Drawn to Australia for our kangaroos and tales of the music scene, the Austin, Texas natives Lonesome Heroes have finally hit our shores and are set to play Pistol Pete’s in no time.
Hi Rich, thanks for taking the time to chat with Forte, how are you and what are you up to at the moment?
We are bouncing down the highway on the other side of the road in a borrowed Pregio van with no windows trying to make our way to Newcastle for a gig. The van is full to the ceiling with borrowed gear, suitcases, and sleeping bags. Everyday has been an adventure in Australia and I have loved every second of it.
So you had your first show in Australia not too long ago, how was it? What are your thoughts on the Aussie crowd?
We were greeted with hugs at our first show here and that has been the case for every show. All the musos are so friendly and stoked to play with us. I heard people were open and enthusiastic here, but I had to see it first hand to believe it. Overall I have been amazed with how much attention the crowds give bands here and they rarely talk during a performance, or sit there staring at their phones which has become more and more of a problem in the States.
Your tour is titled ‘Austin, Texas to Australia’ what made our country your destination of choice?
I have always been a traveller and travelling is an essential part of writing and music for me. I had this longing to come here since the first time I read about kangaroos and saw a picture of such a far away place when I was a kid. I can’t explain where this feeling comes from, but I have always known that I would come here – but no idea when or how. I made friends with an expat Aussie songwriter in Austin named Acey Monaro and she kept filling my head with talk about how great the music scene is over here and tales of wild places and wild people. Eventually I convinced her to help book us a tour over here and we quickly connected with a Festival of Cosmic Americana music called Dashville Skyline and everything just seemed to fall into place (with a tonne of hard work by Acey obviously). I feel so lucky to get to come here to play music, because there is no better way to meet people and end up on crazy adventures.
Your new album, Can’t Stand Still, is a new sound naturally with a new line up for the band. How have fans responded to the new music and the change?
I was so nervous the first few tours after Landry and I split, but all of our friends and fans on the road were so supportive. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my bandmates and all those people telling us to keep it up. Our sound quickly drifted from the more down-tempo shoe gaze country of the past to an up tempo rock ‘n’ roll feel. Right away people responded by dancing and we began to feed off that energy. It took a year of touring and another six months in the studio to bring the sound to life, but the work was worth it because we have had some unbelievable press about the record and so many people have written to me to tell me how much they like it and that makes all the bouncing around in vans and sleeping on stranger’s couches worth it.
You have got that real Americana sound, are you looking forward to representing that all through Australia?
It’s funny because I have never really used the term Americana to describe our music because I never could figure out exactly what the term meant. As soon as we got here a few bands introduced us as an “authentic American band” and it finally clicked. \ We are not really one genre or sound, but a mix of all our favourite parts of American music. It’s almost like I had to see Americana from an outsiders perspective to understand what it is. I can say we really are proud to represent our music and our hometown of Austin over here. I am not an overly patriotic American, but am always proud to tell people that we are from Austin, Texas where the most musos in the world gather.
Thanks again for taking the time to chat with us, are there any last words of wisdom you’d like to share with our readers?
I would say keep supporting local music at the pubs and small venues. As soon as that dies the local music scene suffers and we end up with too many bands that look and sound the same. This has slowly been happening in the US and people over here have told me its happening in Australia. I have seen such a supportive local music scene so far and I hope it only continues to grow.
When & Where: Pistol Pete’s, Geelong – October 17