A CONVERSATION WITH AUSTIN GETZ
Written by Music on 26th November 2019
Written by Hanna Clark
Turnover are an American alternative band from Virginia Beach who started their journey in 2009. Since then their sound has been everchanging, the band members (Austin Getz, Casey Getz and Danny Dempsey) have evolved alongside their sound just as their audience have too. They have just embarked on their world tour and on the 29th of October at King Tuts Wah Wah hut, on a couch in the green room, I had a conversation with Austin Getz.
Hanna Clark: It’s only a couple days until the release of Altogether, what has your writing and recording process been like and has it been different to previous albums?
Austin Getz: Yes, it has been, this is the first one when we all have kind of written completely remotely. We are still together a lot because we tour all the time, but it was more so, funny enough, more collaborative than in the past even though we were apart. Because It was the first one back to being just the three of us and we wrote a good amount on tour. We tour in an RV so it leaves a lot of time for us to just play together and then we would get together, like we did a writing session in Oregon for a week, we’d find time to meet up all together. We did a lot together but also a lot on our own sending voice memos back and forth to each other. It worked out really good, it was probably been the most fun we’ve had making an album.
HC: You posted on your social media about your campaign of planting a tree for every pre-order tell us a bit about that and the motivations behind it?
AG: We trip a little bit about the things that we take when doing business that are harmful to the environment. So anything that we can do to counteract it in some way we try to do it. It’s cool in 2019 that there are companies that let you do stuff like that. A place to give some of the money to. We set it up through Run for Cover (their record company) you can choose where you do it, so we chose to do it in the Amazon after all the burning that happened recently.It’s awesome, we’re really excited about it
HC: It’s great that you can give back in big ways like planting the trees, but you also give back just by making music. Your albums mean a lot to your listeners, but what do your albums mean to you guys?
AG: They’re different for each member, but for me, because I write all the lyrics it’s just kind of a reflection of the thoughts I’m having at the time. Peripheral Vision (the bands 2nd album) and Good nature (Their 3rd album) are a snapshot of the ages 20-24. SO, it’s kind of a time when I think a lot of people go through a lot of re-formatting and changing and becoming a young adult and abandoning the stuff that you were brought up with as a kid. It is kind of like that and things I found questionable you know? Things that I learnt, or felt like I learned, and this new one is a bit of a departure from that world, a different person, more of a fully realised person in this time of my life. I was doing some searching in good nature, I feel like I found a lot of answers. Now it’s not solidifying that, but a new set of questions altogether. Things that I thought about in the new free space of my mind. You often answer a question and it leads you to a whole new different question. I feel like it’s a new period that is separate.
HC: You’ve been through shifts of sound in your career, what was it that sparked the change between magnolia and perspiration visions?
AG: I think that there is never really too specific just a general change of what we were listening to. When we were younger, we liked faster more aggressive music, more angsty stuff. You know when you’re a kid and you wanna let that energy out and I remember that was so magical for us growing up in a very musical household. My parents are very old, Casey (his brother and drummer) and I, our parents didn’t have us till they were almost 40 and sometimes peoples parents would introduce them to music that is a little bit closer to your age gap but because my parents were so much older they were into stuff that a lot of peoples grandparents were into which is music that I love now. But when I was growing up there was like no punk growing in the house, they hated punk, so I was never exposed to it I think naturally as a kid you gravitate towards stuff your parents aren’t into. Punk has such an energy when you’re younger, you feel so alive, so that was magical at the time. Then I think as we got older, we just started listening to a bunch of new stuff that then peripheral vison just naturally happened. There was partly a degree of us getting pigeonholed a lot so a part of us said f*uck what we’re expected to do we’re going to do something different altogether. Then people liked it a lot, and we felt like the most authentic version of ourselves at the time.
HC: That’s a great thing! Music has to be ever changing.
AG: That’s what I feel.
HC: So, what’s your opinion on that then with the argument of stick to what you’re good at or be everchanging?
AG: I really don’t think there is a right answer, I used to hate on people making the same kind of music over and over but I feel like that’s a little naïve of me because ultimately if you are being true to yourself than that’s all that matters. I personally like a tonne of different music and I’m always finding new music, the way that my mind personally works is if I hear something, I thinks cool I wanna try my hand at it. By the same token I think that there are a lot of people who are content with what they know, and they love playing the kind of music they like. If they love it and they’re good at doing it, I respect that too. As long as your being yourself then it’s all good you know.
HC: I was reading about how the beach boys were an inspiration for the new album? Tell me us a bit about that.
AG: Pet sounds is one of my favourite albums of all time. On good nature especially, I was really loving that record, but I started really getting into it towards the end of good nature. So, I feel like it was never fully expressed, that record as much of an influence that was it fell at a funny time between albums. I would say it has less of an impact on a particular record but just on me as a songwriter so um sure certain things come through. There’s some surfy little guitar lines that are kinda beach boyish, some of the treatment of how things sound, like pet sounds I was really inspired how thing were laid out in that as a record, so there is some influence there. I wouldn’t say I go looking for it, it isn’t good vibrations, but I would love to be able to write a song like that.
HC: Other than the pet shop boys, who else has influenced you over your career as obviously you are going to be an inspiration for other musicians starting out, what started you out wanting to make music?
