Yankee Candle haul videos are primarily made by junior gays and awkward British cat ladies and the genre existed happily for its insular community until Andy Animal joined the fun.
Once you get past the makeup tutorials and toddlers singing pop songs, YouTube is rife with mysterious subcultures. You can get stuck in a video k-hole of anything from swimming bunnies to zit popping. I was pleased to learn of the phenomenon known as the Yankee Candle Haul. The video genre’s most popular sniffer is a chubby effeminate teen named Drew who huffed such wax scents as Pink Lady Slipper and Early Sunrise and cuddled a gratis teddy bear infused with Soft Blanket. The haul videos are primarily made by junior gays and awkward British cat ladies and the genre existed happily for its insular community until Andy Animal joined the fun.
Some of you may recognize Andy as the lead singer of Brooklyn’s long-time punk band the Stalkers. Bostonians may remember him by his former nickname Uncle Scary. I’ll always remember him as the dude who insisted on wearing a straw hat and a Hawaiian shirt to my friends’ Boca Raton country club Jewish wedding. This pervy party-time rock ’n’ roll biker is a little bit John Belushi and apparently just a little bit Martha Stewart.
His first video was uploaded ten months ago. The responses were almost all positive, some from serious candle aficionados, others from female admirers drawn to his sensuous focus. A second upload soon followed. Bowie knife in hand, he outraged many Yankee Candle purists by smoking while reviewing the haul.
Wisely recognizing his growing female fan base cemented his status as internet panty creamer by providing his fans with an intimate glimpse into his private world. Holiday editions soon followed. According to his blog, Andy’s World, a Waxman’s haul is forthcoming. I caught up with Andy after he’d eaten a majestic turkey sub on wheat with bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, jalapeño, a little bit of mayo, pickles, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and some potato chips crunched in for good measure. I asked him a few questions about candles, sensuousness, and sasquatches:
Andy Animal: Hey there sensuous sister.
VICE: Hey there, how was the sub?
Amazing! There’s this one guy at my local Subway who really seems to know what he's doing. That’s a rarity these days. I got bacon on it too. You gotta really go out and pamper yourself every once in a while.
You seem like a man who pampers himself quite regularly with the Sensuous Porterhouse and whatnot.
OK, you got me. Pampering yourself and others is the key to life.
Is that part of the Animal code? Perhaps you could explain your concept of sensuousness to me.
To me sensuousness is an explosion of pure ecstasy within the senses. It can be sweet, savory, erotic, voluptuous, orgasmic, rich, tantalizing, delicious or all of the above.
I've noticed that the candle videos have gotten quite the response from the ladies. You’ve been the subject of fantasy on a few blogs. Have they gotten you any tail?
I do get an overwhelming amount of sensuous messages from the ladies, but, honestly, I don’t get out of the house all that much. I do get by though.
There seems to be a lot of confusion about you on the internet. Can you clear some of this up? Some reports say you are a metalhead from Albany, others a biker, and others a sex symbol. Girls are posting your video on Facebook and saying they want to marry you. How do you feel about all this attention?
People think I'm from Albany because in one of my Haul vids I stated that I went to the Crossgates mall in Albany, which was in fact true, but I certainly do NOT live in Albany. I DO enjoy the more hard rock side of heavy metal, i.e., Motorhead, The Sweet, Kiss, etc. I am in fact a biker. I rode down to New Orleans recently and left my bike there for the time being. I'm picking it up in March to go hit Daytona Bike Week. I do enjoy the attention otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this interview. Sex symbol? Why not!
I think your sex symbol status has crossed gender lines. You're quite a hit in the bear community as well.
That’s awesome! Look but don’t touch, fellas!
Your nose has sniffed candles from many different companies. Do you have a sense of brand loyalty with Yankee or have others wooed you away?
I have been sent numerous care packages from other wonderful companies such as Streetman Candles, Waxman Candles, and Diamond candles (each jar containing a diamond ring.) YC sent me my first care package. I am a little disappointed with YC's failure to respond to my last email requesting their autumn line for a Halloween episode. I am not buying another Yankee Candle until they send me another haul. I want some of the new spring fragrances such as Meadow Showers, True Rose, and Coastal Waters.
Some scent purists have voiced concern regarding your smoking during the haul reports. What say you to them?
Oh I don't care! Am I supposed to care what they think?
So far we've been able to watch you fish, bathe, thrash, smell candles, perform with your band the Stalkers, and eat steak on the internet. What's the next window into your world?
I have begun filming for a web series on "urban exploration" where I give guided tours in cool abandoned buildings. The first episode covers the abandoned resorts of the Catskills. It will be exclusively on my blog. The first episode should be up in about a month. Stay tuned!
Here’s a sneak peak:
Judging by your blog, you seem to really identify with the Sasquatch.
I think we can all identify with this. I still get residual checks from time to time for this one...
Wow… this explains so much.
That movie is in my Top Three: Blues Brothers, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Capture of Bigfoot.
I heard you had another nickname when you lived in Boston. How did you make the transition from Uncle Scary to Andy Animal?
Uncle Scary was a name given to me when I was a teenager. My buddy CC Evil called me that when I was petting his cat one time. I thought it was cool so I introduced myself to people as Uncle Scary. It only lasted a couple years, mainly when I was living in Boston. My good buddy Dirty Dan named me Animal. It just worked. Dirty Dan is actually the first "celebrity" guest on my new web show. He's a celebrity in my eyes.
Did Yankee Candles send you freebies because of your first video? What about the other companies you’ve “hauled”?
Yes, they certainly did. They sent me all kinds of stuff: air fresheners, votives, jars. They saw me on YouTube and wrote to me. The Diamond Candle company offered me two candles of my choice. I said there is no way I would do it for less than the entire autumn sampler.
So you've got bargaining power. I mean, a few free candles is a steal for the number of views they get off of your sterling reputation and heartthrob status.
I feel like I at least deserve a sampler pack.
What else is on the horizon for Andy Animal?
Honestly, I have two sweet young ladies from Chicago in my bed right now. I'll leave the rest to your sensuous imagination.
Good work. Is this just par for the course in the world of Andy Animal?
We will just have to wait and see.
Tomorrow we'll have a video exclusive of Andy Animal's Lost Haul. In the meantime, he can be found on YouTube and his blog Andy’s World. Also, Andy will be making a guest appearance on The Science Channel’s Oddities this Saturday at 9:30. No word if it will be Sasquatch-related. If you want to see the man behind the candles in person check out his band The Stalkers on Monday, February 6 at the opening of Tammany Hall, 152 Orchard Street.