Autoheart may be wearing a new name but the band formally known as the Gadsdens are here to stay, with the latest single Lent and incredibly catchy and massively enjoyable piece of piano pop.
We talked to lead singer Jody about the release of the single, working with Coldplay’s producer and playing at the 2012 Olympics.
So, in a rather handy piece of timing, Lent’s out now. What can you tell us about the single?
Well, it’s quite ironic isn’t it with the Pope resigning! I’ve seen a lot of things saying he’s given up his role for Lent, which is actually remarkably similar to the lyrics in our chorus. That song was written a couple of years ago observing friends in relationships that were maybe a bit stagnant and stale. I think it’s quite a positive message, it’s all about breaking free of the shackles of drudgery and things that shouldn’t be. You should always break free from that when you can.
The song’s also incredibly catchy, how did you happen on that?
When I songwrite I do it on an acoustic guitar and when I originally wrote the song it wasn’t anywhere near as quick as it is now. I do use quite a lot of syncopated rhythms with the words, so it’s almost like ‘sing-rap’. This is one of the first songs where I’ve tried that but it came naturally ne day when I was having a little song writing session at home.
You’re also releasing a collection of remixes of the song, how did that all come together?
Well, we were lucky that our mutual friend Rob Thomas, who’s know under the moniker of Bright Light Bright Light, lives nearby so he was happy to offer his skills and I’m really pleased with what he came up with, it’s a lot darker than what we came up with, it’s quite Depeche Mode. For the other people, Hannah Holland’s a friend of our guitarist and Tom Kills we know through our management. Because it’s quite a dancy, upbeat song, it lends itself quite well to remixing and we wanted to give our fans more of a package. It’s all about offering the fans more really.
You’re album’s coming out pretty soon, what can you tell us about that?
Well, it’s called Punch and that comes out in April and we recorded it with Danton Supple, who produced Coldplay’s ‘X and Y’ album. We recorded it up in Stockport and we stayed in this converted vicarage that’s been turned into a studio and we all had to share bedrooms and we were sleeping in this cot beds. For two weeks we were just all getting on top of everyone else’s shoes but we get on really well so it was ok. It’s just this massive labour of love we’ve been working on for several years now and it’s great to finally have it finished and ready to go out to the public.
So what was it like working with Danton Supple then?
He’s an amazing man and musically he has this ability to coax the best performance out of you. He works to your strengths, so for instance, if the drummer’s a bit nervy, he’ll try and relax him. For me, the best way for me to work is to do five vocal takes in a row and then move on. He just works with the individuals in the band to get the best out of you. He’s a really nice guy and we still speak to each other a lot and he comes to our gigs and he’s going to have a rather big role in the whiole release strategy of the album.
You performed at the London 2012 Olympics, what was that like?
It was quite surreal. We performed just before Mo Farah ran. We performed twice, once at 2pm and the other at 7pm. The first one was ok, it was quite chilled and stilted, but by 7 o’clock everyone was a bit more drunk and up for it and was anticipating a great race, so it was a great feeling and buzz.
You guys recently changed your name. Why change it?
Well, initially we were called The Gadsdens, which is my name and it’s just quite difficult to spell, pronounce and generally search for online. I think when we released The Sailor Song, even iTunes spelt it wrong! So we had a re-think and Autoheart, which actually comes from the lyric ‘automatic heartache’ in The Sailor Song, so we just played on that really.
Your first single The Sailor Song got a great reception, what’s it like seeing that great a response to your first attempt?
It was reassuring because as easy as it is nowadays to create music and put it online, you never truly know how the public’s going to react. As much as we all do it for ourselves, it’s a really nice feeling to get such warm and positive feedback especially after we got played on the Radcliffe and Maconie radio show and people were ringing up about the song. You have to take everything with a pinch of salt and just write what you want to write and hope people out there like it.
Your artwork look brilliant too, who’s behind that?
It’s actually an old friend of ours, who goes under the name Young & Sick and he has created the artwork for Maroon 5’s latest album and Foster The People and he’s an amazing and interesting artist. He’s multi-faceted though, as he’s a singer/songwriter and graphic designer too. So he covers the whole spectrum and we were honoured that he wanted to do the artwork for our singles and the album. We’re looking forward to them coming out.
So, what are you going to give up for lent?
Nothing, I don’t believe in it. Metaphorically, I’d give up associating myself with negative people who drain you. I’d never give up anything physical; I’ll always eat chocolate and drink beer!
What else is coming up for you guys in 2013?
We’ve got the album out in April and hopefully we’ll be doing the summer festival circuit and touring a bit later in the year. Then, we’re going to be working on the second album come the end of the year. We’ve already written about twenty new songs, so it’ll be about shaping them and moving them forwards.
Autoheart’s single Lent is out now.