The heart of Austin music culture bleeds much deeper than famed listening rooms and honky-tonks; it's found a place among the next generation Austinite. Meet The Bare Feat, a group of nine Austin High students who are stepping outside of the boundaries of orchestra and choir to bring a full-bodied sound to the Austin music scene.
As a finalist in CultureMap's Last Band Standing competition, The Bare Feat will play the Last Band Standing Pre-ACL show at the Parish on Wednesday, October 10. Before the show, CultureMap caught up with the band to find out what inspires these young musicians to pursue a dream outside the confines of their high school walls.
CultureMap: How did The Bare Feat come together?
The Bare Feat: Everyone one of us got into music in different ways. What brought us all together was a need for a creative outlet to play and make music that we couldn’t achieve in school via band, orchestra, choir or classical guitar.
The band was started in the seventh grade by Jacob Ruegg (Sax) and Nick Hamner (Drums), and once we hit high school we picked up most of the current members that now make up The Bare Feat. Being at Austin High in the Music Capital of the World, being in a band is considered normal — 14 bands entered last year’s Austin High Battle of the Bands.
CM: How would you describe the Bare Feat sound?
BF: Alternative/funk, rock. Every individual in the band has their own influences and we try to use all of them — picking and choosing from what we like, creating a blend of different sounds and music wisdom.
Good music is good music. Doesn’t matter how old you are... If age is an issue for someone, then that someone is not a real music fan.
CM: As a collective, what are your long-term goals?
BF: Music is what we all love; turning this into a career is our biggest goal. Winning Battle of the Bands at Austin High, successfully recording a demo, and just over all organizing and keeping a nine-piece band focused and on track are our biggest accomplishments.
CM: Who are your biggest music idols?
BF: The Bright Light Social Hour is our biggest music idol because they are a local Austin band who started small like us with their own original style and are now making it big; following their dreams.
CM: What do you say to those who think you're too young to be in a band?
BF: Good music is good music. Doesn’t matter how old you are. We have played shows alongside bands that are much younger than us… If age is an issue for someone, then that someone is not a real music fan.
CM: If you win CultureMap's Last Band Standing competition, you'll get Artist badges to ACL Fest. Who will you be most excited to bump into backstage?
BF: We would be excited to see a bunch of people. Jack White, The Roots, [Red Hot] Chili Peppers, Childish Gambino, Thundercat.
You can catch The Bare Feat at CultureMap’s Last Band Standing show at the Parish on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The night will include sets by Hello Wheels, The Bare Feat and Marmalakes, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting HAAM (Health Alliance for Austin Musicians).
During the show, the winner of CultureMap’s first ever Last Band Standing Competition (voted on by our readers) will be announced. Voting is open through midnight on Oct. 2.