We all sometimes sit with our minds in outer space, thinking of what could’ve been.  There is always the “What if.”  What if I had kept going?  What would’ve happened if I didn’t quit? What would have happened?  That’s an answer only the universe can tell. Check out what Hank Barbe from Three Beards had to say during our interview, and always know you should never quit.

Tell us a little about where you are from.
I grew up in and around the San Antonio/Austin area. I spent my teenage years running around the Texas hill country, and the last few years running around the US mostly on the East Coast

When did you start performing music?
I was in band off and on since middle school, but back then Football was more important.  

“I started playing my own songs in 2013, and it just kind of took off from there.” 

Which instruments are you most proficient with?
I play guitar and sing.  I used to bang around on a Cajon when I first started playing, but I decided it was better to leave drums to guys who actually play drums.

“It’s amazing the things a good drummer can give you.” 

Describe your music interests and abilities.
I love Acoustic driven rock. Musically, I would call myself a singer songwriter. I’m a decent guitar player and a driven singer. I put a lot of emotion into performances because I put a lot of it into songwriting.

“I don’t really know another way to do it.” 

What famous musicians inspire you?
I think bands like Radiohead, Counting Crows, Blues Traveler, and Blind Melon are in steady rotation on my Spotify. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of  David Bowie. I saw someplace that when he started out, people picked on him, but four years later everyone was imitating him. I think it’s cool.

“Everyone thinks you’re crazy sometimes until they listen to the music.”

Name your best musical memory growing up or professionally.
The best has to be the first time my daughters heard one of my songs on the radio. Just watching their eyes light up when they realized it was me was great. Really close after that has to be the first time in a real studio. We went to work with Mike Froedge at Open Sky Studio in Atlanta.  The studio is at Avatar Studios. That was bad ass on its own, but Mike may be the best drummer in the world and I got to watch him play drums for the new single, “Carolyn Cries” coming out in March. I mean, come on, the guy toured the world playing with Black Label Society, now he’s playing a song I wrote.

“How could that not be one of my favorite memories?”

Do you have anything new in the works? 
We signed with CBM Records at the end of last summer. The debut single “Carolyn Cries” is out on iTunes for presale on Feb 24, and worldwide on March 10th. I’m really excited about that. Then I’m going right back to work on an EP to be released this summer.

I’m excited to be back in Atlanta working with Mike again in March or April. Lance Rodriguez will be playing lead, Billy Bosler will be playing bass, and Mike Froedge will be playing drums . I’m really lucky to be working with some killer musicians.  Kimberly James and Blackie Starks over at CBM Records have really hooked me up with some great people. 

Do you have any public events that you’d like to shout out?
In San Antonio, there is a pretty good art scene. David Peche and his wife Angel Ayala started an event called Art @ The Jalapeno in 2009. It’s a monthly event and it’s a great place for artists to collaborate and meet other artists. It’s a free event and it features all kinds of live music, live painting, and all kinds of cool stuff.

“The event is sponsored by SignWorks and Blue Moon Beer.” 

How do you balance your music with family and friends.

“It’s hard.”

Sometimes playing music means crazy schedules. I’m going to work when people are coming home usually.  Plus you get used to long car rides. But I set my own schedule.  

“If I feel like I need some family time, I schedule it in.”

Do you get nervous before a performance?
I used to. Now nine times out of ten, I’ve played the song so many times in rehearsals that its second nature.  Sometimes I’ll get a few butterflies for a new song, but that’s more about whether or not they’re going to like the song. 

Do you have any advice for artists’ just starting out?

“Make people listen.”  “Make people know you are there.” 

If you are a songwriter, keep writing songs and find a way to get on stage so people hear it. Don’t be discouraged by people who tell you that you can’t make a living playing original music. Someone had to write the songs they cover.

“Be confident in what you do and make them listen.” 

How might you handle mistakes on the big stage?

“Everyone makes mistakes on stage.”

 Now I try to have back up guitars for broken strings. That was a lesson learned.

“The show must go on.”

“You can rehearse for mistakes.”

One thing I learned in the military is to have a backup plan. I try to leave as much room in a performance for improvisation as possible.  Jam sessions help you get to know the musicians you play with so you kind of learn to cover for each other. 

Who is your biggest supporter?
I’d have to say Kimberly James, the owner of CBM Records. She’s seen some of the hardships and sacrifices I made, and when everyone told me I was crazy, she told me I was on the right track.

“I feel like she’s had my back through everything.” 

What is your most favorite song to preform and why?
I love playing Carolyn Cries. I love doing the finger picking at the beginning. That song is my favorite song, but I’m probably a little biased. I’m really excited for the release because I think other people will like it too. 

Where can we follow your career at?
We have a Facebook page at facebook.com/3beerds and the ReverbNation page is reverbnation.com/threebeards4 

Tell us about the video you’re sharing with us.  
The video I sent in is a song called Lullaby.  We shot this in one day, and by the end of the day, I didn’t want to play Lullaby anymore, hahaha!

About Johnny Naylor:
author-naylor-smJohnny Naylor is the founder and owner of 1st Shot Music and a feature writer for Jammerzine. His work can also be found on 1st Shot Music and Naylor’s Notes. You can also get his latest updates on his facebook page.