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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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