Mark Austin Band - Dallas, TX - Featured Feb, 2000

The Mark Austin Band - Dallas Texas
Acid Jazz - Dallas Style  by Hotbands Editor - Pat Ferris

SCORE! Thanks again Richard C ! 
Actually, I'll accept some of the credit on this find.  One of our advertisments  attracted Mark Austin, founder of The Mark Austin Band, which is an all-star line up of pro-musicians from the Dallas region.  Mark followed up with an email to us, and was directed to Richard Cagle and AMG (Artist Management Group) in Houston.   Coincidentally, I happened to be at AMG when his CD and promo pack arrived, so some coincidences don't happen by coincidence (is that redundant?).

Mark Austin and his band has been a band I've wanted to feature since I heard them, and since LLC was just formed in Dallas the first week of January, I thought it would be the appropriate time for his band to be on our homepage.  If you are a music lover with a discerning ear, or if you want to stretch the boundaries of rock and jazz, Mark Austin and his "Mystical Horn Band" (as they are often called) is a band you'll want to hear. 

We were able to meet up on ICQ chat and have an on-line live interview with Mark and members of his band, and this is what they had to say:

Mark Austin
Paul enters the chat

<Mark> There he is

<HotBands> Hi Paul

<Mark> Paul meet Pat, Pat, Paul

<Paul> Hi pat

<Mark> We're all getting a big laugh here. Scott, the drummer is here too.

< HotBands > A big laugh out of what?

<Mark> This whole ICQ trip...there are newbies here. I was doing a session, and so we have a looker on or two.

< HotBands > ICQ is pretty cool

<Mark> We just got some great reviews on my 2 previous CD’s

< HotBands > I'm tossing your CD in the computer now so I can get in the right frame of mind

<Mark> I appreciate what you said about it I’m going to quote you on the website

< HotBands > How long has your band been together?

<Mark> A year or so

< HotBands > When we first corresponded on email the thing that made me take a double-take on your band was that you said you had an 11 piece horn it still that big?

<Mark> It is 7 actually, that must've been a mistake

< HotBands > No prob...

<Mark> It's a power trio with percussion, and a 3 piece horn section

< HotBands > All of you are obviously veteran players, so tell me how your band came into being.

<Mark> I wanted to do a trio with a horn section for a while and talk to Scott one night after running into each other at a local club jam session...we decided to put it into motion we started recording rhythm tracks then we nailed a local gig while going out to see a buddy (Chuck Rainey) at Blue Cat The owner knew both Scott and I and asked what was going on, so it just sort of fell into the pocket.
Scott Weltner

< HotBands > Scott is which musician?

<Mark> The drummer.  Getting the first gig helped to get the band off the ground. I knew Larry Spencer (trumpet) from playing with him in Jerry LaCroix's band and he was the first horn player to contact. Getting horn players was easy after Larry became involved.

< HotBands > So the Blue Cat is a bigger venue?

<Mark> Pretty big

<Mark> On sax is Lee Schloss,  Paul Garceau is on guitar (who is on chat with us now), on trombone is Keith Adkins (also from Jerry's band).  The percussionist came about because of the connection that Scott had with Danny
< HotBands > So, a 3 piece with 3 horns and a percussionist. I'm assuming Danny is the Percussionist?

<Paul> Yes

<Mark> Danny 's last name is Cisnero's. He and Scott just connected in the local club jam that was was apparent that he should be there.

< HotBands > Kind of funny how the local jams can do that. I'm listening to the CD again now. You guys totally jam!

<Mark> That's because everyone shows up for the music

< HotBands > So each of you came out of other bigger bands to form this?

<Mark> yes

< HotBands > So in this incarnation, you've been together as a 7 piece for over a year. How many CD's out?

<Mark> One live and one we're finishing now in the studio

< HotBands > I got the one recorded Live at the Blue Cat. I like live albums because it keeps musicians from covering up their mistakes... shows who the real players are.

<Mark> EXACTLY!!!

< HotBands > How long until your studio CD is out?

<Mark> 1 maybe 2 months.   I should also mention that there are other great bands that these players have as well...Larry has an incredible jazz trio tooMark Austin and his Horns

< HotBands > I was assuming that! Most "players" have several different projects they participate in.

<Mark>'ve been there

< HotBands > been there

<Mark> I feel grateful for these guys. This is a one of a kind

< HotBands > What are your plans for touring?

<Mark> That's still up in the air as to exactly what route we take.

