Finding new music that blows your mind is one of the best feelings. Writing up an interview of someone who’s not been interviewed before is pretty daunting. If I balls this up, I am sincerely sorry. The music speaks for itself with this musicians, but as someone who really cares (understatement) about music and the process that goes on to make it-I guess part of me is a bit nosy in that respects. For everything else, I don’t really care what anyone does. That’s how it should be. I don’t want to know what Morrissey had for breakfast; I want to know what was going on in his head when he wrote the lyrics to certain songs. These are the things that matter. And this is why I’ll never be paid for this. Money isn’t important (I wish I could tell O2 that though..) doing something you really care about is what counts. We punish ourselves by doing things for others that make us miserable. This is coming from my own personal experiences, some a lot more recent than others. But there is always a handful of musicians who unleash the fury in a way a never could; by being mind-blowing musicians.
About a month or so ago I was introduced to a musician who instantly became my favourite new artist of this year. I was in awe of his brutal sounds, his eerie voice; distorted and fuzzy. It felt like a dream hearing this kind of music. In short, Autumns made me feel like the lucky ones did when The Jesus And Mary Chain first came out. Except Autumns is just one person. One person brave enough to make his own sound in his own way. On his terms.
When I interviewed Dirty Beaches I was really intrigued as to why he went it alone. He was frustrated and knew that the only way to make the music he wanted was to do it on his own. As a solo artist who posses the same qualities (I think) as he does- I asked Christian aka Autumns why he also chose to go it alone and if he’d ever record as part of a band:
“I made the decision because I was getting into interesting music and I thought I could do that, I don’t want to sound stuck up but no one I knew was into the music I was freaking out to and people didn’t have the ideas or beliefs that I think musicians or artists should have. – I’m really happy recording on my own, I mean I play with my friends live and it’s great but I just love to do everything myself. I don’t need to wait for others, ask for opinions, I just do it. Maybe someday I’ll collaborate with others and make it a proper band who knows, but right now I’m happy with the way it is.”
If you want something doing, do it yourself. This brilliant DIY ethic Christian has is enough to inspire talentless folks like myself to start some kind of music project. Don’t worry though, I won’t be doing that. I cannot sing or anything. I just write shitty poetry. Being content with going it alone is such a great way to approach music. He doesn’t have to look out for anyone else or check if its good enough. Christians knows himself that he has total control over making something truly magnificent.
When I heard his music I could pick up sounds of various bands but no solid nor obvious influence. I think this is what immediately lured me into his music. I love music that isn’t obvious. I don’t want to hear something that is a blatant rip-off of a band I love. If I wanted that, I’d just stick to the old stuff. His music sounds as if it’d fit a dingy basement bar or blasting on a beach in Los Angeles. Thing is, Christian is from Derry in Ireland. The music scene in Ireland is something I’m not massively familiar with. Besides Christian, the only other band I’ve listened to recently from Ireland are September Girls. He’s set to play with them very soon, but what is the music scene like in Ireland and is it easy to get noticed?
“I can’t really speak for Dublin or Belfast. But in Derry anyway it’s awful, I can easily say that I don’t fit into any part of the ”scene” here. A lot of bands/artists are just making either acoustic break up songs or are Arctic Monkeys wannabees etc. I don’t want to be apart of it in any way. There are a few bands in Derry doing some cool things, for example a band called Strength. They make hypnotic synth pop songs which is out there.”
Being from a small place is never good because it causes people to have small minds. A prime example of this is the place I sadly grew up and had the life sucked out of me- the Isle of Man. With no redeeming features (apart from the airport) it’s hard to see any good. Everything and everyone is the same. You carry a wealth of frustration on your shoulders in the hopes you can just get out before it totally ruins you. When I read Christian’s response to my question about the Irish music scene, I suddenly felt something else towards his music. That he doesn’t just make music because he’s talented. He makes it because it is obvious that he needs to get out. The frustration is even more obvious in his music now by knowing this. Something which you cannot help but admire and completely respect.
“As far as I’m concerned I want to get out of here as soon as possible and for Autumns to be unknown here. People just copy everyone and are doing everything for the wrong reasons. I guess it’s why I consider my music and beliefs very Nowave. – To get noticed is hard and easy. If you’re playing like I said acoustic break up songs and you get a number of hits on YouTube you will probably be very successful but for people like me it’s harder, it’s not music for the masses but then again people like me don’t want fame we just want our records out and maybe influence someone enough that they might start a band. That’s what I want, that and a tour. But overall there is a few bands I like from Ireland like September Girls, Sea Pinks, Documenta and Girls Names. It’s not all bad.”
