Andy Georgiev, an icon in the making


Photo by Andrew Georgiev

Humans of WEGO: senior Andrew Georgiev performs for a crowd.

By Brianna Roskilly, Reporter

From a young age, music has been in 18-year-old Andrew Georgiev’s life.  Growing up, he played the piano, receiving lessons for several years, until switching to a less-classical approach, and more basic rock, featuring instruments like bass, guitar, and drums. “I’ve been playing guitar for like ten years, but music has been in my life for as long as I can remember,” he said.

Recalling his first spark for pursuing music, he stated, “I think like when I was really young my parents were playing like an ACDC live record on TV, and just seeing people having that much fun being loud and obnoxious sparked something in me. I wanted to do that. I wanted to be on stage and get the crowd going.” 

For Andy’s mother, Yana Georgiev, it was during their time living in Europe that the special “click” occurred. “The spark moment was when his guitar teacher introduced him to electric guitar and Andrew fell in love. His guitar teacher happened to be his class teacher, so he knew the kids in the class very well, and also happened to be the guitarist in the popular Prague guitar band, Medved 009 at the time. A big inspiration was when his teacher challenged him to learn one of the band solos in two months or so. They promised him if he was ready that they would let him perform at the next concert,” she explained. 

Medvěd 009 - Olgoj

“Andrew practiced very hard and was determined in his goal. At the Malostranska Beseda, which famous Czech pop star Karel Gott started decades ago, and was very emblematic for Pragueanians, Andrew performed at his first real concert. He was nine-years-old at the time and his heart has been in rock music ever since,” Yana added.

Andy’s dog, Ares. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Georgiev)

With his mom working as a flight attendant and broker, his father working in mortgages, and his two siblings away from home, senior Andy often has the house to himself, along with his Tree Walker Coonhound named Ares. He uses the space as a place to bring people together and fire up the music. He said, “My place is kind of the spot to record, jam, and get some ideas going.” 

Bandmate and senior Levi Fisher, indicated, “Band practice with Andy is always a good time. He is extremely musically talented and motivates others to go outside their comfort zones. One of the reasons I learned to play bass was because of him actually.” 

In his free time, Andy is constantly playing and participating in many after-school activities beyond schoolwork and the guitar lessons that he provides. Asking Andy how he would describe himself, he said, “Motivated, crazy, and a little unhinged. I have a hard time saying no to a fun opportunity.” He believes that his friends would say the same, except that he is not exactly unhinged, and more or less unstoppable. Band member Christian Black vocalized, “Dude shreds like a BEAST. One of the most creative musicians I know.” 

TikTok @dabasement42

For Andy, music is a safe space that allows for complete creative expression and connections he may not have otherwise formed. These connections include the several bands he is in and performs with.

The band he is most active with currently is Striatum, which consists of four members,  a bassist, guitarist, vocalist, and drummer. The name was inspired by the striatum of the human brain, which is what “controls your motor functions and makes you dance and go crazy.” The name of the group happens to fit the thrash and death metal style music they play. 

Andy voiced, “I actually met the bass player at an Ozzie show which is like a complete coincidence; I cannot believe we heard each other in the mosh pit.” 

Beyond this, he also participates in Pink Mist and Brain Matter, with members mainly from the high school taking part. Andy stated, “That was mostly just me looking around the school trying to get like a band together with school kids. So Levi Fisher is in that, Noah is in that, and at one point, Philip Calabrese.” 

The two-man Chrono Coven band. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Georgiev)

A third band he is active in involves just him and Striatum member, Connor Wilson, titled Chrono Coven. Andy said, “It’s really hard to get everybody together for a full practice, but we still want to do something creative.” 

Christian Black revealed that he was “one of my favorite guitarists to jam with.” 

Each week, Andy typically practices with one band, however, it may be a month between a given band’s practices. Yet, still sees the individual members during the period of time in between. Even though Andy has openly displayed these bands on social media, he has been in several others too. “A lot of times I’ll just get two or three people together for a show and I’ll never play together with that group again. So, like the bands come and go,” he explained.

In the past, Andy frequently worked with School of Rock two or three times a month, but now has mainly only been able to do basement gigs due to the pandemic. “It’s kind of sad because I’ve been driving around the city seeing all these venues I used to play at close down,” he said. However, before the virus’ impact, one of his favorite venues to perform at was BrauerHouse in Lombard where the sound guy was always on top of things. Andy mentioned, “The sound guy was really good because he would mess with levels during songs and add effects. The stage was built incredibly well and there was an array of speakers positioned just right too.”  

Another favorable location was Q Bar, the home base for School of Rock. “I got really comfortable with the stage, really comfortable with the audience, and it was nice to come back to that every month from the gigs where you never know where you are going to set up or what it will be like on stage,” he stated. Although Andy took short breaks from playing during the pandemic, COVID restrictions have made it difficult to play in venues opening back up. Andy hopes, however, that he can return safely soon.

Driven To Tears - The Police // School of Rock Glen Ellyn
Andy Georgiev on guitar. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Georgiev)

In the future, Andy desires to tour over the summer with Striatum and see where it takes him. He said, “I’ve had this idea of maybe getting a van or like a school bus and renting it out with my band once we get our name around the city and then in the neighboring states and going from there.” Currently, there are a couple of places in neighboring areas like Chicago that he has in mind, and outside-of-state locations in the works, such as New Orleans, Louisiana.

When asking Andy’s mom how she feels about her son relocating, she revealed, “I am not against it. The best we can ask for is for our kids to be healthy, happy, to follow their dreams, to be strong and determined to accomplish them, to have good friends, to learn (and please God), and to make good choices. So, yes. Not that I won’t be worried all the time, but this is our parents’ destiny.”

As a backup plan, Andy has the possibility of going into trades as well, as he is attending the TCD program for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and may join a union. Andy was interested in learning about wires and circuits and thinks he may want to join Unions 134 or 73. While he can, Andy plans to live out his dream though. He voiced, “My parents have been pretty supportive about it and that’s really lucky because not all people get that chance.”

What ties Andy’s musical passion back to WEGO though, is his dedication to playing music for the school every Friday. “People were asking me to play because I was noodling around in my Zoom calls last year. Eventually, it moved from me playing in my zoom class to bringing my guitar,” Andy stated. 

His goal was to please, and he has consistently done so. Drawing several crowds throughout the morning, many students gather to listen and appreciate the lively energy and rocking performance Andrew provides. Most importantly, he appreciates the atmosphere and feels comfortable performing and expressing himself at the high school. 

Tunes with the Cat at Community High School. (Photo courtesy of Brianna Roskilly)

“I really like the community. I kind of go against the crowd, and I feel like I’ve just been really comfortable doing that here. I feel safe doing that and I feel like most people generally do,” he said. 

He also mentioned that teachers care deeply about their students and go out of their way to get them to think beyond their own perspectives. “It’s like mind-opening going here almost because you see so many people of different cultures and ways of life and the teachers respect that and try to bring it into their classrooms,” Andy added.

Undoubtedly, this music has brought many together, especially frequent listeners of his art, like junior David Johnson, who voiced, “His music makes me feel motivated to keep playing my guitar. It is awesome to see the things he does when he plays.