Exclusive Interview: Autoheart

Join with me as I catch up with musical dynamos Autoheart in this exclusive special interview!

What can you tell us Aussies about Autoheart? How and where did it all begin? 
Autoheart are me on vocals, Simon on keyboards, Barney on guitar, David on drums and Jihea on Bass.  Simon and I formed the band after a chance meeting in East London several years back. After discovering similar musical tastes we decided to work together on the score for an independent film that Simon was working on at the time. We did a cover of Bronski Beat’s “Small Town Boy” and we were most pleased with the results so we decided to work together on some original material and form a band. Barney and I were working on another musical project at the time and Simon and David were friends, and we auditioned Jihea a year or so later, but all in all the band evolved quite naturally. 

What got the group first interested in music?
I can only speak for myself here but the artist and album which made me want to get into music was PJ Harvey’s “To Bring You My Love”. I remember seeing her duet with Bjork at the 1994 Brit Awards, it left me spellbound. I instantly bought her and Bjork’s  “Debut” album. I played both of them to death that year. It inspired me to buy a shitty guitar from Argos and start writing music, terrible though it was at the time. So I owe much to those two ladies. 

Do you have any gigs/tours planned?
Our next gig is at the Camden Barfly on January 25th in London and to coincide with the album release next year we will be doing lost of gigs in and around the UK to promote that.

What are some of the biggest goals that you hope to accomplish as an artist?
For some time it has been to simply get an album out there for people to listen to. We recently recorded our debut album with producer Danton Supple (Coldplay, X&Y) and we are really proud of it, it was a long time in the making and finally we have something that we really feel represents what we are about as a band. The next step is releasing it in 2012 and following this up with summer festival gigs. We also write and record continually so we have a mighty prolific back catalogue – getting these songs out there will be our primary goals over the next year or two.

What can fans expect from Autoheart in the coming months?
Our debut album. The great thing about online press is that you can find a fan base in other countries that you don’t get from just gigging around London. Unfortunately those fans can’t really get to our gigs often but who knows, we may take a road trip! I think we could probably stretch to Paris, we may be a little under budget to do Australia just now, sadly.

Who inspires or influences you to make great music?
 Many, many artists over the years have inspired and influenced us: Fleetwood Mac, Depeche Mode, Abba, The Cardigans, Elliot Smith, PJ Harvey and Bjork, Jeff Buckley, R.E.M, Mazzy Star, Nick Cave, 

Success, what is the secret to success and what has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Our first commercial release was “The Sailor Song” which was met with widespread support and our live session on the “Radcliffe & Maconie” show (BBC Radio) was voted as one of the sessions of the year. It was also “Record of the Week “on Shaun Keaveny’s BBC6 radio show, “The Guardian” labelled the track “heaven” and Bob Harris (of “The Old Grey Whistle Test” fame) declared us as one of his favourite emerging talents.  Furthermore, “The Sailor Song” was chosen by Greenpeace, Oxfam and WaterAid as the music for 2009’s Glastonbury Festival awareness video .  We hope to achieve similar heights with the album release next year.

Are there any current music stars that you highly rate in the industry right now?
Adele for her voice and youthful maturity, and John Grant for his wonderfully bittersweet yet playful lyrics and gorgeous voice. I like singers that aren’t afraid to sing personal truths no matter how private they are. That’s very admirable. I try and emulate that trait as best I can when writing lyrics.

How would people best describe you and your music?
A blogger once described us as “Fearless and romantic” which I quite liked…so I’ll go with that.

Tell us about your first album. Is there a favourite song?
No song is alike however the sound is very typically Autoheart. Some songs are epic and lavish, some mournful, some are up tempo pop and our band carries the sound together. We also tried to make sure that everything was played live and nothing was over edited, using keyboards and organs from the 60s/70s and big tubular bells. We had to retune the piano 3 times in 2 weeks though as it was so cold in the studio and it kept slipping out of key. Favourite song is a 4 way tie between Factories, Santa Fe, Agoraphobia and Lent, but I love them all…

Thanks for the interview! What can you leave fans with here on the TheAussieWord blog today?!
A free download from our debut as yet untitled album – “Control”  (http://soundcloud.com/autoheart/control)

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