Lessons From Andy

Lessons From Andy

by Allie Adams

Today marks two years since the untimely passing of Andy Chaves, the charismatic frontman of Arizona-based hip-hop/reggae/alt group Katastro. His death sent shockwaves through the band’s hyper-devoted national fanbase and left a gaping hole in the Chaves family–a hole only made bearable by his parents Lydia and Jim’s unwavering Christian faith and the birth of his niece and namesake, Andie, last year. As we also celebrate Mother’s Day today, let’s take a look at the lessons that Andy taught his mom and the indelible mark the Gentle Predator left on all of us.

Courtesy of Katastro

In a Facebook post, Lydia says, “Son, here’s what you added to my life – to always be Joyous in the moment, to have Compassion for the underdog, to keep that undying love for your family, fierce loyalty to your friends, a deep Devotion to your craft, to seize every moment of every day! Son, I miss you every moment of every day! I love you, my beautiful baby boy! -mom”

Posts have poured into the Katastro Facebook group page and his father, Jim, also added what not only death has taught him, but what Andy’s life stands for:

“I learned to never give up.  From a very early age, music became his passion.  He had a lot of challenges along the way, many that were reflected in his lyrics but he never gave up. He was determined along with the rest of the band to make every new album better than the last and they always blew me away with every new release and I can’t wait for fans to hear the best ever.  Even after his passing, I’ve continued to grow, specifically in my faith.  Only God could comfort me the way He has the last two years. I don’t know where I would be without my Christian faith and I thank God for giving us the strength and the peace to walk through this storm.  AJC Forever.”

Courtesy of Chris Colclasure @chrisfiq

The magnitude of Andy’s love, devotion, originality, and kindness is beyond comprehension. He affected hundreds, if not thousands, through his music–exemplified through the endless stories told passed around at shows and social media. It didn’t matter if you knew him personally or by osmosis, Andy’s legacy lives on through all of us all the same. We’ve learned about ourselves from his life and death and are better people because of him. His fans had much to say about it in the comments.

*Source: Facebook. Comments have been edited for length and clarity

Amie Childs: “I have learned and loved seeing the love and support of Andy’s family, especially his parents at Kampfest! I think the whole family has taught us all about love, support, showing up for each other and accepting each other, and being one big family?.”

Kai Rediske: “Pure inspiration. Made me remember why I loved making music.”

Audra Mink: “I learned that being yourself and being kind is the best policy in life. He was always so quick to meet us, the fans without knowing our crazy or our story. He just wasn’t too big or above taking time to get to know us.”

Donna Karina Kohler: “He taught me to never let moments pass you by. I regret not speaking to him the one and only time I got to see them live. He was right in front of me after their set, and I suddenly got shy and never got to meet him. Now I make sure to say hi to all the artists when I can.”

Andrea Easton: “To accept people as they are, as who they are.

Krystal Estes Kirk: “That you can give so much to people just by being the real authentic you even if you don’t know them or how much you’ve touched and changed their lives. You can literally change their whole world, just be you. I will love you forever, Andy J. Chaves.

Source unknown

Kimberly Youngbeck: “Andy taught me not to hide my dark parts, but that shadows have beauty, too. Our most authentic self is the very best version of who we are . He also taught me that we connect with others through our struggles, to LOVE, live BIG, and always be humble.”

Brandi Marie: “I learned to live life more fully. Not to give a fuck about what anyone else thinks. And that even if we fuck it up sometimes, we do deserve happiness.”

Austin Spruill: “Andy taught me that you should always stay true and real to your people, wether it’s fans of your music, friends or family, I also learned that it’s okay to be my self, and I can write music about my own feelings even if it’s going through a hard time.

Crystal Snow: “Andy taught me to live life to the fullest. That we only get one shot, so don’t waste it being mediocre. Be BOLD. Be BIG. Be YOU.”

Ashley Arrieta: “To be yourself and grab life by the horns and let it ride. enjoy life, the little moments before it’s too late. And always have the back of the ones who are close to you. Andy was just an amazing soul; there is no one like him.”

The vocals he left behind allow us to experience new Katastro music all over again, and provided much-needed healing and closure for his bandmates and best friends, Andrew Stravers, Ryan Weddle, and Tanner Riccio. An album is to be released in the near future, and they dropped a single with the help of Jared Watson Duddy B of Dirty Heads at the end of last year.