Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life bring you an interview with experimental and genre-bending artist, Austin Mulka.
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to chat to us. First things first, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started.
My musical adventure took off when I started playing guitar in high school, and since then, I’ve been exploring various genres, from indie rock to experimental pop, always looking for a fresh perspective. Along the way, I’ve been influenced by a mix of artists, some mainstream and some lesser-known, that have shaped my unique sound. I love challenging myself to create something different and unexpected, which has led me to blend various genres and styles in my work.
Someone comes to you and asks you to sum up what kind of music you play – what do you tell them?
All of my songs are pretty unique. From rock, grunge, pop, and R&B, sprinkled with elements of experimental and avant-garde. I draw from a wide range of influences to create a unique and engaging sound that resonates with listeners. My style is deeply rooted in research, as I often pick out topics, genres, moods, and themes to explore in my songs. I love to blur the lines between genres and create an immersive experience for my audience. In essence, my music is an ever-evolving tapestry of emotions, ideas, and sounds that aims to captivate, inspire, and challenge listeners.
What’s currently going on in your camp? New releases? Tours? Etc.
Right now, we’re working on my upcoming album, “Reveries and Requiem.” This project is heavily influenced by the ’90s grunge scene, drawing inspiration from bands like Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and Soundgarden. The album delves into the themes of the subconscious and dreams, exploring the psychological impact of social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also touches on various real-life events that have inspired some of the songs, such as the stories of Clive Wearing, Margaret Lovatt, and Blanche Monnier. We’re excited to share this new musical journey with our fans and can’t wait for its release. Keep an eye out for announcements and updates on our social media channels!
What has been the most positive experience of making music to date for you?
The most positive experience of making music for me has been the moment when I first heard one of my songs on the radio. It was an incredible feeling, knowing that my music had reached a wider audience and that people were connecting with it. This milestone validated all the hard work, dedication, and passion that I had put into my craft. Additionally, the support and feedback from my fans have been overwhelmingly positive, which is truly inspiring and motivating. It’s an indescribable feeling when someone tells you that your music has touched their life or made a difference for them in some way. These experiences remind me of the power of music and the impact it can have on people, and they keep me striving to create more meaningful and heartfelt songs.
Likewise, what has been some of the more challenging aspects and how have you overcome them?
One of the most challenging aspects for me has been actually finishing projects and getting things done, mainly due to my struggles with ADHD. It can be difficult to maintain focus and see a project through to completion, especially when there are so many ideas and potential distractions.
To overcome this challenge, I’ve had to develop strategies to help me stay on track and manage my ADHD. This includes breaking down projects into smaller, manageable tasks, setting deadlines, and creating a structured routine to help me stay organized and focused. I also make use of tools like to-do lists, calendar reminders, and productivity apps to help me keep track of my progress and stay accountable.
Additionally, I’ve learned the importance of self-care and taking breaks when needed. This not only helps me manage my ADHD symptoms, but it also allows me to recharge and come back to my projects with a fresh perspective.
How do you handle the modern expectations of being in a band? Always online, having to put out content constantly, your success measured in likes and follows?
To manage these expectations, I try to strike a balance between engaging with my audience and focusing on my music. While it’s important to maintain an online presence and share updates with fans, I also recognize the need to prioritize my creative process and ensure that I’m putting out quality work.
I remind myself that while social media and online engagement are crucial aspects of being a musician today, they should not overshadow the music itself. It’s essential to stay true to my artistic vision and not be swayed by the pressure to constantly chase after likes and follows.
What’s something that really ‘grinds your gears’ about the industry/business these days and what would you propose is done to combat it?
One unfair aspect of the music industry today is the streaming revenue distribution mode. The current model usually pays artists based on their market share of total streams, meaning that popular artists with millions of streams receive a significant portion of the revenue, while smaller artists with fewer streams receive much less. This system makes it difficult for up-and-coming musicians to earn a sustainable income from streaming platforms, even if they have a dedicated and engaged fan base.
To combat this issue, I propose that the industry considers adopting a user-centric payment model, which would allocate streaming revenue based on individual listener behavior. In this system, the subscription fee paid by each user would be distributed among the artists they listen to, ensuring that smaller artists receive a fairer share of the revenue when their music is streamed by dedicated fans.
This approach would not only provide a more equitable distribution of streaming revenue, but also encourage the growth of diverse and innovative music, as smaller artists would have a better chance of sustaining their careers and creating new work.
Speaking directly to listeners – what would you ask they do to help support your music?
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Outside of the music, what’s do you do to relax?
I love sports, video games, and starting random projects. Building things, coding, and learning new skills like solving a Rubik’s cube are some of my hobbies. I also write stand-up comedy and work on writing pilots for TV shows.
Where can people find you?