– Hi Mats, thanks for taking your time. What’s AUTUMN currently up to? How does it feel being about to release your new album?
Hi, Tania. You’re welcome. We’re currently rehearsing the songs we’re going to perform at the (release) shows. It’s always exiting to release a new album. We worked very hard to make it happen. Now it’s out of the studio and on to the stage, which is great.
– First of all, I guess there may be some people who aren’t familiar with you yet so, would you mind sharing some history of the band? A little bit about your past, present and future plans.
We are Autumn. A progressive, female fronted rockband from the netherlands. We started out as a gothic metal band in 1995 and we have evolved a lot since then. We’ve released four albums and the fifth is almost out. We are very occupied with making the best music we possibly can and staying true to ourselves in the process. We are fortunate that there’s a crowd out there who understand, feel and enjoy what we are doing.
– As I said, your new is about to be unleashed. What are your expectations with this album? After hearing to it I guess you all may be satisfied with the final outcome….
We are very satisfied, but already looking ahead. We are already inspired to keep writing in the flow of Cold Comfort. But first things first. Live shows! We have no particular expectations for this album. We can only hope that we can spark music enthousiasts to give the album a couple of spins. Just for the hell of it.
– What does this album mean to you? As it sounds more personal and intimate.
This album is without a doubt the most personal we ever made. Most of the members of Autumn had a pretty rough couple of years. Even during the making of Altitude. When we started making Cold Comfort, we naturally translated these emotions to music and lyrics. I feel that this album kind of pulled us through. We pulled eachother through as friends.
– First of all, why did you name it «Cold Comfort»? Does it describe your music in any way?
I think it does. My brother Jens (guitars) came up with that song and title. We all loved it, and it was soon clear that this was going to be the title of the CD, because it really compliments the atmosphere of the album. We like the contradiction in it. It can be interpreted in more than one way, but this is the original meaning: Sometimes you get consolation en kind words in really hard times, but they are not enought to make things any better. An example would be if someone close to you dies. Consolation can actually make you feel worse. The cold in comfort.
– I said that because I think this time we can find a great contrast between bright music and darker lyrics. Was this something you aimed for?
It is funny that you notice that. We are aware of this, but we didn’t do it deliberately. It just happened. I’d have to say that bright is maybe not the right word for the music. There is a lot of slumbering gloominess hidden underneath.
– And this being said, what are some of the lyrical ideas covered in this new effort?
As I mentioned before, the lyrics on Cold Comfort are more auto biographic than on the previous albums. We still have the poetic approach, of course. Lots of themes are covered. I think that most of the lyrics are more or less about going through various difficult times, how you cope with them and how you carry on after. If you carry on at all. It is also about idle hope and wishful thinking.
– We can also find a good balance between a transparent overall sound and really distiorted guitars. How did you approach your guitar work this time around?
It was exactly this balance that we were aiming for. We wanted the achieve the heavy/big parts on the album by the sum of the instruments played at one point and not so much by creating a loud, yet flat production. The guitars sound is more thick and punchy than agressive. We achieved this by mixing the sound of an old Fender Superverb (almost dry) with our tested Koch amps. We really like how it turned out. While recording, we focussed on dynamic playing. The softer parts are played ‘small’ and on the louder parts we nearly tore our guitar strings off.
– In «Cold Comfort» it seems there are more progressive details. Was this something intended?
This also came pretty natural. There’s still enought ‘straight’ stuff on CC, but we surely didn’t restrict ourselves to that. We really got into using odd time signatures. We always have, but it really felt right for this album. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities. It allows you to write unique riffs and melodies. The hard part is to keep it understandable and ‘flowing’. If you take it to far, it will sound awkward.
– Anyway we can find elements from Rock, Goth Rock, Heavy Metal, etc. What musical styles are an influence to AUTUMN?
We haven’t got a clue. We like groove and heaviness, so rock must be an influence. The melancholy and strange rythms could come from anywhere. We like to write songs. We listen to great songs. I guess all six of us have our subconcious influences. Mix them up, and Autumn is what you get.
– And how was the songwriting process? Consdering these contrasts and blend of styles, is a spotaneous effort?
Most certainly. We always start with a blank cheque, not knowing where the music is going. We simply start writing individually. Since we live far apart, we share all ideas over the internet. Everyone adds their own signature details, and voila: Autumn songs. We are a democracy, so we debate about every little detail. Working like this is only possible if you have confidence in your bandmembers and mutual respect within the band. It also ensures our authenticity.
– This time you teamed with your live sound engineer, how did you come up with this idea? And how do you think has this impacted the final result?
EJ has been our soundguy for years. He knows our sound, and even better: how we could potentially sound. He has a great studio, but we never really thought about the possibilities, because we were already working with a great team. One day he simple inquired if he could have a shot at the new album. We talked about the pros and cons, and desided to go for it. We had the same idea about the new sound. A lot of the credit for the mix and production is his.
– Art-wise, cover artwork this time seems to follow the line you got since «My New Time». I would like you to comment a bit both on the booklet and the cover; the artist, its meaning, etc.
The covers for MNT and Altitude were of our own design. We custom made them ourselves to fit the atmosphere on those albums. We were working on some ideas for Cold Comfort, when we came upon this artwork on the website of artist Oers Sardi. We were amazed, because it appeared to be made for our new album. The two beds side by side in such gloomy surroundings full of memories. Two people shared good and bad there. We didn’t change anything, accept for one little detail for our fans. This cover art was an amazing find.
– I think this album shows your are always innovating without loosing your essence; is this something easy to achieve?
Making an album is never easy for us, but remaining true to ourselves is. We never know what the other guys are going to write, and we never know what others are going to add to it. One surprise is followed by another and so forth. We always challenge eachother by delivering ideas that spark the imagination of the others.
– If I’m not mistaken this is your third album with the band; how do you now see has been your evolution since «My New Time»?
I was the stand-in guitar player for a while, because my brother also played in God Dethroned. When Jasper left, I toured with the band, and before I knew it I was writing material for MNT. We all got inspired, and we made MNT something special. A ramp for jumping to Altitude and now Cold Comfort. I think the evolution is that we found our sound and that we are becoming better songwriters.
– And finally, what does future have in store for AUTUMN? Will you have live activity to support the album on stage?
We will start out with a nice row of shows in November and December. We’ll see how it goes from there. We hope to tour a bit and maybe visit some nice festivals in the summer.
– That has been all from my side, thanks again for your time. If you now want to add some final words, feel free to do it.
Thank you for your shown interest in Autumn. We appreciate it.