Autumn Splendour are an Auckland garage rock band who have just released their debut EP. UTR caught up with Natasha Cantwell and Ryan Perry to discuss what they've been up to since forming 18 months ago, and what the future holds for the band
Been around since?
Where are you based?
Natasha Cantwell: guitar & vocals, Ryan Perry: bass, Caitrin Roberts: drums
What got you into music?
Ryan: Friends in high school bands.
Natasha: I was an orchestra nerd.
How did you get together?
Natasha: Cait and I were hanging out and decided to make some music with the instruments lying around in Toby’s bedroom. Toby came in, picked up his bass and started playing along. I’d only ever played in noise-art bands before and hadn’t really ever played the guitar but we decided that day that we were going to be a band. A fortnight later I’d bought a guitar and we played our first party.
Toby since moved to Dunedin and Ryan joined the band last October. He played guitar in our sister band Stirrers and was always part of the Autumn Splendour crew so he was a natural choice.
What other bands/projects have you been involved in?
Natasha: The Secretaries, Cock Destroyer
Ryan and Cait: Stirrers
How would you describe your sound?
What are you listening to at the moment?
Ryan: Vivian Girls, Thee Headcoatees, Billy Idol
What is your writing/recording process?
Natasha: We generally write songs together in band practice. All of our songs uses one of our friends as a starting point, usually something they’ve said. We each come to practice with different ideas and parts of songs and then just mess around until the song comes together.
Your Dream Collaboration?
Ryan: Ours is pretty dreamy
Natasha: I reckon it’d be cool to get Josh from Mothers of Darkness to play Hammond organ on our new song ‘Jeff.’
Do you have any releases out or on the way?
Our debut EP has just been released. It was recorded by Alex Bennett using the same tape machine that Nirvana used on Bleach. We’d done an earlier demo recorded straight to Pro Tools that sounded so lifeless that I was adamant we use analogue processes this time. We recorded over a couple of days in October 2009, playing everything live, except vocals, which were recorded over the top. We were also really lucky to get Karl from The Drab Doo Riffs to do our mastering for us. It’s a vinyl-only release and there aren’t many people in Auckland who have a good knowledge of mastering for vinyl.
What’s the best concert you have ever been to?
Natasha: Smashing Pumpkins in 1996, first concert I’d ever been to and they were my favourite band so I had very high expectations. Luckily the show was as good as I’d hoped. I wrote a six-page essay in my journal detailing every single moment.
Ryan: Pavement in Auckland last year. Your favourite band of all time reforming out of nowhere gives the concert automatic “best” status.
Best or most memorable gig you have played?
Natasha: The shows at Whammy Bar are generally the most fun, especially the ones with heaps of bands playing. The Halloween show and the Feel Good Things festival were awesome. Any show where the audience is dancing and singing along is great.
If you could share the stage with anyone (band or person) who would it be?
Ryan: The Coolies
The future holds:
Natasha: We really want to record all our new songs!
Ryan: Hard to say, but we think the EP release is going to be really special and hopefully lead to big things.
The state of music in NZ is….
Natasha: We’ve found most people involved in local music to be really supportive and positive. I reckon it’s a really good scene!
Ryan: Who could ask for anything more?