An Interview With The Country Rocker, JUSTIN FABUS, On His Debut Album, ‘Remedy,’ and More!
Posted On 22 Jun 2018
Country rocker Justin Fabus released his debut full length album Remedy TODAY on June 22, 2018. Listen to the album title track exclusively now at The Boot here: http://theboot.com/justin-fabus-remedy/.
Known for its towering steel factories, ironclad work ethic, and hometown pride, Pittsburgh serves as the perfect backdrop for country music. It was only a matter of time before City of Bridges gave the genre a new voice: Justin Fabus. Capturing country spirit with soul and style, the singer and songwriter shares thirteen honest and heartfelt anthems on his 2018 full-length debut, Remedy.
“To me, country is all about songwriting,” he exclaims. “It’s hard-working. It’s blue-collar. That’s Pittsburgh in a nutshell. I write what I live. When I sing my songs, I feel them, and I mean them.”
Fabus weaves his Rust Belt upbringing into his music and has quietly built a growing fan base since first arriving in 2013. Collecting his Save Me and self-titled EPs into one release, 2016’s Justin Fabus bowed at #3 on iTunes Top Country Albums chart upon arrival. Between headlining countless shows and sharing bills alongside the likes of Gary Allan, Randy Houser, Dierks Bentley, Frankie Ballard and Craig Campbell, he lit up the stage at the 2017 CMA Music Festival as a touted “Emerging Artist.” Along the way, he attracted critical acclaim and landed looks from AXS, The Boot, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and more.
When it came time to begin recording Remedy, Justin decided to switch up his process and welcome songwriting collaborators such as Joe Henry [Frank Sinatra, John Denver, Garth Brooks] and Tony Lucca of The Voice into the fold. Recording with producer Matt Very at Very Tight Recordings in Pittsburgh, he bucked the usual trend of utilizing studio musicians and would be backed by his live band—Miguel Garcia [lead guitar], Austin Ostiguy [keys], Travis Butler [drums], Ryan Yingst [bass], and Joe Minor [pedal steel].
Much of the album is penned from a deeply personal place with his mother undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer as he wrote and recorded most of the music. No stranger to difficult times, Fabus endured the loss of his father at age three. His love of music started at early age when his grandparents became a central role in his life. They passed along their love of music by introducing him to Patsy Cline, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, and of course his grandmother’s favorite, Billy Ray Cyrus.
Tour Dates: https://www.justinfabus.com/tour
Learn more about Justin Fabus in the following All Access interview:
Where does this interview find you now? What’s on tap for the rest of your day?
I am currently in Nashville for CMA Fest. I have a few appearances to discuss the release of my upcoming album Remedy scheduled for the rest of day.
Overall, how do you think 2018 has been treating you and your music career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it?
I’ve been very blessed this year so far. Recorded my debut album and just started a 30 date tour. One goal for this year is to have the album or one of the singles off it chart. We shall see what happens once the album drops.
Growing up, was music always a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
Music has always played a part in my life since I can remember. I think the first musical experience I can remember is listening to Patsy Cline with my grandmother when I was very young.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? Has there been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
The biggest surprise so far has been the amazing fans I’ve gained over my career. Their love and support is what keeps me going every day.
A welcome challenge has been always trying to take my career to the next level.
I find it interesting that sometimes musicians choose to go by something other than their own name so why did you decide to go by your whole real name?
I’m proud of my name and where I’ve come from. I never once thought to change it.
TODAY you released your debut full length album called “Remedy.” How excited are you about this collection? What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the overall process?
I am very excited especially since it’s my first full length.
I started writing for this album about 2 years ago. I made it a point to take my time with it. I wanted to make the best album that I physically and mentally could. There aren’t many albums out there where people will listen to them front to back without skipping a song. That was in the back of my head the whole time I was making the album and that’s the kind of album I believe I made.
I was surprised how fast my band and I actually was able to record the whole album. We were in and out in 3 straight weeks.
What was it like working with Joe Henry and Tony Lucca and your live band on this album?
To be able to work with Joe and Tony was an amazing honor. Those guys are such talented songwriters but most importantly they are some of the kindest guys out there.
It’s not the norm these days to use your band to record, instead you use studio guys. In my opinion there’s two types of musicians, there’s studio guys and live guys. Studio guys are the best of the best but I knew if I didn’t use my band the album would lose my sound and it wouldn’t be true to who I am.
How did you decide to release the title track first? How do you think this song prepares listeners for more music from you?
It was actually very hard at first because I believe each track could stand alone on its own as a single. I decided on “Remedy” because everyone searches for their remedy sooner or later. Whether that’s in a relationship or some type of addiction. Everyone has been in that situation before.
I think the track is one of the best songs I’ve ever written and it gives listeners an idea for what the album will sound like.
If you had all the time and money to shoot your dream music video for one of the songs on this album, which song would it be and what would the video be like?
I think I would have to chose “Without You I’m Not Me”. The song takes places in New Orleans on Bourbon Street so I think it would be amazing to shoot a video there with all that amazing music taking place there.
How would you say that you have grown as an artist since you first hit the scene in 2013 and your first few self-titled EPs? What has remained the same about your music style?
I believe I’ve grown tremendously from when I first hit the scene and since the 2 EPS came out. I’m older, more mature and I’ve been thorough a lot more. All those things have made me a better songwriter and performer.
One thing that has remained the same is that I’ve always stayed true to who I am and my sound.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for you? What has been a favorite performance of yours so far? Do you have any upcoming shows this summer?
Any time I get the opportunity to play in front of an audience that digs my music, it doesn’t get any more ideal than that for me.
Favorite performance so far was performing last year during CMA Fest, but that could change this week being here for it again.
As for upcoming shows, I started a 30 date tour in May that goes throughout the rest of the year.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
I try to stay as far away from politics as I can. I’m a musician not a politician. No one wants to hear me talk politics, I wouldn’t know what the hell I’m talking about either even if I tried.
I think musicians are influenced by what they are going through at that time in their life and then it’s portrayed throughout their music. That easily can be influenced by today’s climate.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all?
I’m very appreciative of the followers I have so I try to do my best to keep up with all of them and messaging them back. It just takes me a little longer to respond the more followers I get.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Some musicians who continue to inspire me are Billy Joel, Tim McGraw, Bruce Springsteen, Richard Marx, Eric Church and Ronnie Dunn.
I would love to work with any of those artists.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you?
I would take my acoustic guitar.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
I’m a big fan of “13 Reasons Why” so I would love to have my music featured on that show.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I hope to one day write at least one song that is the soundtrack to their lives.
Where can our readers connect with you?
They can find me on all social media platforms at @TheJustinFabus