Tim Walls Interview: A.U.R.A Fest Creator & Former Reflux Bassist

Tim Walls has had a pretty interesting run in the metal world. From his own bands, to playing with Tosin Abasi in Reflux, Tim has been a treasure to the metal community for years. Today we caught up with Tim about his festivals and his time playing with Tosin.

Tim Walls Interview: A.U.R.A Fest Creator & Former Reflux Bassist
The legendary ZAO at A.U.R.A Fest Credit: Wicked Ways Photography

A Little Bit About Tim…

Tim started playing guitar and bass at 12 years old. After playing for a while, he formed his first band in high school and they started playing shows. But Tim saw a huge problem with the scene in Georgia…most shows did not allow teens at all.

Tim and his friends found away around the lack of all-ages shows. They created their own shows, and their own scene. Over the years, A.U.R.A. Fest brought big bands to underage fans. Tim has booked tons of big acts over the years like Mastadon, Every Time I Die, ZAO, Alexisonfire, As I lay Dying, and Fit For an Autopsy.

A.U.R.A Fest was born: All Underground Rock All Day. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, there has been only one festival in 2020.

While throwing these festivals was a big deal to him, Tim still had an itch to play live with his various bands. And a stroke of pure luck landed him a gig playing with Tosin Abasi in Reflux.

I got to sit down with Tim and pick his brain a little bit…

What got you into playing guitar? What inspired you to pick it up the first time?

Def Leppard was my first band I really loved and I had their whole discography, VHS tapes, etc. I can’t say it was them, but I was very motivated to learn stuff from “Hysteria” after I had my first guitar lesson.

Then it was Smashing Pumpkins for the mid 90’s. At that point I was playing guitar nonstop. I knew most of their songs, especially the album “Siamese Dream”. My first real concert was seeing them with Garbage in 1996. 

In the middle of being in your own band, you started A.U.R.A. Fest. How did that happen?

Myself and several friends noticed there were no venues that allowed people under drinking age at concerts. Our scene in Savannah, and Georgia in particular, suffered. Really great bands skipped us as a destination, on tour.

Me and a few friends were already doing some small local shows at an American Legion on Tybee Island, GA. We had a regional DIY fanzine called “Local Feedback” we did on old software on Windows 98 and Kinko’s. It was a like a real life “email list”.

I was motivated to do a festival here in the spirit of Ozzfest/Warped Tour. We could start getting bands to come to our area, and since we were promoters, we set the age limit. The name stands for All Underground Rock All Day. 

Tim Walls Interview: A.U.R.A Fest Creator & Former Reflux Bassist
Festival Poster from 2019

Who were your favorite artists that you have booked over the years?

Mastodon was probably it for me, back in 2003. This was right before they released “Leviathan” which became a classic in the Metal world. It was very cool seeing them before such a huge moment in their career.

Seeing ZAO again after reuniting in 2017 was special, they have some impressively die hard fans that came out from all over for the place for that show!

Myself and my crew have been lucky over the years to see so many legends.

What was it like touring with Tosin Abasi during his Reflux years, before Animals As Leaders?

Man, Tosin was just super down to earth all the time. We had a bit in common with music. We were both into stuff like Deftones, Glassjaw, as well as some trip hop like Esthero, and prog metal like Dream Theater and Meshuggah.

We both also liked anime where Ash(Vocals) and the other guys weren’t so much fans.

As a guitarist, he was a machine, always practicing and coming up with amazing riffs. The cool thing is when I see an interview with him now, he’s the same guy. I think he’s on another level musically and has learned so much, but he is the same down to earth dude who loves what he does and is still being creative on his on terms. 

What about your bands? You had some success yourself.

As far as my band years, I mostly played in local Savannah, Ga bands like GMC, 16 Hour Drive, and High. GMC (Genital Mousetrap Circus) gained a pretty big following at one point, and we did small tours.

I met Tosin Abasi when I booked Reflux for a show. My band played and they saw me play. I guess I did well enough for them to hint that they needed a bassist and invited me to come and tour! This was back in 2002, we were all in our early 20’s.

After my stint touring with them, I got out of touring to focus on college and getting an education. It was a great experience though, to know what it’s like on the road with a touring band.  

Tim Walls Interview: A.U.R.A Fest Creator & Former Reflux Bassist
Fit For An Autopsy on the A.U.R.A Fest stage courtesy of Wicked Ways Photography

Thanks for talking to me Tim! How can people keep up with your shows?

My main website for festival info: http://www.aurafestsavannah.com/

You can check out photos of all of the bands from previous shows, and check for upcoming shows from social media also:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aurafestsavannah

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aurafestofficial/

Christoper Horton

Christopher started playing guitar in 1994 at 14 years old. He has been a part of the Metal community for the last 25 years and has 11 solo albums under his belt. Christopher started his career in Atlanta, Georgia in the late 90's, later securing a major label record deal in the early 2000s under the name IAMSOUND. He worked briefly as a hired gun in Los Angeles before he opened his own studio in 2010 in Savannah, Georgia. Chris has worked with some big names over the years like Tripping Daisy, Kylesa, Baroness, and the legendary Reflux.

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