Once Upon a Time, there was a band, and a tour…

Once Upon a Time is Andrew Long (vocals), Jamie Dicarlo (lead guitar) and Connor Schnepf (piano).

Once Upon a Time is Andrew Long (vocals), Jamie Dicarlo (lead guitar) and Connor Schnepf (piano).

Andrew Long is a college student. He’s also a budding rock star.

The front man of the pop-rock band Once Upon a Time chatted with us about the group’s tour last summer, which took them from New York to Los Angeles, and their plans moving forward.

Once Upon A Time’s beginnings date back to Andrew’s days in high school, when he was in a show called “Honk.” The guy who played his dad in show in the show, Jamie DiCarlo, played guitar and had the same musical tastes as Andrew. Soon, they were bringing their guitars to rehearsals. With another friend, Connor Schnepf, they started the group.

Last summer, they were part of the Timeless Tour, with the bands Hello Highway and Jocelyn. Andrew spoke to us on a recent afternoon between college classes. Here’s an edited version of the conversation.

Gabby Gugliuzza & Emily Meegan, LSY! teen reporters, Mount St. Mary Academy

As you think about your life and career, what is something you never expected?

Andrew: I’ve had dream of being in a band for so long, I don’t know if I ever expected this to happen at all.

What are your long-term goals, and what will it take to achieve them?

Andrew: We really want to have sell-out shows and have full crowds. I’ve learned something being new in this business: Stay as true to myself as possible. As time goes on, you have more and more people who will try and convince you into thinking that what you want is wrong, and what they want is right. Stay true to you.

Can you give us an example where somebody tried to convince you of something that you didn’t want to do?

Andrew: We are all students in college in addition to being in a band. Our original plan is to stay in school and finish it. A well-respected manager told us that we were going to be nothing in the music industry if we didn’t drop out of school. It really put us in a slump for a couple months because we looked up to this person. It definitely wasn’t right of him to say this.

Andrew Long told LSY! that one well-known manager told the band they needed to drop out of college. They didn't listen.

Andrew Long told LSY! that one well-known manager told the band they needed to drop out of college. They didn’t listen.

What is one of the biggest misconceptions people have about your life as a musician?

Andrew:  People back home think that we make a ton of money when really we don’t. All the money from tours goes right into the bank. If people don’t already know, the music industry is incredibly difficult to get into. But hey, we’re doing what we love, and that’s all that matters.

What is something about business that no one ever knows until they are in it?

Andrew: There are so many. For example, I expected to be able to do a little bit more sightseeing on tour, but you have no free time. During the days we planned parties or had interviews. There is little to no down time at all. It’s very busy. It was more “work fun” than actual fun time.

What have you learned about the concept of hard work?

Andrew: I am a very competitive person and people always seem to call me the Debbie Downer because they want me to enjoy it. I tell them I can’t just sit down. We need to work on things in the next couple of months, because in three months I want to be able to do something cooler.

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