Interview: Bastion Rose (Written)

Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life bring you a written interview with rock band, Bastion Rose.

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1. 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.

Hey there. Thanks for having me. My name is Austin and I’m known professionally through music as Bastion Rose which is the name of the band. We are from Bloomington, Indiana USA and have been playing together as Bastion Rose for just over a year, although I have been active in the region as a performing musician and recording artist for over 10 years.

2. Someone comes to you and asks you to sum up what kind of music you play – what do you tell them?

Rock music! I would say the classic rock influence is very present, with bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Lynyrd Skynyrd being some of my favourite groups growing up. I think the influence of modern rock bands like Tool, Foo Fighters, Metallica, and Godsmack is very present as well. Genre is a funny thing in that, hopefully as a musician you aren’t really aiming at a genre, you just do what feels true to you and inevitably showcase those influences in what you create.

3. What’s currently going on in your camp? New releases? Tours? Etc.

We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with 3-time Grammy winning producer, David Bottrill to make our first EP which is still unreleased. He has worked with so many incredible bands like Tool, Rush, Godsmack, Coheed and Cambria, Muse, and Mastodon. It was an unbelievable dream come true to put the record together with him. We have released 2 singles from the record this summer. The first one is called “Coming For You” and already has over 15,000 streams on Spotify just in the handful of weeks it’s been available. The second single is called “Halo Devil” and is doing well too! We are working with our new management company, Deadfall Artist Management, on securing a record label deal to do the full EP release.

4. What has been the most positive experience of making music to date for you?

The best thing ever is when someone connects with the music. When it impacts a person’s life in a meaningful way. I’ve had people reach out to me on social media to tell me that a specific song that I released helped them through some particularly difficult time. That means everything to me. To have touched someone in a positive way through music.

I also have grown immeasurable as a human being through the practice of songwriting. Sometimes it can help you to discover parts of yourself that had so far gone unnoticed, or conjure solace or wisdom in times of searching. For me, music is a spiritual thing. A necessity.

5. Likewise, what has been some of the more challenging aspects and how have you overcome them?

The most difficult challenge I have faced in music was a physical one having to do with my health. In October 2020, I was diagnosed with metastatic thyroid cancer. I had to have surgery to have my thyroid and many lymph nodes on the right side of my neck removed in November of that same year. Afterward, my right vocal nerve was paralyzed, and I could barely lift my right shoulder due to nerve complications having to do with the trapezius muscle. I couldn’t sing and I couldn’t play the guitar, and it was unclear if my voice would ever return. Thankfully after several months and some physical therapy, my voice and shoulder strength returned and I was cancer free. I was lucky and not a day goes by that I don’t feel grateful.

6. 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?

That part of it is a bit of a bummer. Musicians just want to play music. Songwriters just want to write songs. It’s easy to burn out when you also have to constantly worry about creating digestible content that will fuel online engagement. That’s a whole different profession. It’s marketing. That can be creative too, but it’s not the same thing as producing honest art for the sake of it.

That being said, it is fun to get the validation from people discovering your music online and becoming part of your journey as an artist. Social media and the internet in general are powerful tools for artists in all sorts of ways. I lean into those things and try my best to learn and experiment.

7. What’s something that really ‘grinds your gears’ about the industry/business these days and what would you propose is done to combat it?

There is a presupposition that most promoters and venue owners have that “people just want to hear covers.” This is false. Give people some credit. People are happy to watch an original band if they put on a good show and have engaging music. The real issue is that it is harder, and therefore more expensive, to promote an original band. As a promoter you have to tell a story about why you, the concert-goer, should pay to see this band you have never heard of. If you can just say…”It’s an AC/DC tribute band. Come hear the hits!” It’s a much easier, and therefore much cheaper sell. It requires very little effort and very little creativity to market a show like that. It’s a guarantee. No risk.

8. Speaking directly to listeners – what would you ask they do to help support your music?

Thank you for asking and thanks to your readers and listeners too! The best thing you can do to support Bastion Rose is follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify. This gives us a line to you so we can stay connected and it also helps us to continue to grow the organic visibility of the band. Going back to the question before about having to focus on likes and follows, it actually is a big factor in how you can connect with us in a more permanent way than streaming the single. We want you to be part of the Bastion Rose story. Interact with us. Send us a message. Share our posts and music with your friends that you think would enjoy it!

9. Outside of the music, what’s do you do to relax?

I love to cook, travel, and be with my dog. I also love to read and play video games. Outdoor activities are also very rejuvenating. I like to go for runs too.

10. Where can people find you?

The easiest thing would be to Google Bastion Rose! You can find us on:

Spotify | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | YouTube |Official Website




Author

  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!