I had a chance to catch up Dave & Cela from Automatik Eden recently in Los Angeles to talk about their new album.
BT: Tell us about the new single, and title track to your new album, “Madland.”
AE: The album was basically done, and our producer, Sean Beavan( Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson), told us that we needed one more upbeat tune, so he gave us an “assignment”, which really meant going to Las Vegas to find, ah, inspiration for the new songs, and that’s how we came up with ”Madland”.
BT: On the subject of producers, did he have impact soley as an engineer, or did his work actually influence some of the songs?
AE: It was definitely both- he was very empathetic to who we are as people and as artists. His involvement ran the spectrum of being extremely involved, to the point where he actually played on some of the songs, to knowing when to leave us alone to let us find our own way. That is production. I think many people get the idea that, particularly in this pop age where everything is overly auto-tuned and the singer does 100 takes where the producer takes it and creates this “modern pop sound. That’s not what a great producer does; they have to have the ability to know what a band does well, see where they need to be pushed, and where they need to be left alone. Sean just did a great job on all levels.
BT: Cela , you and Dave wrote the theme song “ Captain of My Soul” for Star Trek: Renegades, a film you also had a part in. How did that happen?
AE( Cela) I am an actor as well, and I was doing a comedy revue with Tim Russ, who played Tuvoc on Star Trek Voyager and was directing this new spin-off series. He is a musician as well- he’s a great singer and guitar player. We bonded over music and he asked us to do the title track for Renegades, which was based on a poem called “Invictus” written in the 1800s by English poet William Ernest Henley. The phrase “Captain of My Soul” which was such a strong theme for the film, we wound up using the words of this poem for the lyrics. That was our assignment, and we had a lot of fun doing it and wound up with something much more epic- more of a space opera than we normally do.
BT. That was my impression also- it sounds like you really spread your wings on this one as “Captain of My Soul” does not sound like your typical rock track.
AE: Yes- we even had a string arranger come in and help us- it was a great experience.
BT: On the subject of influences, are there any in particular that helped shape the sound of the album?
AE: When you listen to the album, the influences span 25 years- you’ll hear The Beatles, you’ll hear Pink Floyd, Sigur Ros, Portishead, Massive Attack, Led Zeppelin.. we started to think” how are we going to make this work on one album”? These bands really lived with us so deeply and had such an influence on our lives more so than it did on the writing sessions for this album. It just happens that you have the influences, but you do it in your way- you can only be you, so the way that stuff came out wounds up being Automatik Eden.
BT: While we are on the subject, were there any non-music sources of inspiration, such as world events, and so on?
BT: That is a fantastic influence!
BT: I noticed some of the lyrics in “ Madland”, “ It keeps getting better, let’s talk about the weather”, sounds a bit tongue-in-cheek..
AE: it is… yes, there’s a lot of smart –assery / tongue in cheek in that song…. (Cela) There’s a couple songs on the record that lyrically.. sort of capture moments where we are so baffled by current events.. where we feel all we can really do is laugh at it….
BT: Let’s talk about the weather in other words
BT: So your single has been out for a week- what is the release date for the album?
AE: (Cela) We are going to release the album on Spectra Records.. our awesome label on Sept. 9
BT: Can you tell us who you might be touring with?
AE: Not yet, but we have been rehearsing like crazy because we are going to be playing with a bigger band than we’ve ever played with before as the tracks are pretty deep. My guess is that we’ll do some surprise shows before the record release party. From there we’ll do some touring, beginning on the West Coast, and branch out from there.
For more info: www.automatikeden.com