Interview With Austin Ingerman
Of New Years Day and Teenage Ritual

R.I.~You started playing guitar at age 7. What sparked that?

A.I.~ “I remember my dad had this concert on TV and I remember loving it. Then he asked if that was something I’d be interested in and I was absolutely blown away by it, so I wanted to start lessons right away. It was kinda just a weird thing and when I started then. Then I just got more interested in it as time progressed.”

R.I.- Do you remember what band it was that you saw on the TV?

A.I.- “That would be a great question, but I don’t remember. I think it was some blues artist. Somebody like Stevie Ray Vaughan and artists like that. I don’t think it was Stevie Ray Vaughan, but somebody similar.”

R.I.- Do you do everything left-handed, or is it just guitar?

A.I.- “Evertyhing for sure. That’s the other funny thing is… my guitar teacher tried to teach me how to play right-handed but because I was so naturally and dominately left-handed that my dad told him to let me play left-handed.”

R.I.- What was you first guitar, and do you still have it?

A.I.- “My first guitar was a small acoustic, I don’t even know what brand it was, but it wasn’t even a full scale guitar either, it was just a small scale starter’s acoustic. I do believe I still have it somewhere, but it’s at my parent’s house.”

R.I.- When you first started, was it a goal of yours to be in a band and tour, or was it just a hobby at first?

A.I.- “Eventually that did become a goal. When I first started, I went through school and did the whole “sports” thing, I played baseball and everything, in high school. But it was always in the back of my mind that I love music and that’s what I wanted to do. I started playing out when I was 17, in cover bands at local bars. At some point it was just me wanting to take the next tep and move to L.A. to really be in the position to take the next step. AT that point it was definitely a goal.”

R.I.- Have you ever wanted to quit music or stop playing guitar?

A.I.- “Not at all. It’s like an addiction at this point.”

R.I.- What was the most challenging part of making your solo EP in 2017?

A.I.- “The most challenging part was probably writing the music for it. I spent many hours in my home/apartment studio trying to come up with all of those crazy parts. That was just a fun little side project to do, but it was definitely very rewarding and definitely challenging.”

R.I.- Last year you joined New Years Day. How did that come about?

A.I.- “I actually graduated from M.I. (Musician’s Institute) in Hollywood. So it came up through M.I., M.I. is definitely a great school and it’s great for all of the networking and it was just one of those things. Nikki (Misery) our other guitar player also graduated from M.I. So through mutual contacts, I found out they were looking for another guitar player and I did the best I could at the audition and here we are.”

R.I.- Were you a fan of New Years Day prior to joining the band?

A.I.- “That would’ve been super cool if I was, but to be honest, I’d heard of them, but I wasn’t too familiar with the music. But when I checked it out, I absolutely loved it. I definitely loving touring with those guys.”

R.I.- Did you expect “Skeletons” to become as big as it did?

A.I.- “All of the new songs so far are absolutely incredible. I did expect it to do well, but I guess you never know what exactly how well it’s gonna do. But it’s definitely done really well so far. So it did take us by surprise a little bit.”

R.I.- What is something you think is gonna surprise fans from the new album?

A.I.- “I think they’ll be a little surprised. It’s definitely a little bit of a departre, but it’s definitely still classic New Years Day. But it’s got some balls to it, it’s got some weight. There’s some heavy riffage in there, so I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun and I can’t wait for everybody to hear it.”

R.I.- What do you find to be the hardest part about touring?

A.I.- “Probably being away from your girlfriend and your parents and all of your loved ones. I’d say that’s probably the toughest part. And the traveling because sometimes you don’t get that much sleep but it’s rock and roll and it makes it worth it when you get to play in front of people and doing what you love.”

R.I.- Tell me about forming Teenage Ritual.

A.I.- “Teenage Ritual is the other band I’m in and it’s Nikki Stevens’ project and she plays bass and sings and she was formerly in the band Paradise Kitty so we met through the producer Chris Collier. Nikki was looking for a new guitar player and Chris recommended me to her, so that’s how I got in. We’re actually getting ready to release a new EP as well. So be on the look out for that too.”

R.I.- Between the two bands both being in the studio and playing gigs, how do you balance all of it?

A.I.- “You just hope that you do good on Google calendar. It’s just trying to put in the dates and work around it the best we can. It’s just one of those things. It’s funny you say that because Slash has his solo band with Myles Kennedy, but then he’s also got Gun’s N’ Roses and then Myles Kennedy he’s got Alter Bridge and the Tremonti thing going on too. So it’s crazy those guys have several things going on and are constantly touring, but that’s the fun of it.”

R.I.- What’s your favorite show you’ve ever played?

A.I.- “My favorite show on this last tour was a tie between this big arena in Denver, Colorado and The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. All of them were super fun.”

R.I.- What is your tip to those trying to form a band?

A.I.- “ Forming a band can always be tough. It’s always hard to find all the right members. But definitely stay true to what it is you’re really trying to do, and try to be open to other ideas too. There are situations you’re gonna have to put yourself in, to get to where you wanna be. Stay true and always be open.”

R.I.- Other than music, what do you enjoy doing?

A.I.- “I really enjoy getting outside and I enjoy working out. I definitely enjoy the outdoors, my girlfriend and I always go hiking and go to the beach, so I guess I would say getting outside and being in nature. That’s definitely something I enjoy.”

R.I.- What’s your favorite horror movie?

A.I.- “I’m not actually a huge movie fanatic. We just saw Halloween when we were on tour and it wasn’t just a scary movie, there was a good plot to it. SO that was really good and well written.”

R.I.- What can we expect coming up from you?

A.I.- “Lots more touring, we’re going to New York with New Years Day coming up. We’re gonna be going to Australia in March for Download Festival and that’s gonna be crazy and then we go back out on the road in April and then November so just a lot of touring with New Years Day. And maybe some instrumental music in the future.”


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© 2020 by Shannon Wilk.

Located in Connecticut, USA
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