< HotBands > Do you play clubs, or are you more of a large venue/festival type band?

<Mark> Either regional or festivals we are definitely concert material.

< HotBands > You understand that I get a TON of people saying "Hey, check us out". Obviously, I don't have time to listen to every CD that gets sent me or every MP3 that is emailed as a link.... I usually pick the bands that I'm interested by something interesting about the band, or a recommendation from one of my partners or associates

<Mark> That deserves a thank you. What made you pick us?

< HotBands > In your case, it was that you said you had a big horn band...that made my ears perk up, but it wasn't really until I was in Houston last fall that I really took notice to your band.

<Mark> When you first heard the CD?

< HotBands > I was at Montrose Records hanging out with Richard Cagle and Paul Burnett (from the Clay Farmer band). Richard told me your CD arrived to him just that day. I was hanging out with Paul while Richard was mixing down a band in the control room...conversation was something like philosophy of music, who, where...chit chat with Paul. It was then that Paul made mention "There are so many (weak) musicians out there that make it....not very many real these guys" Your CD was playing in the background and that's when I turned it up and really got blown away by what you were doing

<Mark> Great! Very cool....what a concept! Thanks Paul (Burnett)

< HotBands > I've always had a real fondness for jazz, and I would have to classify your band as fusion along the lines of Weather Report, or even Tower of Power

<Mark> Perfect! I'll take that as a compliment...I'm a long time Jaco (Pastorius) fan.

< HotBands > I could tell! I believe you are the first jazz oriented band that I've featured on our site

<Mark> Great! Maybe we’ll start a trend!

< HotBands > DANG..... I'm listening to Paul on Guitar just totally tearing it up

<Paul> Thanks

< HotBands > Did he think he was getting paid by the note at that gig?

<Mark> he is fabulous isn't he?

< HotBands > yes...quite fabulous

Lee Schloss<Mark> All of the players in the bands are absolutely great!!!!!!

< HotBands > I can hear that!

<Mark> The list if credits will blow you away

<Paul> Thanks again I'm definitely the slow typist

<Mark> Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Patti LaBelle, Jerry LaCroix, Larry Carlton

< HotBands > Wow! Those are some pretty heavy heavies! Do you have the credits for each musician on your site?

<Mark> yes I do

< HotBands > Are these credits for Paul or all of the players?

<Paul> Those are for all the players

<Mark> Each player has a page with their own bio, a photo, and that's just the surface too.

< HotBands > Cool. Hopefully the additional exposure from us and other publications will help get you into the super-stardom level

<Mark> Lets hope and do what we do because we love it.   It would be nice to be able to get recognition even though that’s not why we do it

< HotBands > The cool thing about is that when I started the site, I barely had anything on it (of course... in the beginning of anything, it's like that). I was able to feature some of the bands that I personally knew.

<Mark> That is always a plus

< HotBands > For the first five months the site was on-line, I used an old pic of Phish from one of their concerts. Then I decided I'd start featuring a top local band from different regions of the country (eventually, the world)

<Mark> excellent idea! It is a small world though I wouldn't want to paint it!

< HotBands > I was lucky enough to know some really happening people in the music industry all over the country that plugged me into some of the top talent in their local area

<Mark> That was a help I'm sure

< HotBands > As I started adding new bands and archiving the old interviews, I got more and more traffic. The biggest advertisement I've had for our site has been word of mouth of musicians that like what we're trying to do for the indie artist

<Mark>And it's a great site I might add. How many hits do you get a day now?

< HotBands > So far this month, I've only had 1 day with LESS than 2000 page visits...that was last Sunday with 1999 !

<Mark> WOW!!!!!!!!

< HotBands > I'm bummed that my streak was broken, but the next day it was up to over 3000 again and I'm on track to get somewhere around 75,000 for the month

<Mark> Amazing! Congrats is in order!

<Paul> That's fantastic

< HotBands > So far, it's all been done without any investment other than the server.....and thousands and thousands of hours dedicated by me and others that I'm working with to make this site happen

<Mark> Great job buddy. You must have some good folks on your side.

< HotBands > I look at bands like yours and the others that we've featured as inspiration to keep going. I think that if great bands start banding together and skirting the music industrial complex, the consumers will get what they WANT rather than what is marketed by the machine

<Paul> also the musicians are more able to create the music they desire

<Mark> Excellent idea, and one worth attention... again I have to say "what a concept" I have enjoyed the site so far myself

< HotBands > thanks!

