time ;).
Optimistic or Pessimistic?
Bit of both – varies from day to day. Overall the cynic in me wins over, so I’ll plump for pessimist. Optimists are normally guilty of much self-delusion in my experience.
Loner or Life and Soul of the Party?
Contradicting the above slightly, I would say I am the life and soul. I am always talking and arsing around when out with friends.
Thinker or Feeler?
*Andy* Thinker, although one with less grey matter to call on than your average philosopher.
*Wendy* Now now don't be modest, it doesn't suit you ;).
Love or Money?
Love every time. The only cliché I believe in is…THE LOVE OF MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL. Love is a positive force, whereas money can blow many a good man or woman off track.
*Wendy* Good answers give that boy a round of applause
*Wendy* Name five good points about yourself
*Andy* Sensitive, deep, honest, caring, funny
*Wendy* Five bad points about yourself
*Andy* Sensitive, argumentative, moody, cynical, stubborn
Well that concludes my interrogation,,,oops sorry interview with Ciao's very own NNM, I'm sure you will all agree this man will go far. I ask you to put your hands together and give a big round of applause to Mr Andy Strong.
Thanks for reading folks and a big thanks to Andy for agreeing to take part.