Owen Campbell: Breathing Bullets With A Busking Champion

  • Written by 
  • Monday, 19 December 2016 11:15
Published in Music  
Australian slide guitarist Owen Campbell has come a long way from busking on the street to being a prominent Australian blues and roots artist.

He first won hearts as a brash and cheeky contestant on 'Australia's Got Talent' in 2012, which saw him slide his way into the finals. Since then he's toured the world and produced a number of records, including his 2016 album 'Breathing Bullets' that was recorded in Memphis.

To help celebrate and wave bye-bye to 2016, Owen will be playing a special Christmas party show at The V Room on the Sunshine Coast.

What's been your highlight of 2016?
Career wise, extensive touring in Europe and the USA. But the most rewarding gig of 2016 was becoming a father; best gig ever.

How are you spending Christmas/ New Year's?
Going to be a family affair; up on the Sunshine Coast for Christmas, then down in Newcastle for NYE. The Australian coast, can't beat it!

Will you be making any New Year's Resolutions?
Haven't decided yet! (Clocks ticking!)

Tell us about you recent album, 'Breathing Bullets'.
It was recorded in Memphis, USA and produced by Devon Allman, mixed and mastered by Grammy Award-winner Tom Hambridge. It's a collection of songs that came from relentless touring in the USA for a couple of years, rattling around alone in a van. It was a testing and lonesome time but the result is this album. It's an album about breaking down, falling apart and ultimately, carrying on.

You've recently become a dad as well. Has this had a change on your music at all?
I think it's made me happier and calmer and that is inevitably having an effect on my music. I'm really enjoying writing again, which is great.

How did audiences in the United States and Europe respond to the new album live?
It went down really well. I think in the US and Europe there is a much deeper appreciation for live music, it's in their bones. So I dove in and got a great response.

What have you got planned for your Christmas party show at The V Room?
An acoustic driven, roots-rock show. It's my birthday that day to, so it's going to be a whole lotta fun.

You auditioned for 'Australia's Got Talent' in 2012. What's changed for you since then?
I auditioned (twice... whoops) and made it through to the finals. Thankfully people have continued to support my music and my albums have gotten a great response, so I'm grateful for that. I think I'm a lot more relaxed now.

The three years since then have been full on, non-stop business and often times misguided. Right now, I'm coming back and collaborating with people, reconnecting to the music that I love, letting the 'business' side of things simmer awhile and just get back into creating music.

Do you have any plans for your next record yet?
I'm gonna strip it back for the new one: raw, rootsy, uplifting. That could change though.

What's going on for you in 2017?
I'm gonna be heading to the UK, got a few festivals in Australia to kick it off, Thredbo Blues Fest, Blues At The Briars in January and February. I aim to be doing a lot more band shows; been really enjoying the good old rock & roll, so bring on 2017.

Owen Campbell plays The V Room (Sunshine Coast) 23 December. He is also part of the line-up for Mojo Burning at Hamilton Hotel (Brisbane) 25 March.

2018 AIR Awards Nominees Playlist


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