Aug 24, 2010

Austin Collins: The FTM Interview

Austin Collins is a funny, friendly guy from Texas who writes earnest songs about life and the relationships and regrets we all experience. His writing is sometimes cryptic, sometimes poetic, sometimes straight as a shot of whiskey, but always heartfelt. His 2010 album Wrong Control, produced by Will Johnson of Centromatic, is one of my very favorites of the year. Recently, FTM and Mr. Collins went back and forth with this deep look into the mind of a serious artist.

FTM: And your name is? And you hail from?

A: Austin Collins. I’m from Austin, TX. Which is in Texas.

FTM: Huh, that's ironic, wouldn't you say?

A. Not really, but it's moronic that you asked. Are you on the pot?

FTM: Who does interviews from the toilet?

Next question: Are you trying to take Ryan Adams' place?

A: Not so much take his place as become Ryan Adams. I like the idea of being Ryan Adams. No one would say “nice to meet you, Ryan from Ryan” or give me any guff. Because if they did cock off to me at a show or something I could throw them out. If that didn’t work at least I could watch Grey’s Anatomy with Mandy Moore – I mean my wife, sweet Mandy, my wife.

FTM: When I first heard "Roses are Black," I thought you were a Ryan Adams wannabe. Now that I've met you in person, I know it's true. Comments?

A: Yes and yes. I’m saving up to take care of this once and for all:

Pretty good deal – you get a lot for your $139

FTM: When is your album of stupidly constructed hard rock songs with terrible lyrics coming out?

A: It’s out. You've talked about it on FTM. Thank you for noticing the extra effort I put in on this one. I really tried to squeeze as many terrible lyrics into the songs as possible. I find writing weak, trite songs extremely rewarding.

FTM: "I am a house without windows, you inhale my lead-based dreams" is one of your more memorable lyrics. Do you like emo?

A: I have a special drawer in my closet that houses my collection of rare razor blades and eye-liner. Also, once I had a dream where Conor Oberst and Rivers Cuomo were fighting over who was gonna take me out to dinner and a movie. This was only once and it was in fact JUST A DREAM – Not a hope or a goal.

FTM: Whatever. What are Rainbirds?

A: a damn fine sprinkler

FTM: Does Drew Kennedy make you carry his guitar case?

A: I think a better question is “aren’t you glad Drew Kennedy makes you carry his guitar case?” The answer is heck ya I am.

FTM: You're an enjoyer of nicotine. It's beyond me to imagine inhaling something that might cut a few months or years off my life. Why do you hate yourself?

A: You were smoking when we hung out. You asked me to roll you a cigarette. I rolled you a cigarette and you smoked it. I remember you saying “Man, Austin, I love inhaling something that cuts months and years off of my life.” In fact, I remember you sprinkling Copenhagen on your dinner in lieu of salt.

FTM: Umm, that was my guest contributor Lenny you met, not me. Next questions.

You have a voice that could easily fit into "mainstream alt-rock." Why not start a Nickelback-style band and try that route? Everybody wants a '79 custom Corvette in the driveway of their Miami summer home, eh?

A: Honestly, I can’t bring myself to grow a goatee – which seems to be a prerequisite for being awesome in those type of bands. Your goatee looks great though, Lenny.

FTM: You're a family man. How many kids do you have?

A: 15 kids and a bunch of dogs, a house full of chickens and a yard full of hogs.

FTM: You're a pretty handsome dude (no homo). What does your wife think of all your groupies?

A: So far so good. She still believes that all my groupies are guys (no homo). But ya I get my share of lady callers on the road. You know all the time. Well, sometimes. Ok, well this hot chick came to my show last weekend. Ok . . . I saw a female in the parking lot outside the bar – it ended up she was cutting through to go to the dollar store next door.

FTM: You said some awful shit about Texas when I met you, err, when Lenny met you. Wanna apologize?

A: Texas is a state, and a fine one at that. I think people should write songs about it – even base their whole artistic concept on it. Me and the sprinklers are looking into this right now.

FTM: What does "Wrong Control" (the name of your newest album) mean?

A: You know when you’ve gone out and been over-served? You come home and try to turn the TV on so you can watch the Girls Gone Wild infomercial and eat taquitos? Of course you can’t turn on your TV or find out who the hottest girl in the USA is if you’re punching the button on your garage door remote.

FTM: Who are some of your influences, other than Fall Out Boy?

A: Tony Danza, Color Me Badd, Genghis Khan (that guy didn’t take shit from anybody)

FTM: Where do you see yourself in 2 years and 8 months?

A: smoking a cigarette somewhere in Mississippi.

FTM: What's your favorite Soulja Boy song?

A: No contest – “I Got Me Some Bapes”

FTM: What do you think of the current state of commercial country music?

A: It’s pop. There’s no sorrow and lots of highlighted hair. Honestly, I can never get enough Rascal Flatz

FTM: Have you met/will your please do a duet with Bettysoo? This would make me very happy (the second part). The first part I don't care so much, just make the second part happen anyway.

A: I’ve known Bettysoo for a while actually. And we have done some duets live. I’ll see if I can dig up a recording for you.

FTM: I'll hold you to it. Okay, now for the lightning round. Jay or Jeff and why?

A: Jay. He never berates fans and he’s the underdog.

FTM: Stones or Beatles and your favorite cheese:

A: Stones. Muenster.

FTM: Garth or Tim (McGraw) and yes you have to answer it...?

A: definitely Garth.

FTM: Quizno's or cherry?

A: not cherry

FTM: But it's pie dammit. Quizno's or cherry pie... come on, America is waiting...

A: ok then, Arby’s

FTM: Uhh okay. What's your handicap?

A: slurring

FTM: Oh that's too bad, I meant golf.

A: oh, then beverage carts

FTM: What is your favorite Slayer song?

A: Dead Skin Mask maybe???

FTM: You're no Ryan Adams.

A: I’m only $139 away though.

FTM: Would you like to take this opportunity to renounce Scientology?

A: No way. Tom Cruise is coming over to spend the night on Friday. We’re gonna rent a movie and stay up late doing our hair and telling secrets. I gotta stay strong for at least another week!

Austin's music is highly recommended to fans of Drew Kennedy, The Lost Immigrants, Son Volt, Ryan Adams, Whiskeytown, The Replacements and Blue Mountain. You can check him out here at his website. There are a couple of free tracks to download on the right side of the home page.


  1. I always get Austin Collins and Austin Lucas confused. This interview clears up A LOT of confusion for me. Lucas = hangs out with Chuck Ragan, Collins = hangs out with Drew Kennedy. Who is Drew Kennedy?

  2. I LOVE these interviews. More please.



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