Autons - e-mail interview, April 2006


This is the most adventurous C.D I have heard all day. It's excellent. Autons have a very punky sound that is mixed with techno beats and the result is absolutely fantastic. The title track instantly engraves its way into your head; if this band doesn't go far in the future there is something seriously wrong. Genius. 10/10"

So wrote Joe 90 for R*E*P*E*A*T Fanzine. His enthusiasm, and that of the likes of Rob Da Bank, Steve Lamacq and MTV, along with the brilliant highly enjoyable chant-along thrash-pop noise of 'Snakes', persuaded R*E*P*E*A*T to sign Autons to the Big Badger stable.

Having done so, we thought we'd better find out something about them...

By the end of the interview, we find out that these are not the Autons that we signed!

Autons - who, what and why?

David Auton - voice and programming and acoustic guitar
Leon Auton - electric guitar
Tony Auton - keyboards and stylophone

L: Why? Because it is written in ancient texts and in the stars

T: Autons exist because we are all moulded from the same piece of plastic, designed to make mighty electro rock n roll for skinnies to jive too

Your song Snakes has been creating a mini furore, tell us a bit about it (what it’s about, its recording, video etc)

D: It was written in minutes. The snakes represent lust, greed and all that sin stuff looking back at you in the mirror.

T: Snakes was written very quickly. Leon Auton added instant drop-dead guitar and we all just 'knew', and other people seem to take it that way. It is just original isn't it?

L: It was the best time I’ve had in the studio. We were experimenting with sounds and trying to break out of the conventional way electronic music is recorded (i.e. death by sequencer.)

T: The video is very sexy, in an Autons kinda way. We wanted to make a debut single which was as good as something like Buzzcocks' Spiral Scratch debut single (the holy grail of independent singles for me) and it is amazing to have something 'up there'.

How has life for Autons changed since it was recorded?

T: Oh we all still laugh at the same absurdities. Seriously, just lots of people contacting us, wanting to hear more stuff. We have billions of millions to throw at people. People will need open minds and dancing feet, Autons do not stand still.

D: We don’t really talk to each other any more. All communication goes through our individual lawyers.

Who are your heroes, musical and political?

T: Musical heroes are Hendrix (true genius) and The Clash (the greatest live band of all time by one million miles) but millions of things really. Political heores would be Bevan (National Health Service visionary), Wilberforce (anti-Slavery) and Pankhurst (Woman's movement) for me as they each made a difference to the society I live in.

D: No heroes, but people I admire. Scott Walker, Bowie, Mozart, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Spartacus, Bernadino Verro, Chico Mendes, Socrates – anyone who speaks against injustice

These are the ones!

What’s the Autons live experience like?

L: Energising, thrilling, on-the-edge… yet warm, loving, spritual and sexy.

D: Rock n Roll, Technology and Plastic.

T: It is like being locked in the Tardis with us, zooming around the universe, sometimes it's a bit bumpy, sometimes joyously smooth, and you never know where you are going to get out ... something like that ... exciting! People just know it is different and for some reason let themselves go ... we do.

Tell us a bit about the Doctor Who connection.

D: Autons met auditioning to be extras in the last Dr Who tv series. Failing in our attempts to appear as Autons (the plastic mannequins that came to life), we decided to form a band named after our beloved Dr Who adversaries.

T: We just like the fact that Autons are kind of all one of the same, yet the word also suggests autonomy. Autons like that difference, that play.

If you were to head off on the Tardis and could only take 5 CDs with you, which would they be?

L: Hmm…today? Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds ‘Let Love In’; Cardiacs ‘Sing to God’; Bowie’s ‘Low’; Ladytron ‘Light & Magic’; and something by Godspeed You Black Emperor.

D: Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Astral Weeks, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, The Rite of Spring, Trout Mask Replica

T: Public Image Limited 'Metal Box'; Dusty Springfield 'Dusty In Memphis'; The Clash ‘London Calling’; The Jesus and Mary Chain ‘Psychocandy’; This Mortal Coil ‘It'll End in Tears.’

What about books?

D: A Sherlock Holmes Collection, a George Orwell Collection, a collection of Victorian/Edwardian ghost stories, Slaughterhouse Five, and The Wind in the Willows.

L: At the moment anything that has a theory on how the world came into being; be it religion, creationism, evolution, or Greek mythology etc. I’m really into this subject at the moment. I’m definitely agnostic and not ready to reject any possibility at present.

T: ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee; ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’ by William Blake; ‘The Earth Care Manual’ by Patrick Whitefield; ‘Dirty Havana Trilogy’ by Pedro Juan Gutierrez; ‘Complete Works’ Shakespeare.

Apart from Autons, what other sci-fi monsters do you have an affinity with, and why?

D: Bok, the little statue that comes to life in the Doc Who story ‘The Daemons.’ I don’t know why. He’s cute.

T: All of them! Men in rubber suits, doomed to fail! Seriously, the original King Kong for me, I blub I tell you!

How can our readers get hold of your music, and why should they bother?

L: Check out or for some downloads, and head to the Repeat Records here site for the single. People should bother because this is music for the heart, the soul, the mind, and the dancefloor.

T: People should only bother if they love originality and classicness all in one. Only if you have something in your heart that is different to most stuff that is set before you in life and you want to be involved and making a difference and expressing yourself. Buying a piece of music should be like joining a guerrilla unit, it is a badge of honour to be even bothering to search out like minds and hearts.

What are your plans for world domination?

D: Hand out plastic daffodils to people and then send the correct frequency. This will do the trick.

T: No plans, we are just going to make this music as best we can. All we wish for is that if people connect with it they let us know, we don't want to be lonely Autons.

What’s best, chips or cream buns?

D: Proper chips, not poncy fries.

T: Chips by 100%! So many combinations, but everyone sharing from a big plate together with butties on the go is one of the great social experiences to be had!

L: Depends on the time of day. I can’t eat chips before midday, but I could eat a cake with my morning cuppa. Now, if you said chips or Apple Danish I’d have to think long and hard because you just can’t beat an Apple Danish!

'Snakes' / 'Ice Major' is released by The Big Badger Recording Co through R*E*P*E*A*T Records in May - order your copy here!

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