Exclusive: An Interview With Luke Austin

By: Kat Harlton

Toronto based emerging alternative rock artist Luke Austin recently released his new single “Hard Times“. Produced by The Trews’ John-Angus MacDonald, “Hard Times” is a unique blend of instrumentals with an honest, nostalgic lyricism that showcases Austin’s emotional authenticity.

Austin himself says the track is about “The idea that there are things in life that will inevitably get you down, and it’s about pushing through it and figuring out how to deal with it.  It could be as simple as a shitty day at work.” and although he’s never had to struggle with some of the tougher challenges in life like mental illness or addiction, he can still connect with feelings that might be shared. “As an artist you’re always trying to grab inspiration from what’s around you. That’s really the only thing you can grab inspiration from, and that’s the stuff you really want to write about because that’s the stuff that makes you feel.

It’s this desire to connect that sees Austin teaming up with Timeraiser, a Canada 150 signature project supporting emerging Canadian artists and nonprofit organizations. Timeraiser partners with nonprofits across a wide range of social sectors, offering them a unique way to meet talented volunteers and to promote their work to a wider audience of supporters. Produced by the Framework Foundation, Timeraiser connects art, Canadians and the causes they care about in a celebration of creativity and community. “Hard Times” will be Timeraiser’s first ever music release with exclusive content.


As we discuss supporting emerging Canadian artists, it’s clear Angus’ experience and passion has had a lasting effect on Austin “John Angus was obviously a huge, huge influence, having him on the song was such a great veteran presence cause he knew exactly where everyone needed to be and he had a really great vision for the sound.”

That vision included a strong presence of gospel/soul on the track, which Austin says comes from the heart.  “I grew up on a lot of mo-town and rock and roll and blues, where you’re kinda on your last string. We recorded it in an old church studio in Hamilton,  it had this huge old stained glass window. We actually just threw one microphone in the middle of the room with me, John Angus, Brian, Dan and Nick. We stood in a circle around that microphone and did those harmonies, and we kind of used the sound of the church in order to get that gospel influence that you hear.  We used a lot of old amplifiers, old guitars. I’ve always been drawn to old recording techniques (not that I have anything against new techniques) but when you can really just get down to the fundamental aspects of what creating music is, then you can move forward.”

Sound advice from an artist well on his way to leaving his mark. Make sure to catch Luke Austin on tour at one of the dates below:

August 24, 2017 House of Targ Ottawa, CA
September 8, 2017 Foxx Lounge Barrie, ON
September 15, 2017 The Moustache Club Oshawa, ON
September 21, 2017 The Roxbury London, ON
September 22, 2017 The Phog Lounge Windsor, ON
September 23, 2017 Dstrct Guelph, ON


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