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If you don’t know who Barns Courtney is yet, it’s time you find out. The English singer, songwriter, and musician is a rock star in his own right. His songs “Golden Dandelions” and “99” have been mainstays on alternative rock radio stations across the States for some time now. His guitar driven rock is what we need this day and age.

The singer delves deep into his influences David Bowie and Iggy Pop in his music. “I’m hugely enamored by both of them. Both geniuses in their own right but in very different ways.” The singer continued to say, “I wish they had more influence on me, to be honest. Iggy and the Stooges are so underrated. I love Bowie’s live performances and fashion.”

Barns Courtney was not always singing solo. He in fact fronted two different rock bands before venturing out on his own. “I miss the comradery of a band. The friendship I built with people. It’s a wonderful thing if you can get a group together politically. I chose the lonely route of a solo career out of necessity,” states Courtney.

Much has changed for Courtney since 2017’s debut EP Dull Drums him. The singer says he battled depression for those years building up to the release of his EP. “I had very little money. I was struggling for years and eating sardines out of a can three times a day. In retrospect, it was an incredible catalyst for writing music.” He dipped into some nostalgia for his new album 404, but found the process a bit more difficult to connect to. “I had two months to record the album. It’s difficult to find a quiet spot and record while you are on tour,” says the singer.

If you have listened to Courtney’s music it’s pretty punk for today’s scene. It’s guitar, bass, and drums. “We are seeing a tremendous renaissance in hip hop music, but in guitar rock we have not seen it happen. The singer jokes that he wants to be the savior for rock music. “When you see my show live, though, I’m big on getting the crowd involved. I try to crowd surf at every show.”

He loves playing and connecting to his live audience through the gusto of it all, bringing his all to every show. “I broke my foot at Summerfest in Milwaukee. I was set to perform at Lollapalooza. If I can’t work the crowd, then the gig’s done. So, I came up with this plan: to rent a gurney, meet a nurse on Bumble, and it was all very dynamic. So, I got the nurse to push me out on this gurney on stage and I had the microphone strapped to one side and for some songs that I had to sing I was rolled up to the front of the stage. It was theatrical. I’ve been playing a show every day for the past five years, but I love it.”

Courtney has a very hip style, but can bring oh so much on tour with him. The singer joked about his infamous red leather jacket. “I bring all my possessions with me in one suitcase while out on the road with me. I had this red leather jacket tailored for me in London. I sweated so bad that the jacket reeked so bad I poured vodka on it, washed it four times, and finally put in the dryer only to not fit me anymore.” Ah, now that’s the rock star life.

Catch Barns Courtney on tour next year.



Story / Robert Frezza

Photos / Tom Oxley












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