A singer/songwriter out of Minnesota, Austin Plaine has developed a deep lyrical love, drawing inspiration from the likes of Bob Dylan, Bright Eyes and Ryan Adams. Be sure to check out his self-titled, debut album, which was just released in September.
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CR: Music has always been a passion of yours, but at what point in your life did you have the “this is what I’m going to do as a career” moment?
AP: I think it was senior year [of college], so just this last year and a half ago, when I was finishing up all of my classes and I didn’t really want to jump into the work force. I went down to Nashville and made this record with all of these cool people. I was like, “I’m going to take a stab at this and this is what I want to do.” Around senior year I was hitting those crossroads, do I pursue more schooling or do I pursue my music, and it was during those crossroads senior year where I decided to make music my career.
Photo courtesy | Michael Hicks
CR: That’s intense. I’m sure that was a tough decision. Did you have a lot of support?
AP: Yea totally, my parents were very supportive of what I’m doing and my friends, they’re always coming to shows for me. They love what I do. So I think that was really helpful for me to hear from my parents, friends and peers that, “Yeah, you can do this.” It definitely gave me some motivation.
CR: What’s the most memorable place you’ve played at so far and what was the crowd atmosphere like?
AP: We played a festival called the Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati this past summer and that was my first music festival that I played. I got put on main stage. There was a few thousand people in the crowd and it was just really fun to play in front of that many people, because I haven’t played a whole lot live this past year. It was fun to play a show of that magnitude right out of the gate. It was very memorable for me.
Photo courtesy | Jeff Cold
CR: Along your journey so far have you come across any food places that stick out to you? Over here at SCP we’re a bunch of foodies.
AP: You know, no places are sticking out to me, but I’m always partial to finding these dive bars or run-down diners that sometimes have the best burgers. You would never think [they] would have the best food. But, it’s just the way that they look from the outside, then you walk in and it’s pretty good food.
CR: That’s normally how it goes.
AP: I try to find those diamond in the rough places when we’re out on the road. That’s what we like to do.
CR: I’m the same way. So, switching gears a little bit, when you hear the word vacation, what’s one of the first things that pops into your mind?
AP: Easy — relaxing.
CR: Would you say you’re more of a beach kind of a guy or you get into a city you like to see the sights?
AP: I like to be a beach bum and not have a whole agenda. I mean, I like to see things, like go to [Las] Vegas and do all the cool touristy stuff or finding national parks. But, you know, I just like to not have an agenda, just go with it, relax and enjoy it — not really stress about having to go to work every day. Just let your mind relax.
Photo courtesy | Gord McKenna
CR: Absolutely. What are three destinations that you’ve never been to that you would want to go see?
AP: I’ve never been to England — Australia as well. I’m thinking in North America — I’d love to go to Vancouver. I hear that’s a great city. I would go to Vancouver for sure.
CR: Is there any specific reason for Australia or England?
AP: I just love different cultures. I like the idea of traveling away from America and seeing the different layouts of the countries. I just always liked the weather down in Australia — surfing and stuff. It sounds cool to me. I love English culture, for sure.
Photo courtesy | Moyan Brenn
CR: Have you traveled out of the country much?
AP: Yeah, I’ve spent some time in Italy, France and Spain — some of those Southern European countries. But, I’ve never gone up to England so I really want to get there. I go to Canada quite a bit just being in the vicinity of Minnesota. It’s just second nature for us to travel to Canada. I’ve done a lot more traveling inside the States.
CR: How were your travels in Europe? Was there anything that stuck out to you as far as historical things, cultural things? Was the culture shock a little different coming from America and going over there for the first time?
AP: It was just different experiences, like going to Rome and seeing how big that city is — how ancient it is. It’s cool to see the ruins and old ancient stuff, because we don’t have a lot of that in America. It was a good perspective to see how other people live. I wasn’t really culturally shocked, but it was definitely a learning curve dealing with the different languages.
Photo courtesy | Moyan Brenn
CR: Oh yeah, I’m sure. Did you end up learning any Italian?
AP: Yeah, it was actually for an Italian class I was taking. I like to think that I know a little bit of Italian, but I really don’t know much of it anymore.
CR: Do you have any destinations that you haven’t performed at yet, that you would like to, and for you would be an “I made it” moment?
AP: The one that’s sticking out is the Red Rock Amphitheatre in Colorado. It’s such a beautiful venue and you’re tucked away in the mountains. It’s an awesome atmosphere. That’s kind of the one venue where if I can say I played at Red Rock, then I must be doing something right.
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For more on Austin Plaine visit his website:
Additional photos courtesy | JHeisierPhotography