Interview: Autumn owls

Dublin based Indie band Autumn Owls, have been knocking around a good 6 years now. Five friends playing indie rock music, it’s the usual dream of friends forming a band to go play around the world. In their six years together they have toured the US and Europe and have hit SXSW, NXNE and Canadian Music week among their list of festivals played. They are just about to release their début album, ‘Between Buildings, Toward The Sea’  on October 16th in Ireland on Epitonic . I  spoke to  them about forming the band, inspirations and the one song they would like to cover.

How did you guys meet/form the band?

We’ve all known each other a long time now. Adam and I were friends since school. We started playing guitar in first or second year of secondary school. We jammed with friends and tried starting bands throughout school, but it wasn’t until college when a friend of ours put us in touch with Will. We then we had a drummer that fitted what we were trying to do. I think it may have been late 2006 when we converted the shed out my back garden and started doing demos as Autumn Owls.

Youre finally releasing your début album Between Buildings, Toward The Sea, can you tell me a bit about it?

Finally is right. It’s been a while in the making.  Close to two years I would say.  We demoed 16 songs all together.  We worked in our converted recording space for best part of a year and a half and then took the songs to Chicago to record with Brian Deck in Engine Studios and Soma Electronic.  After that we returned to Dublin to mix with long time collaborator and all round genius Ciaran Bradshaw. 

Are you excited to have the album released after working on it for so long?

It is nice to have it finished and to know we made the exact album we wanted to make. I’m looking forward to playing it live for audiences. I’m probably most excited about using what we learned from making this album to make a better and different one next time.

What inspired the album?

Sea air, reverb, wine and cledonomancy.

Do you think that as a band you have grown between the release of your E.P. in 2008 and your album?

Yes I think we are an improved band with a better idea of our strengths. But I suppose every band and every artist always feels like the last thing they did is their best.  I think I’ m a better songwriter then I was in 2008. As a band I feel we are all better musicians, with a clearer idea of how to arrange a song so it sounds new and exciting to us, but still retains its core and its original sentiment.

Will you be touring to promote the new album?

Yes that’s the plan.  We look forward to playing lots of shows in Ireland up to the end of the year. We have CMJ in New York on Oct 18th. We have our album launch in The Grand Social on the 20th. We are excited to be back in Roisin Dubh inGalway on November 9th and then Athlone the following night in the Passion fruit Theatre.  We are hoping to nail down a few more dates around the country for November and December.  In the New Year we may look at going to the UK and if all goes to plan we will return to the States for a tour around SXSW time. 

You got some help funding the album through pledgemusic.com, do you think that sites like that are important for young bands?

Yes, it was great for us. PledgeMusic offered us the chance to retail the album along with demos and other bits and pieces to fans before the official release, which then made it possible for us to fund the vinyl.  It was also great for keeping in touch with people interested in the forthcoming album. A percentage then goes to a charity of your choice.

You have  supported quite a few bands over the years, what has been your favourite gig?

We supported Devothcka in Crawdaddy a few years back and I remember there was a great atmosphere in the place. The venue was packed and the audience were really attentive and appreciative.  That one sticks out but we have been lucky to support and meet some really great bands.

You have had a lot of interest outside Ireland, do you think that you will stay in Ireland or move to somewhere with a bigger music scene?

That’s a good question. I suppose we will just have to wait and see how things go.  Being part of a bigger music scene is something that does excite me personally, but having said that I think it would still be tough to up and leave.

If you could cover one song what would it be and why?

“Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins. I’m sorry, there are no words to explain its brilliance.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

I’m very proud of the album we have made, and that feels like the highlight right now. Touring around the US in 2010 was great too.  It’s something I look forward to doing again.

Blur or Oasis?

Blur. Although my 15 year old self would probably vehemently disagree.

What does the future hold for the band?

Band action figures, homemade sex tape scandals and compulsive overeating.

Autumn Owls release their debut album, ‘Between Buildings, Toward The Sea’  on October 16th in Ireland on Epitonic.

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