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  • Sep 19

    Hays City Store


  • Nov 3

    Hays City Store


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Rick Hornyak’s journey from Clark Mills, Pennsylvania to Austin, Texas is a classic tale: singer/songwriter leaves it all behind to go after his one true dream, kicking it off with a giant yard sale – house included. Hornyak sold just about everything he had in the small PA hometown…minus a couple guitars and of course, a dog named Buddy.

Rick Hornyak-0911

After arriving in Austin in 2001, Rick proved that his alt-country, Americana sound had all the classic ingredients to perfectly fit in with his classic story, but he also brought something new to the table. Rick’s take is completely honest; songs told by a man who has lived the inspiration behind his tunes – bits gritty, bits luminous, completely attention-grabbing. He has a new record out titled Marigold, a collection Hornyak says contains “Honest, sincere songs about self-reflection.” He continues, “I had recently married, so there was no need to write angry love songs anymore. I was thinking about all the distance that I’d traveled and how far I’d come in my career, all the while missing home. The idea ofMarigold was really a color of ‘mood’ like sunshine. It was thinking about the past and moving forward into a brighter future with sunny skies.” Get into Marigold and keep an eye out for more from Hornyak – he’s taking on more markets and already diving into a new album. Head to http://www.rickhornyak.com for all the updates and keep reading for much, much more in the answers to the XXQs below.

XXQs: Rick Hornyak

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound?

Rick Hornyak (RH): I usually describe it as Americana, Roots Rock, or Alt Country.  My fans describe it as easy, honest, and sincere.  Sometimes I compare it to Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, or John Mellencamp.  I’ve also been told my voice has a quality that reminds people of Townes Van Zandt, Stephen Stills, or Jakob Dylan from The Wallflowers.

PEV: Currently hailing from Austin, Texas, what kind of music were you into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

RH: I’m originally from Pennsylvania and have lived in Austin since 2001.  The music I listened to growing up was my parents record collection, mostly 60′s pop like The Beatles, Tommy James and the Shondells, The Lovin’ Spoonful.

My first big concert was when I was 13; my older brother took me to see the Aerosmith Permanent Vacation Tour along with opener Guns N’ Roses for the Appetite for Destruction Tour.  Even though I was a bigger fan of GnR at the time, Aerosmith put on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen and even now, I would say they’re one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Rick Hornyak show?

RH: A personable performance; my fans have told me they feel like part of the show.  Heartfelt songs.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage to perform?

RH: To be truthful, I’m a nervous wreck.  I always want to put on a great show and want everyone to have a good time.  I’m always nervous until I get through the first couple of songs.  Performing is one of my favorite things to do, but the first 10 minutes are a real challenge.

webRick Hornyak-0863-editPEV: What is the best part about being on stage in front of an audience?

RH: The energy it gives me, I really feed off of the crowd.  When I see people dancing and singing along, letting loose, it’s just fills me with joy.  I usually can’t sleep for a few hours when I get back to my room at the end of the night.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?

RH: That I struggle with self-doubt.  My fans talk about how comfortable I look on stage and how happy I look when they see me perform.  They would be surprised to know that there are days that I doubt my own abilities as a musician and songwriter.  There are so many talented artists in Americana music today.  But after about 10 minutes on stage, after I’ve connected with my audience, I’m in my element – it’s hard to shut me up.

PEV: What happens when you hit a brick wall when writing? What are your methods to get over it?

RH: I just try to be tenacious.  I was inspired by a book called “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.  He talks about just sitting down and being creative every day and not to expect results, that we’re only a vessel for the art to come through and we really have no control over when we produce.

PEV: How do you think the industry has changed over the years, since you started out or just started enjoying music?

RH: I think making a living has become a little tougher with the economy.  But, with social media, we have greater ability to communicate with fans.

PEV: What can fans expect from your latest release, Marigold? What was the writing process like for this album? And what is the story behind the name of it?

RH: Honest, sincere songs about self reflection.  I had recently married, so there was no need to write angry love songs anymore.  I was thinking about all the distance that I’d traveled (I’m originally from rural Pennsylvania) and how far I’d come in my career, all the while missing home.

The idea of “Marigold” was really a color of “mood” like sunshine.  It was thinking about the past and moving forward into a brighter future with sunny skies.

Rick Hornyak-0922PEV: With all your traveling, is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

RH: I’m anxious to tour Europe. In the US, Kentucky is on my short list.  I love how beautiful it is there in the mountains.  I really feel at home when I drive through there.

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

RH: I go out to see other bands perform for inspiration.  I also love to cook and being in the outdoors in fresh air.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?

RH: Bob Dylan, one of my biggest influences.  His songs and story really spoke to me when I was thinking about leaving home years ago.  Just knowing he came from a small town in Minnesota and left for NYC was really inspiring to me.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

RH: I don’t think that Paolo Nutini gets the recognition that he deserves.  He was the last act signed by Ahmet Ertegun.

PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life (or life’s goal) what would you do for a career?

RH: I would love to work with animals. I’ve probably owned over 10 different species – snakes, birds, bunnies, dogs, cats, lizards, mice.

PEV: So, what is next for Rick Hornyak?

RH: I’m writing my follow-up record and trying to tour as many new markets as possible this year.


Click here to read this interview at Pens Eye View.