I was born Andrew Neil Maternick, in Colorado in Aug 1988. Raised in Northern Virginia, my life revolved around athletics. A three sport athlete in high school I was recruited by and received an opportunity to play Division-1 lacrosse at the US Military Academy at West Point.
I attended the US Military Academy Prep School (USMAPS) for a year after High school, graduating in Jun 2008 and received my appointment to West Point. I entered in the fall of 2008 with the class of 2012. In Dec. 2008, hampered by injury inside and out, I resigned and left the Point. In Dec 2008 I returned to Northern Virginia, unsure of what I wanted to do in life, and very aware of what I had given up.
I began working for a moving company and decided to enlist in the US Marine Corps. I was to report to Paris Island in May 2009. On a clear beautiful April afternoon in 2009 all my plans were changed…… sober, but no seat belt, driving around a bend & over a small incline up a hill @ 55 mph I crashed into an “improperly stopped vehicle” in the fast lane. No one was hurt except me. I was air-evacked in a helicopter to the Hospital. I sustained what appeared to be a serious head injury and possible neck injury. The officer on the scene told my dad that the accident would have killed most people. For some reason, I was spared….so with the Almighty’s love shielding me, I was walked out of the hospital late that night. However, my life drastically changed with this close call with death. I had some complications after the accident, which also landed me in some dark places and changed my plans to join the military. At first I did not really understand what was going on inside my mind. But I began to hear music in a different way.
In the fall of 2009 I started writing songs on the keyboard. I never really had any music training, so I self-taught myself. I could hear the melodies in my head…the words just flowed. In May 2010, I picked up the guitar for the first time. Again…with no formal musical training…started composing songs with the guitar. I would play what I heard. Where will these songs lead? I hope…they lead to a positive place, where love echoes around Earth’s face. I am hoping that in some way, people’s lives will be a little better for listening, not only to my music, but to the music of other artists as well. Our lives are short on the earth and music and art can be a positive force to bring people together in this jello world. To sum it up….here is the last verse of a song I wrote called “Run Away Train ©
In the train I’ve come to learn before becomes after
And heavy tears can really turn into laughter
Blink after blink time disappears faster and faster
And all the ink of many years writes one chapter
From “Run Away Train” ©
My illness got the better of me in July 2013, when, during a psychotic episode, an incident occurred that lead to involvement with the criminal justice system. I was “tossed in a cell where people yelled, and wore orange suits. Lost in a spell until out I fell. It kinda hurt.” After sitting in Solitary Confinement for almost 8 months, I was acquitted and found "Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity” (NGRI) and committed to a State Hospital in Virginia. I now truly appreciate the help and treatment I am receiving. I regret what I did and take full responsibility for my actions and accept the responsibility for learning how to better manage my chronic illness. As of this writing, I have been conditionally released and am living in a Group Home where I will continue my recovery and reintegration back into society. I will also continue my music. I realize it is not going to be easy….but I now have hope and dreams of a future, hopefully to make music that will impact people’s lives in a positive way.
I would like to thank my Mom and Dad for all their support and most importantly, for not giving up on me.