AG: When I was young, I remember the first band that kind of broke the barrier for me and hit me really emotionally was Blink 182, they kind of let me into more underground punk like jawbreaker it has always evolved since then, I feel like now, on the new stuff it is a lot like jazz. Realistically it’s a lot of not guitar based stuff because we were listening to so much of that but now there is such a huge world out there to explore different kinds of music so a lot of jazz, electronic music or honestly we like a lot of 60’s psychedelic rock too. It’s really all over the place, I’m inspired by modern artists, even disco and soul. I’m always trying to hear new things. When I was younger id hear music and not be ready to understand it so I didn’t like it, I had more of a closed mind to music, so now I feel like revisiting a lot of music that I grew up knowing who they were but I thought it was whack.
HC: I think that works perfectly with your audience because your sound is growing up as they are growing up.
AC: Definitely, it’s a special thing. On this record we are noticing people being like “Oh we wish this was Peripheral visons again”
HC: Does that annoy you?
AC: Not really, I love that it’s hard to be mad at someone loving your music, if they love PV then that’s awesome but It’s really special when I see the fans say “Well if you want to listen to PV it’s out there just go listen to it.” They’re with us because they want to see the band grow as they grow as a person. In the past there have been bands that I’ve seen change and thought it was really cool so if people can do that with us, I think that’s a really special thing to hold as an artist.
HC: Along the same vein, there are a lot of small bands I know that are coming to see your show tonight who look up to your journey, do you have any advice for them for making steps in their career?
AG: I think that’s really hard for me because growing up ever since I was really young I wanted to play music I have always had that drive when I was in high school there wasn’t any other option, if you asked me what I was going to do with my life I would’ve said I’m going to play music. I was convinced that I was going to do it so I feel like I kind of manifested that and made it happen. There are a lot of things when looking back that Casey, Danny and I did like when we recorded Magnolia we slept in our van for a whole month recording it, living on five dollars a day, stealing sh*it from Walmart to eat definitely a huge part of it is you’ve just got to do it, make it happen. When I get older, I think we made it a lot more difficult for ourselves than we needed to be like, we have to do it this way. I think touring is amazing, it’s awesome vessel to get out your comfort zone or your town. There is ways to do it now where you can just put your music online and see if people love it, which makes it easier on yourselves, For the modern band I think my advice may be a little fool hearty, I think that is very valuable to teach yourself what it means to do small shows like we did small shows forever, so were blessed to do bigger ones now. I also think it can be very draining on your physical and mental health, for a while when you’re with the same people all the time, your relationships become a bit first dimensional. You sacrifice a lot of relationships and experiences, so I think sometimes we made it harder on ourselves than we had to, I not saying I regret that because I think where we are at now is great. I think it is finding a balance and working hard but also paying attention to your surroundings and being smart about what you’re doing is having the greatest effect on your brain. A lot of the times you’ll be playing shows for no one and you’re just spinning the wheels. So, it is good to be self-aware and think, hey is what we’re doing working? Do we need to change something? I feel like that is what happened with us with PV we went through so long of playing the same shows, where we reached a point where the band was kind of on the back burner because we were so tired of doing it and that made us expand a listen to new things and create an album that sounds completely different. When you stop working so hard and you start working smarter it pays off.
HC: Your evolution makes turnover who they are, because it is interesting to follow a bands evolution, we have short attention spans in this generation, we get bored easily, I think it is fun as listeners to follow your change as they change themselves.
AG: That’s what I love too, the amount of modern bands that I feel like I can do that with is not none, but it’s not a ton of bands that I grew up listening to I feel like are still doing things that are pushing me and challenging me, showing me new things. I love that we can be that to anyone. I love that we can be that band for anyone.
HC: With the rise of streaming sights, the music market is saturated so it is hard to rise to the top and a lot of people result to commercialising themselves instead of being true to the music they want to play, but from listening to your music, and I think what a lot of people think from listening to your music, that’s not what it’s about.
AG: The thing that is interesting too about Spotify and all these people trying to sell is, I feel our generation, the consumer generation, having ads shoved in our face that has pushed our generation so far. That now people are like post-advertisement people like you more so now than ever just because you’re different. That kind of opposite spectrum instead of being oh what’s selling I’m going to do that, its I’m going to do the weirdest possible thing because that’s what people think is cool.
HC: Mainstream is becoming alternative and alternative is becoming mainstream.
AC: Right! Now the most cool underground bands are just making pop music, crazy, but I think it’s cool because if you are able to make music that a lot of people like, or any art that a lot of people like but also a lot of people dislike, its polarizing for one but also if its unique sounding but still good sounding to also of people that always been very impressive to me rather than just being different for being different sake.
Speaking to Austin was a great, inspiring experience. After I have grown up with his music, it was eye opening to find out his points of views and stories around his music.
You can find Turnover on Spotify and Apple Music, their latest album “Altogether” was released on November 1st, which takes their sound to an almost unrecognizable turnover. Making use of instruments the band had previously never touched before.
More tour dates have just been released so if you are in the area and are now interested in catching a glimpse of this unique band they’re coming back to Glasgow at the beginning of next year, head to their Instagram page @turnovera.