From his beginnings as a drummer to shredding guitar on the Texas Red Dirt circuit and all the way up to taking stages alongside the greats, Austin Meade has certainly proved his chops in the music scene. His ability to bend and blend genres while writing deep, cutting lyrics makes him a favorite for fans of nearly any type of music.
And we got to talk to him!
Check out the latest AMS interview from Asbury Park as we talk about Austin Meade’s latest single “Blackout”, his songwriting process, where he finds inspiration, and, of course, all the awesome gear he uses to craft his unique sound.
All about the new single “Blackout”
The life of a touring musician isn’t easy. Sometimes musicians tend to “have too good of a time all the time,” and it can lead to that rockstar lifestyle that’s definitely fun — but just as destructive.
Austin Meade knows this all too well. And his latest single “Blackout” is all about finding the balance between the having fun all the time and taking care of oneself on the road.
At the time of writing, Meade was listening to a lot of Allen Stone. And although “Blackout” doesn’t necessarily sound like an Allen Stone song, Meade did find some inspiration when it came to writing the melody — which he actually thought of in the shower!
The whole song was crafted around several hard-hitting taglines for the choruses and straightforward, brutal honesty for the verses.
On the musical side, Meade wanted to take a different approach than he typically does. He took the guitars to a heavier, metal-esque sound, but he also wanted the music to sound almost like a European club beat with the bass and synth. The goal was to have the song live somewhere between dance/pop and rock.
And dare I say, he nailed it! “Blackout” is an incredible song that you absolutely should check out. It’s available now anywhere you like to stream music:
You can also catch the “Blackout” music video (opens in new tab) on Austin Meade’s YouTube channel (opens in new tab). Any fans of the movie Fight Club will definitely enjoy it! It’s one of Austin’s favorite movies, and he modeled the music video after a few of his favorite scenes.
The songwriting process
How does Austin Meade write songs? Apparently, inspiration comes in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes Meade will hear a quick line or even a few words that sound interesting when stuck together.
For example, the song “Violation Delight (opens in new tab)” from his album Abstract Art of an Unstable Mind. The two words just popped into his head, and he thought he’d never heard them stuck together before. It was an interesting negative/positive dynamic, and it made him think of maybe a revenge situation in which someone might get delight out of hurting someone else. And boom! A song was born.
Other times, the songs come from a fun riff, bass line, or simple chord progression. Meade’s lead guitarist and writing partner David Willie will often send riffs he finds interesting. Sometimes it lines up with an idea Meade has for some lyrics, and they’re off to the races.
To Meade, the most important part is that the lyrics and the music match the same mood. The melody of the song will shift and change as the writing progresses, but it always sticks to the same mood that was established in the beginning.
And like many of us, Austin Meade’s songs also tend to be influenced by what he’s doing at the moment. If he just finished his tenth cup of coffee, the song might end up with a higher tempo and more sporadic guitar parts. And if he’s just chilling after a long day, the song might be more mellow and spacy.
As for his musical inspiration, just look at his leg. He gets tattoos of all his favorite bands! Here are some of his absolute favorites:
- Kings of Leon
- Mac Miller
- Arctic Monkeys
Looking at the list, it’s no surprise that Austin Meade enjoys blending and jumping between genres.
Meade feels like his songwriting is getting better all the time. As he said in the interview, he feels like he’s finally hitting his stride and working with the right people to create some truly incredible music. So be sure to stay tuned!
The gear that drives “Blackout”
At AMS, we can’t help but ask about gear. And it sounds like Austin Meade has really swapped up his rig recently. Rather than the classic amp-driven setup, he has recently swapped over to an amp emulator pedal. Specifically, the Neural DSP Quad Cortex.
Meade said the transition to an amp modeler took some getting used to, but it was really nice once he got the hang of it.
One of the frustrations of being on the road is having to play in different venues every night. You never know how the acoustics will work out, and it always requires a lot of sound checking to get it just right.
To save time, Austin Meade and his band recently grabbed an Allen and Heath SQ-5 mixer. Now they can keep everything set when they move between venues, cutting sound check from an hour to just 15 minutes. Meade said, “It’s unbelievable how much stress it removed from playing every night.”
Meade is known for his high-energy performances — including some crowd-surfing here and there. And one of the most game-changing gear upgrades was the swap to Shure wireless microphones. Now he can run around the stage, interact with the fans, or even jump into the crowd without missing a beat (or tangling anyone in the cords).
What’s next for Austin Meade?
Austin Meade isn’t one for being idle. He told us that he absolutely has to stay busy. And if he’s not touring, he’s always writing! There are big things on the horizon for Austin Meade fans.
Lately, Meade has been playing huge festivals with major headliners like Limp Bizkit and Metallica. He says it doesn’t quite feel real to play the same stages as these incredible musicians he grew up with and looks up to, but he’s super excited for the opportunity.
Austin’s plans for the future are to keep saying “yes” to new opportunities and see where they take him. He’s currently finishing up his tour and is having a blast on the road with his wife and son. Bringing the family on tour is definitely a change, but it’s still a lot of fun.
Stay up to date with the latest Austin Meade show dates (opens in new tab) on his website, and keep a close eye on his YouTube and Spotify channels (opens in new tab) for new releases. There are definitely going to be some big things coming! And be sure to listen to his latest single “Blackout” wherever you like to stream music.
Super huge thanks to Austin Meade for taking time out of his busy schedule to chat with us! We learned a ton and can’t wait to see what comes next. Keep on rockin’!