Following our recent premiere of ‘Sounds Like Help,’ the new single from Austin, Texas-based folk singer-songwriter Austin Basham, he found some time in his busy schedule to answer a few of our questions. But first, watch his video for ‘All is Well‘ which features on his Linton/Oslo EP.
FRUK: Are you from a musical background?
Austin: Yeah, I grew up in a fairly musical family. My dad was a singer-songwriter back in the day, so we all grew up hearing his songs. Most of my siblings play music in some form or fashion as well. So when we are home for the holidays there is always music being played & shared amongst everyone.
FRUK: When did you first get into music?
Austin: As a child, I sang in church choirs… but became more involved in music when I joined my school band in the 6th grade to play trumpet. After about two years I stopped playing trumpet & started playing guitar in a punk band with some friends.
FRUK: What was your first live performance?
Austin: My first performance was in the 8th-grade talent show with my band. At the time I thought we killed it. I’ve since seen the footage… and not so much.
FRUK: Tell me about some of the artists you draw your influence from or are inspired by?
Austin: There are so many great artists out there who I’ve been inspired by, both old and new, from the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan & Nick Drake to Johnny Flynn, Sufjan Stevens & so many others. Though, I am also lucky enough to be surrounded by a lot of friends who are brilliant musicians. They’re constantly inspiring me with their art, and in turn, I think they have a bit of an influence over the sound & tone of my music.
FRUK: You had some great exposure via Cameron Crowe’s HBO show Roadies, tell us a bit about that, how has that made a difference?
Austin: I’ve been a fan of Cameron Crowe’s work for a while and really respect his taste in music, so naturally I was really excited when I found out some of my songs would be featured in his new series. Now I’m not out seeking validation, but it definitely served as a confidence booster, and hopefully some cool things will come from it.
FRUK: You’ve had 15 million plays for ‘All is Well’ on Spotify? What’s your view on the future of music, where do you see it all heading?
Austin: While there’s obviously a clear trend surrounding playlists, singles & streams, I think (or hope) that there will always be a place for physical records. I personally love collecting & listening to vinyl and have always enjoyed the act of going to a record shop to pick up a new album I’ve been waiting for. Playlists are great and certainly serve a purpose, but I think albums are best received when listened to consecutively and in their entirety.
FRUK: You recorded your first EP in Norway, what was the attraction?
Austin: At the time when I was working on my EP, my friend Tyler Johnson, who’s the man behind the curtain in producing my music, had several ties to Norway via friends he had and other artists he’d been working with over there. I’d been living in a town outside Cambridge, UK called Linton for a while, and so Tyler flew in from Vancouver to start working with me on the pre-production for my EP. Ultimately, we decided to record in Oslo on a whim due to some of the connections he had. I’ve since been to Norway on two separate occasions for extended periods of time to work on a full-length and have made so many close friends in the process. All are them are incredibly talented musically, which definitely comes in handy when recording an album…
FRUK: You’ve toured with Radical Face (Ben Cooper) in Europe? How was that and had you met before then? Do you enjoy life on the road?
Austin: I did… in the end I think it all went really well. We got to see so many cool cities and play in some really crazy venues. It was a fun experience getting to know and hang with Ben and the rest of the band. I hadn’t met any of them prior to the first show in Oslo, but quickly felt comfortable with the group. They were all so welcoming and easy to get along with. As my first European tour, I was a bit surprised at just how exhausting it was to constantly be travelling via train, buses and planes from country to country every day. Although, somehow, in the excitement of it all you never quite realise how tired you are until it’s over.
FRUK: I understand congratulations are in order, you recently got married?
Austin: Thank you. Yes, Laurel & I got married June 11th. A couple of months after our wedding, she agreed to come with me to Oslo, so I could continue working on my full-length album. We lived there for several months and from there went straight on tour with Radical Face where she was my tour manager & in charge of all the merchandise for the tour. She’s been so valuable, encouraging & flexible throughout it all. I’m not sure how I got so lucky.
FRUK: When can we expect your first full album which I understand you’re in the early stages of now? How has that been?
Austin: We are working towards a spring/summer release for the full-length album and are approaching the final stages. Throughout the process of making this record I’ve lived in the States and Norway and have recorded in various studios, cabins, & houses, etc. It’s been quite a journey but has been so rewarding to see the songs evolve into their final shapes.
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Photo Credit: Alexandra Cameron