Interview: Kenton Mackay Talks About His New Single ‘Ode To Rosie Part 1, 2, and 3’ & Upcoming Debut EP

Kenton Mackay, A rising indie-rock voice in Austin’s music scene.has made a quick impression for his eclectic style and sharp wit following the recent release of his hard-hitting single ‘Royalty Free’.

Now back with the new single ‘Ode To Rosie Part 1, 2, and 3’, a beautifully constructed three track moving between it’s garage rock opening, acoustic mid section and explosive alt-rock final section, Kenton has showcased the full width of his writing. Effortlessly cool, likeable and brilliantly impactful, the track comes as Kenton announces his upcoming debut EP ‘In Good Taste’.

We caught up with Kenton to chat about his musical journey so far, the new single and the upcoming EP:

Your music has been described as a unique blend of eclectic styles and satirical wit.
How do you approach the process of merging these diverse elements in your

I’m not really sure. It’s just what comes out of me naturally I suppose. Not a lot of consistency in
the creative process for me, it happens differently every time it seems like.

Growing up on a ranch in Texas during the golden age of music piracy, how did your
surroundings and the era influence your musical preferences and style?

I suppose the isolation of where I was led me to gravitate towards music that captured that
feeling. The internet helped a lot in finding and curating a diverse set of influences.

Your debut single ‘Golden Boy’ paved the way for your journey into the national
spotlight. Can you share the significance of that song and how it set the tone for your
upcoming EP, ‘In Good Taste’?

In my head, there are a few threads in Golden Boy that I tried to sew, but they’re kind of hard to
explain. I guess at its core Golden Boy is saying and setting the tone of, I’m not going to try and
be cool, or chase attention in the music business.

In ‘Ode To Rosie Part 1, 2 and 3,’ you navigate through different musical phases, from
explosive garage rock to a nostalgic 90s aura. How do these transitions mirror the
emotional journey portrayed in the lyrics?

I was trying to capture that feeling of a young fucked up relationship. An explosion of chemicals
followed by the harsh reality of feeling trapped in a game of cat and mouse.

The lyrics of ‘Ode To Rosie’ touch on themes of self-destruction and unrequited love.
Can you delve into the inspiration behind these themes and how they contribute to the
overall narrative of the song?

I suppose it was inspired by several women I knew. I like to say that my songs are “based on a
true story”. But I don’t really want to tell the true story most of the time, my hope is that the
songs will make people feel something, and assigning too much logic to it from my end could
take away from that.

Your debut EP, ‘In Good Taste’, is set for release in Spring 2024. How does this
collection of songs reflect your musical evolution and the stories you aim to tell?

For this EP, I chose the songs in which my influences and inspirations were most obvious. Yeah
I’m ripping artists off, but it’s in good taste because I’m stealing to try and engineer and convey
some emotion.

The outro of ‘Ode To Rosie Part 1, 2 and 3’ showcases a powerful alt-rock sound with
your commanding vocals. How does this intense sonic experience contribute to the
overall message you want to convey with the song?

I’m not sure, I guess I was trying to convey the feeling of how difficult it is to peel yourself away
from the dark temptations of a woman like the one in the song, and the anger that follows once
you do break free.

Having studied the blistering riffs of Nirvana, the compositions of Radiohead, and the
grooves of Beck, how do these influences manifest in your music, and how do you
strive to maintain your own unique voice amid such diverse inspirations?

My hope is that those influences manifest in the full spectrum of human emotion. The way I look
at it, I believe that I’m engineering and conveying emotion, and that makes it original enough for
me. My goal isn’t to be seen as unique or groundbreaking, it’s to try and make my audience feel
something. If the hipsters flare their noses at it, or I get sued: fuck it, I’ll see them in court. No
such thing as bad press baby.

As a satirist at heart, how do you infuse humor and beauty into the mundane aspects
of everyday life through your lyrical compositions?

I don’t know, I just like irony I guess, and self depreciation is always fun. All of my favorite art,
especially my favorite movies, have a lot of humor infused in them. Paul Thomas Anderson said
“Take your work seriously, don’t take yourself seriously” which I love.

With a burgeoning schedule of live performances and a national audience on the
horizon, what can fans expect from a Kenton Mackay live show, and how do you
connect with your audience through your performances?

My live band and I are getting extremely tight, and we’re having a lot of fun playing together. Got
lots of shows coming up. I connect with the audience by trying to remember what each song I’m
playing is about, and where I was at when I wrote it. It’s difficult to do in the moment when you
are on stage, but I’m getting better at it.

Listen to the brilliant new single ‘Ode To Rosie Part 1, 2, and 3’ below:

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