Courrier is an Austin, Texas based band who describes their music as ‘though-rock’. Just this past fall they finished a tour with Parachute and Kate Voegele. They released their debut album, A Violent Flame engineered by Adam Hawkins (Switchfoot and Regina Spektor), in February 2011. The Examiner named them as one of the top twenty to watch in 2012. Most recently, their song “Between” was featured on The Vampire Diaries. The band compromised of Austin Jones(Lead Vocals, Keys, Guitar), Nathan Drake(Drums), Philip Edsel(Lead Guitar, Vocals), and TaylorBartholemew(Bass, Vocals) are just at the beginning of a great career. Austin Jones, the front man of the band graciously did a phone interview with me, check it out below!
First some ice breaker questions
LA or NY: NY
Guilty pleasure song: Anything Lady Gaga
Something on your bucket list: Go to all 50 states, so far 35 or 36.
Favorite super hero: Superman, cause he actually has powers. Wrong answer Austin, wrong answer…
The Real Questions
You guys are based from Austin, Texas. How did you all come together?
I moved to Austin for college in 2006. Within the first few weeks I met Philip and we’ve been friends for the past 6 years. I met Taylor a couple years later, we had a different bassist before. There were two former members of the band. And we met Nathan through some mutual friends as well. We are definitely a friends first band.
In an interview I read with you guys, you called your music, “thought-rock”, what does that mean?
We just made our own genre. Our music is a bridge of indie, rock, and alternative, with poetic lyrics. We just need about 6 more bands to join the genre so we can patent it.
Who are your inspirations and influences?
There are two ways to this question. With writing we are influenced by a lot of literature and poetry. We spend a lot of time with our lyrics. There is just such a broad range. Coldplay, Death Cab for Cutie, and recently a lot of Bruce Springsteen, lyrically. There are a lot of different things.
I found out about you guys at the Parachute and Kate Voegele concert. How was it being on tour with them?
We had an awesome time. It was a blast. We didn’t know Parachute or Kate before so we met them and became fast friends. And they influenced us, seeing them perform. Seeing young people be that successful is great. Young people between 28 and 35, it’s great. We had a blast.
Was it your first bigger tour?
We did a co-headlining tour the summer of 2011. And we did a bunch of small shows. This was the bigger. We’ve also done some shows in New York.
Who would be your ideal artist or band to tour with?
Well, there would be what’s practical and the ultimate. The ultimate would be like Coldplay, Adele, she’s great, and Springsteen. Getting to play a stadium every night. We also love Death Cab for Cutie. It’s just good to get to go out on tour.
Do you prefer being in the studio writing and recording or playing live?
Both are awesome. Right now, it’s ideal because we have a studio. Taylor has his own studio, so we can go there two or three times a week and write and record. And we can go out on the road and come right back to the studio. It’s hard to write on the road. When we are touring we want to be in the studio and when we are in the studio we want to be on the road.
Many people have probably come across you guys since your song “Between” was featured on The Vampire Diaries. How did that come about?
It’s really new. We were just at the right place at the right time, with the right people. It was great because they played the whole song, it was huge for us. And it wasn’t like we had been working with the CW for months and trying to get them to play our music. They called that Monday and asked if they could use it for that Thursday.
The song broke the Top 100 Alternative songs on iTunes, how did that feel?
It was awesome. The song went all the way up 50. Hopefully it’ll open up more doors and opportunities.
You released your debut album, A Violent Flame, February of last year. Have you been working on a new album?
We’ve been working since August 2011. Hopefully we’ll have a second album this year. Even if we do, there is no idea when it’ll come out. But when it does, we hope everyone will be pleasantly surprised.
You guys have been together for 3 or 4 years now, what has been the highlight of your career, so far?
Characteristics, everything has been escalating. Since we’ve started things have just gotten better and better. There hasn’t been a dull moment. Releasing A Violent Flame, our show in Austin was sold out. The album did well. The highlight is the things that are going to happen. There’s a show in LA where there will be a lot of industry people that we know and that we will get to meet. So that will be exciting.
Any crazy or memorable fan encounters yet?
One of fans got a tattoo of our lyrics. Not sure if she actually went through with it. That’s a lifetime fan. It’s just weird because I wrote it in like five minutes and then it’s going to be permanent. There’s no going back from that. I mean it is an honor that people are taking the lyrics seriously. (Encouraging all fans to get tattoos)
Something I love that you guys do is that you give out free music, so that fans can listen to you and get a feel for your music and then go buy your album. Why do you think this is effective?
I think not only is it an effective way to get fans, but it’s an effective way to be a band. More people will hear it, and then buy music. It’s a good idea. We are about to give out a studio cover Mumford and Sons ‘The Cave’. I mean we like free music.
What is up next for you guys? Are you doing any shows or touring?
We’re playing a show February 29th in LA, since it’s leap year. Hopefully a tour in the late spring and summer. Our team is looking for more.
You guys should try to go out of the country.
Yeah that would be great. Not just like Canada, maybe like Mexico.
But that’s right underneath us, you should go to Europe or China or something.
We would love to go to Europe, play in Paris. That’s like our band bucket list. If we do that I can come back and call it quits and get a desk job. (Don’t do that!)
Is there something you want people to know?
Just keep coming out to our show and interact with us. We put a lot of time into our social media like Facebook and Twitter and we read all the comments. Talk to us, we are just people.