You may know Austin, Texas to be commonly referred to as the “Live Music Capitol of the World.” That being said, it’s home for all sorts of musicians. On any given night you can walk down a street downtown full of pubs packed with something out of a music lover’s dream -from acoustic sets, solo artists, indie, hip hop, metal and everything in between. An exciting vibe, sure, but one has to wonder: on the other side of the spectrum, how do you manage to stand out? I sat down with Sean MacDonald, aka Seanzy, who while climbing his way to the top of the Austin scene, may just have an idea.
ADRA: What kicked you off into wanting to make music?
SEAN: I was sort of born into it. My mom, she’s a music teacher, and I have two older siblings who always play music. They wouldn’t ever let me play their instruments, so when they’d go out with their friends I would sneak in and play their guitars! My sister would hide them in her closet, so I’d sneak in.
ADRA: I understand you used to be known as Five Years and Counting. What sparked the name change?
SEAN: I had a good run with that on my last label, then I kind of changed my sound a little bit more. I went in the studio and my sound like, completely changed. I just wanted to do something different. After that, they weren’t really into it. I went more alternative, a little bit darker. They didn’t really enjoy that. Then my manager kind of got into it, so a lot of stuff got mixed up. That was the end of that. I did it for one more year, and then I was like “Eh, I just really want to do something different.” So, it was Seanzy.
ADRA: What’s your favorite part of playing live shows?
SEAN: Really just having songs come to life from the recordings, and seeing people’s reactions to it.
ADRA: Do you have one specific memory you remember most out of the shows you’ve played?
SEAN: I would say X Games – that was gnarly. It was a good crowd, and we all had a great time. Then I opened up for Motion City Soundtrack, and the memory that I have from that was that we played poker afterwards, and I don’t know how to play poker. So, I just put down $20, and the keyboardist just took my $20. He was just like “oh yeah, that’s how you play.” He’s pretty cool, though.
ADRA: You’ve got your first EP coming out this next month, on August 14th. What are some of the major inspirations for it?
SEAN: Just life. I was in the hospital for about two and a half weeks, I got pancreatitis. At that time, I was not doing music at all, I was just working downtown on Sixth Street. Basically, I had all these ideas, and my Dad was like, “What do you want to do with your life?” I was struggling with addiction and alcohol. I wrote a lot about that, and also about my personal issues with my family.
ADRA: What advice would you give for other local artists who are just discovering that music is their calling?
SEAN: [laughs] I’m still trying to give myself advice! I would just say just go for it, you know? Social networking, they’re all free sites – just go out there and put it out, man. The more you give, the more you get back. I’m starting to see that. It starts off slow, but the more you keep on, it comes with time.
ADRA: Finally, where do you see your future as an artist?
SEAN: I know that I’m going to be doing Magic Mike 3. Channing Tatum hit me up with that. [laughs] No, I’m kidding. Hopefully just play shows, and keep on keeping on! Just try and hit it hard. *