Project Description

Interview with CASEY BARNES

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Casey Barnes’s music has made an impact around the world. He’s had hits in Europe, written and recorded in America, appeared in a top-rating TV show in Australia, and played alongside many international stars including Mariah Carey, Lady Antebellum and Bryan Adams.

Recently, Amnplify interviewer Julie caught up with Casey and asked him a few questions.

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Casey Barnes

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Congratulations on the new single ‘The Way We Ride’. It’s rocky, it’s boppy, and it’s a blast! It’s true that love can be tricky to navigate. Why do you believe that, even though, “Love will make us lose our minds” and “Love will make you go insane”, we keep going back for more?

Thanks so much and so glad you like the new single!! Ah love is the foundation of everything in life… without it the human race would have no purpose so we’re always going to go back for more.

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Was there any particular event in your young life when you discovered you wanted to pursue a career in music?

I think it was my high school music teacher Mr Edwards who pushed me into getting over my fear of performing in public. I never looked back after that.

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It seems to me there aren’t many “purist” country performers these days: Contemporary country artists such as Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan and Carrie Underwood, tend to draw from pop, rock, folk, indie, blues, soul, etc. How have you developed your sound?

I think you’re right…. I’ve developed my sound from a love of multiple genres and I think over the last 5-6 years I’ve finally found my own ‘sound’ which falls into that modern country/new country sound.

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Casey Barnes

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How influential has the Nashville music scene been on your song writing and recording?

Very much so… I fell in love with Nashville the moment I stepped off the plane and will always love the place.

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What has it been like to work with Rick Price?

Rick has become like a big brother.. I’ve learnt an incredible amount… not just as a song writer but as a musician and performer. He’s been incredible.

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You had already released three albums by the time you became a Top 12 finalist on Australian Idol. What motivated your participation on the show and what was the experience like?

Ha I think it was the amount of people that used to tell me I should have a crack at gigs… I’d always said no but finally caved and auditioned. Definitely worth the experience and learnt a lot… but there’s also a lot that goes on behind the scenes that a probably didn’t agree with.

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Casey Barnes

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Why do you think so very few contestants who do well on television talent competitions go on to mainstream success?

Largely because as soon as the show finishes both the show and the label involved definitely don’t want to see the other contestants do well… their focus is on maximising the success of the winner. The other contestants are put under extremely restrictive contracts so that you’re unable to do anything until the momentum/focus has passed. It’s then up to the contestant to put in the real hard yards and most often decide its possible too hard.

Are you a fan of your own music? What songs would you listen to if those songs were written and recorded by another artist?

Ha that’s a funny question… I think it becomes hard to listen to your own music when you’ve spent so much time creating it. I’d love to hear some of my songs interpreted by another artist one day… would be pretty trippy.

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You’ve worked with Rick Price, your EP ‘Flesh and Bone’ was mixed by Grammy Award winner Jason Lehning and your single ‘The One You Love’ was produced by the Aria Award winning Nick Didia. How does it feel to have such accomplished music makers choose to work with you?

VERY fortunate….. they all bring their own amazing talents and sometimes you have to stop and reflect on how lucky you’ve actually been to work with there guys.

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Casey Barnes

No.2 – WOW

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‘Live as One’ is a great song and one of positivity, hope and unity, in a similar vein to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, Cat Stevens’ ‘Peace Train’ and Noiseworks’ ‘Touch’. Yet again, we live in tumultuous times. How do you think your stance on guns will play out with some country music fans that support the ownership of firearms?

Now THAT”S an interesting question… we actually performed it for the 1st time in America last year at a major festival and we had that exact discussion about how it would be perceived. Thankfully there are a lot of people out there (including country music fans) that believe in gun control. The reference to guns in the song is more a metaphor actually rather than a literal stance…its more about learning from our constant history of violence as a human race and that it just doesn’t fix things.

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Over the last few years you have performed in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville as well as the ‘Caloundra Music Festival’, ‘A Day On The Green’, the ‘Broadbeach Country Music Festival’, the ‘Urban Country Music Festival’, the ‘Country Summer Music Festival’ and several television shows. Can you share with we non-performers what live performing is like?

Well I’m not a drug taker but it’s the closest thing I think you can get to a natural and healthy ‘high’. It’s a feeling that once you had it you keep wanting more! Live performances are probably my fav thing.. getting to pay your songs for the 1sttime after recording them is another thing you just can’t beat!

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You have won several awards: The People’s Choice, the Gold Coast Music and the NCEIA Dolphin Music awards, as well as, the ‘Best Male Vocal’ for ‘Hard Times’. Brush aside humility for a moment. How rewarding are these accolades and, as such, do they inspire you to continue to grow as a musician?

Its nice to get the occasional award but I don’t think you can get anywhere in this industry without a team behind you… I’m lucky to have a great little team that work with me and I never forget the things people behind the scenes do.

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Casey Barnes

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Your first album ‘Casey Barnes’ was released in 2007. How do you look back on that album now?

With great memories but also realising how much I’ve probably grown as an artist since then.

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Paul McCartney has said that he dreamt ‘Yesterday’ and upon waking, he played the chords on an upright piano and the song was realised. Have you experienced any similarly unconventional song writing experiences? If not, what is your song writing process like?

I’ve absolutely experienced things like that…. I truly believe that you often just ‘tap into something’ from upstairs (the Universe/God) I’m not sure and it depends what you believe in. I’m not really a religious person but lyrics and music often just comes in the most random way that you just can’t explain… a lyric, a melody.  It’s the best feeling.

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Your career is enjoying, deservedly, an upward trajectory. Like so many people in the public eye, however, who have not handled mass popularity, wealth and media exposure very well; do you find the idea of major success scary, exciting, or is it not even on your radar?

Its super scary and I don’t know how the likes of Ed Sheeran, Keith Urban etc. do it. I think the key is staying grounded, being a good person and having good people/family around you.

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Casey Barnes

What are some of the more challenging aspects of choosing to live your life, and make your living, as a professional/working musician?

I think the hardest part is balancing your music career with family life. Touring, recording etc. often means you have to be away and I don’t like missing out on important things with my wife and 2 girls. Luckily we have the balance pretty right and hope to keep it that way.

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If you could perform with any musician, alive or not, who would that be?

I think that changes on a weekly basis ha ha.. I have so many artists that I respect and admire! Keith Urban for me right now would be a dream come true.

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What was it like working with your wife Michelle on the very pretty ballad ‘Valentine’?

One of my favorite songs…. And any chance I get to record with my wife I take it. The best part was having our daughter Charli star in the music video!

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Casey Barnes

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As a fair dinkum Aussie bloke, can you dance Casey or do you need a few beverages to bust some moves on the dance floor?

Have you seen my latest couple of music videos? Ha ha I definitely need some help in the dancing department!

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What else are you interested in besides music?

I LOVE to travel…always have. Staying healthy/fit and running every day if I can. Family time with my girls and if we get the chance a get away with just my wife and I is always awesome!

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AMNPLIFY – DB

My nickname is “The Amnplifier”. Why? Because around here my focus is on being a conduit for providing greater outcomes that people come here for. My day to day “work” is living in the moment, and I love helping others concentrate on finding their connection to themselves through their experiences.

Why start a music environment? The truth is I love music, I love writing, and I love life. I work with musicians every day, and I feel certain that I will be until they put me in the ground. I have been managing people in businesses of some sort for over thirty five years so along the way I have developed some “wisdom” from my regular and constant “observations”.

Amnplify your experience. That is what we want you to do here, and if you want to let me know why you do, or don’t, shoot me a message on Facebook.

Hope you enjoy yourself here and find something that hits you somewhere.