Interview: Long Autumn
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Interview with Johnny.
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
So I actually first started my journey with music when I was only 4. Like many drummers, I started banging on pots and pans and my parents quickly realized I had natural rhythm. So they got me a kit when I was 5. Over the following decade, I’d go on to become a pretty experienced drummer as well as pick up guitar, bass and music production. It’s always just been my thing. If I weren’t doing music, I’d probably want to pursue something hands on and outdoors, like something in the mountains. Maybe lumber work or trail grooming or something like that. I love nature.
What do you like to do when your not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When I’m not playing music, I’m typically either writing it or listening to it. It’s the easiest way for me to both relax but also stay on a somewhat healthy mental plane. I’m with my girlfriend every day, too. She’s easy to write about, because she’s one of the sickest human beings I know.
How long has your band been around?
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We formed in late 2019, in Acton, Massachusetts, a small town just thirty minutes west of Boston. Two of our boys, Tim Donovan (bass) and Nick Harvey (lead guitar) have a house there. As far as how the region we live in influences our music, I feel comfortable saying the climate and aesthetic of the fall/winter here draws my attention. I enjoy the bleakness and vastness of the woods, rivers and nature around. I live in southern New Hampshire, just an hour north of them.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
Our story is like many... our name doesn’t really hold any notable meaning or significance. The truth is, we had a list of names on the table. I came up with most of them, since I had written the majority of the first EP and was trying to come up with a name that matched the vibe of the music. But, as a group, we eventually settled between Lone Autumn and Long Autumn. Long seemed to make more sense to us, and sounded prettier. That’s pretty much it.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Best show has to be when we played a venue called College Street Music Hall in the town of New Haven, Connecticut. That was nuts, and our first time playing a big stage. It was a 2,000 person room and we’d never sounded bigger. Super sick experience. Worst show was probably our second... we got booked at a teen community center in the middle of nowhere in New Hampshire. It was like five 13 year olds and their moms watching us. Not the vibe.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven’t already?
Well, for a long time we played regularly at a venue called The Raven, a bar in Worcester, Massachusetts. That place was sick, but there was a fire in there halfway through last year. I think they’re still repairing. Super nice stage & sound system though, and the dude that runs shows there, Brandon, that guy’s the man. My next big goal is to play Paradise Rock Club in Boston. It’s a 900 person room and they throw a lot of indie/alternative shows. When things rev back up, I’ll be trying to score us an opening slot.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Damn, that’s tough. Personally for me, it’d be us, The Neighbourhood, maybe Bad Suns, and a band called Hunny from Los Angeles.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
If you’re going to make a band, make it for the right reason. Make it because of your passion and love for music. Don’t just expect to get immediate success, an immediate fanbase, or an immediate anything. It takes work, and you have to be willing to put that work in. But do it because it’s fun and because you love the way it makes you feel.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
We’re fairly new. I think we’ve done everything alright so far. We certainly haven’t “screwed up” in any sense. Maybe just to have patience and persistence. But we’ve had those already.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
My most personal song is a track off our first EP called ‘Black’. It’s about my little lady, and how she sort of changed the person I was when she came into my life three years ago.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
We all have different favorites to play live. Mine is a song called ‘Poison’ because it’s a headbanger and a jumper. I know right now Nick’s is a new one on the new EP called ‘Balloon’.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I write the lyrics. It’s always been that way. The music is currently being written between me, Nick and Jam. Both Nick and I produce our stuff. I think it’s safe to say that we’re really most inspired when we’re together, with our instruments, as friends, having a cold one. It’s our vibe. As far as lyric writing, that’s on my own time. And usually when I’m not feeling too well.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Truthfully, I like to let people make of my lyrics what they want. I think I have a lot to improve on as a lyricist and as a songwriter, but I know I have already gotten much better than since we started. This year we’ll be writing a lot of new music and that will test me. Our philosophy as a band, though, is to enjoy yourself and have fun with your life. You can find peace and happiness in small things. Everyone on the planet has bumps in the road, and it’s important to remember that those bumps are temporary, despite the severity. We grow and we heal. You’re in charge of your destiny.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Not really. Small things get to us of course, like volumes when we’re jamming, or getting grumpy about a mix or whatever. But even those are few and far between. We love each other and respect each other... for the most part!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that’s coming up?
We all made it pretty clear with each other that our goal with this band is to shoot for the stars & never give up. All five of us would be over the moon if we could become full time with it & tour. I think the reason we’re all on that page is because we absolutely love what we do, love each other, and have the most fun ever. Our new EP ‘Change’ drops this upcoming Saturday, the 23rd of January. After that, we’ll be right back in the studio writing & recording for whatever new project lies ahead. This year will bring a good amount of new music from Long Autumn, and that’s a promise.