Since the release of his Bright Lights EP, Gary Clark Jr. has established himself as one of the best talents to emerge from his native Austin. With a fuzzy guitar sound that oozes with emotion and a smooth voice, his mix of rock, psychedelic, blues and soul has won him legions of fans. Performing alongside musicians like Eric Clapton shows how much respect and acclaim the singer/guitarist has received in a short period of time. Ahead of his upcoming set at Lollapalooza, we caught up with Clark Jr., who is putting the finishing touches on his eagerly anticipated album.
What’s going on with the new album? Everyone was singing your praises on the EP, are things slated to be similar or are you mixing things up on the full-length?
It’s going to have a little something on it for everyone. There may be a little overlap with some of the tracks, but definitely more variety coming out.
What was the recording process like? Are there any kinks still to be ironed out?
It was a new experience working with Mike Elizondo at Can Am Recorders. We’re still working out some of the mixing for the album. Just taking a little time to get things right.
It’s tough to just pinpoint things specifically because it’s been non-stop. Every stop along the way has been a learning experience and evolution for me as a musician and person. Gotta keep growing.
As a festival veteran at this point, what’s been some of the highlights from playing these events?
A veteran, huh? I don’t know about that, but I feel like we’re just getting started. Overall, I’d say the crowd reaction and love we keep receiving at each stop along the way. It’s a give and take experience and we’ve just appreciated each moment as it comes along the way.
What’s been the coolest thing to happen on-stage so far? Is it the crowd spilling out of the tent at Coachella or performing with one of your heroes on-stage?
Again, very tough to pick just one because each moment has its own unique qualities to it. Coachella was definitely crazy with people spilling out of the tent. Nothing really tops seeing the genuine appreciation in people’s eyes and letting us know how grateful they are to be with us on a given night. Whether it’s in Sioux City, Iowa or San Sebastian, Spain, we’re equally grateful just to be present with folks.
What’s been you favorite festival, at least so far?
I can’t pick just one. They’ve all been and so have the folks there with us. The two that stand out at this moment are Jazzaldia in Spain and Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores, Ala. Both festivals were right on the beach, next to the ocean.
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