Interview with Nienke & Jan, Autumn (June 11th 2007)

Not all of our readers might know you, so maybe you could start off and tell us a bit about the background for Autumn?

Nienke: Autumn is a Dutch rock/metal band. It’s hard to say in which box we fit best when it comes to our musical style. Some refer to it as a gothic/ stoner mix….It’s up to you listeners to decide I guess. We are with six people and this band has been around since twelve years. My New Time is our third full length, and our first official worldwide release.

How has the response been on the new album, and what kind of expectations do you have for it?

Jan: So far the reactions were very positive. Most people point out the differences with the previous album(s), but often in a very positive way. We expected that kind of reaction and were curious about the outcome (positive or negative). We did what we wanted to do, and it seems to be appreciated by the press and fans. So far so good!

If you should choose one song, which represents the essence of Autumn on the album, which one would that be and why?

Jan: I would choose “Closest Friends Conspire”. This song contains the groove we were looking for.

If you had to describe your music to a complete musical ignorant – what would you tell him?

Jan: I used the term “symphonic rock en roll”, that’s what we are aiming for! Our guitar player Jens likes to describe it as: “catchy, in your face, female fronted rock/metal with a twist”. That’s fine by me as well!

How important is the lyrically side of Autumn – and what has inspired you on the album?

Jan: The lyrics have always been important. Our former bass player used to write most of the lyrics. He got his inspiration from old literature about legends and mythical stories. He than interpreted this to a lyric, sometimes with some daily life experiences incorporated in the theme’s. For this album most lyrics are written by Jens and Mats, the guitar players, and they use their own thought and experiences to write the lyrics. So the lyrics have become a bit more personal.

Tell us a bit about the album artwork.

Jan: We found the original picture in an old newspaper and were immediately excited about it. The picture shows despair, but in the same time hopes. I think that every person sees something different in this picture. That’s the strength of it. We got the rights of the picture; our artwork artist changed it a little so that it fitted in the concept of the booklet. We wanted to keep it sober but stylish. I think we reached that goal.

How did you get the name Autumn, and is there a story behind it?

Jan: The founder of the band and our former bass player, Meindert, came up with the name. It symbolizes the contrast between beauty and decay. This contrast can be found throughout every aspect of life. The name has kind of a gloomy feel (in the positive manner of speaking) that can also be found in our music.

Besides this, our tour manager believes that it is the best season of the year. I do not completely agree with that, he he, but besides the cold and the rain, natures’ scenery is often great!

What do you consider to be the biggest accomplishment for you and Autumn?

Jan: That we have grown from a band with a dream to a band living the dream. It took us more than 10 years so far, he he and we are still growing, but I think we already accomplished things we could only dream about 10 years ago.

Do you have any touring plans for 2007, maybe on the European Festival scene?

Jan: Besides the Benelux, we are planning a tour through Germany, we are still working on this, but hopefully it will be feasible. If we also visit Denmark, that I don’t know, but it would be great. So we keep our fingers crossed.

What are the strengths and where can Autumn improve?

Jan: I think our strength is that we are not limited to a specific style. We have proven this on our last two albums. We want to make the music we all like and in order to reach that goal you have to cross some boundaries sometimes. We showed that we can do this without losing our own identity. We can still improve in our songwriting, and this is something we like to work on as well, so the next album could be again a surprise.

Name an album, person or event that has had a huge influence on your life … and why?

Jan: Music-wise this would be the album: ´'The Real Thing' of Faith no More. That was the first time I heard a band that was able to mix different influences and styles, but still kept their own identity. They showed this extensively on their later albums. Big influence for me.

Which five albums would you bring on your iPod to a deserted island?


1. Faith no More - Midlife Crisis
2. Anathema – A Fine Day to Exit
3. The End – The Never Ever Aftermath
4. Opeth – Blackwater Park
5. The Wounded – Hollow World

Which album(s) have put a big smile on you face and has made you bang your head in past year?

Jan: Currently I am listening a lot to an album of Katatonia, called “The Great Cold Distance”. Technically great, but still very emotional. Great Album! I actually don’t know if it is released in the past year...

I thank you very much for participating in this interview and sharing this information and your thoughts with us - these last lines are entirely for you. Any final words you would like to round off with?

Jan: Thanks for your interest in the band. I hope we will visit Denmark sometimes with the band. Till then; I hope your readers check the album, I think it is worth a listen! 

Take care,
Nienke de Jong & Jan Grijpstra

Interviewed by Kenn.

Autumn - My New Time

Album available on Metal Blade Records.

For more info on Autumn - click on the album cover.