An Interview With the Alt/Rck Band AUTUMN WALKER!
The Texas alt/rock band Autumn Walker released their full length debut album Daydreamer, via Lucky Hound Music just last month on September 27th. With musical influences ranging from Pavement to Rancid, their guitar-dominated sound compliments their strong melodies, insightful lyrics and expansive sonic structure, but they’re rockers at their core. The album was produced/mixed by Asher Zeitschik and mastered by industry veteran Ted Jensen of Sterling Sound.
In 2018, the band released singles “Step Back” (featured in New Noise Magazine and AltRevolt) and “Barking At The Buddah” (“a psychedelia-tinged cut that is so sublime that it practically levitates” – AXS ) all featured on the album.
Earlier this summer, they premiere the “hilarious video” for the title track “Day Dreamer” on Ghost Cult Magazine. It is a “day in the life look at the monotony and absurdity of our world.”
Autumn Walker is the fruit of the ongoing collaboration between Lodin Fortenberry, the band’s singer and guitarist and Cameron Barber, the band’s second lead guitar player who met freshman year of high school.
Connect With Autumn Walker Here-
Learn more about Autumn Walker in the following All Access interview-
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day?
DF: Thanks for having us do this! I’ll be in a recording session for the rest of the day. …Well the rest of the week.
LF: Thanks for your time! I just got off work so it’s time to eat dinner and relax
Now that we are into the 10th month of the year, how would you say that 2019 has treated this band? What have been some goals this group has had this year? How close are you to reaching them? What are you already excited about for 2020?
DF: 2019 has been an interesting one. A lot has happened within the band but overall I think 2019 has been good to us and has really helped us pull our focus. The main goals for this year has been to release the album, get another music video under our belts and get a tour going. So far we’ve done two out of the three. Now we’re working on setting up a tour. For 2020 we’re excited to start working on new music, more videos and more shows.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Was it hard to think of a name that you could all agree on?
DF: I remember we were at my studio and we just started jamming together and within the first few jam sessions we had already started playing a couple songs start to finish. I remember thinking “Damn, this is awesome. Let’s just keep doing this.” The name came maybe a month later once we all agreed on one.
LF: Jets to Brazil is one of my favorite bands and “Autumn Walker” is my favorite song off their last album. So after we considered many names, it ended up being the one that stuck and we went with it. We like to think of it as paying homage to a great band.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? How has the music scene there changed over the years?
LF: I’m from Wimberley, TX. It’s a small town that is really laid back. It has a unique feeling very different from anywhere else ive been. Its home, so naturally it has a huge effect on my outlook and writing style/musical tastes. Also being in Texas is amazing for music. There are so many great singer songwriters and regional acts to draw inspiration from. Wimberley itself doesn’t have much of a rock music scene, but there are some great artists around. 15 minutes up the road in San Marcos there’s a good local scene going on which is where we play a lot. Austin is about 40 minutes away. They’ve both changed over the years. Whether that’s been good or bad.. I’m not too sure.
Let’s talk about your newest full-length album, “Daydreamer.” What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the overall process?
DF: We got lucky (no pun intended) with the way this whole record came together. We were fortunate enough for the people at Lucky Hound Music to allow us to take our time in the studio to work with our good friend/producer Asher Zeitschik and really dial in parts, arrangements, tones, etc.. I think the surprising part for me was realizing how beneficial it is to take a step out of one’s comfort zone and to try things you might never have thought of doing.
LF: These songs all stemmed from very different situations over the course of a couple years. A few of the rough demos were recorded in my Fiance’s apartment on a four track tape machine. Watching them evolve from a very raw basic form into what they are now was incredible to witness.
Why do you think Lucky Hound Music is the right place for you and your music today?
DF: Lucky Hound Music is an extremely unique entity in the sense that they genuinely care about and respect all of their artists authenticity. With the way the music industry has gone in the past 10-20 years, it’s hard to find labels that are as artist focused as them. We get to work hands on with an amazing group of people who we know truly have our best interests in mind.
