Austin Lucas has been sheltering in Mainz, Germany, throughout the coronavirus pandemic, observing his homeland from afar. He has used his time, and the perspective that distance brings, well. The Indiana-born political activist has just released a new album, ‘Alive in the hot Zone’, featuring a series of songs that reflect the global situation, driven by fear, racism, bigotry and isolation. With his punk-background and distinctive voice, these are inspirational and hopeful songs that blend a range of genres into a cohesive, engaging whole.
Of the latest single, ‘Drive’, Lucas says: “I initially had other arrangements for the making of this video, which fell through quite last minute. In the end, by some amazing coincidence, my friend and wonderful filmmaker – Patrick Jankowski, wrote a message offering to make a video. In earnest, I organized some of my dearest friends in Berlin and we set about making a video that is a celebration of friendship and love. The song goes out to anyone escaping horrible situations at home, in order to live as their truest and most authentic selves. For the video, I chose the setting of a cab, where various folks are moving about a city, while being watched out for by a benevolent punk cab driver. In so many ways, I really think it encapsulates much of the essence of the song and my experiences in life. As someone who grew up in the world of hardcore punk, I’ve long benefited from the love, tenderness and care that my chosen family have for all people. This is the essence of why I believe in the power of alternative subcultures and radical communities. For all of their potential flaws, they affect more positive change than they get credit for and certainly have always made my world a better place to live.”
Austin Lucas is a special voice in Americana right now. Brilliant songs, which pull together a range of influences, from a man with something to say. Authentic stuff. Take note.