The music that Christian makes appeals to people who believe in music and those who do not want the bullshit that is played to us on a loop on obvious radio stations. It doesn’t matter that you may never hear this kind of music as you drive home from work. What matters is that people like this still exist. People still make music that has a lot of fight in it. Music that makes you want to start your own riot and raise your voice. You’ve got something to prove, so do it. There is a huge Punk ethic to the way Christian approaches this. I don’t know if he knows it or not- but that is the trait that makes him believable and such a rare talent. With many just wanting a hit song to make them enough money to secure them a place in a decent care home, there are still artists like Christian around who make music because the desire and hunger to do so is in them. They are the ones we should be watching. Maybe one day it will all turn around. Keep the faith.
We all have a time in our lives where something happens that just inspires us to be what we want to be. I always wanted to write because I had a massive love for words from a very young age, and a love for music which occurred when I was even younger. I’ve always really cared about what inspires the musicians I love. What made them want to pick up an instrument and make music? Sometimes it isn’t always a band. It can be a piece of literature or even a film. What made Christian want to make music? What made him think “I can do that”?
“Theres definitely a band and a record. The first time I heard Loveless by MBV (generic choice) was just out of this world. It gave me those feelings inside that only music could give to me and I have become so attached to that album, it means the world it me.
An artist that made an impact like that to me was either Rowland S. Howard or The Wake. I can’t even decide. They are both out of this world, I could only dream to develop into the writers they are. (I got greedy with this question)”
On record, you get a brilliant ferocious feel to his music- especially on my favourite song Tired Eyes. I think the title alone just speaks to me. You cannot help but imagine his live shows would involve a lot of sweat and blood dripping from his fingers as he unapologetically slays the guitar into oblivion. His first gig was a week ago for Record Store Day, the most important day in music. Of course you should buy records all the time, but having a day dedicated to one of the finest things in life is something special and to play your first gig on that day? Well….even better!
“Tired Eyes is my favourite too. I played my first gig on RSD, it’s my first time doing this so I can’t really give a good overall review of my shows yet. But I definitely got into the music and zoned out on RSD. We completely went for it. I don’t want to sit around and nod my head like everyone expects you to do. I want to put on a show and make a spectacle, give people something to talk about. Our shows aren’t about trying to be cool. Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing planned for the shows apart from the songs we play. It will be us reacting to the music and letting the spontaneous things happen.”
Like I’ve stated many times before about Christian, you can truly sense that making music to him is so vital. That he just HAS to do it. The passion he plays with is so obvious and such an important feature about him to treasure. Zoning out and just letting the music take you where you let it is exactly what it should be about. A band or singer should never be afraid to really feel the songs they are performing. When you do that you build up a lasting relationship with fans who want nothing from you apart from you to keep that fire alive. Again, these are the things that make you believable. If the person standing in front of you on stage is too afraid to let go as they perform their own songs, how on earth can you expect the audience to care? We need more fearless musicians like Christian. We really really do.
Distraction is something that creeps up on us all. You can be reading a book and suddenly you’ve been asleep for 3 hours (this is me every time) or you can be doing something important and you’ve drifted off into a beautiful daydream. Does recording alone mean Christian gets distracted like the rest of us? Does he start on one song then suddenly find himself making another half-way through? Self-discipline is hard to master, but once you have that’s it for life. Are there unfinished songs scattered about on his laptop? How does he find recording on his own?
“I find it very easy to record due to lack of equipment so I don’t have to sit around setting things up, I only use one mic and a laptop. I find that when I plan to record it never turns out well unfortunately. I mean Tired Eyes was written, recorded and finished in about twenty minutes and that was just because I just randomly wanted to do it and never knew this was going to happen. I can’t lie it happens to us all, you write something, you record it and then you just leave it there. I have lots of files on my laptop with guitar ideas etc which I will probably never use but are probably decent.”
I think it is obvious how much of a fan I am of Autumns and even though I think I asked him THE important questions, I was quite curious as to why he called himself Autumns. I know it’s a stupidly generic question, but I had to do it:
“I came up with a name which I’m too embarrassed to say before I came up with Autumns. I basically judge what’s a good name if I’m embarrassed to say it or not. When I was confident enough to put songs up and send them out I just had to change it and Autumns was the last-minute name. I think it’s pretty nice and compliments the music maybe?”
I think it does. Autumn is like the underdog season I reckon, and this is the kind of music that those on the outside looking in and shaking their heads at fools can relate to. Compliments the music entirely.
This was Christian’s first ever interview and I feel honoured, and also proud to have been the one to do it. I really cannot tell you enough how brilliant his music is, but hopefully you’ll feel exactly how I do about his music and be bloody glad that someone is making music like this.
You can listen to Autumns here: https://soundcloud.com/#autumns
Soft Power Records and FatCat Records websites also have information about how you can purchase Christian’s music so check them out.