Interview: Autumns [Death & Leisure]
Autumns is the solo project of Christian Donaghey, From Derry, Ireland, an outlet for electronic post-punk with a lethal pulse. After a brace of rough demos without preliminary hype, the project emerged fully formed on Karl O’Connor’s (aka Regis) illustrious label Downwards back in 2014, the youngest act in a new vanguard of artists that included the likes of Tropic of Cancer, DVA DAMAS and The KVB.
Following contributions to labels such as Opal Tapes, Amok Tapes, Touch Sensitive, Veyl (Maenad Veyl) and Earwiggle (Sunil Sharpe), as well as remixes for Strange Therapy, Infidel Bodies, and Clan Destine Records. 2019 see’s Autumns’ experimentation in the studio go much deeper, with the release of his sophomore album ‘Shortly After Nothing’ on Oliver Ho’s (aka Broken English Club) illustrious ‘Death & Leisure’ label, alongside a heavy touring schedule, a collaboration with post-punk legend Eric Random, the launch of his radio show ‘Dyslexia Tracks’ on Dublin Digital Radio and more upcoming releases.
TF: What was the turning point in your life, where you have decided to fully delve into electronic music?
AU: It was probably when I got an email out of the blue from Regis. I had just uploaded the first songs I ever wrote/recorded to SoundCloud, and within four months or so I get an email from Regis telling me to remove all my tracks from SoundCloud because he wanted to release them. I had absolutely no idea who he was, but I thought whoever wanted to release my record had to be trustworthy hah. Ever since then it's been a steady progression.
TF: Please tell us about your musical influences? Give us a chart, please
AU: On-U Sound Records, Fast Product Records, Bernadette Devlin, McAliskey, Eric Random, Flann O'brien, John Fante, Derry, Coen Brothers, Richard Pryor, No Wave, Brendan Behan, Rowland S Howard, The Fall, Anaïs Nin, Yves Klein, Lemaire, James Baldwin, Georges Bataille, Suede Cy and Twombly.
TF: Does Autumns has some rituals before start producing?
AU: No rituals are involved. I just make music when I want to, there's nothing deep or profound about it. When people start talking about how it's an "emotional release" I tend to knock off.
TF: Can we talk about the hardware? What is the first synthesizer you have ever played? Do you have your favourite instruments or devices?
AU: I'm not sure what was the first synth I ever played. Probably messing around on a friend's synth or something - maybe an MS-20 Mini? However, my favourite instrument is my guitar.
TF: You have a vision of how technology will continue to influence art and music?
AU: Technology and art are constantly evolving, so it's hard to know how things are going to have developed ten years from now. But to put it simply, I think there will be people who will always want to use an original Roland 808 and there will be people who will always want to use an 808 through their IPad. There's no right or wrong way to do things. I think technology has always impacted on art and music, but it just depends on how much a person wants it to impact their art. I mean there are still people making folk music regardless of all the technological advancements.
TF: Could you tell us a bit more about your future projects?
AU: More releases. More radio shows and mixes. More gigs. Maybe some collaborations.
TF: To say goodbye, what can you tell us about the mix you publish with us? Any experience during the creative process?
AU: The mix is just some tunes I keep going back, to along with some music of friends and a few of my own tunes.
TF: Thank you!