Sometimes it’s important to note that rock and roll
isn’t all about being super serious. In between striking an unaffected
pose and frantically trying to mimic P4k’s Best New Music picks, the essence
of live music can get lost in the “indieness” of it all. I mean,
when’s the last time you heard a band compare themselves to the Monkees
(see below)? Unselfconsciously, Automatic Children play psych-influenced alternative
rock in the style of some of the s best – a comparison to Brian
Jonestown Massacre (without all the crazy) wouldn’t totally be out of
order. The band’s standard four-piece line up is augmented by male/female
vocal interplay, which unfolds on stage like a teenage rock opera. Is she secretly
crushing on him this song and trying to hide it? Will he ever ask her to the
dance? Will she say yes? The answers after this chorus.
Which came first, "Automatic Children" the
song or the band name?
The song. We were throwing around hundreds of names, and had
almost settled on "The Atomic Summer" because our first gig was on
a 103-degree night in August and, well, it seemed pretty catchy, though
many of our friends weren't convinced and neither were we. Too emo. A few weeks
later in a songwriting session for the album, Crista and I started playing this
riff and singing these words - "automatic children, everybody wants one"
- and we instantly loved it. We can all get a little goofy, and it just captured
us in a nutshell. And now we have our own theme song, kinda like The Monkees!
What's your favorite era of rock, and do you think
that directly inspires your sound?
Having all lived through most of the 70s as kids, we were naturally
exposed to a lot of late- 60s and 70s classic rock. We got schooled on The Police,
The Kinks, The Who, The Beatles, The Stones, Zeppelin, and on and on. Later
of course our sensibilities expanded to alternative and indie rock as it became
as prevalent and we all ended up in New York City. Our music became a marriage
of the two – both are close to our hearts and tattooed in our brains.
Do you have a favorite band to play with?
Lately we like Rich Girls and Prison Pretty. I'm sure there
are others I'm forgetting to mention. MySpace is such a great way to get exposed
to and share music with other artists just like yourself.
Any luck in getting too-cool-for-school New York audiences
Hmmm, do New Yorkers dance? We've gotten them to holler and
cheer and ask for encores. Maybe one day we will meet these dancing New Yorkers
you're talking about.
For those who like: The Pixies, The Lemonheads, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Sebadoh
Relevant info: Playing The Annex on April 22nd. Come check it out!