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Interview with the indie-pop rock trio AutoPilot

Indie-pop rock trio AutoPilot blend huge synth hooks seamlessly with distorted guitars and combine them with anthemic vocals to create instant, contagious choruses guaranteed to have the audience singing along after the first listen.

With a sound as polished as pop, with the bite of punk and live performance packed with energy, AutoPilot is rapidly building a name for themselves both locally and across the UK.

How has your musical background helped shape your sound?

We all have different tastes in music. Andy’s background in ‘The Enemy’ alongside his love for Punk compliments well with Jack’s Indie lyrical style and Chris’s Alternative inspired beats. We draw from different genres making music we would listen to ourselves. There is enough doom and gloom in the world at the moment, so we write songs that offer escapism.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

We love performing live and that’s always at the forefront of our minds when we write songs. Our tunes are melody-driven and written to be enjoyed on first listen. We all write, which gives our tracks variety, but the common themes are big synth hooks with distorted guitars. Jack is a big fan of wordplay, so his lyrics are usually fairly witty (or he likes to think so anyway). Whatever we end up with is then “AutoPiloted up” by which we mean adding our signature blend of synth and guitar and making sure that the energy of our live performance comes across in the track.

What are or were some of the challenges for you in producing or performing while keeping true to your vision of your music.

For a guitar band we are very synthy, so not having a synth player is a slight problem – we work with samples live which is great because it guarantees a massive sound in every venue, and a sample pad is much cheaper than an extra band member (and makes less mistakes!). Another challenge is that because we spend so much time touring around the UK, we sometimes don’t have the energy to write as much as we would like. Overall though we love what we do, and it’s all worth it when we see crowds of people enjoying our music.

Who are three musicians you think the world needs to hear right now?

Jack – Without a doubt, the world needs Lizzo right now. She oozes positivity and is spreading a really important message about loving yourself. She’s creating really interesting music and I just think she’s great

Chris – I think Billie Eilish is killing it at the moment, she’s definitely making the music she wants to make without being influenced by anyone else. For someone so young to do that is mad, and I’m excited to see what she does next.

Andy – AutoPilot.. obviously. Because we’re mint and we need the money to eat.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

Live shows hands down. We have probably spent too much time touring, rather than in the studio, but we just love gigging so much! Nothing compares to hitting a different town every weekend and seeing people connecting with the music we have written. Beats sitting in a dark studio listening to Chris hitting the kick drum, or Jack messing up a guitar solo over and over again.

Any “strange tales” or things that may have happened during a show that seemed too weird to be true?

Andy’s favourite thing to do is break his bass string on the first note of a gig – it has happened three times! Luckily he always has his spare to hand.

Do you find that social media and keeping up with your fans has become overwhelming? Or do you rely heavily on others to take care of that for the band? Which platform would you say that you enjoy engaging with the most?

To be honest the admin side of band life is exhausting. People think being in a band is all rock and roll but we probably spend more time on socials than we do on stage! It is awesome to keep up with fans and see their responses to our tunes, but it takes a lot of work to keep a constant stream of content coming. We do enjoy showing fans what we’re about though, and we have some fun with it.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

We played The Big Feastival last summer, and during our set, a young kid came right up to the stage and was headbanging away. We ended up inviting him onto the stage and little dude air-guitared his socks off. It was incredible to see someone get completely engrossed in the songs and reminded us all about the power of a great rock show.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

We’ve got a lot planned for the summer, and we’re hoping to get a few more releases out before we hit festival season. You can expect more high energy indie bops and gigs across the UK.

Famous last words?

One more red wine and I’ll be fine!

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