John Carbone of Gilded Splinters on Moving from Boston to Austin: "I Traded Chowder and Pizza for Chili and Tacos"

A little over five months ago, John Carbone of Gilded Splinters decided to move from Boston to Austin. Seems the trio felt the scene in New England was restricting the band's chances of breaking out nationally, so they loaded up everything and headed South.

Speaking from his new abode in our state's capital and in anticipation of Gilded Splinters making their debut Dallas performance tonight at City Tavern, Carbone spoke about the logistics of moving a band such a great distance and how he and the rest of Gilded Splinters enjoy their new digs.

How long has the band been in Austin? Just since September. We all moved down here around the first of September? We won't miss the winters up there and we have yet to experience the summers down here.

What precipitated the move from Boston? We have been thinking about moving for a while. We had made a good name for ourselves up there and we kept hearing these good things about Austin. So we thought why the hell not?

What are the logistics of moving an entire band? All the pieces kind of fell into place and it just kind of happened. The drummer and myself found an apartment in Austin. We got really lucky. And then our guitarist, he crashed with us for a while. Only the bass player didn't make the move, but we found a new bass player in Austin. It was definitely a risky maneuver. We had to start over. Things had to be addressed. We didn't want to be stuck in one side of the country and have people on the other side not know who we are.

Is your music better suited to Austin? I wouldn't say better suited, but the Austin community is very supportive of music. In Boston, it was a very closed family. There were small pockets of support. We wanted to come to Austin and say here we are and do it all over again.

Did you leave girlfriends in Boston? We did, but we don't want to talk about that.

Which city has the best looking women? That's Austin, hands down. The best looking women up there were always from the South.

What about food? Well, you guys still don't know how to make a pizza, but the Tex-Mex in amazing. I tell everyone that I traded chowder and pizza for chili and tacos.

That sounds like a good trade to me. It might be.

You've recorded two full-lengths. When are you going to record in Austin? We have 13 songs that we had already laid down in a studio in Boston, but we want to find the right producer down here and work them out.

Are you comfortable being labeled an alt-country band? We don't mind it, but we like to think of ourselves as a rock and roll band. We are certainly influenced by certain alt-country bands.

The title track of your second effort, Cut N' Run, sounds like Wilco when they were a rock band. Of course Wilco is one of the bands we admire and were influenced by, but our newer songs are less straightforward than what we've done previously.

On your website, it says that your music is a combination of the Rolling Stones and Hank Williams with a touch of The Who. That's some pretty high expectations. What other kind of expectations are we supposed to have? I think it's a good thing to aim high. We like all those artists and we hope people hear some of what makes them great in our music.

Your name comes from a song by Dr. John. Did you realize how many other artists have covered that song? Yes, and I guess Humble Pie and the Allman Brothers are about the most famous bands to do so, but I am not that big of fan of Humble Pie. Paul Weller does a good version of it.

Gilded Splinters perform with Greg Schroeder tonight, February 17, at City Tavern.

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