Mike Andrews - Biography
Michael Andrews is a multi-faceted musician and film/television score composer based out of Southern California. Though he is best known for his collaboration with Gary Jules on the track “Mad World” from the movie Donnie Darko, Andrews has scored many television shows and films such as Orange County, My Suicide Sweetheart and Paris, je t’aime, as well as started his own record label and released two solo albums. As Andrews’ score work became more coveted in Hollywood, he had a custom-built studio in Glendale, where he worked on the lauded score for Miranda July’s film, Me and You and Everyone We Know. When playing guitar with his acid jazz band, The Grayboy Allstars, he goes by the stage name of Elgin Park.
Andrews initial break in film and television scoring occurred in the late-1990s when The Grayboy Allstars were serendipitously asked to compose a score for the movie, Zero Effect, which starred Bill Pullman and Ben Stiller. His imaginative score landed him work on the cult-favorite television show, Geeks and Freaks, and with a buzz around his name he was asked by Richard Kelly to score the soundtrack for the film Donnie Darko. The soundtrack sold over 100,000 copies on the strength of the haunting Tears for Fears cover he did with Gary Jules, “Mad World.” With Kelly asking that Andrews steer clear of guitar work—which was his forte with his work with The Grayboy Allstars and as Elgin Park—he had to learn piano and other instruments. The track became a #1 single in the United Kingdom in the winter of 2003, and showed up on a number of charts across Europe. Andrews name as a film score composer soared from that point on. Over the next decade he would score the films as varied as Cypher (2002), My Suicide Sweetheart (2004), Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) and Funny People (2007). During this time he would learn to play many instruments and replicate the feelings with the characters and narrative, using Moog and Vocoder synthesizers, mellotron, ukuleles, xylophones and marimbas. His flare for cinematic backdrop has made him one of the go-to film score composers in the business.
In 2006 Andrews started his own record label—Elgin Park Records, taken after his stage alias—and, stepping out from behind the scenes, recorded his first full-length album, the poetic Hand on String (2006). With guest appearances by Inara George and Greg Kurstin, the 12-track record was largely acoustic-based indie-pop with Andrews performing most of the instrumentation. In 2009, Andrews put out his second solo album, Sex (CommonwealthAv)—only this time he used producer/engineers Dan Long and Steve Kaye in the recording studio, and the gentle acoustics were supplanted by electronic mixes and faster dance beats. In 2012 he released Spilling A Rainbow.