Austin Lucas is currently in the country as part of the Young Troubadours tour which is running throughout this month. Also on the tour are Jamie Hay and PJ Bond. Shows in Adelaide and Melbourne have already happened, and this afternoon from 3pm both Austin and PJ will jump on the Tyre Swans family picnic show at Edinburgh Gardens giving you an extra chance to catch them alongside Donnie Dureau, Darren Gibson, Jamie Hay, Nathan Seeckts and Lucy Wilson. Another Melbourne date has also just been added to the tour at The Public Bar on the 21st. This week the tour visits Canberra, Wollongong, Newcastle and Sydney before heading further north next week. Just prior to his arrival in the country, we caught up with Austin Lucas to answer our Hotseat questions. Expand this post to take a read of his answers and re-cap all the tour dates.
Name : Austin Lucas
Website Address : www.austinlucasmusic.com
Hometown : Bloomington, IN
Hometown is best known for : College basketball and for providing the limestone for a good portion of Manhattan including the Empire State Building.
Best venue in your hometown : The Bishop
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : Probably Emmylou Harris
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : Oh man, that’s hard. Probably when I opened up for Sonvolt last year.
How did the band first come to exist? I’m a singer songwriter so I’m not really a band. I’ve been writing songs since I was in High school though.
How long has the band been going? I’ve been doing this particular project since I was 21 so it’s been 12 years.
Any particular story behind the name? My parents probably were looking for the right name so that I could either be a country singer or a porn star. I think they were bummed when I chose the former over the later.
What’s your most recent release? ‘A New Home in the Old World’
Tell us a little about it… I produced it myself, which was a first for me. It came out in April of 2011 and I was extremely pleased with the critical response. I actually was able to get some of the guys from Magnolia Electric Company to come and be part of my band on that one. It was really amazing because I’ve been such a fan for so long.
Got a personal stand out achievement to date? I toured with Willie Nelson in 2011. That was a really REALLY big deal for me. Seriously, singing on stage with him was probably one of the greatest thrills of my life. Also, it will be very hard to top something like that.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? Well, my father is a working musician and has been since the early 60′s. I guess that I was just born into it and never really had any choice. I’ve always known that I wanted to be an entertainer. It’s like Joan Rivers said. “It’s a calling and I don’t think that I’ve ever had any choice in the matter.”
Any particular band / album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? My father has to be my biggest influence. After that, who knows. My favorite bands are X, the Beatles, His Hero is Gone and the Louvin Brothers. Hard to get it all figured in a mess like that. Honestly, that’s why I usually always say my dad.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? Lost Souls, I was 12 years old and we were a very rudimentary punk band. We got to open up for the Zero Boys which was about the coolest thing a young band or any band could do, back then.
Most prized music related item you own? My Martin HD-28 I loves that guitar.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? Watching television or reading. Honestly, I tour almost all year round and I’m often in the studio when I’m not out on the road. That’s why I usually do as little as possible when I’m not out playing music.
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… Seeing family and friends. One time, someone asked me how I could handle being away from my family so much and I had to tell them that I probably wouldn’t ever see my family if I wasn’t out on the road and heading to them so often. It’s the same with friends, I get to see more of my nearest and dearest all over the world, as a result if being mobile all year long.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… The only thing I don’t look forward to is the flying and that’s only if there is a lot of air travel on a tour. Once I’m on the ground, I never don’t love every minute.
ON THE STAGE
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? Whiskey. I feel like a total alcoholic saying that but it’s true.
Favourite place you’ve toured… and why? Finland, without a doubt. There’s something about their culture that really makes sense to me. It’s also maybe the only place that I play where you can see a line around the block for my show. Something about being loved so well, makes a fella want to go back again and again.
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why? Well, that probably was in Little Rock, Arkansas with Willie Nelson. They were closing out Willie’s set, singing gospel songs and Larry (Willie’s stage manager) motioned me up on the stage to sing backup. It wasn’t the last time that I’d sing with him on stage but it was the first. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so damn exhilarated in my life. It was better than the first time I had sex.
