Austin and St. Edward’s helps student musician grow his talents in the “Live Music Capitol of the World”


Kosuke Matsui

“The Klinks” in action at the 13th Floor in downtown Austin. Autin (right) plays guitar for the group.

Introduced for the first time to piano by his grandma when he was five, music started to be a part of Evan Autin’s life during his sophomore year of high school. 

Two geometry classmates he had never talked to before asked him to create a band. He started playing at gigs without having high expectations, and before realizing it, he had played all the way through his senior year.

“At that time I picked up guitar. And before I knew it, I was hooked,” Autin said. 

Originally, Autin did not come to St. Edward’s University to deepen his passion for music. Having been offered a full scholarship, he was lucky to fall in the hands of a city known to be the “Live Music Capital of the World.” 

“I didn’t choose St. Edward’s because of the music scene, but I am glad that St. Edward’s chose me,” Autin said. “The scene here is great for someone like me who is just starting out.” 

For Autin, guitar remains the instrument he prefers to play and perform. 

“I feel like I am able to express myself way better on the guitar,” Autin explained. “It’s about having that piece of wood in your hand; it’s a different experience than any other instrument.”

Moving to Austin changed Autin’s music after he was introduced to the huge Blues movement, allowing him to grow into different genres. John Mayer is the artist who had the biggest impact on Autin recently; not for being a famous pop star as many people see Mayer, but for his phenomenal guitar playing. 

At the moment, Autin is part of two bands: ZeroHour, where he plays drums and The Klinks, for which he’s played guitar for 14 months. 

For the moment both bands can’t be found on platforms but The Klinks are heading the studio for the first time at the end of next month. His favorite songs from ZeroHour are Eastside, Begin Again and Motionless. For The Klinks, the most popular ones are called Now, Ordinary Man, Tightrope and This side of me. 

How did he get into The Klinks? It all started with an Instagram call to musicians from founder Kaytee Klinkenburg to jam in her backyard. Invited by a mutual friend, Autin went and joined in. A couple weeks later, he received a text from Klinkenburg inviting him to be part of a new band she was forming.  

“She sent me the video she had; I listened to it and I realized the person playing the guitar wasn’t me,” joked Autin, who knew he wanted to be part of the group. 

On campus, Autin was part of Jam Central, a weekly meeting where any musician can come and play music together, and played for campus events. Outside of campus, he’s done some open mic nights downtown, performed with his bands locally in Austin can be found in different places and bars like Swan Dive off of Red River, Sahara Lounge and Meanwhile Brewery – and has even started doing solo sets. Autin also sits in for other bands at San Jac Saloon, on 6th street, when their guitarists can’t show up. 

The creative song writing process is definitely subjective for each artist. Autin generally goes out by himself around nature, using his past experiences as his biggest muse. For him, being a musician is the way playing music makes you feel, and the connection and euphoric high you get in return.

“A simple answer is to create music, but I don’t think it is that superficial,” Autin said. “I feel that until you have this feeling, it would be remiss to call yourself a musician.”

Autin has an average of roughly two performances a month. He would like to put music first, but he’s searching for a balance between maintaining straight A’s and pursuing his passion.

“Music is a way for me to put all that white noise to the side, clear my mind and be one with myself,” Autin said.

After graduation, Autin plans on exploring a career in the business side of music. But he is thinking about finding a part-time job for a couple years to allow him to play music in Austin as long as he can. He has a lot of ambitions and projects, notably starting his own band soon.