Hey Austin, what it is?
Share with us a little background information about yourself, where you're from, musical experience, non-musical experience etc.
Well…my name is Austin, I was born in Houston, and I live in Dallas. I’ve been to every continent (minus Antarctica) multiple times, traveling with my father who is in the oil business. I went to middle school in Venezuela, where I learned how to speak Spanish fluently and consequently play guitar. When I came back to the US, I started a horrible nu-metal band with my best friend Zach Jobin. After countless lineup changes, weekend parties at my parents house, and a few detentions we put a package together that worked. A Faith Called Chaos was signed to Volcom Entertainment during my senior year of high school, and we went on our first nation-wide tour that following summer: The Vans Warped Tour.
While on tour, we were invited to continue touring in Europe opening up for Rise Against, which would have been an incredible opportunity, although my parents had other plans in mind. Because I was destined to be the first person in my direct family tree to graduate college, I had to cut the party short and come back home after the tour so I could enroll at the University of Texas at Arlington.
School was dreadful. While other students anxiously awaited the professor’s lesson of the day, I was fantasizing about being back on stage in front of thousands of roaring youngsters rocking and rolling.
Eventually, A Faith Called Chaos, disbanded as most bands do who get signed too early. Our bass player had kids, our singer started collecting lizards, our lead guitarist got married, and Zach and I just got bored with the sound.
So…I started creating my own music. It took me about a year to put “Nova Dreamer” together. I wrote about 25 songs for the record and threw away 15 of them. I performed and recorded everything on the record in my home studio. I solicited the services of the magician, John Congleton, when I was ready to finalize the record.
About 8 months ago I put a band together and started playing shows; the rest has been history.
...That about brings us up to date.
You have a very eclectic style, very Beck-ish on tracks like "Galactic Virgin" and "Way Too Cool", Talking Head-ish on "Rhythm of Texas", and STP-ish on "Take Time". Where do you draw your influences from?
I am a huge fan of Beck, the Talking Heads, and Stone Temple Pilots, although the majority of what I listen to is old 60s / 70s blues rock like Ten Years After and Spirit. If I thought I could play nothing but the blues in today’s music market and still survive, I probably would. But at the same time I respect people like Beck, who can re-invent themselves with each new record, and really with each new song. So, I’ve tried to follow the same model. I understand the need to have a packaged sound, one that is easily absorbed into a general radio format. However, I treat each new song like an independent project and try to do whatever is best for the song.
What is the concept behind your album "Nova Dreamer"?
Technically, a “Nova Dreamer” is an apparatus that helps people condition themselves into a state of Lucid Dreaming. For those unlucky people who don’t know what lucid dreaming is…it is simply the act of becoming cognizant of the fact that you are dreaming, which in turn gives you the power to control the dream reality that you are experiencing while you’re asleep. I’ve always been fascinated with this concept, and so my intention was to fashion my album into a tool that could help listeners achieve a state of lucid dreaming or at least put them in a better position to achieve a lucid state.
You don't press up CD's like most artists, but propagate jump drives with your music, what gave you that idea?
It is no secret that CD sales are plunging. Not only are CD sales falling but sales of music recordings in general are lower now then they have ever been in the history of recorded music. A Faith Called Chaos always made more money from selling t-shirts, than we did from selling CD's. Historically the same has been for most major label acts as well. So…I asked myself why would someone want a t-shirt over a CD? And the answer I came up with was that people can re-use a shirt over and over, day after day. It fulfills a basic human need. My theory was that if I deliver my music in a way that adds value to the user’s life, he/she wouldn’t mind paying for music, knowing that they were getting something useful along with it.
The first time I saw you, it was opening for Eagles of Death Metal. For a fledgling band, that is a great gig to get, how did that come about? I noticed you weren't using the house mic, what was that thing?
Funny story. I have been playing shows at The Door since I was 16. Joel and Russell have always been great about helping young local bands grow. The first show I ever played at the door was on a Wednesday on the side stage. Ever since then, whenever a show with a touring act comes through (that I think my sound would be appropriate with) I email Joel, almost as a joke and say something like “Hey buddy, wink wink, put us on the bill.” Joel usually ignores my emails and books us for good local weekend shows anyways, but this time he put us on the bill. I believe the email went something like “Ah, screw it, I’ll put you guys on.”
The mic I was using was a Shure “Green Bullet”. It was actually designed for a harmonica, which is why I love it. It has a very warm, mid-rangy sound to it that you can’t re-create any other way.
You have a very charismatic stage presence, like Meat Loaf meets Ed Kowalczyk, I take it you enjoy performing live.
I would love nothing more than to be able to tour the world and play music every day. I also love doing studio work. For me, music production is as much of an art form as music creation & music performance.
Your backing band, The Sounds, are also very solid and tight, and your live set puts your album to shame (a sign of a great band), where do you hope to play next here in lil' ole Texas?
The band wasn’t put together until after the album was recorded. I think our next record will be our breakout record, because it will have all live instrumentation on it and should capture the energy of our live show.
I am going out of the country for awhile; I should be back in the middle of January. We will start playing shows as soon as I get back. I think we have one booked at Club Dada on the 22nd of January. We also have some other big things in the works that I would love to tell you about, but I’d have to kill all you so I’ll wait.
Chili or potato soup?
Chili baby! This is Texas.
Word on the street is that you are looking for someone to play the keys in your band. What would be the best avenue for a talented keyboardist to get in touch with you, showcase their proficiency, and possibly join your ensemble?
If you don’t suck…call me: 469-877-5336
Have any interesting plans for the holidays?
I am going to Dubai for a couple of weeks to see my father. I fly through Amsterdam on the way back to the US, so I think I’ll stop and stay a week there as well.
Thank you for your time A-Dizzle, let us know about any new shows and recordings, you are the one 2 punch!
*BONUS NOTE: Free Austin Brown MP3's are at the band's website (for a limited time only!)