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Autumn Splendour

Autumn Splendour

Interviewed by
Courtney Sanders
Tuesday 3rd December, 2013 8:45AM

Auckland punk band Autumn Splendour released a 10" EP earlier this year, just before one member moved to Melbourne and they proceeded to break up. However, the trio are still releasing accompanying videos to the singles off of that EP, and UnderTheRadar caught up with Natasha Cantwell as they release the clip for 'Jeff'; a song about this one time a creepy American dude tried to chat Natasha up in a kebab shop.

Last time we spoke to you, Autumn Splendour were possibly breaking up. What is going on with you guys at the moment?

Ryan moved to Melbourne a year ago, just after we had finished recording our 10" EP and shooting the video for 'Claire'. Even though we'd had two bass players before him, he had been part of the Autumn Splendour gang since the beginning and Cait and I felt that to continue without Ryan just wouldn't be the same. It's sad that we never got to play any shows in support of the 10" but it hasn't stopped us from making videos.

You have just released the video for 'Jeff' from a 10" you released earlier this year. Firstly, tell us a little bit about the song.

The song came together after my friend Jeff witnessed an American guy rather earnestly trying to chat me up in a kebab shop. Jeff, who is from Las Vegas, told me how embarrassing it was to watch a fellow American behaving like such a cultural cliché and perpetuating a negative stereotype. I think people are often judged on the actions of the larger group that they are a representative of, whether that's part of a couple, or an entire country so this idea resonated with me.

Tell us about developing the concept for the video and producing it.

The starting point for the video is the line about "science books" and the fact that the song is about a socially awkward guy. My boyfriend had told me stories about how he was terrified and fascinated by aliens when he was a kid and I imagined the character in the video as if he had not grown out of his fear/curiosity.

I'm really into practical effects, such as stop motion and puppetry, in the style of Ed Wood or eighties kid's films. Also, the editor, Jesse Taylor Smith, and I are big fans of Carl Sagan's Cosmos TV series from 1980 and Jesse added some low-fi digital effects in post-production.

You directed the video yourself, yeah? Tell us about working across music and film and bringing an idea to life with each medium. Obviously they're very different, but what do you enjoy about each?

With my photography and film work there's a lot of planning involved. As I shoot on film there's always a need for technical accuracy, calculating exposures etc. I'm also meticulous when it comes to compositions. I spent 4 years studying graphic design, so I tend to plan out the elements in each shot very carefully.

Music for me is more about expression and just having fun. As a self-taught guitarist I just play instinctively. I really don't care if I play something technically "wrong" if it sounds good to me. Music has an immediate thrill, where as film making has a slower building sense of satisfaction.

Are there any future plans for Autumn Splendour, or is this it?

This is our last release for Autumn Splendour. It's nice to end things on a high. Like a 58 second song, I always feel like it's important to stop long before things get boring.

Cait and I are still busy writing songs though, together, plus separately with other friends. For both of us it's just something we love to do when we're hanging out with friends. It's been really fun to go back to making music just for us again but I'm working on a recording project too, utilising the old church organ in my flat. I'm really into doing more projects that can bring together all the different creative aspects that I'm into; words, visual imagery, narrative and sound, which is why I love making music videos so much.


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