Gary Clark Jr. doesn’t joke with his passion for Austin. Performing at ACL Fest both weekends this year, the artist concluded his Weekend One set by saying he represents Austin wherever he goes.
“Yeah, and I’ll fight you about it,” said the artist with a smirk on his face when discussing the memorable moment onstage at Zilker Park. There are many reasons behind Clark’s statement. “Without Antone’s, and without this city, you’re probably not who you are now,” stated our host Andy Langer as Clark nodded in agreement. Talking over the beginning of his music career with Andy, the 35-year-old Austin musician confessed that he didn’t see himself landing a solo career in music. Instead, he assumed he’d end up in a boy band. “You might’ve seen me dancing with Rihanna or something if I was somewhere else,” chuckled Clark as he thanked those who helped him get his start.
Clark’s love for Austin traces back to the artists from the city. The crowd cheered Clark on when he said he “just likes Austin musicians better.” Moreover, he’s shown it by taking local artists on tour with him. “It’s nice to have other familiar faces outside of just us, we see each other all the time,” said the rock and soul artist while pointing to his band. “That’s cute and everything, but you know to be able to connect back home and have people out… it’s cool to be able to connect when you’re in the middle of Salt Lake City.”
What matters more to the artist than being a rockstar? Being a father of course. “The kids, that’s everything. That’s all I got at the end of the day, it’s family.” With Clark having a bit of time off, he’s not only ready to spend his break with family and friends, but looks forward to practice more guitar.
“The thing about this that I love about music is you can always learn. If it’s an instrument, a genre, it’s something that will keep me busy and it’s fun and a challenge. For the rest of my life, while I’m physically, mentally capable of doing it, I’m gonna ride it ’till the wheels fall off.”
Gary Clark Jr [Full LIVE Performance + Interview] | Austin City Limits Radio
ACL Radio’s One-Year Anniversary Party w/Gary Clark Jr.
Photos: Ariana Quiroz