Austin Jenckes talks ahead of Buckle and Boots

One of the artists I am most excited about seeing at Buckle and Boots is Austin Jenckes. We spoke to Jenckes to get to know him a little better before his appearance at the festival and what he’s most looking forward to.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a musician?

I knew that I wanted to be a musician the first time I saw my dad perform in front of a small crowd. I was probably nine years old. Seeing the way music brought smiles to people’s faces at a young age had an effect on me and I still feel it everytime I get to perform.

What music did your family play to you growing up and what are you choosing to listen to now?

My dad llistened to a lot of classic rock (Tom Petty, Eagles, Steve Miller). I also listened to a lot of singer songwriters with my mom (Shawn Mullins, Sarah McLachlan). All I have been listening to lately is Sam Fender. I actually got to go see him in Berlin when I was over last year and it was life changing!

Can you tell me about your experience on The Voice and how it shaped your career?

It was like being at Disneyland for two years. The lead up to the show was nerve racking. Once I got on the show it was just a big party and when I was off the show it gave me the opportunity to play music for a ton of people. I am grateful for those experiences and I still think it is crazy that I got to have them.

Can you tell me the story behind your song ‘River Jordan’?

River Jordan came from a picture that my friend Ryan Beaver found of Johnny Cash getting baptized. I grew up playing music in church and I got baptized when I was seven years old in a river in washington state. As I got older I stopped going to church for various reasons and I still don’t go but I think about what it felt like to worship and believe wholeheartedly as a kid and this song made me feel like someone understood my struggles with religion and spirituality. And even though I never got to meet Johnny Cash it makes think that maybe he understood too.

How excited are you to play Buckle and Boots?

On a scale of 1-10 probably a 13. I can’t wait to see some familiar faces and rock out with the band. Seems like there will be some people who are ready for an experience and that gets me fired up.

A silly question, what’s the strangest thing you’ve ever written a song about?

I think the strangest song would have to be a pest control commercial I did for US PEST. It’s called Eagle Steve and hopefully you can’t find it on youtube cuz it’s pretty silly. One of the lines is “bugs for breakfast, mice for lunch”

What’s next for you?

I am just trying to write better songs.. I have written a lot over the last couple years but still haven’t found the thing that I am looking for. I have a run with Everette and Stephen Wilson Jr. in Germany leading up to the Buckle and Boots that I am floored about and then I am heading back to Seattle for some hometown shows. This summer my goal is to find whatever it is I am looking for and get to work on a new project and hopefully be able to share some new music for you when I come over next year!

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