THIS ROCKER IS STRIKING CHORDS ALL OVER AUSTIN
(and some in Nashville, too.)
Sick Lit Magazine: I remember listening to you when you were with Southbound Drive; the song that really struck a chord (haha, pun not intended) with me was “Mexico.” I was shocked at the rawness and realness that the vocals and lyrics left with me. With all that being said, what challenges are you facing as a solo artist? What do you enjoy about being a solo act?
Scott Collins: In relation to my experience writing the song “Mexico” nothing has changed.
I still write my lyrics generally without a predestined path in mind and just let the songs fall out of myself or as if I’m writing with another spirit. One that I don’t have to share royalties with (that’s a joke). Some personal stuff gets caught in the purge which is shown greatly in the first verse of “Mexico.”
Being a solo artist again mainly gives me more control of the final song structures, but I’ve written “real and raw” lyrics for every project I’ve formed. I’ve had some amazing experiences over the past year in a Nashville co-writing venture that has taught me invaluable lessons in song writing, but when I write for myself entirely I allow the “spirit” to take over more. Sometimes I won’t know what a line or a song means for years and will have this wonderful “a-ha!” moment. Even live on stage sometimes I’ll realize something very relevant I never thought of while writing.
The greatest struggle of playing as a solo act is all of the auditory story left out because lack of musical accompaniment, but I remedy that by playing with a lovely talented violinist and vocalist named Laura Poyzer and sometimes we have Jeff Hortillosa from Austin’s The Whiskey Shivers back us up. I have also put together a full band with some of Austin’ finest musicians and I’m also experimenting with loop pedals and percussion for solo shows. To me being solo isn’t more about draw backs it’s about possibilities that can make you stronger and more creative with dynamics of performance.
SLM: You’ve got some pretty sweet body art going on. Tell me about that.
SC: Basically when I was about 5 or 6 years old I was watching a show on Nickelodeon called “Pete and Pete” and one of the characters had a girl tattooed on his arm he’d make dance named Petunia. I remember turning to my Mom and telling her I wanted that and I wanted it everywhere. I am now tattooed everywhere and Petunia is tattooed on my shin.
SLM: I loved Pete and Pete! How has your sound changed from Southbound Drive to Scott Collins?
SC: Southbound Drive’s sound and my follow up 2014 EP SLEEPER are greatly due to working with Grammy Nominated Producer Chris “Frenchie” Smith at The Bubble here in Austin. Chris has an amazing ear and vision for songs and especially rock and roll. He’s a genius at creating a “sound” for a band/record.
Since I write more Americana type songs and SBD’s guitar player Ryan Goebel got his roots in metal and rock and roll, Frenchie just helped bring those worlds together with a killer rhythm team. And the sound was born. The “SLEEPER” sound is due to myself, Frenchie, Hunt Sales, and guitarist Justin Jacobs basically forming a band for that EP and creating something very special. My next record will probably have more of an organic Americana feel to it, but really we all won’t know for sure until I record it…soon :).
SLM: When Noel Gallagher finally went solo a few years ago from Oasis, he said he was relieved. In Oasis, if he’d wanted a sax player or a horn section, it would have been debated to death and ultimately voted out. So as a solo act, he said he has creative license and it’s fucking great—if he wants a horn section, he will have a fucking horn section. Can you relate to that feeling at all?
SC: I can’t relate to his experience with Oasis at all but I can relate to his exhilaration for creative license. I’ve never had a band that disagreed too heavily on creative differences and always found a bad ass solution. But also we didn’t go on long enough for me to bring in a whole team of bagpipes to piss everyone off. But it is the best feeling in the world to know you can freely be creative while still having respect and compassion for the song.
SLM: Who shaped your musical style and sound? How has that changed over the years?
SC: I dropped out of grad school for music so when I first started writing it was with an acoustic guitar and telling stories. I was very much influenced by life since I’d just moved into my car.
I definitely had musical influences but at the time they were more what I had in my car or what people showed me along the way. Over the years it’s changed exponentially since every record has had inevitable and sometimes specific influences. My SLEEPER EP for example was influenced a lot by 10cc, Zeppelin, Pete Townshend, The Who, The Stones and even Rob Thomas. Right now with some of the things I’m experimenting with vocally and with loop pedals, D’Angelo is a huge influence. And James Blake.
SLM: Solid. So, what are YOU listening to right now?
SC: I listen to whatever CD’s are in my car and right now that’s Ryan Adams, Gary Clark Jr., D’Angelo, James Blake, Beck, and an old voice lesson CD from years ago. There’s a lot more but I’m really comfortable and don’t wanna walk to my car at the moment. Also my girlfriend works at a local Austin establishment with a record collection that can give you an education for years. That’s pretty rad.
SLM: What’s next for Scott Collins–Is there any touring in your future?
SC: I would love to tour. Right now I am focusing on a demo I need to get out to Nashville, another solo release but with violin player Laura Poyzer, playing the hell out of Austin, and getting my recording studio up and running while creating as much as possible 24/7. This year has been a big blessing and huge for me solo so far with SXSW Official, ASG songwriting awards, opening solo for Willie Watson from Old Crow Medicine Show at Stubb’s and more. The future looks like a lot more music and nothing but opportunity.
SLM: Where can we get your EP? Is it available on vinyl?
SC: Basically my music is available anywhere music is online and no I haven’t released vinyl yet unfortunately. Maybe my next release will be vinyl….
SLM: What is some advice you can give to an artist who may be struggling right now; one who may be on the verge of calling it quits and becoming, oh, I don’t know…an accountant?
SC: Don’t ever quit just keep working on bettering yourself and your craft. And always put yourself out there and be brave and say “Yes” to any opportunity. Your ego is never bigger than a gig. Just keep going beautiful things happen when you look at all the possible opened doors when one seems it has shut.
SLM: Anything else you’d like to add that I didn’t cover in these questions? (YES)
SC: One of my new ventures is the opening of “Chicken Run Studios” in the heart of South Austin with Grammy and Academy award winning engineer Chet Himes. We have had the pleasure of Matisyahu, Van Wilks, Malford Milligan, Gary P. Nunn and many more join our client list and it’s been invaluable in my musical education. We can’t wait to get more bands in and I can’t wait to get more of my music out.
SLM: Can I just say…wow? Neither can we. You are a busy man, my man.
Sick Lit Magazine recommends that you watch the “Marigold” video. It’s fucking great. Well, Scott Collins, we dig your sound here at Sick Lit Magazine.
You stay classy, Collins. And we will have to do this again sometime. See the links below for more information on Scott Collins, Chicken Run Studios and most importantly, places where you can HEAR THE MUSIC!
**You can access Scott’s music here: https://soundcloud.com/scottcollinsproject (This includes two EPs from Scott Collins and one EP from Southbound Drive.)**
To like Scott Collins on any social media, see below:
- website: www.scottcollinsproject.com
- facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scottcollinsgardner
- twitter: https://twitter.com/bootscollins
- reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/scottcollins
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/scottcollinsproject/
- CDBaby (Both of my solo EPs): http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ScottCollins1
- SoundCloud (all ep’s): https://soundcloud.com/scottcollinsproject
- YouTube, Scott Collins:
- YouTube, Southbound Drive “Marigold” Official Video: