Dear readers, in this article we have the pleasure to offer you an interview with a French Post-Rock band. We welcome Autómata.
Hello, how are you?
“Hi there, and thanks for having us today ! I guess we’re good, we’ve just had the opportunity to play live some songs from our new album Heart Murmur at L’International (Paris) last Sunday night with Portuguese
Indignu and French Goodbye Meteor. We’ve had a warm audience, the other bands were great, it was very nice.“
What is the meaning of the name of your band Autómata?
“Don’t put too much behind it ! We had this title, “Automate”, for one of the first songs we wrote, and somehow we came across this sci-fi movie title, Autómata. It’s a movie with Antonio Banderas and actually
it’s not that great �� But we loved the accent on the “o” !“
You propose a mixture of Prog and Post-Rock, where does your passion for these sounds come from?
“Well, I can’t answer for the others, but we all loved post-rock at some point, especially when Mogwai and
Godspeed You ! Black Emperor appeared at dusk of the nineties. And there are some prog acts like Marillion and early Genesis (for Jean-Baptiste and I), and Pink Floyd (for Etienne and David) that helped enrich our approach. But thinking about it, we talk much less about the music we listen to nowadays. We’re all in our forties, David, Jean-Baptiste and I have been playing music together for almost 20 years, and Etienne joined us in 2016, so I guess we no longer need to talk about the last album we listened to.“
The new album “Heart Murmur” was released in September 2023, how would you describe this work?
“It’s been a three year passionate argumentative battle because each of us is very involved in the composition process. So quite a long period from composition to final mastering, but we feel it’s a very
coherent album, different in its structure and mood from the first one, which is very important to us. We
had some rights issues with the voice samples we had used on “On a Wire”, “Killing Spiders” and “Processions”, so we had to change them at the last moment, even though mixing and mastering were
already done. It’s been a little stressful, but in the end we are quite happy with the result.“
Intense and long-lasting tracks, how does the creative process of your music take place?
“We’re all involved in the composition ; usually it starts from a riff or sketch by one of the guitarists, but we tend to build the tracks all together, step by step. There is no oversized ego, and we’re pretty open to give and receive criticism within the band. Our drummer David can play the guitar as well (better than I do
actually, ah ah), he plays a big role in the composition and construction of our songs, and even took the 12
strings guitar for “On a wire” and our hidden track Before you hung me.“
Have you released the video for ‘Mad Motor,’ do you have any more planned in the near future?
“We released the video for Mad Motor yesterday and we will release a video for On A Wire in a month or so.
Instrumental music allows for a lot of freedom for the videos, it’s always great to see what kind of images/visions someone would associate with our music.“
Many of our readers and your fans wonder if there will be a chance to hear your music live, do you have any plans in this regard?
“We are very opportunistic in that regard, anytime there’s the opportunity to play in a nice venue with good
bands and nice people we’ll be interested ! On the other hand, rehearsing specifically to play live can take
quite some energy and time, especially as we live far from each other and the new tracks are a bit more
elaborate than the earlier ones. And then you have less time to write new songs… In 2023 we’ve had a few
concerts, the balance felt right so hopefully we can have a similar approach next year.“
Music is constantly evolving, how do you see your genre in the future?
“Well, instrumental rock has existed for quite some time, and I guess will still live on as long as it’s not
parodying/cloning itself, as it somehow did in the trail of Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky. It’s quite
liberating to make without a singer, you don’t get the listener’s attention in the same way, maybe you get more adventurous in the texture of the sound… And this can influence back the more traditional pop/rock scene, so it’s a sort of continuum: even Mogwai makes great, hooking songs with vocals! Now, will there be a “traditional pop/rock scene” left to influence is open for debate : in mainstream culture it seems Hip-hop and RnB have simply swallowed up rock in all its forms. But you can still see many youths wearing Nirvana tee-shirts, so not all is lost ��“
How difficult is it (if at all) to establish yourself in the music market by proposing a more sophisticated genre like yours?
“Well, it depends on your target : if you plan to dominate the global pop culture, better get a charismatic
singer, a gifted beatmaker, an A+ producer, and loads of money to back you marketing campaigns �� O our side, we are thankful to have a dedicated following that helped pay for the album recording and mastering, and to have our labels Atypeek Music and Araki Records to release it. Moving beyond that, you need to invest a lot of time, energy, money in promotion and communication, to expand your network and maybe break through – and then, making a living off your music is still extremely difficult given the way streaming services pay (or actually don’t pay) back artists. It turns out that none of us is interested in social media, we all have jobs and families, so world domination will have to wait a bit ��“
What advice would you give to young artists approaching music by proposing a genre like yours?
“Let your imagination sail, have fun, but don’t expect to live the high life by making post-rock“
Do you have any other activities or artistic passions apart from music?
“David and I watch a lot of horror movies, and Jean-Baptiste and Etienne also love cinema in all its forms. Besides, Etienne is a volunteer film projectionist in a cinema.“
I thank Autómata for the interview, wishing them all the best for the continuation of their artistic career.
Read our Review of their new album “Heart Murmur” here: [Review] Autómata – Heart Murmur