By SYLVIA BORGO
The Artisanals are inspired by Tom Petty and Americana, but this band is pure Rock N Roll. The Charleston, S.C.-based outfit is comprised of friends Johnny Delaware, Clay Houle, Eric Mixon, Nick Recio and Ian Klin, who sat down for a chat with CaliforniaRocker.com.
How was the summer for you?
We live in Atlanta and Charleston, SC so it has been a very hot, humid summer. On top of that, our A.C went our in our van, so we toured around all summer with our shirts off, sweating out our toxins like we were in a sauna. Everyone probably dropped a couple of pounds haha. But luckily we were in Montana and Colorado, including Wisconsin and currently the northeastern United States. It’s been a lot of touring this summer, but that is the usual 🙂
Your debut LP, titled The Artisanals, was released last year. What was the writing and production process for the record?
Clay and I formed the band together so wrote the songs and laid down the demos for the actual recordings that were tracked at the Magic Barn. We went for a really large, arena rock production.
You were on tour quite a bit after the release of your record? Do you like touring life? What are some of the highs and lows?
Yes, we played nearly 250 shows our first two years as a band, and now this year another 150. You have to get the word out, and while we are young, it is a good time to do that!
Touring is all perspective based. It’s what you want to make of it. There’s days we are thankful to be doing what we love and playing shows, and making people feel inspired to continue their lives with a new spark, while other moments we crave to be alone or go to the restaurant we miss at home or whatever. When it comes down it though, We all love connecting people after the shows and getting to know everyone and try not to take advantage of this.
You have spent good chunks of time in some of the biggest musical cities in the US (Austin, Nashville). Is it fair to say that you now call Charleston, SC home? What made you decided to plant some roots in that fine city?
Well, I longer have a home anywhere now. I currently crash at Clay’s ( lead guitarist ) parents house in Atlanta haha. We tour so much that it makes no sense to pay rent anymore because we’re literally never there. But Charleston… yeah it’s a lovely little city. It’s still got some magic in it. I’m very nostalgic about the 2012 Charleston I first moved to ( though the city will never have that energy again due to the tourism scene ).
You’ll be playing KAABOO in Del Mar this year? What are your plans for the show/festival?
Well first of all, we are very excited! It’s always great on the west coast. We love it over there.
We plan to get to the festival, perform our asses off, hang out with our families that are flying to see us, and probably catch the other shows!
If you had could set-up your own dream 3-Day festival, who would be some bands you would book?
The National, Thievery Corporetion, Hiss Golden Messenger, Patti Smith, Lucinda Williams, Slowdive, Strand of Oaks, Father John Misty, Bhagavan Das, spiritual teachers and lectures from Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg and Raghu Marcus, comedians like Duncan Trussell and maybe even seminars by Graham Hancock and other progressive archaeologists and ethnologists.
Ready for a quick round of “This or That”? Choose one of the following:
Instagram or Twitter?
Pancakes or waffles?
Let it Be or Abbey Road?
Beaches of mountains?
Superman or Batman?
Batman. The batmobile is too badass to pass up!
Sylvia Borgo is a respected Rock N Roll photographer, check out her IG here.