<Mark> In fact can you tell me more of the radio thing?

< HotBands > Well.... the radio thing is something that I've got going in my local town.  It broadcasts to the local Seattle area, but it's a tool to get on with a bigger station....maybe one in Dallas if you guys can help hook me up!

<Mark> Absolutely

< HotBands > I'd like to have you as our featured artist on Feb 13th on the radio show

<Mark> I'd be honored

< HotBands > I'm moving toward having the radio show broadcast via the internet, but until we secure our financing, I'm not pursuing it myself...perhaps we'll bring in a partner that specializes in that. Let me re-phrase that....I am pursuing it, but not willing to shell out the bandwidth costs until I'm on a bigger station and getting the traffic that will support it.

<Mark> yea...what about

< HotBands > is in my vision of where I want to go with, but I can't discuss that openly at this time

<Mark> got ya

< HotBands > When we have the entire puzzle put together, it will be an amazing avenue for artists to get their stuff out there.

<Mark> a much needed one

< HotBands > What plans do you have for marketing your band? I see you've built your website yourself.

<Mark> I'm using the internet as much as possible......I don't like having trees cut down

< HotBands > The internet is the most cost-effective way to market yourself in any venture. The problem is that there are people that think because you have a website that you are supposed to automatically wake up the next day with a billion hits and a million dollars in the bank

<Mark> yeppppppp.. The web is a great tool and I plan to use it

< HotBands > It still takes a tremendous amount of work. I recommend for bands to get their music out there on as many promotional sites as possible....but be weary of bogus sites.

<Mark> You have it going on as far as hits
< HotBands > A couple months ago I featured ERASERHEAD from California on our site.

<Mark> What happened with these guys?

< HotBands > They had a great "free" server at that didn't have pop-up was great until a week after I featured them and they got a lot of traffic that the host put another page up in the place of their website

< HotBands > needless to say, they moved their website. Make sure to check the TOS if you are pursuing free stuff.

<Mark> I have mine hosted on a buddy's server. This friend is piggy backed and hosts others as well. My brothers have a site there called

< HotBands > Do they do music too?

<Mark> Yep...Nashville Country/Western

< HotBands > Wow! I'll have to check them out! Get them on!!

<Mark> I'll tell em.... We had a 14 piece bigband at one time. Scott played drums.  I started playing when I was about 15-16 and went pro at 17

< HotBands > So, you've been at it a while now. Have you had any major or minor success prior to this band?

<Mark> Country/Western #32 on Cashbox label charts with my little brothers and I played concert halls with Jerry LaCroix as well

< HotBands > What is the main thing that kept you going all these years (you're 40 right?) and not hanging it up when you hit "middle age"

<Mark> Yelp, 40 my history page tells all.   I can't’s because of love of it certainly not the money, but I'm ready for my cash-in now.

< HotBands > One of the things that I ask just about every musician that I interview is "What would you suggest to the readers of this article as far as how to reach the level of success you've had?"

<Mark> Do it for the right reasons, and play from the heart

< HotBands > And the right reasons are....CHICKS ? :-)

<Paul> Love the right Chicks :-)

<Mark> Of course! Seriously, love the music love the instrument just love and enjoy

< HotBands > How about advice as far as marketing yourself, getting good gigs, good band members...etc. So many bands out there will hang on to lame band-mates because they're friends...

<Mark> Concentrate on your own........

< HotBands > Do you think there is a point where the music should be professional and not just fun?

<Mark> We're friends, so no....well, yes there is a point at which the music deserves it's space or place

<Paul> Most professionals still have fun with it

<Mark> Professional means to treat it as a business, but passion is the reason that you do it at all.

< HotBands > Well, that about wraps up our hour on the net-interview. Do you have some parting words to the readers regarding you, your band, philosophy, music or anything else? What would your recommend to the readers of our site as far as ways to get your music heard?

<Mark> Yes... buy the new CD's for you. It’s available on our website in CD and soon MP3 and soon on Amazon.

< HotBands > Folks, I recommend The Mark Austin Band's "Live at the Blue Cat" as a must for your CD collection if you are a fan of fusion jazz or just appreciate excellent musicianship. This is definitely one of the best bands I've had the pleasure to listen to in the past year. Take Care Mark and Paul, Scott and the other members of the band! It’s been a pleasure meeting you..

<Paul> Thanks Pat

<Mark> Thank you Pat for being such a driving force with passion of your own