PHOTO: Victor Pakpour
Yesterday we got a link to two new songs that our friend Austyn Gillette recorded — one which you may remember from his Fairly Normal episode. Turns out he finally figured out the glitch in Garage Band, and got off the road long enough to jam out a few songs and here they are today. He released them under the name Part Friend. "The name came about because I'm never home," he said. "I"m a part time friend to a lot of people. Also it wasn't taken."
The two new songs are available to stream after the jump, as well as some early footage from a trailer we shot for his Fairly Normal which features him strumming away on "Should I Stay" which is about falling in the ice of a frozen river.
After the jump are both new songs, as well as a chat with Austyn about finding time to be creative and record songs and footage of him in his studio.
WHAT YOUTH: So you’re just home from Europe, writing songs and releasing records now?
AUSTYN GILLETTE: Just doin' it. Yeah, I’ve recorded these two songs over the past two days. So I’ve been recording into Garage Band and I had it on this setting for Garage Band that would automatically turn down the audio. And I found out two days ago that if you click one button you’ll get the full sound. So I got all psyched and did some recording. Took me a few years to discover the Garage Band glitch though. Years! One button!
I know you’ve played music a long time and have a pretty rad recording studio at your house.
Yeah, we built a 13 x 11 studio in my backyard, and it’s completely sound proof so that allows me to get as loud as I want. And as far as like…uhhh…like, technology, I’m not really current. I’m still using Garage Band, not Logic…or what’s the one everybody uses? No Pro Tools or any of that. I have all the instruments…guitars, drums, bass, amps. So, that all allows me to play in my free time, which I explained in my video with you guys, there is a lot of being a professional skateboarder.
No skating lately?
I haven’t skated — well I just got home from a trip that was like a month long all over Europe — and haven’t skated in a week since I’ve been home. I’ve had time to rip out the bedroom and bathroom at my house and rebuild everything, and after that, record some music.
When did you write these songs?
The one that’s in What Youth, I think I called it…fuck, what did I call it? “Should I Stay” that’s the one. That’s been sitting around since March. We’ve played it a lot, live at the house or whatever, but never recorded it. I guess I’ve been too lazy. The process takes hours. But today, it is here and recorded.
What’s that song about?
That song is actually about falling through ice. I visited my girlfriend in Finland in the winter, and it was negative 4 degrees and I couldn’t feel anything on my body. We walked across a frozen lake, and it’s just about falling into the lake.
Vibes. Story. Dig it. So where do these songs come from? What’s your inspiration?
I think a lot of it comes from me being limited, as far as the skill. I’m definitely not a good guitar player. I just pick up and shoot for catch y melodies and catchy sounds. What was the question?
It was the worst one ever.
Oh, inspiration. Sometimes it’s all freestyle. Just my version of what I pull from. I like the classics, like Roy Orbision. And your new bands, fucking strokes or Walkmen, some Bob Dylan…I dunno if that makes it through there, but I like the classics, but mixed with the instruments that I have it usually comes out sounding more current. I’d like to give it some older sounding stuff. When you called I was working on something that sounds pretty different.
When did you start singing?
I was in a band like three years ago, for like a year. Played a good amount of shows. And no one was going to fill the singing position and I was playing rhythm guitar so I stepped in and just found a range. Stuck with that sound.
What’s next with this endeavor?
Have you heard of the Hollywood Bowl? We’re playing there tomorrow night. [Laughs]. Nah, it’s funny, people hit me up about the What Youth video and I have a lot of free time, when I'm in between trips. I don’t skate too much back home, personally. It gives me time to digest where I was before. And get creative for a bit.
What’s happening this fall? After the Hollywood bowl?
I did a full Europe skate tour with Huf for a month. And I dunno what the hell is next. Nothing big. Like with anybody, maybe not with surfers, as they can chase good waves all over — well, we can too I guess — but summer is big for us, kids are out and we do tours. But now that the kiddies are back in school, I can hide out a bit. Play music.