AUSTIN (KXAN) — Singer-songwriter Bob Schneider will always be connected to Austin. If you’ve lived in Austin, then you’ve likely seen him in concert or heard his music. To many, his music represents the heartbeat of this city.
Schneider and Austin are linked together in a love story.
“I think of Austin as this person I fell in love with when I was young, and I’ve been in that relationship for 30 years and I still see that younger version of the city that I love,” Schneider said.
For decades, Schneider has dazzled fans at Saxon Pub and continues to book gigs across major markets in the U.S. If you think he feels like he’s made it, think otherwise. The musician is evolving and still trying to prove himself.
“I do things different now. My priorities have changed,” Schneider said.
He’s been sober 27 years and is now a dad and married to his second wife who he said he met at a show.
“She told a friend of hers she was going to see me play and make out with me and that’s what happened,” Schneider told KXAN’s Britt Moreno. “The only thing that really matters is my family and my kids.”
Schneider invited Moreno over to his home studio off a sleepy road in Bee Cave. He said he writes a song a week which is actually slowing down for him.
“Starting off, I used to write a song a day.” he said. “I’ve probably written 2,500 songs, but they’re not all good.”
Writing music is his first passion ahead of performing.
“Writing songs to express what I’m feeling or going through emotionally, but I want people to hear it and go: ‘Isn’t that clever? He’s really good at what he does,’” Schneider said.
It’s that desire to be appreciated as a musician that shapes who he is.
“I have to do this one thing for people to appreciate me or care about me at all. If I’m not making music or art, then I am absolutely unlovable or I will die,” Schneider said with a chuckle. “I’ve had it my whole life.”
But before music there was art. That was Schneider’s first love and it still provides him an avenue to block out all the self-doubt.
“I could just get into this art world and control everything. I loved shutting everything out and doing it and draw hours every day,” Schneider said.
His artistic abilities decorate the walls of his home, even stacking up in his garage. Outside his home, all his woodwork creations are strewn across the yard. There’s even a chicken coop.
“I think my biggest influence was my dad,” Schneider said.
His father, who was an opera singer, encouraged him to get into music. Schneider was already playing guitar by 4 years old. His father also pushed him to be successful.
“My dad ingrained that in me. The more successful you are, the happier you are. In my heart, I believe that if I was like Paul Simon I would probably be happier,” Schneider said.
He admits he hasn’t achieved that level of success yet, but he continues to book gigs all across the nation. Schneider is working on a new album that will be released in the spring as well as a graphic novel for a rock opera he wrote called “FAYM.” Fans can expect that around Christmas time.
Schneider told Moreno he wouldn’t have things any other way.
“I think I have the best career I could possibly have. I can make enough money. I can write music and [have] a fan base who will listen to it. I can live in Austin which is my favorite place. So I am very blessed, very lucky and very fortunate,” Schneider said.