Austin really has an incredible music scene, it's a supportive community but it can be hard to standout from the crowd. Blushing has become one of those standouts, they were one of the Austin Chronicle's Bands to Watch at SXSW this past year and after the release of their debut album it was easy to see why, their dreamy soundscapes are unforgettable. I talked to Christina about the infamous Austin scene and what's next.
How did Blushing form?
Christina: So, I know Michelle through our husbands. They are longtime friends. They go back to growing up together in El Paso playing in bands. I would say maybe three years after I met her, she approached me and she had started trying to write some songs. And she had a few kind of skeleton songs written, a few chords and some melodies. So she came to me because she knew that I could sing. And so basically, we formed our band. It was just the two of us. I decided I'm not really that good at guitar, so I started playing bass. And then we needed a drummer and another guitar player. We just ended up asking her husband to play with us temporarily. Then they ended up just staying. So, that's how the band formed.
Is it ever weird working with your husband?
Christina: No, it's not weird. I really love it. It's really cool. Especially whenever we get to tour together. It's nice to be able to travel with your person and experience things with that person too. It’s like , “Oh, you're my best friend and you're here with me. And it's cool, I mean, thankfully, we don't really--we just don't have the kind of relationship where we fight at all. I'm sure if that was our dynamic, it would be different. We're just really good friends. My husband and I being best friends, and Jake and Michelle are best friends. It's like the four of us are just all-- we're just really close. And I feel we have a uniquely tight bond. And we can really trust each other. Jacob's like my other brother. and I think that Michelle feels that way as well. They're pretty close. They're both the guitar players, so they connect on a different level too. So it's kind of nice. We each have our own dynamic within the couple dynamic, if that makes any sense.
I bet that's nice. Because if you do touring or have shows and stuff it's not going to strain the relationship. I never thought of it that way. That's kind of cute.
Christina: Yeah, it's true. And trust me, I mean, being in Austin and all my friends are musicians. And it can be a thing where someone's boyfriend's out playing shows all the time and the girlfriend is nervous or jealous or vice versa. We really don't have to deal with that. So I don't know. We just have fun. If it's ever not fun, we're not doing something right.
Yeah, I feel that's such an awesome vibe because it's such a community there for musicians. How did that help your career or hurt your career as a music-- do you like having that kind of-- that community built in?
Christina: Yeah, absolutely. Everybody speaks the same language, and you know the same people go to the same places. It feels like it's such a community feeling. You're totally right with that. And I think it's really helpful to people's careers and-- I mean, it's helpful to just get out there and make music, but it's also really helpful to be surrounded by people that understand you and know maybe what you're trying to do as an artist. And even if they don't make the kind of music that you make, you still speak the same language and it's like you're cut from the same cloth. I think it feels really nice to be surrounded by that kind of environment.
And you just released your debut. How does that feel?
Christina: Honestly, we're really blown away by the reception that it's gotten. We didn't really know what to expect, so it's really scary whenever you work on something for such a long time, and then you finally release it to the world and you're kind of, like, oh, like, what are people going to say? What if everybody hates it? I would say, two weeks before we released it, I started to have a moment where I was like, “Oh my gosh, we've told everybody that we're releasing this album, and now what if everybody hates it?” We're really, really, really happy with the feedback that we've gotten. It's a really special feeling. It's awesome.
And you're on the Chronicle as a band to watch at SXSW last year! How did that feel?
Christina: It was super cool. I mean, especially being a native Austinite. For me, it's kind of the pinnacle of what your career as a musician at Austin, and to be able to get that kind of a feature. It was really cool. We're really honored to be a part of that.
I noticed a community in Austin, but there's so many bands, so many bands, and to be recognized as one of the bands to watch itself, it’s like the best thing for an Austin musician.
Christina: It was cool because one of the things that they said to us was, "You guys are really blowing up right now," we were like, "Oh, thank you!" because we don't think of ourselves or our music in that way and so to have somebody tell you that that actually follows the scene is really special.
You all do a lot of your own not only social media presence but also you do have kind of a marketing aspect. How do you all handle that part?
Christina: That's something that Michelle is particularly really good at. She's just really good at navigating social media arenas but we definitely want to kind of extend the Austin vibe of community out to just other musicians. I mean female musicians and just any other band or artist that we may meet online. We just try to be supportive of other people. I think that it just kind of like-- maybe we are that way because of our Austin roots. I'm not really sure why. That's just something that's kind of inherent in us. We wouldn't even think twice to reach out to somebody else or support somebody else.
Oh, yeah. For sure. I just feel like a lot of Austin bands are not as good at doing the social media and stuff. I feel like sometimes there's like a, "Oh, I'm too cool for Instagram," or whatever.
Christina: Oh, I know. Well, that's so true. I feel like it's not glamorous to say this but you do have to kind of treat your music as a business. There is a business aspect to music. You can deny it if you want to but it doesn't make it any less true.
I feel like people hate noticing that it is a business.
Christina: It's a bummer but unless you're the kind of artist that totally just wants to go out and make music and maybe not make any money or you don't really care about who's listening. You want to get it out just for your sake. I totally understand that but if you want people to hear your music you have to do a little extra.
What's kind of the biggest challenge for you in the music industry or just in music in general?
Christina: I would say that the biggest challenge for me and probably everybody else in my band is the time factor. I just feel like there is never enough time and we're stuck at work all day. All we're thinking about is coming home and making music. I want to take out the base and play a baseline that I just heard on the radio that day or whatever it is. We're writing songs right now. We're back in the studio trying to make some new songs and so all we want to do is work on these new songs but it feels like there's just not enough time. We just have so much going on in our lives and sometimes it's really difficult to be able to make that time.
And what would you say has kind of been like the highlight of your career? What's the best show you've played or times the best you've had in the band?
Christina: I think that we had a really amazing show when we played in LA. We played for the Part Time Punks Show at the Echoplex and it was an amazing show. There were so many people there. We got a great response. We were there with our friends on tour so we were having so much fun and it was just every single box was checked for it to be like this is the perfect show.
Love that. And what would be your best piece of advice for women who want to get into music or start their own bands?
Christina: Be open-minded and also try to say yes to new opportunities. I think it can be so easy to kind of-- or at least when I was younger I used to work on this all the time that I would often-- my intuition would be to say no to things because I would be nervous or scared or shy but the more that I started saying yes to new opportunities even small ones new doors just open along the way and you never know where you can end up a few months down the road or a year down the road just because you started saying yes. That's what I think. Be open to accepting new challenges.
I love that. I love that. Well, anything else you want to say? Anything coming up?
Christina: We're going on tour again. We're hitting the road again in just a couple of weeks. We're leaving in mid-November and we're going to do our second leg of the Blushing Tour and we're going to go to the East Coast.