Five Minutes With…Autoclav 1.1

By Editor
By October 15, 2008 September 12th, 2016 Features

Tony Young, the man behind Autoclav 1.1 discusses the North, his music and the reason he may one day cut his hair…

S] Your latest music incorporates piano, guitars and electronics – what influenced you originally to work within the industrial genre?

TY] Most likely it’s because I have been in that scene so long now.  It’s not strictly intentional, it’s just how it’s come out.  If I play something and I think it works it will be used regardless of style.  So I guess I started out thinking industrial and let myself go with the flow.

S] How does your hometown of Huddersfield influence your music?

TY] I would say it doesn’t. Actually, it’s in the North of England so it can be pretty bleak (laughs). I actually don’t think it would matter where I was I would still come out with what I do.

S] As one of the major successes of the scene in the North, is there anyone you particularly adore at the moment and that you could see following in your footsteps, what do you like about their music?

TY] I wouldn’t say there is anyone there I can think of right now to follow me off the top of my head, not saying there isn’t of course.  Most stuff I have heard is pretty much where I am at.  I will say this though; the North of England has heaps of talent.  Just think of E.S.A and Keef Baker who are as prolific as me scene wise and are talented musicians.

S] The themes on this album explore a variety of emotions, love and loss being two examples – Your music really translates these emotions to the listener. How do you set about trying to inspire feelings through your music, do you just work strictly from how you are feeling in the song writing process?

TY] I just work when I am in a set mood really.  I don’t deliberately go ‘oh yeah man depressing piano time’ and slot it in because that would be pretty soulless.  I have to have an emotion going through me and then hit the keys.  Of course if I choose to work on some bass or drums first I go with what would fit, but that still is triggered to what I am feeling at the time of writing music.  I usually make sure I am thinking of something to get me in the mood before writing.  I always give myself an album concept and go from there, so I know the mood I should be in before I write.

S] Most call the industrial/electronica genre cold, but you are one of the few artists that really can inspire a variety of feelings without words – how do you feel about the genre being described as soulless at times?

TY] If you really listen, I always try to make one of the instruments work like the vocals would, there are actually words in my head while I play sometimes; if that makes any sense.  I can understand why someone would think soulless or cold with regards to a lot of acts, but for me it just means they haven’t listened to enough of the umbrella to get the bigger picture.  I have had a few people I have met say industrial sounds cold and soulless, yet if you listen to half the tripe on shows like pop idol the pap they come out with fits more into that category because they don’t mean a word of what they are saying.  That’s more cold and emotionless to me.



S] You stated in a recent interview that you think the world is selfish, and that things are ‘just as they are’ – What do we as a society have to do to change our ways, and also is it because everything is black and white/plain in your eyes that you are able to find so much inspiration for music?

TY] By that definition I imagine a few people will think I actually want it to change.  I think there has to be a balance in the world.  You are always going to get those who care and those who don’t.  The balance is critical or it simply wouldn’t work.  A world full of arseholes would be terrible, yet could you imagine a world full of hippy bullshit, peace and love?  It would collapse even quicker.  I just think the mass majority are out for themselves nowadays, and I don’t think there is anything that’s going to change that.  I have met my fair share of arseholes, people who care about no-one but themselves, so it also relates to that as well, it’s just my take on things.

S] You will be touring the record ‘Love No Longer….’, in the US and Europe hopefully, is it going to be different for you now since you have a more live sound on this record? IDEALLY one day would you ask your previous collaborations including Dave Pybus, Jamie Blacker and your Synnack buddy Clint to join you or as an electronic musician, do you like to always be in complete control of your own stuff: i.e. using pressure pads for the guitar elements?

TY] I like playing on my own.  I don’t think I am speaking for myself when artists who do it like I do are secret control freaks.  Actually, I am taking with me a live keyboardist and bassist.  Two lads, Kev and Eugene [from Tech Noir in Newcastle] who are brothers to me; I couldn’t ask for better company.  It would be cool to see both Dave and Jamie on stage with me too one day as I am close to both of them.  Who knows?  I know it will be different, and I relish the challenge greatly.  I, of course enjoy playing live with Clint too…there has to be more Synnack shows.  Damn, could you imagine all of us on stage together at once? (laughs)

S] You seem like a very thoughtful person, but also very confident – has music always been a great boost to your self confidence? Can you give an example?

TY] I have confidence and self doubt in equal measure.  It’s just keeping them both in check.  I would hate to come across like an egotistical swine so you have to watch that and make sure it shows as confidence and not arrogance.  Confidence grows with time and now the nerves are near non existent. The more shows, the more good reviews the more belief in yourself you have.

S] How did your journey in music begin, did you train yourself or was it a member of your family who ‘set you on your path’?

TY] I trained myself from scratch.  Every last bit.  I have worked in the music industry for a long time and I always wanted to do music, but really lacked the confidence we mentioned earlier.  I am pretty chuffed with the fruits of my efforts and the short space of time it has taken.  It’s probably the only thing I have ever really achieved.

S] As someone who deals with emotions through music – is there anything in this world that you want but you can’t have, what is it?

TY] I don’t really look at things I want; well – you can never have enough Apple Mac products (laughs).  I guess we all would like more cash and to be secure.  That’s natural.  I just want to keep the friends I have, live in peace and quiet and be able to keep on playing and writing.  I want to be able to share life with those friends.  I wouldn’t mind a decent relationship but then every girl who comes near me is a complete fruitcake.  I may as well have a shirt on that says, ‘if you are batshit insane come and ruin my life.’  I don’t think I will ever find someone who won’t lie to me or lie about me.  So yeah I guess there is something.  I guess I should cut my hair; I wouldn’t attract complete ‘spanners’ then.

S] What are the origins behind the name Autoclav1.1?

TY] I was pretty drunk to be honest when I came up with that.  I wanted something no-one else had.  I thought of sterilising music and somehow that came about.

S] Tympanik seem like a great label to be on, how have they helped you personally, and in terms of your music?

TY] They are the best people I have ever worked with period.  Paul and company have everything right.  They treat you with individuality and respect.  The contract is good, the aesthetics are good.  How can you better that?  Well, being honest, decent and making the effort to become bloody good friends helps. I really respect Paul, personally and professionally.  If you are happy with a label and its people you can be happy working musically.

S] When was the last time that a personal experience inspired a song for you – when was that and if you can, can you tell us the reason?

TY] That would be the last song I wrote because that’s the formula I work with, with every track.  No emotion, no song period.  I think ‘Trails Without Pathways’ was the last track I finished for myself.  So…this was me thinking about those that have deceived me or led me on, and wondering if it’s the same for everyone.  I think all of us have been led up the garden path at some point.

S] What has been your best personal experience as yourself or as Autoclav1.1 – doesn’t have to be live, it can be after a gig or before, even just a feeling waking up in the morning?

TY] That’s too big a question. The tragic thing is the best personal experiences are usually followed by the largest smash in the teeth you can take.  I have had so many ups and downs, but everything ends.  Sorry to be so morbid, but it’s completely true. I have had a lot of fun with friends and will continue to do so… I am sure the best experiences are yet to come.  We will see eh?

For more on Autoclav 1.1 visit the myspace and website.

Pics: Copyright Nad


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