10 questions to get to know…
Autumns is the name of the solo project of Christian Donaghey, hailing from Northern Ireland and making music since 2013 under an alias that’s been defined “electronic post-punk with a lethal pulse”.
With an eclectic sound proposition, the artist has released on labels like Regis’s infamous Downwards, Clan Destine Records, iDEAL Recordings and DKA Records.
The project is also known for his high-energy live show, having toured with artists such as Silent Servant, Veronica Vasicka and Wire and played for audiences all over the world.
Ahead of his performance for Unmasked next Saturday 9th November, we had the pleasure of catching up with the artist and discover a little more about his attitude and view on the scene, as well as some of his upcoming projects.
Read it all in our interview and see you soon on the dance-floor!
Q: Hello Christian and thanks for taking the time out for this interview. Let’s start from the beginning and talk about your music education and influences. In a previous interview of yours, you said “environment and situations don’t really influence me, it’s more about the attitude than anything else”. Can you tell us more about where do you find inspiration when making music, considering that statement?
A: It’s all about the intention that someone has when making music and performing it. I really have to believe it to get into it. I could lie to you and give you endless bullshit in this interview about how deep and philosophical I am about the music I make, but it’s simply not true, and I wouldn’t be being true to myself if I was telling you that.
If there’s no urgency and passion to the music, I find it hard to believe. People like Rowland S Howard, Eric Random and Adrian Sherwood - bands like Josef K, Monks and African Head Charge, I believe them all, they are doing it for real. That’s my inspiration - proper business.
Anyone who’s saying they’re locking themselves in the woods for months to make a deep album from the soul are 99.9% talking right out of their hole. Saying a fuck you to those people gives me inspiration. Again, it’s about attitude.
Q: You have just released your LP “Shortly After Nothing” on Death & Leisure. Can you walk us through the creative process that led to this work and how the collaboration with Broken English Club's label was born?
A: I am constantly banging out tracks every week, so after a while I’m sitting on a good stack of tracks that I’m happy with. I’ve played with Oliver many times and I’ve always updated him with new tracks that I’ve finished. This year I sent him a bunch of tracks and he immediately wrote back saying he wanted to release them. I didn’t make it intending it to be an album, but it’s funny how well the tracks balance out as a full body of work. I feel like it’s much more focused this time. The fact that I’m still happy with it is also strange.
Q: As a writer, I always find interesting how words used to describe someone’s music then stick to it and start getting used by everyone, sometimes even not appropriately. How would you describe your music to someone who has never read anything about you?
A: Electronic music with influences from Dub, Post-Punk, Nowave and pop music. A bit of all the good stuff.
Q: In one of your previous interviews, talking about genres and trends, you said: “Unfortunately, I think people are mostly only tolerant of whatever music is currently trending or whatever music will provide them with a certain type of self-image”. Do you still think it this way? What’s your take on the scene nowadays?
A: It is still like this and it will always be like this too. Of course there are people who aren’t, but it’s always going to be a part of any art form. However, I’m not too sure what the scene is like now to be honest, I am just kind of staying focused on what I do.
Q: In the past, you have ventured outside the typical music world, with projects at the Paris Fashion Week for Downwards, Void Gallery, or by creating a live score to David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me’. You have also said in a previous interview that you’d be interested in collaborating with “any non-musician”. Where does the fascination for this type of projects come from? Do you have anything in these fields planned or upcoming?
A: I basically just get bored very easily, so I am always looking for new projects and ways to diversify myself, it’s only going to make me better at what I do. I am working on some upcoming collaborations, but nothing worth mentioning yet, as it’s still early days. But expect something soon.
Q: You have just come back from the US and specifically New York where you’ve played at INTERZONE, a brand new festival dedicated to techno, electro, industrial, wave, experimental and beyond. How was this experience and what’s your take on the scene of the city/country?
A: The festival was great, and it was amazing to catch up with old and new friends. There’s some real talent in the states, but it’s a massive country. It’s overwhelmingly big, but you’ve got to take a leap and go for it by playing as many shows as you can get out there. It’s been one of the best experiences of my life touring the states. All the gigs were mega and I got to share the stage with some of the best people on the planet. I’ll definitely be returning for a longer tour next time.
Q: Is there a place (city, club or festival) where you would like to play and haven’t managed yet?
A: There’s still loads of places I haven’t been to and would like to play. I’d love to play anywhere in Asia, Mexico, South America and the Netherlands.
Q: Any artist (newcomer and not) that you’ve been following lately and whose work you particularly like?
A: Collin Gorman Weiland and NERVE.
Q: How you usually plan ahead your performances? What shall we expect from your live on the 9th?
A: The majority of my set is based on improvisation, so I like to take a week before the gig to rehearse every day until the day of the show. For the show I think you can expect nothing more than just 100% high energy, relentless, throbbing electronics. Get involved!
Q: What’s next for Autumns?
A: I just released a new EP called “Foyle Living” on DKA Records, which is up for pre-orders now. I also have a few upcoming appearances on compilations, new podcasts & radio shows, a few remixes, new EPs and another album planned. As well as that, I have a continuous gigging schedule - keep an eye out for new dates!
Interview By / Stefania Trinchero.
Published / 01.11.2019