Heavy, magnetic and visceral, THE AUTOMATON don’t play it safe. With a dark, stoner-psych inflected groove, THE AUTOMATON tie molten riffs to potent lyrics that work through obsession, disconnection, and desire to find what truly makes us feel alive. Starting in 2019 in the backwaters of Brisbane, Australia, THE AUTOMATON are known for their relentless live shows, female artillery, and commitment to their artform. With the fourth single release No Exit out now, THE AUTOMATON point straight at the heart of their upcoming debut album, with a bleak, sparse trip into the desert of modern disconnection. Find out more in our interview with the band.
How exciting is the lead up to the release of your debut album?
We have been working on this for three years, so it’s going to be so exciting for everyone to hear it. Not alot of our fans can see us live, so now they will be able to access the full scope of our sound. It almost feels like it starts here.
What is the story behind the lead single No Exit?
Deja played me this one day in the living room. She explained that it came to her, as if she was just the messenger. I was like holy shit dude, that is fkn killer, what the heck. You’re a genius. No Exit is the story behind our generation. We bridged the gap from no technology to technology and had to adapt or get left behind. I guess that goes for everyone, but if you had a taste of life before the smartphone, you will know and we were the last generation to live that way. The disconnect of something that was created to keep us connected has changed our lives so intensely and has done the opposite of what it was intended to do. It’s hard some days to fathom, but there is NO EXIT, adapt or nope, that’s your only choice. This is life now.
Did everything go to plan in the studio?
We had no plan, so yes. The plan was let’s see what happens and we did, and it was magic.
How would you compare it sonically to some of your other music?
No Exit is nothing like our other tracks – it’s acoustic. Despite that, we all loved it so much that we agreed we wanted this to be our first film clip. Sonically it doesn’t stand up to any of our other music, but I like to think all of our music tugs on them old heart strings. That’s just me though. I’m biased because I know the stories behind them all and lived through some of them with Deja, so when we are screaming, “get your shit and leave” or “and the trees shake and shiver, I’m born to deliver – automaton” we fucken mean it man. Hahahaha.
Is it a challenge to work out which are the best songs to put on the album that best reflect The Automaton?
Nope, every song we have is on the album.
How did the band meet?
Deja was my sister’s friend. She was the alternative weirdo. I thought. Hmmmm. I like her. We should be friends. I heard her sing one day and I knew, right then and there, this chick is brilliant. I said in my head one day we will be in a band together. One day that dream came true. I needed a singer for a band I was starting and wrote to her. She said I don’t know what to do, I said nor do I, let’s fkn do it man. She agreed. That was band #1. That went south but then we joined forces and set out to start a new band. We were looking for a guitarist and I told her how I used to jam with my friend Pete and sonically we had that magic that just worked together. I played her some of the recordings, she was like duuuuuuude, WTF write to him now, I said ok I will, and the rest is the history of the beginning of The Automaton. It’s rare to find that kind of musical chemistry. Jimmy was scouted by Deja. He plays guitar for a local band called Swamp Gully Howlers. She saw something in him. She thought he was great. Turns out she was right. We hit him up to join the band at a Mojo Burning. He was in then out then in then out. Then Swamp Gully Howlers singer, our good friend Caity got pregnant and that was it. I was like I’m gonna hit him up one more time. If you ask me, it was serendipity. He joined and FINALLY we were a whole band. Jimmy completed us.
Is there a hidden meaning behind the band name?
Nah, Deja is mostly the idea brains of this operation and mostly I am the hustle. Deja is obsessed with so many weird and obscure things, you really can’t get bored talking to her. Basically Deja wanted to call the band The Automaton. Honestly it has been a huge talking point since we started it. I read it wrong and then she explained it to me. This has been a thing since day one. Google it, I had to, but for fuck’s sake SAY IT RIGHT, OK!!! OR-TOM-A-TON ok, got it!!!! Hahahah
Who would you say is the biggest shared musical influence/ inspiration for The Automaton?
We all love Astrodeath, straight up!!!! But for reals, Deja loves her goth doom powerful women music like King Woman, Chelsea Wolfe. I love stoner rock prog groove like King Buffalo, All Them Witches, Jimmy loves everything but his favourite band is Baroness and he loves Tom Waits. Pete’s favourite band is Emperor but he also loves Florence and the Machine. Honestly we all love heavy alternative rock but just appreciate good music talent, whichever form it comes in.
Did the band lose much momentum last year due to the pandemic?
OH FUCK YES. A lot. This year too. We’ve had so many gigs cancelled so far. Being in a band is great, but there are three words I’ve come to loath – content, algorithms and traction. Ew, seriously. We just love rocking out, most importantly we love creating. What’s happened is we’ve spent the last year or so figuring out the nuances of promoting our art. That shit is a pain in the ass. Truly. Film clips are fun and creating is fun but the rest is just fucking annoying and stressful. Yeah we gotta do it, for sure, doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck.
Are you looking forward to being able to tour more broadly around the country this year?
This year, if we are lucky we will get to our Lismore Oct 30 show. If we could we would go everywhere, but we can’t and it’s not looking good. Like you and like us, day by day. That’s the best way to live right now.
What’s next for The Automaton?
Hopefully creation. You only learn by doing. We learned as we went, but plan of attack for album #2 would be completely different. A lot of the learning process has been chasing our tails. We are wiser and much more experienced now and seriously, we are all dying to create. That’s what we all do best. We are a melting pot of influences so who knows what could happen. Anything. FUCKIN BRING IT!
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch The Automaton on the following dates…