Heavy Metal OTD

Talks with Markus Wolverhampton from Automaton (USA)

AUTOMATON hail from Cincinnati, Ohio - USA, delivering Barrel-chested and fancy vested Steampunk metal since 2012. The musicians are characters who prepare for conflict in an aggressive new wave of traditional metal sound mixed with folk and power metal spirit.

Automaton are members of the UnderWorld Map

Heavy Metal OTD How the name Automaton came up?
Markus Wolverhampton :: A lot of us are pretty big nerds when it comes to video games and the name actually came up when playing Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. We found that the name was very appealing and would work well with our album’s story.

Heavy Metal OTD Are you part of any label’s roster?
Markus Wolverhampton :: We are not signed by any record labels.

Heavy Metal OTD What's your band's sound?
Markus Wolverhampton :: We like to consider ourselves NWOBHM with stoner and doom metal mixed in.

The artwork of Automaton by Lo Carney

Heavy Metal OTD What inspired your latest ‘Automaton’ release?
Markus Wolverhampton :: I would say our love for analog sound. Our favorite bands lately have been recording their albums on analog tape, just like some of our iconic albums of the 1970s and 80s. We really wanted to get that warmer sound you can only get from analog.

Heavy Metal OTD Where your recordings took place?
Markus Wolverhampton :: We recorded and mixed the album at Springhurst Recording studios and we mastered the album at Sneak Attack Studios. Both are in Lexington, Markus Wolverhamptontucky.

Heavy Metal OTD How you manage the process of writing a track and what are your lyrical themes?
Markus Wolverhampton :: When writing a track, we really take every band member’s opinion into account. We really let everyone have a voice when doing song writing because that helps us get the best tracks we can get for an album. We have a lot of rejected ideas this way, but we come up with some really great songs in the end.

Our lyrical themes revolve around the story of two warring nations: Ionia and Rekelar. The main focus of this struggle revolves around the Ionians dumping their waste into Rekelarian towns causing wide spread disease and mutations. This story was started in our debut, A Bold New Horizon, and continues with our newest album.

Heavy Metal OTD How’s the decision to proceed with an analog tape recording rather than digital tracking?
Markus Wolverhampton :: We really enjoy the sound of albums tracked to tape. To us, they sound warmer and more natural. To add to the more natural sound, we tracked the instruments as a band so we all played at the same time. Our fans really wanted our live energy brought into the album and going the analog route with live recording really helped make that happen for us. In the end, I feel we did this not only for our interests, but for our fans as well.

Heavy Metal OTD Is there merch available? Where fans can grab their copies?
Markus Wolverhampton :: We have CDs and digital albums available at Bandcamp. Also fans can stay up to date on our Facebook Page.

Stream :: - Automaton

Heavy Metal OTD Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Markus Wolverhampton :: For non-musical, I have to say that we are definitely influenced by Jules Verne for sure since he was so important to the development of Steampunk. Music-wise, there are so many. All of us have a wide variety of genres we listen to. Whether it’s classic rock, heavy metal, blues, funk, jazz, shoegaze…..etc. We don’t shy away from genres of music outside of what we play. Some of us have even found our best ideas came out when we weren’t even listening to metal!

Heavy Metal OTD I really adore this custome-airship thing … can you describe your show, visual and musically?
Markus Wolverhampton :: Well in Steampunk, an airship is what you call a group of people working together in the Steampunk world on something. There can be airships for clothiers, leather-crafters, novelists, and musicians. Our band has an airship called the initiative which consists of just the band and a very dear friend of ours who helps out with our merch sales.

Our show is pretty unique. We take on characters in a story we created and act in character while playing live. We all dress in costume as well to further portray that. Musically, we try to have the stage presence of some of our icons like Iron Maiden, but visually we are the characters in the story we made to write our music around.

Heavy Metal OTD What's the best and worst thing about playing clubs?
Markus Wolverhampton :: The best thing about playing clubs would have to be the intimacy. There’s always a chance to talk to your fans at the show and get to know the people supporting you. For us, that’s amazing because we really love talking with our fans any chance we get.

Most clubs don’t have a “worst,” thing, but I would have to say that the worst thing about a Club could always be if they have something against heavy metal and watch us like a hawk. People really like to stereotype heavy metal as a bunch of wild-childs and people who like to wreck the venues we play. The truth is we are all very professional and try to be as respectful as possible to every venue we work with. Even our fans support this by being friends with anyone that walks in. Want to be involved in a community? There’s nothing like being involved in a heavy metal community!

Heavy Metal OTD Any plans for live appearances?
Markus Wolverhampton :: Definitely! We have a few dates planned in the U.S. to support the new album and will be adding more soon. Unfortunately, we are unable to tour overseas at this time.

Heavy Metal OTD What's your outlook on the record industry today?
Markus Wolverhampton :: It’s a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, we live in a time where everyone can release their music however they want to. At the same time, it’s hard to get known since there are so many bands and it can be challenging to get yourself out there at times. However, that usually means the ones that are out there working are the ones who love making music and not just trying to make some cash. While it would be nice to get our name out there quicker, I do love the fact that most bands today are making music for the love of making music and not just to make millions of dollars.

Heavy Metal OTD : What's next captain?
Markus Wolverhampton :: Well we are hard at work writing more songs and getting more shows booked so we hope to have some new tracks at future shows soon!

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