Autonomics have been creating a fuzzy and compelling noise that’s been sweeping all over Portland recently. In fact it’s been impossible to turn a blind eye and that’s why we’ve picked them as our first ever PDX band of the month. Having just dropped their new album ‘Debt Sounds’ with a launch at The Doug Fir Lounge we caught up with the guys.
So tell us about how the new record creatively came together?
‘Debt Sounds’ is definitely a combination of older material we had tried out a lot live but hadn’t recorded, and newer songs that were written around the same time we started tracking. It was a really cool process in that we were able to hear how the new material rubbed up against the older stuff we already chose to put on the album.
‘Debt Sounds’ in itself is a great title – is this a good example of some of the lyrical topics?
Yes. Being involved in any creative process is, for most people, a drain on your bank account if you’re trying to rise to a professional level. Being in a band is really expensive, and we ended up putting a lot of our personal money into making the record the best it could be with the budget we had. We’re trying to express the stress of staying creative and optimistic while still going to your day job and trying to make things work outside the project as well as within.
To what extent has the city of Portland been supportive in developing your identity and sound?
Portland has contributed a lot in shaping the sound. Being from the northwest, an area with such a huge musical legacy, is really motivating and inspiring. Being surrounded by such a music oriented community has really kept us at it in ways we would have never guessed. It’s a really unique scene, and we feel very lucky to play a part in it.
How did it feel to launch the album at an important venue like The Doug Fir?
The Doug Fir is one of those venues that’s known all around the country, if not the world. We’ve all seen some of our favorite bands play there, and it has the best sound in town. It just does. It’s an honor to play on a stage that has seen so much action.
You spent a while touring in Europe – how was this and did it leave you wanting more?
Touring Europe was probably one of the best experiences we’ve had as far as band growth is concerned. We’d toured the states quite a few times, but touring over there as an American band really forces you to get your touring chops up. There’s all the stress of a regular tour, and then you throw in being in a different country with different languages and culture and rules. The people, the crowds, and the shows were fantastic, and we’re definitely planning on going back for a fourth trip.
What other bands on the PDX scene should we be listening to right now?
You knew it was gonna be a long list here: Ice Queens, Devy Metal, Arlo Indigo, Divers, the Domestics, Kulululu, Animal Eyes, Cambrian Explosion, Melt. I could keep going for a while but that should be a good start. Okay just a few more: Coco Colombia, Rilla, Tango Alpha Tango, Wave Action, Ghost Frog, the Toads, Boone Howard. Okay I’m done now.
Where would we catch you guys hanging out in the city do you have a favourite spot?
One of the spots we feel most at home would be the Firkin Tavern off SE Harrison and 11th. Just an awesome friendly dive with a great patio and live music.
Lastly what’s in the pipeline for you guys now then?
We’ve got a short west coast tour coming up in October, so keep an eye out for those dates. We’re gonna lay low for the winter and holidays to spend time with some family and chill out after having such an active year, but we’ve got some exciting stuff in the works for a big US tour in Spring 2018 and another couple of jaunts over to Europe being planned as we speak. We’re excited to see the reception that ‘Debt Sounds’ gets, and hopefully in the next year it will help us to build up our team to get us in front of more people and in more headphones all over the world.
Check out ‘Southern Funeral’ taken from ‘Debt Sounds’ right here: