In order to find out what makes our favourite artists tick, welcome to our new feature based on the idea of what’s in their musical Past, Present and Future. The aim is to gain an insight into what inspires them and to also find out about their upcoming plans using 3 simple questions. The idea is this:
- Past: what are their musical influences and who inspired them to get into music.
- Present: who can they recommend in their current listening to our readers.
- Future: what they have planned as an artist coming up and what’s next in their work.
Toronto band The Autumn Stones are a group I have been keeping an eye on since they came to my attention last year. When I heard tracks from their second full length album Escapists, I was intrigued to hear and find out more about them. And what better way to do that than ask them a few questions?
Their first album Companions Of The Flame was released in 2011 and was well received. The follow up Escapists came to us in 2015 and has been on my playlist ever since. Containing tracks In With The Out Crowd and Endless War it gained great reviews on release.
Comprising of Ciaran Megahey (guitars and vocals), Marcus Tamm (bass) and Gary Butler (horns) their sound is quite unique in some respects due to the beautiful use of saxophone rather than a lead guitar. Citing influences such as The Smiths and Echo and The Bunnymen they have created a sound that is all their own and a delight to hear.
Lyrically, their songs are about ‘love and other tragedies, notably war and religious extremism / intolerance. More than a few of our songs are directly inspired by Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and other modern philosophers / polemicists’.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Ciaran who spoke to us about The Autumn Stones musical Past, Present and Future.
So Ciaran, who would you say are your musical influences and who inspired you to get into music?
Our biggest influences musically are bands like The Magnetic Fields, Guided By Voices, The Smiths, Wire, Galaxie 500 and Echo and The Bunnymen. I could go on for days listing other artists, too! It’s mostly cult rock/indie pop that has inspired me as a writer, but I also like a lot of Dub, Jazz, and Electronic music. The pop song, however, remains our main blueprint. Lyrically, I draw a lot of influence from the news, reading non-fiction and watching documentaries. They’re a great source of subject matter.
Has anyone caught your eye recently that you can recommend in your current listening to our readers?
There is so much great music out there today. My current favourites include Beach House, Colleen Green, St. Vincent, The National, Future Islands, Wild Nothing, The War on Drugs and many others.
And finally, what you have planned as a band coming up in the future work-wise?
At the moment we are playing shows around Toronto and working on material for the next album. We have a few brand-new tracks lined up for our next show; we’re really excited to test the waters with those ones! We are also looking at doing some shows out of town this summer. Likely Montreal and some Northeastern US cities.
Many thanks to Ciaran for taking the time to speak to us. You can get in touch with The Autumn Stones on social media in all the usual places and buy their album online. Details below:
Photos kindly provided by Alison Waddell.