LF: We are incredibly grateful to have the team behind us at Lucky Hound. They have helped us every step of the way. None of this would be possible without them and the opportunities they have presented us.
Can you talk about the inspiration behind some of your favorite songs on this album?
LF: Inspiration is a hard thing to quantify or nail down. Sometimes it’s there, most of the time it’s not. Most song ideas come from a thought or a phrase that crosses my mind throughout the day. Thinking of the past, growing up, observing society, interactions etc. Some of it ends up almost being advice to myself. Usually an introverted observation or an ambiguous commentary on the world.
Generally, how does this group go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately? What is the first step in your music-making process?
DF: Normally it’s started with Lodin coming up with an idea on his own, recording a quick demo, sending it to me and I’ll work out maybe a different drum part or play with the arrangement a little or even come up with something different all together. We’ll then play it together at either rehearsal and live to really feel it out and fine tune it.
I always like to ask bands if you all hang out socially apart from the music? In other words, when you aren’t working on music, do you guys enjoy hanging out for fun?
LF: Dan and I met through music. We played music together before we were friends and that has built a pretty deep trust and connection. Generally when we are together it is for something involving the band, but yes we hang out outside of the band. Band practice typically ends up being about 50% practice and 50% hanging out.
How do you feel that this band has grown through the years? What has remained the same? What do all of your various musical experiences bring to this group?
DF: The band has grown a lot since we met. We’ve both learned so much about production, writing and the industry as a whole. I’d say the constant throughout the bands short history has been Lodin and I. While our styles differ in a lot of aspects, there always seems to be this convergence that just works.
LF: I have learned so much since this band has started. From production to shows, songwriting and everything that goes along with it. I still have a lot to learn!
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
DF: My “happy place” is definitely in the studio. When we’re on stage, it’s the place where everything seems to be worth all of the work.
LF: Writing is my happy place. I love being alone and at the end of the night feeling like I’ve made something real. Even if I don’t like my result, or other people don’t, it’s very rewarding. After shows is one of my favorite times. The nerves have worn off and I get the sense of accomplishment. It’s when the hard work has paid off.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for this band? What have been some of your favorite shows and venues over the years?
LF: Lots of friends in attendance makes a good show for me. Our album release show was a highlight. It was at our regular spot in San Marcos, Kiva Lounge. We have played some good venues in Austin. We would love to one day play Stubbs or any of the many iconic venues in Austin or across the country/world.
Where can fans see you perform next? Do you have any upcoming Fall tour dates scheduled yet?
DF: We’re playing a Halloween music festival called “Frights and Sounds” that’s going on in San Marcos TX October 25th and 26th. We’re playing the 26th at 10pm! We’re working on putting a tour together now, just trying to figure out all of the details and get everything to fall into place.
How has social media impacted this band? How often are you all on your different sites interacting with fans? How have you been able to utilize it through the years?
LF: The importance of social media is a reality I have not yet come to accept, but I’m trying to adapt…(laughs)… We try to have fun with it though. We try to post as often as we can and always respond to interactions quickly. I think it’s awesome when people interact with us.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
LF: I follow politics pretty closely and try not to get caught up in the emotional side of it all. Music is absolutely an escape from the world as a whole. With music you can create your own world. It’s pretty liberating.
What musicians have really been inspiring you all since you first started making music?
LF: Stephen Malkmus of Pavement, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Blake Schwarzenbach of Jawbreaker/Jets to Brazil, Joe Strummer of The Clash, Willie Nelson, Sturgill Simpson, Ian Mckaye of Minor Threat, Hinds, Phoebe Bridgers, Bright Eyes, Billie Eilish 😉 Just to name a few
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
LF: I hope people from all backgrounds and generations can find something they relate to. I hope music should be positive and uplifting. Even if it is sometimes cynical or dark I hope it translates as acknowledgment of issues or trying to work through them. There has to be light at the end of the tunnel for me.