Austin, Texas is home to the Texas Longhorns, the Texas Capital, the Congress Bridge Bat Colony, Austin City Limits, and considered the Live Music Capital of the World, and is also home to one of music’s most talented new bands: Courrier. Courrier is a four-member band that has close ties to Cordillera Ranch. Lead singer/guitarist, Austin Jones’ parents, Jarratt and Cindy Jones, are Cordillera Ranch residents and members. Courrier was formed just over three years ago and Jones and his band mates have poured their hearts and souls into the project.
After recently being featured on multiple shows on The CW network (90210, The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl) Courrier is steadily gaining more publicity and exposure. They are currently in the process of recording an album with renowned music producer Tim Palmer- the first single (“Love is a Fire”) from their upcoming album was released in April 2012. Their first full length debut album, A Violent Flame, released February 2011 and included hits such as “Between” which was featured on The Vampire Diaries. Austin was available to sit down with Cordillera Ranch Living and answer some brief questions about his background and what has led him to the world of music and how he has turned his passion into his career.
Hometown: Boerne (I’ve actually lived in Austin longer now though, 6 years)
1. When and why did you start playing?
I have been playing music since elementary, starting on saxophone and guitar. I was never really serious about music until college though, it was more of a hobby.
2. Which instruments do you play?
I play guitar, piano and mandolin mostly.
3. How was the music class at BISD? Did it help?
I actually never took music in Boerne since we moved there in high school. My theatre classes with Mrs. Tilton were really influential though because she got me into singing.
4. If you could play with anyone, who would it be?
Probably Bruce Springsteen or U2. They both put on such a ridiculous show and I would love to learn from them up close.
5. What’s your favorite part about playing in a band?
My favorite part is definitely being on the road. Traveling to new cities every day and playing shows for new people is the most fun and rewarding part of being in a band. We are looking forward to being back on the road this fall and in 2013 in support of a new record we are recording in July.
6. What or who most inspires your music?
As a musician, I take inspiration from almost all music that I am into at the moment. Overall I’m into British rock so that’s how most of my songs tend to sound, but recently I have been delving into a lot more electronic and synthesis based music. I draw influence from a pretty broad spectrum though.
7. Who was your first teacher?
My first music teacher was in Atlanta when I was 9. All I remember was that he kind of taught me how to play “Wonderwall” by Oasis on acoustic guitar. I can actually still remember how to play it from then.
8. How do you balance your music with other obligations – family, friends, school, job?
It’s definitely really hard to balance spending time with my family (my dog Moose and wife Paige) when I have to travel, but the advantage is that when I’m not on the road I get to work from home. I have a piano and guitar in my apartment and spend a lot of time writing music.
9. What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
The hardest part about getting into playing music live is the first few concerts. My best advice is to write as many songs as possible (hundreds) and you will be bound to have good ones to play live. Then from there you can find friends that play music too and jam with them, that’s what I did! My career in music started off very casually, I was never planning on being in a band for a living, I just loved every show that we played and every song we wrote so I kept at it.