Autumnblaze - Interview
Autumnblaze recently shot through the Metalbite office (at least for me anyway) with extreme competence in their composition at mood and melody within the fields of EMO-rock. "Mute Boy Sad Girl" is the newest Autumnblaze record on the market and according to me an enthralling experience in the dark and aggrieving arts of a romantic work. Alvar Eldron (Markus Baltes) from Autumnblaze recently took a momentary lapse in his wailing pessimistic moods to scribe a few answers to some muddied questions...
I love the new album, "Mute Boy Sad Girl", it was my favourite album that I listened to in the month of May. Could you start off by talking a little about how the concepts for "Mute Boy Sad Girl" came together?
Well, thank you for the compliments. As for the musical concepts I can say that I've gathered a lot of song ideas over a period of several months. Then, when I had enough song material for the album, I began to work out the lyrics and the vocal lines, too. This time I wrote all lyrics within one month so they are even more intimate and closer than before. But in the end the development of Autumnblaze's music is always a floating process without barriers. The music is drifting on invisible roads, so to speak...
What is the idea behind Autumnblaze's name?
Oh, I have chosen that name five years ago and the idea behind isn't so important. But I've been often inspired by the autumn. Many beautiful and tragic things happened in that season and Autumnblaze simply stands for the diversity and the emotional evolution of the indiviual. That's my present definition of our name. Maybe I'd tell you something different if you asked me a few weeks later. [laughs]
You are a German band, yet you write in English. Has your penetration into the music markets been more successful in German or English speaking countries?
I guess we have more success in Germany at the moment because we have a German label and the distribution is fixed on the German market more than other countries. But Prophecy Productions does a great job and they are always working hard to improve the distribution in other countries. I think it's important to reach as many people as possible and I wish that the Australian music lovers get the possibility to listen to our albums, too.
I've seen Autumnblaze get many positive reviews in a lot of metal press around the globe (obviously including us). Autumnblaze is not a metal band, do you think it is the label connnection via Prophecy Productions that has enabled you to work quite exclusively within the metal scene?
Of course, Prophecy Productions started more or less in the metal scene but now it becomes more and more an independent label with a strong weightiness on individual and trend-setting music. I don't know how Prophecy Productions is seen in other countries but in Germany they have the reputation of a small, exclusive and precious company and it's growing with the success of its artists.
The success of Autumnblaze infiltrating through the metal market is obviously unquestionable. Do you hope to succeed through other music genres as well? Where else do you guys get good exposure?
Well, we also have good response in wave, gothic or alternative magazines. I guess, Autumnblaze can't be seen as a metal, wave or gothic or alternative band but the different press is important to promote the band. Actually, I don't think too much about such things. I just want to concentrate on my music. That's all.
I imagine the reactions towards "Mute Boy Sad Girl" have been quite glowing. Are you happy with how things have turned out so far?
Yes, of course. Press reactions all over the world are great and promising but as I already said these things are not so important. It's flattering and good for the band promotion but not for my life. Just words and perspectives, so to speak.
Did the outcome of "Mute Boy Sad Girl" turn out the way you wanted? Would you have changed anything specifically about it, with a few months worth of hindsight?
One would always change something after some weeks or months as one is never 100% satisfied but you need the mistakes to learn again and to make the next production better. With "Mute Boy Sad Girl" I am quite satisfied but there are many things to improve for the future. But that is secret. [laughs]
Can you give me an idea about what sort of stuff "Mute Boy Sad Girl" deals with in a lyrical sense?
It's about relationships, fears of life, music... about things that are important for me and how to deal with difficult emotional situations in life. For each one who is interested in lyrics - read them. I won't explain too much.
What gives you guys inspiration to continue writing albums for Autumnblaze? Is it what deal you with on a personal basis each day or more from bands that come up with an interesting concept for an album that spurs you on to create songs?
It's everything. I need music to breathe and when I've written a song or a lyric, I am a happier person. The inspiration is given - it's everything that surrounds us, every word, every smile, every look, every dream...
Do you tour much for Autumnblaze? If so how many touring musicians do you need to help fill in the gaps, if any?
We've started playing live this year and including me on the vocal front we have four musicians (Jochen - guitar ; Carsten - Bass ; Michael - Drums) and the samples are about on mini disc. It's a very dynamic line-up with a lot of potential and we'll do some festivals in the summer and in autumn we are on tour with label-mates The Third and The Mortal. I Hope we'll have a great time together.
What would be your top 5 records of all time?
This Empty Flow - "Magenta Skycode"; Katatonia - "Discouraged Ones"; The Cure - "Bloodflowers"; Red House Painters - "Retrospective"; Sunny Day Real Estate - "The Rising Tide".
But I could also name five other records.
Is Autumnblaze a full time job for you? Do you work besides Autumnblaze? It seems most bands need to work nowadays to put food on the table in addition to their musical careers.
Autumnblaze isn't a full time job at the moment but music is a full time job for me. I also work on other musical projects and I am constantly thinking about music, songs or things like that. Unfortunately I can't really live from the music alone but I work hard to do that sometime in the future, but it's a question of patience and belief.
Why does Autumnblaze consist of only two members? Has it always been that way? Surely the workload must get pretty heavy when it comes to cutting an album...
I do all the songwriting and also I write all the lyrics for Autumnblaze. Schwadorf is my helping hand in the studio and it's always a pleasure to work with him and his skills. One could say that Autumnblaze is on the one side Schwadorf and me, and on the other side the live band. Both sides I control so the Autumnblaze vibe will never fade. [laughs]
I don't imagine you would have too many ideas brewing for a new album sometime in the next 2 years or so... or I am wrong?
Oh, don't think so. [laughs] In July we are recording a few new songs for a mini album to be released at the beginning of the following year and I suppose the next full-length album will be recorded in spring or summer 2003.
Now judging from some of the somber vocals and overall depressive aspects of "Mute Boy Sad Girl", would it be a wrong assumption to make that Autumnblaze as a collective unit are pretty down on life and somewhat pessimistic in judging things? Would that be a fair statement to make, or I am completely off the mark?
"Mute boy Sad Girl" shows just one side of me. It would be wrong to transfer it to my whole personality. I guess I am a very optimistic person with lots of dreams and visions and I have a very sick sense of humor. You will see that because I am currently writing on a very humorous and grotesque story and maybe it'll be translated into English sometime.
That said, will Autumnblaze ever record an upbeat, happy and ultimately enriching album that consumers will put in their CD players and will be instantly joyous in the happy lyrics that Autumnblaze write? The reason I say that is because it seems so easy to write more morose and disheartening music as a pose to the happy kind. Doesn't anybody get happy anymore??? What is wrong with humanity!?
I am just someone who loves melancholy and the feeling of yearning in music. Autumnblaze isn't a depressing band. We handle with deep emotions and there is always a little hope in our songs. But to answer your questions - I think you can say that if the music is happy mankind will be happier. I can only say that I feel better when I listen to This Empty Flow than I do when listening to a kind of happy pop music. There's something completely wrong with humanity but you can't solve the problem with happy music.
Are you ever going to tour Australia and maybe do a bit of a promotional tour down here? The main problem I imagine would be that exposure you would get down here would be next nothing... as in most music cases in Australia. Which is a shame because your music I believe would appeal to a wide consumer base in Australia.
I would love to play in Australia cause I have always dreamed to see Australia some day in my life. I guess the people are very nice there and it would be really a big dream for me and the band.
That is about all I have for you. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions. I look forward to the next empowering and uplifting Autumnblaze album! Any final thoughts?
I want to thank you for the interesting interview and if there is a possibility to play live in Australia we'll do it.
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