Got a favourite song to play live? Whatever song is newest is almost always the favorite. I know that fans don’t always appreciate it but as a songwriter. It always feels amazing to play new songs.
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? Yes, I was on stage in California in front of about 5,000 people and I had been drinking. My brand new Martin guitar came out of its strap and smacked straight down onto the cement stage. It really embarrassed the heck out of me. Another one, was when I was playing in Innsbruck Germany. There were all these super drunk Italian’s who had come up for the show and they kept hopping up on stage. There was beer everywhere and I slipped and fell on my ass. Ripping a hole in my pants that went from my belt loops to the back of my knee. I had to walk around the show for the rest of the night with these funny turquoise underwear showing. Also, I was incredibly drunk and it didn’t stop me from flirting with the ladies. Even though it should have.
Any pre-show rituals? Not really, I take every day as it comes. I usually smoke some cigarettes, talk to fans, maybe have a drink or two. That’s about it.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? Just the volume of bands that are out there. That and the lack of supplemental record sales. It makes it so I have to be on the road nearly all year round competing with a million other bands and artists.
Last song you listened to? I’m in the studio recording my new album right now and so I’ve honestly been listening to a lot of playback of my own music. I know that I listened to Waylon Jennings “Ladies Love Outlaws” when I was driving to get cigarettes yesterday. That’s probably the last non me song that I listened to.
Last album you acquired? I purchased a George Strait anthology about 2 months ago. He’s the fricking king. I love him.
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? Listening to a lot of Waylon Jennings and George Strait currently. I’ve also been subjected to a lot of Taylor Swift lately which has been extremely frustrating. I see why people love her and there are a few songs that I can get behind but overall I really would rather listen to almost anything else.
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? Glossary, without a doubt. They’re the best band going right now. Buy their albums if you know what’s good for you.
What’s on the cards for the next few months? Just finishing this new album, heading to Australia to see you folks and then heading to Europe with Glossary opening for me.
You can pick any one album to cover in full, what would it be and why? Probably X “Under The Big Black Sun”. That’s still one of my absolute favorite albums of all time. I’m always really into punk bands that make their first studio pop record.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? That’s really hard to say. I’d probably love it if I could convince George Jones to sing my album “Somebody Loves You” in it’s entirety. Mostly because he has the greatest voice in the history of music.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? Oh man, there are so many. Most of them are folks who passed away or broke up before my time. The artist who I could have seen but never did and most regret, is Doc Watson. When he passed away it really just stabbed me straight in the heart. He’s my favorite guitar picker in the history of guitar pickers. I feel very much like a damn fool for not working harder to see him.
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? There are plenty but Carnegie Hall is probably my biggest. I’d really feel like I’d hit a major career marker if I played there.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? I’d kill to fill in for Billy Zoom from X but then I’d have to do a tour in X without the baddest ass Punk Guitarist of all time. So yeah, I’d rather prolly just be their roadie.
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support you. Well, I’m taking Glossary along for support on my next European tour and I’m having PJ Bond as support on this Australian tour. I think that I’m already taking some of my favorite artists out on the road.
Got any final words? Yeah, please come spend some time with me in your beautiful country. I’m really excited about finally coming to Australia. I hope that there are some folks who are excited that I’ll be there as well.
Trusty Chords Music, Hobbledehoy, Bombshellzine and Last Chance Records present…
With JAMIE HAY and PJ BOND
6th – Edinburgh Gardens, Melbourne [AA] * New show just added * [Details Here]
9th – The Front Gallery Café, Canberra [18+]
10th – Yours and Owls, Wollongong [18+]
11th – The Roxbury, Sydney [18+]
12th – Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle [18+] w/ Jen Buxton
13th – Black Wire Records, Sydney [AA]
17th – The Wasp Factory, Lismore [18+]
18th – The Shed, Byron Bay [AA]
19th – Crowbar, Brisbane [18+]
21st – The Public Bar, Melbourne [18+] * New show just added *
23rd – Hepburn Palais, Daylesford [18+]
24th – Beavs Bar, Geelong [18+] w/ Nathan Seeckts
25th, 26th, 27th – Newstead Folk Festival, Newstead (Jamie Hay not appearing)