Interviews / Music / TV

Andrew Gower Talks Music, “Carnival Row,” and “YOU”

Andrew Gower Talks Music, “Carnival Row,” and “YOU”

Both music and acting ignited Andrew Gower’s imagination. Music provided him an alternate language with his family. “I was born in Liverpool. Any scouser would say music is a constant in the city,” he says. “Growing up, there was always music playing in my house. Especially with my two older brothers – it became how we communicated with each other.” Acting gave him an alternative gateway to life.“I was 17 when I applied to drama school and I quickly became engrossed in learning a craft that allowed pure escapism.” Narrative is the through line that unites them both. Andrew is a firm believer that audiences should be trusted to fill in the gaps and make their own decisions. “I think it’s all about being able to tell a story. About serving a story. The best scripts are written unselfishly for the audience. Just like the best songs. Music and acting shouldn’t spoon feed people. I think we are missing some mystery in the world today. Also, we live in a world that is shaped by opinions. So striving to be ‘the best’ in either medium seems both ridiculous and unrealistic. Which I like. Some people will get it and others won’t.” He is as grounded as he is perceptive. “I’d say I’m a collaborator. I ask a lot of questions and work hard…but always try to find ways to work smarter. I’m lucky that both music and acting (at their core) rely on collaboration. That is what makes me want to get out of bed in the morning. This really hit home when I was in the studio with Craig Potter (Elbow) in Manchester. It’s all about finding the people you want to work with and hopefully they’ll want to work with you too!”

Andrew can currently be seen collaborating on his two latest projects. Carnival Row transports viewers to a world of mythical intrigue. He plays Ezra, who holds a grudge against non-human society. “The brainchild of the show’s creator is Travis Beacham. Carnival Row is a Victorian steampunk world where humans live alongside fae folk. The ‘row’ is a sequestered part of the city which has become home to many unique creatures. In season two, tensions between the creatures and humans are higher than ever. Ezra Spurnrose (human) is a quintessential Jane Austen character. He’s an aspiring socialite who is the son of a famous (Burgish) Watchmaker. He and his sister Imogen live an affluent life in Finisterre Crossing. At the end of season one, Imogen abandons Ezra for their wealthy neighbor – Agreus, who is a Faun – leaving Ezra alone to deal with the scandal. His apathetic opinion towards the Faun very quickly turns into hate and revenge. Ezra is the anti hero of the show who really drives forward the fear of the ‘other.’” Ezra’s bigotry is a clear parallel to the biases humans have against one another. “Fantasy is an amazing medium to ask big questions and shine a light on humanity in its current state, all the while making it digestible and entertaining for an audience. Whether that is race, injustice or simply holding a mirror up to the troubles of our current lives. It is a genre that people will always come back to because at its heart, it is a true form of escapism.” Ezra continues his downward spiral in future episodes. “I’m terrible with these bloody spoilers,” admits Andrew. “I will keep it cryptic. Season two for Ezra is all about his search for his own truth and family justice. Without his sister in the Burgue, he has a purposeless existence and he’ll do anything to get her back. His unrealistic Victorian etiquette standards are tested more than ever. He has enormous fears of becoming the thing he hates most.”

Andrew gets to dance with the devil as an unsuspecting cop in his other role on YOU. “The dark psychology of this series is definitely what draws the audience in. It’s a very trendy genre right now! My character – Detective Peter Andrew – is on the hunt for a London serial killer throughout this new series. So I was keen to play against the psychology of Joe (Penn Badgley). I also made a point not to watch the earlier series and go in with a fresh take on playing a London Detective that was just trying to do his job.” He also has plenty of musical ambitions. His band GUSTAFFSON is incredibly prolific. “The next step for us as an unsigned band would be to make our first album. We’ve written so many new songs and have some incredible people to collaborate with so it’s all about finding a home for GUSTAFFSON to do that. In the meantime, we are recording a selection of live videos for some of our new tracks. We’re collaborating with some amazing music producers and film directors. It’s an exciting way to combine both my filming and music passions. There’s nothing better than being back in the studio with the band. It has very quickly become my happy place!” Music always seems to guide Andrew back home. 

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Andrew Gower Talks Music, “Carnival Row,” and “YOU.” Photo Credit: David Reiss. Styling: Ella Gaskell. Grooming: Paul Donovan.

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