Australian guitar stud Joe Robinson certainly has the chops to make a name for himself on his axe accomplishments.
That was mainly the way he won the 2008 season of Australia’s Got Talent.
But now, Robinson is ready to branch out, having just released his third album – and first with vocals and a full band – last week.
Entitled Let Me Introduce You, the album features 13 songs that Robinson painstakingly put together for more than just him and instrument.
Even though he had just flown in from his native country hours before, Robinson sat down with GretschGuitars.com for an exclusive interview over the weekend.
Here’s what he had to say:
Q: Now that the album is out, is there a sense of relief?
A: I’ve spent the last year almost writing and recording, so it’s a really good feeling to be done with it and to share it with people.
Q: Was there a certain kind of style or genre you were going for with this album?
A: The idea behind this album was to try as many things that I could and see what fit. I had really distinct ideas as far as having my signature guitar stuff, but there was a vocal too. Even though it was vocal-based, the guitar had to play an important role. Every track, stylistically we went in as many directions as we could. There are jazz-fusion elements, blues-rock elements, pop. There’s a lot of elements to it, but that’s just part of the fun.
Q: You’ve mainly been a guitarist in the past. In what ways did you have to adjust your songwriting process for Let Me Introduce You?
A: I felt like this album was quite ambitious for me, because I’d never sung before or written for a band. I’ve played in a lot of bands, but this album was a different kind of animal. It was a blast, and I felt like I learned so much from it.
Q: You moved to Nashville a few years back. How did that scene inspire you?
A: When I was writing the album, I wrote with a lot of Nashville songwriters, co-wrote with a lot of people. Some of these people have written big hits and write a song every day. To see how that works was a great thing to be exposed to. Having said that, I tried to avoid falling into the Nashville machine, where some albums have that formula and come out sounding like a “Nashville” CD.
But I feel like if you have a vision and and idea, Nashville’s a great place to make that come to life because it’s such a music city.
Q: What were your first impressions of the “Music City”?
A: I come from a small town, so growing up, I was just craving musical stimulation. Just craving to see someone playing, and when I came to Nashville for the first time, it was like sensory overload. It was so great.
Q: Did you ever just walk into a club or bar with your guitar and jam?
A: I did that so many times. Whenever I walked down Broadway past the honkey-tonks, some people would say, “Hey, there’s that kid that used to sit in!” I’d take my guitar and ask if I could come up and jam. People eventually got to know me and eventually I met so many people just from doing that.
When I first got to Nashville, I was 15 and I made all my inroads by door-knocking. I literally walked around Nashville with a guitar on my back during the summer and was banging on doors, like, “Hey man, can I play for you? I’m from Australia.” Most people would be like, “No, go away.” But sometimes, I’d find someone that would let me play, and they’d say, “Meet this person, meet this person.” I got introduced to half of Nashville through those connections. It was a fun was to get to know people.
For more information about Joe Robinson, visit his official website.