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Interview: Casey Barnes

6 min read

Gold Coast-based singer-songwriter Casey Barnes returned to music last year with his fourth studio album, Jet Trails. Along with the album we have been offered a string of beautifully crafted and sentimental singles including the recently released, Running To You, which is currently doing the rounds on airwaves throughout Australia.

CaseyBarnesJetTrailsAlbumBetween studio releases Casey Barnes appeared on the seventh and final season of the long-running reality talent show, Australian Idol, an opportunity which allowed Casey to showcase his songsmith talents to a much wider audience than previous releases had allowed.

Four years have passed since his time on Australian Idol and we were curious as to what the musician has been up to lately. We recently had the pleasure of talking to Casey Barnes about his career so far, his time on Australian Idol and his latest release, Jet Trails. Speaking to us from Australia’s sunny Gold Coast region, here is what Casey had to tell us:


Brendon Veevers: How are you Casey?

Casey Barnes: Doing great guys.. thanks for asking!

BV: Where are we speaking to you from today?

CB: At home on the Gold Coast, enjoying a little bit of family time before I head to sound check for gig number 4 for the weekend.

BV: Your latest album is called Jet Trails. Can you tell us a little about the record and the inspiration behind the album?

CB: Its been a good 2 years in the making. I’ve taken my time with this one to get it right and been lucky enough to record tracks here on the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sydney, Nashville and New York… hence the title of the album Jet Trails.

BV: For those who haven’t heard the album yet, would you say that you have kept the same sound and style that audiences are familiar with from previous records?

CB: Good question…. Its actually a slight shift from my previous EP Red Lion Motel which was really organic and acoustic based. The new album is a real mixed bag and touches on more than one genre which I’ve really enjoyed… there’s a bit of something for everyone on there!

BV: You have recently released the 3rd single from the album which is called Running To You. Can you tell us a little about the song?

CB: Running To You I recorded down in Sydney and was lucky enough to co-write this one with my good friend Hayley Warner who was also on the same year of Australian Idol as me… she’s a super talent and amazing song writer. Its got a bit of a pop/rock/country feel and stoked to be getting plenty of radio support so far.

BV: You recorded Jet Trails in Australia and Nashville. What was it like to record in Nashville where some of the biggest artists in history have recorded?

CB: Nashville is just one place that has no rival – its a musicians Disneyland… music 24/7 and some of the best players, producer and studios in the world. It doesn’t matter what night of the week it is, you’re guaranteed that someone incredible is in town somewhere doing a show. After spending some time there last year I can understand why so many singer songwriters want to base themselves there.

BV: One of the tracks on Jet Trails, Michelle, was co-written with Australian songwriter, Rick Price. Can you talk us through how the collaboration came to be and what it was like to work with Rick?

CB: Rick is honestly one of the nicest people I’ve met in music…. It was just a complete fluke that we got together actually. I was in Nashville, ordering some lunch and Rick happened to be standing behind me and heard my accent… we ended up having a chat, he came to my show that afternoon for a listen and we just hit it off. The next day we got together for what was meant to be a chat about how he made the move to Nashville and to get some advice… Rick asked me to play some of the stuff I’d been working on and he took a liking to the melody I’d come up with for Michelle which at that stage still had no lyrics…. Rick kept hearing someone’s name being in the lyrics and I mentioned how I’d love to write a song about my wife and that’s how it all started… 3 hours later we’d written the track which is probably my favourite on the new album

BV: If given the opportunity to collaborate with 3 other artists, dead or alive, who would they be and for what reason?

CB: Wow, that’s a great question and hard to narrow down… I’d have to say at the top of the list would be Elton John. I’ve grown up listening to his stuff and always been a massive fan of how he has that amazing song writing partnership with Bernie Taupin. James Taylor would be another I’d love to work with… great songwriter and guitarist. And lastly (and I can’t split them) if I had the chance to write a track with John Lennon and Paul McCartney that would just be a dream come true.

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BV: You were a contestant on the seventh season of Australian Idol back in 2009. What was the experience like for you and are there any regrets taken from being a part of the show?

CB: Australian Idol was actually always something I said I’d never do as I was one of those determined singer songwriters that was slightly against reality TV and I’d just started to get a few lucky breaks having opened for Bryan Adams a couple of years prior and was getting a bit of momentum from that… it was actually a last min thing to audition and to be honest I didn’t expect to make it as far as I did into the top 12. I made some great friends on the show and overall it was a great experience, plus a lot more people got to know me as a result of the show. Definitely no regrets.

BV: What did you enjoy the most about being a part of that reality talent show?

CB: I’d say developing myself as a performer, gaining more confidence and also the great friends I made.

BV: It’s been 4 years since you were a part of Australian Idol. Apart from writing material for Jet Trails, what else have you been up to?

CB: Well I’m now married with a 4 year old daughter and we also just welcomed our 2nd little girl (Emmy) into the world 5 weeks ago.. so when I’m not doing shows, recording or writing music I’m spending every second I have with them. Very lucky to have such a supportive family.

BV: Are you planning on heading out on the road again this year?

CB: Yes absolutely.. in fact it never stops. I’ve just returned from a run of shows with my band and I head back to Nashville and LA in 2 weeks to do some more shows plus start work on a new EP… lots of exciting stuff on the horizon!

BV: What else is on the Casey Barnes calendar for 2013?

CB: Apart from more shows I’m really excited to be starting work on a new release which will hopefully be out towards the end of the year. I’ll be recording it in Nashville with Rick Price producing it and can’t wait! We’ve been working on a bunch of new tracks together so will be great to finally record them and bring them all to life!

BV: Do you have a Website/Twitter/Facebook page where fans can keep up to date with what you are up to?

CB: Absolutely! Website: http://www.caseybarnes.com.au/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaseyBarnesOfficial Twitter: https://twitter.com/casey_barnes

BV: Thanks for your time Casey

CB: Thank you for the support guys!

Casey Barnes’ latest album, Jet Trails, is out now.