Artist has ‘five times’ the passion

By Kellie Oates

Brad Skistimas knows his name isn’t too easy on the old memory bank.

That is why the solo artist decided to promote his music with the name, Five Times August, generated from the 24-year-old singer-songwriter’s birthday on August 5.

Five Times August will be playing a free concert at the Memorial Hall Amphitheater a month after his birthday tonight at 7.

When asked if he was upset about not being scheduled to play during his birth month, Skistimas joked, “No, all is forgiven. If I limited my shows to only playing in August, I’d have a hard time making a living!”

Making ends meet doesn’t seem to be an issue for the Dallas native, however. He has sold 13,000 CDs independently and over 100,000 in online digital download sales since his start in 2001, he said.

Five Times August’s music leaks with a romantic energy, ranging from love songs inspired by past relationships, to catchy tunes inspired by influential people in his life.

“I’ve always just written the kind of music I would want to listen to,” Skistimas said. “A lot of what I write about hopefully comes across as advice to whoever is going through a breakup at the moment.”

Skistimas started playing the guitar when he was 11 years old and said he owes The Beatles much credit for his musical passion.

“The cleanliness and love aspect of (The Beatles’) music has always inspired me,” Skistimas said. “It’s universal.”

However, his music style has definitely progressed since the release of his latest album, “The Independent,” Skistimas said.

“The Independent” is a remastered version of his first album, “Fry Street.” He said he wanted to remaster the album because the songs were written when he was 19 and 20.

Five Times August recently finished a new record which will be out in January. Skistimas said he has matured on the guitar, and unlike his themes of past records, this album will not strictly consist of love songs.

“There are a lot of differences between albums,” Skistimas said. “Four years of learning and growing as an artist. The last record was really low budget, and I saved up a lot of money to get the newest record done right. There is a lot more of a professional approach to it.”

But even with striving for a more professional sound, Five Times August is happy as an independent artist.

“(Signing to a record label) isn’t completely out of the question,” Skistimas said. “But I’m accomplishing a lot on my own, and I have so much freedom remaining unsigned. Until the right offer comes along, I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin.”

UK’s Student Activities Board seems to have no doubt that this will be a show worth attending.

“Brad Skistimas is a great artist with some highly recognizable tunes, but he isn’t too well known yet,” said integrated strategic communications and business junior Josh Rupp, SAB concert director. “He is still unsigned but is making a name for himself. He is extremely motivated and on the right track.”