Recently I had the opportunity to have an impromptu interview with Austin Webb ~ the vibe you get from him in his music is really who he is. He was real, he was fun with a great sense of humor we had a fun chat. Often you hear musicians say something about doing it for the love of music – well it’s not lip service from him, you feel if from Austin when talking to him. He does not care about ‘fame’ – it is almost as if it is a dirty word to him as he stated, “fame is some crazy word people made up. I think everybody is famous you know.” When I asked him who he would like to get a shout out from I was taken aback when his answer was “autism speaks.” He would love to work, partner with them in the future.
Don’t get me wrong, he wants us to hear his music thus when I asked what comes to mind when you hear country music with a laugh he stated “when is mine going to be played, is my song next” was one of his answers ~ one of his less methodical ones throughout our conversation. He did go on to say it evokes many different emotions.
Many musicians talk about how they started playing and singing at a very young age however, Austin’s musical beginning is influenced by his true love, poetry. He began writing poetry when he was 9. The musical part came into play in his teens. Often times we search to put a musician in a box and “label” them. I had tried to explain Austin’s sound and really found I couldn’t as it is unique. The more we talked it became clear why. We talked about his “musical roots” and where his inspirations come from “I grew up listening to country music on the radio, of course growing up in SC. I got into Kris Kristofferson and Motown and I was reading a lot of poetry. A lot of the poetry plus the old country plus the Motown made me become what I am now” This to me explains his sound, the uniqueness of it, especially of his first single “It’s All Good.” I am excited to hear what he does with it, not only on his debut CD but for the years to come, ~ he has a fresh outlook on music for certain. We could hash out the cliché country not country argument but to me it doesn’t matter good music is good music and Austin gives us just that. Some of his songs like “Southern Belle” have more of a country flavor than “It’s All Good” does ~ make no mistake about it when he does “country” quote, unquote, he does it very well. He has a different take on what needs to be in a country song “you can write a country song without putting dirt roads and beer in it” I like the direction he tends to lean towards. I find it very refreshing. In today’s music world you need to be versatile and willing to think, play outside the box and he does just that.
I asked whom he might like to do a duet with. “There’s this girl named Zaz. She’s a French singer and I am learning French right now so one day I can do a duet with her.” He paused briefly before finishing “her or Adele.” His unique answer to this standard question is another reason that you can bet Austin will continue to make his music his own. A few times I mentioned musicians that he wasn’t familiar with such as Sara Dugas or Girls Guns and Glory, once again his love of music shone through as he was quizzical about them ~ showed genuine interest “ I check out all the music people tell me about “every time someone hands me a demo I listen to the whole thing.” Even though we were on the phone his expressions and sentiments were clear. “I think it’s a beautiful thing I’m very blessed to be able to do what I do. My dad called the other day and there’s this song I wrote called “Even Angels Fall,” he said it changed this woman’s life. That is amazing to me,” you could hear the sincerity as he continued talking “just make stuff up and it can change somebody’s life that is why I do this. I don’t do it for me. I’m just kind of a messenger ya know.”
Most of his music is autobiographical in one form or another. If you’ve seen him live then you probably know most of the songs he writes are about women, and he likes to equate them to food. One of the most personal songs he has written is ““Getting Even.” It will probably be a single, it is a total redemption song about a girl that would love you through everything kill you with kindness.”
We talked about whom he wants to tour with and places he’d like to play. He’s almost like a kid talking about getting to go to Disney Land, you hear the anticipatory excitement in his voice, and I imagine there was a glimmer in his eyes.
Tim McGraw ~ is who I want to go on tour with”
Me “that would be cool”
Austin replied with a very heartfelt and expressive “yeah.”
That lead to his dream place to play “I think I want to play in Paris ~ I want to play the Opry I hope to God I get to play the Opry.” But really just living rooms, arenas, I don’t care I like playing music for people, I like meeting new people. Where ever people will listen is where I want to play. That’s what I love” It was another compelling answer into who Austin is and how genuine his love of music is. It’s what it’s about to him, touching people’s emotions with his words and music driven by his interest in life.
One thing that holds true in all his music that I have heard is the intricacy of his lyrics melding beautifully with the music! Outstanding! The true emotions you hear in his words when he sings ~ you feel what he is singing. A song that really moved me when I saw him the first time and has become a favorite of mine is “Even Angels Fall,” I am hoping it makes the album cut! Hint hint Mr. Webb. One thing for sure is when performing Austin leaves it all on the stage. He becomes one with the music. His show is a high-energy soulful show. He is very personable both on stage and off. He likes to mingle with the crowd and get to know who is seeing him. I would highly recommend you seeing him when he comes to a city/venue near you. #RoadTrip
When I asked Austin what the hardest thing he had endured so far career wise “I think that ‘um living with nothing, being broke for a long time, it was hard.” This by far was the most contemplative he had been so far in our chat “ya know I mean I had to work at Starbucks when I moved here. I was literally living off marble pound cake, cake pops and coffee. That was pretty much all I ate, like no joke it’s what I ate. It was tough.” His true good nature comes through as he finished with a chortle “I got kind of fat. That’s all I could eat really I didn’t have a lot of money.”
Austin’s favorite part of what he does “I love writing that is a given. I moved here to be a writer.” ~ You hear the delight in his voice as he said “Being able to do what I love to do and get paid for it is crazy” emphasis on crazy for certain. “I never had a single doubt in my mind that this is what I was going to do. Ever! I always knew it, I knew I would being doing interviews, I knew I would be playing shows, I knew people would be singing my songs back to me. I never once thought it wouldn’t happen. I think that’s a lot of the reason why it has happened.” Perhaps part of the reason it he has such an innate belief in himself is because “so did my parents believe in me as well. That was a good thing.”
Even my normal “quick kill” questions turned into fun more in-depth than normal, giving me, us, even more insight into Austin. Usually I go down the list and get quick one or two word answers for what I call my “quick kill” questions. With Austin it was different we talked about his answers and it actually ended up giving me a lot of the “goods” so to speak that made up my article.
Q ~ A place you can spend a hours and be happy?
A ~ “oh probably my mama’s house back home in SC, anywhere in SC” he paused then with a devilish tone and laugh, the song writer in him came out “between the sheets with a beautiful women”
Q ~ Something you couldn’t go a day without
A ~ Coffee –
Q ~ Whats on your iPod? He does have quite an eclectic collection I must say. We got into the meat of his music when we talked about this.
Q ~ Favorite color ~
Black ~ everything that Johnny Cash stood for it kind of speaks for a lot of people that speak.
Q ~ Favorite Superhero ~
Batman obviously black laughing
Q ~ Favorite Cartoon ~
Rugrats, Hey Arnold Sponge Bob Square Pants ~ this question turned into a completely different conversation from his favorites to his view on South Park – their writers how people can complain all they want but it’s not going to change what they do.
Q ~ Favorite book ~
“Oh lord Have Mercy … I like “The Old Man in the Sea” I like a lot of Ernest Hemingway. Right now I’m reading “A Moveable Feast” I like Joseph Campbell “The Power Of Myth”
It was a pleasure getting to know Austin both in our interview and in person seeing his music come to life. He is a unique fun loving guy and I see very good things in his future and someday when he’s up accepting an award, I’ll be saying I remember when.....
Austin's Web site - http://www.austinwebbmusic.com/
Twitter - @austinlwebb - https://twitter.com/austinlwebb
By: Nickie Techmanski ~ @Acologal