SONG OF THE DAY: “Audience No. 2” by Autolux

“When we go and record I think no matter what our thoughts are in our heads at the moment, or the preconceived notions, it will be totally different when we are actually recording and we will be on some crazy path right in the middle of it.” —Carla Azar

Autolux is an experimental rock band consisting of Eugene Goreshter (lead vocals/bass), Greg Edwards (guitar/vocals) and Carla Azar (drums/vocals). The trio formed in 2000. Autolux released their second full-length album, Transit Transit, on August 3, 2010 on ATP Recordings worldwide and TBD Records in North America. The band formed in 2001 in Los Angeles, California. Goreshter and Azar met while writing the score for Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo’s play Accidental Death of an Anarchist. Azar met Edwards when he was on tour with his band, Failure. In August 2000, Autolux made their debut, playing two shows at The Fold in Silverlake Lounge. On March 1, 2001, the band released a self-produced EP entitled Demonstration. It contained five songs recorded on an 8 track in their rehearsal space.

After impressing legendary producer T-Bone Burnett during a performance, Autolux signed to DMZ, a small label created by Burnett and the Coen Brothers. In May 2002, Azar fell from a stage after Autolux had opened for Elvis Costello. Her elbow was shattered and she was told she would “probably never play drums again”. However, due to an experimental surgery involving eight titanium screws, she made a full and complete recovery.

In November 2002, Autolux entered the studio to record their first full-length album, Future Perfect, and finished primary recording in January 2003. In contrast with the 8-track recording method employed during the making of Demonstration, Burnett wished to capture the band’s live sound on the album. Following the initial recording, the band continued recording and overdubbing additional music at their rehearsal space/studio (Space 23) to flesh out the songs. The song “Asleep at the Trigger” was completely recorded at Space 23 At the beginning of 2003, the album was mixed numerous times, with Dave Sardy, former front-man of Barkmarket, creating the final mix. The album was released September 21, 2004 and was generally met with critical praise.

Autolux began touring in 2005 to promote Future Perfect. Autolux played and toured with a number of bands, including Nine Inch Nails, Clinic, Broadcast, The White Stripes, Shellac and Beck. In May 2005, the band played Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Soon after, they played All Tomorrow’s Parties Music Festival BFH England. Autolux was then invited by Trent Reznor to open for Nine Inch Nails on their With Teeth tour from September to October 2005. After touring with Nine Inch Nails, the band ended the year by opening for Queens of the Stone Age at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles.

After the dissolution of the DMZ label, which was under Sony Music, Autolux moved to Epic Records, also under Sony.
In February 2006, the band wrote a piece, “Tears for an Inhaler”, for an exhibit called “Sonic Scenery” at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The exhibit also included artists such as Matmos and Nels Cline. “Turnstile Blues” also appears as the opening song in the 2007 movie The Air I Breathe.

In July 2007, the Unkle record War Stories was released in Europe, Australia, Japan and the US. In June, 2006, Autolux was approached by James Lavelle of Unkle to collaborate on his next record. The band was given an acoustic guitar track with a simple drum machine beat. From that, they wrote the song, overdubbed various other tracks and vocals in their rehearsal space, and then gave the finished song, “Persons & Machinery”, back to the Unkle camp to arrange and mix. Additionally, Goreshter played bass guitar on a few of the other tracks on the record.

Transit Transit was released on August 3, 2010 on ATP Recordings & TBD Records. The band produced Transit Transit themselves with guitarist/vocalist Greg Edwards serving as engineer. Most of the record was recorded – at Space 23, the bands makeshift studio in their rehearsal room near downtown Los Angeles. A few drum tracks – “Highchair”, “Spots”, and “The Science of Imaginary Solutions” – came from an earlier session with engineer John Goodmanson. There is a notable sonic progression from Future Perfect to Transit Transit: samples, vintage synthesizers, and manipulated ambience glue central song components together.

Autolux has a subtle eclectic sound drawing from post-punk and krautrock. with layered guitars, rolling drums, use of distortion pedals and male/female vocals melding together.They have been compared to artists such as Can, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, and Deerhoof. For their stage performances, Autolux has consistently employed hand-made lighting rigs. In 2007, the band offered to sell the “framed amber lights” they toured with throughout 2005 to any interested fans on their official website and eBay.

In 2005, Autolux played shows with and opened for quite a few respected artists: The White Stripes, Beck, Clinic, Shellac, Deerhoof, and in August Trent Reznor asked Autolux to open for Nine Inch Nails on an arena tour with Queens of the Stone Age. In 2007, Autolux played Primavera Sound Festival, joined PJ Harvey for a tour of Russia, and in December 2007, Portishead invited them to play All Tomorrow’s Parties in Minehead, England During this time they also continued to play their own shows, trying out new songs live.

In September 2009, the band did their first headlining US tour, including an appearance at The Flaming Lips curated All Tomorrow’s Parties in upstate New York. In March 2010, Thom Yorke asked if Autolux would open for his latest project, Atoms for Peace at The Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, CA. The band toured the US, Canada, & Mexico in August/September. And in December, they finally did their first European tour.