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  • Writer's pictureCharles I. Guarria

It's Time For Gunshine

Gunshine hails from Pensacola, Florida. The quartet recently released Checkmate, a five-song EP that follows their Summer 2022 debut album, the eponymous Gunshine.


In both instances, metal fans will be blown away.


Lead singer Jordan Benson is a powerful vocalist and distant cousin of Elvis Presley. Guitarist Austin Ingerman plays with a love of music that fans can feel on Gunshine records and on stage. He is a 2017 graduate of the Californian-based Music Institute, where he received an Associate of Arts degree in guitar performance. The rhythm duo is a soulful mix of Pat Brown on bass and James Renshaw at the drum kit. Pat joined the band after the first album; James also plays guitar. He was performing acoustically at one point in his career.

L-R Drummer James Renshaw, Lead Singer Jordan Benson, Bassist Pat Brown, Guitarist Austin Ingerman

Before a recent gig in Sanford, Florida, I had the pleasure of speaking to guitarist Austin Ingerman. While at the Music Institute, Austin was honored with the Outstanding Player of the Year 2017 award.


The Sanford, Florida show was part of Gunshine's tour in support of their EP Checkmate. The tour has hit several cities in the southeast. It also serves as a tune-up before the band plays in support of Steel Panther July 13-16th, then Buckcherry.

Charles I. Guarria

When did you form?

Austin Ingerman

April 2021 is when I first met Jordan (lead singer Jordan Benson). So James and I, the drummer, we've known each other for almost 10 years now. And I've had the vision of wanting to make a band like this, but it was just so hard to find all the right pieces and kind of bring it all to fruition. I came off tour with a band called New Year's Day. We toured with Hailstorm and Godsmack. I was just kind of a hired gun in that band. I've always had a passion for songwriting, and I've had a sound in my head of what I've been trying to get out and that kind of thing, but it took me a long time to find the right pieces to execute that vision.

I was over in Europe right before COVID hit, so March 2020. We just got off tour with Hailstorm. And then, you know, the whole world shut down. So, at the time, I moved back to Pensacola, and that's where I met Jordan. He was he was doing dueling pianos at one of the bars there, and someone said, 'Hey, you should try to get that guy on your demos.' I didn't know what to expect. We jammed, and we wrote Wall Said to Call together in like one day. Right then, we just kind of knew...it was great chemistry, and he was like, 'Alright when we going on tour.'

Charles I. Guarria

How did you come up with the name Gunshine?

Austin Ingerman

We wanted something to reflect the fact that we're from Florida, you know, so I was on Google, and I'm thinking of googling different Florida terms and trying to think if anyone had a cool street name or anything like that. I saw that sometimes Florida is referred to as the gun shine state because it's shaped like a gun. There you go, Gunshine. Some people are like, 'Oh, is that Guns and Roses and Shinedown? ' Were like, no, no.

Charles I. Guarria

When you tour with Steel Panther, is that going to be the first time you guys tour outside of the southeast?

Austin Ingerman

Pretty much. Yeah. Which is great. Because those markets are really good for rock. When I was doing the tours with New Year's Day, we found a lot of those northeast markets; Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, all that stuff was just, they were so supportive of rock up there. So yeah, we're looking forward to it, man.

Charles I. Guarria

Who are the main writers?

Austin Ingerman

We all collaborate, you know, Jordan and I, we like to get in a room together, and my big thing is vocal melodies. I love the catchy choruses, and I hear the melody in my head, so a lot of the time, I'll come in with a riff and kind of hum the verse and the chorus melody out and then Jordan is so great with lyrics and all that kind of stuff. He'll sometimes hear guitar riffs in his head and be like, ' Oh yeah, I'm hearing the bridge; let's go into this.' But you know, we jam together. James will jam a breakdown like 90 Proof has the drum solo part. So we really collaborate, and we have fun with it.

Charles I. Guarria

Who are your influences?


Austin Ingerman

Really just all over the place. We're just music lovers. So, I mean, Boston is a big one for me, and of course, we love AC/DC and GNR and stuff, but then we got, like, Duran Duran and even some of the boyband stuff, you know? I'm 29, so Backstreet Boys and NSYNC; when I was a little kid, I was hearing stuff like that, and it was catchy. I've always liked music that was melodic, but it's trying to bring that rock and roll edge to it. So it's almost if you took the melody of a Def Leppard or a Boston and combined it with the edginess of like AC/DC.


Charles I. Guarria

(I didn't formalize the question; however, I asked what was next for the band in addition to touring with Steel Panther, Buckcherry and the new EP, Checkmate.)


Austin Ingerman

We're always writing stuff, and we're kind of we're doing those tours, as you mentioned, and we've been really busy on the social media game. So we're just continuing to grow our following, spread the word, and then yeah, we'll probably do some headline tours towards the latter part of the year.


Charles I. Guarria

Till the End of Days is a beautiful song. You ever thought of cutting it down for a single? It's about six minutes, right?


Austin Ingerman

Man, you know, yeah, it's like eight and a half minutes, but we always just let the art guide us and sort of just let it be what it is. The funny thing about that song is it doesn't feel to us like eight and a half minutes; even though it is, there's something about it; we just love the jam parts and the piano breakdown and everything. So, we're not necessarily trying to chase any kind of radio songs because we have a lot of those if you need shorter songs, you got the feel all rights of the world, you got the swing aways, you got the wall said to calls and songs like that. We try to mix it up. Till the End of Days, we just like letting it fly all the jam sections and stuff.


Charles I. Guarria

If a martian came down and asked you to describe your music, what would you say?


Austin Ingerman

I would say there's a rawness, there's a realness to it. That's just based off of intuition. Like I said, we let the art guide us. There's an edginess, there's a rawness, realness to it but a lot of melody, and it's almost like the yin and the yang. You get the hard rock but also the sweet melody.


And then Austin asked how I would describe their music. My answer? Their music jumps with high energy and catchy hooks. After the first time I saw them, they immediately entered into my must-see echelon anytime they come through town or near it.

Live Free Get Wild is their bestseller on iTunes

Photo credits: Scott Raymer


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~30~








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