Introducing: The Autumn Killers

South Wales-based trio The Autumn Killers (Rob Reece – lead vocals/bass guitar/piano, Duncan Richardson – guitars/backing vocals/ keys, and Graeme Hoy – drums/ percussion) recently released their debut album ‘Darkside’ and the guys were on hand to talk us through the background of the band. Connect with The Autumn KIllers below…

What are the origins of The Autumn Killers, how long have you been playing together?

The Autumn Killers started in 2019 when Rob & Duncan first got together and started writing songs. There was instant chemistry although their influences are quite different. Various line ups, in the beginning, resulted in a sound that really wasn’t really representative of what they envisioned. It wasn’t until the last year that it really came together. The sound we have now is the sound we were looking for from the start. We are probably the only band that can say that lockdown created our sound.

What should people expect when they check the band out? How would you describe The Autumn Killers?

Describing our sound is quite tricky as there are so many different influences in the band. Our music has been compared to the likes Eminem, Simple Minds, U2, Shinedown, Rammstein, etc. Trying to find a genre is difficult, it is Rock with Electronica, EDM, Prog and Synthwave. The use of synths and samples gives it a modern feel.

How did you feel performing your first gig as a band, and how was it?! 

Performing our first gig last year at Wildfire festival was daunting and exciting at the same time. It was also Graeme’s first gig with the band, but he was amazing, taking to it like a duck to water. It was exciting to take the new sound we had been working on out to an audience for the first time.

Debut album ‘Darkside ’came out late 2021, how long had the songs been brewing before you released the album? Also, what was going through your head as the album was set to launch? Were you nervous? Excited? Both?! 

The whole album was written during lockdown, the lyrics for the songs were drawn from the chaos going on in the world and how it affected people, including ourselves. We were really excited but had some obvious nerves as our sound is very different to the mainstream Rock scene. I guess we just weren’t sure how people would react to it.

There is a lot of variety on ‘Darkside ’and a strong electronic influence running alongside the guitars; was this variety an organic development from the album recording sessions and where does the electronic influence come from?

Duncan has always loved synthesisers, from the experiments of Bowie, through Gary Numan to the Prodigy and Nine Inch Nails. He has been tinkering with synths and sampling since the early 90s. They give endless soundscape possibilities and can compliment guitars in extraordinary ways. It was therefore a natural progression to build these into the songs as they developed, even sometimes starting with the electronic elements. The variety of the feel of songs was a very organic process, an idea would be passed around and the songs developed of their own accord, in the direction they needed to go. Although there is a lot of variety, they all feel like they belong together, you can tell it is The Autumn Killers.

‘Social Animals ’is the most recent single, what kind of lyrical topics does it feature?

The story behind Social Animals is about “Normality”, getting back to doing what we were doing before Covid and lockdown hit. People have a need to interact with others and isolation is damaging in all sorts of ways, humans are basically Social Animals. It’s probably one of the more diverse tracks on the album but we feel it still holds the core elements that the band are known for.

The video for the single ‘Do You Want It’ features footage of fans joining in with the song, it must have been quite humbling watching everyone getting involved?

It was amazing, we wanted to give something back to everyone who has followed us through this transitional period of changing our sound, etc… The fact that so many people took the time to record stuff for us was overwhelming.

The hard-hitting video created for the cover of Tears For Fears ‘Mad World’ paints a sobering picture of the harsh realities of climate change – the scenes of kids playing on the beach filled with discarded plastic is particularly harrowing – who created it? And how big were the goosebumps when you first saw the finished product?

The idea for the video came from all of us but was brought to life by our incredibly multitalented drummer Graeme. He took the vague sketch of an idea and made so much more of it than we thought possible. It deals with lots of social issues, not just climate change, but war, social unrest, and homelessness as well. It is an amazing video that brought tears to our eyes as we watched it back. The message of hope at the end is particularly poignant.

Can the world get any madder or have we reached the point where nothing can shock us anymore?

Unfortunately, the world and people will probably never cease to surprise and shock us. The world is in a mess, from Covid, global warming, and climate change to wars and unrest in a lot of places around the world. As we are answering these questions we are shocked and saddened as we watch the scenes unfold in Ukraine. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people and we truly hope that a peaceful end can be resolved before there is further bloodshed and loss of life. We can’t imagine how terrifying it must be.

In terms of a similar audience, which band out there at the minute do you feel that The Autumn Killers would be best suited to open for?

Rob – I think maybe either Rammstein or Shinedown or both. We think they both have elements in their sound that compare to ours.

Duncan – For me, I think Muse would be an excellent fit for us. We both have similar concepts of electronics and rock.

The new music scene is bursting at the seams at the minute with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out to build a name for themselves?

Just be yourself, don’t try and be someone else. No music is bad, it comes down to personal taste. Being heard over so many good bands is the perennial problem that bands have had time immemorial. You have to like your own music, otherwise, it would come across to your audience.

Excluding yourself, which new band would you like to see break out and become a success?

Probably someone like the Scarlet Rebels, we are fans and friends of this band. Wayne and Gary have been on the scene for over 10 years now so we think it’s their time. The success they have achieved with their new album is well deserved and it also gives us an extra sense of belief.

What are your own first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?

Rob – Probably seeing Europe in 1986 on the Final Countdown tour in Birmingham, an amazing band live

Duncan – I can’t remember a time when music wasn’t my life, I learnt the guitar from the age of 4 and I’ve always wanted to be a rock star lol.

What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?

Duncan – I saw Jon Gomm in Cardiff in October. Absolutely blown away by the talent of the man.

What current social issue are you particularly passionate about?

Global Warming is a massive issue, we try to do what we can, as individuals and as a band, but unless everyone does their own little bit, AND the governments of the world come together we aren’t going to be able to reverse the damage that has already been done. There is still time to act….just. Every little change every one of us makes helps.

The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?

Rob – Probably The Carpenters, I’ve loved them for years. I find their music very calming and relaxing.

Duncan – My tastes are so eclectic nothing is surprising, but I would probably say Efil4zaggin by NWA and every album by The Fall

Although 2021 was another year to forget, there were some amazing new albums released, what would be your album of last year?

Yes, there were some amazing albums released last year, but we would probably say ours. We just think for just the sheer diversity and quality of music. We don’t think we have heard anything else in the last 12 months that captures so many different genres within Rock. Other than that they were excellent albums by – Trivium, St Vincent, Frank Carter, CHVRCHES, and Sam Fender.

What does 2022 hold for The Autumn Killers?

On March 4th Social Animals is released as a single and to coincide with that, the vinyl version of DARKSIDE in limited edition red version will be available. We intend to release 3 more singles off the album between March and the end of the Year. There may even be a surprise remix at some point! There will undoubtedly be another Christmas single to look forward to as well. Getting back out and playing live as much as possible is a must which our label and management are pushing heavily right now. Other than that we have started work on writing songs for the next album and some of these may get played live before the end of the year.

How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?

We are on social media a lot and love interacting with our fans. You can reach us here –

www.theautumnkillers.uk
www.facebook.com/theautumnkillers
www.twitter.com/autumnkillers
www.instagram.com/theautumnkillers
www.youtube.com/c/theautumnkillers

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