Autumns Eyes' Dan Mitchell Talks "Please Deceive Me," Rock And Shock, And More In Video Interview
Band Photo: Autumns Eyes (?)
Approaching the long awaited album titled "Please Deceive Me," Autumns Eyes front man Dan Mitchell chats with MetalUnderground.com about the new album, horror movies, "Lulu," and more in a new video interview available below. A full transcription of the interview is also available after the jump.
Autumns Eyes previously premiered the song "Ichabod" through Metalunderground.com, as well as posting another track online titled "Blood in the Woods," which is available here. The complete "Please Deceive Me" track listing is as follows:
2. Blood In the Woods
3. Anxiety Spiders
4. Please Deceive Me
5. So Close to Shadow
7. Cobwebs and Crosses
8. Red Wine and Resin
9. Haunting Your Daughter
10. The Wooded Road
xFiruath: It seems like “Please Deceive Me” was supposed to come out several Halloween’s in a row now and something always happens to push it back. How long have you been working on the album and what caused the delays?
Dan: Well, there were a lot of things that got in the way. I had originally scheduled to release it a couple of years ago and I ran into some health problems. I needed a surgery on my right wrist. I was hoping to get it out by Halloween this year, but we had a huge fucking snow storm in New England. That kind of sucked because we lost power, pretty much everybody in Connecticut lost power. I couldn’t get anything done and it screwed up the whole schedule. Now it’s this close to being done and hopefully within the next week or so I can finish it up and get it out there.
xFiruath: Is there a particular mood or theme you wanted to put throughout the new album?
Dan: There wasn’t a set theme for the whole entire album. I’ve done the theme thing in the past. A lot of bands do the theme thing, not that it’s a bad thing, it’s kind of fun to do, but you don’t want to do that over and over. I actually made sure to… fuck myself in the face, because I can’t answer this question! There wasn’t a theme on the entire album, it was more like each song has its own individuality and its own persona.
xFiruath: Walk us through the process of putting together an Autumns Eyes song. How do you write and record the material?
Dan: Basically I’ll start out with a with an idea, like, do I want a heavy song, do I want a groovy song, do I wanted a scary song, do I want an orchestra song? Whatever it may be depending on the style I’m going for. If I want a really heavy song I’ll pick up a guitar and turn the amps up. If I want more of a groove oriented song I’ll pick up the bass. If I want something more creepy and Halloween sounding I’ll pick up the keyboard and start playing around with the sounds. A couple of years ago I wrote a song called “Shallow Hole,” which has a bit more of a groove to it. I started that on the bass guitar and I wrote the whole song on the bass first and moved onto the drums. As far as recording the material I do everything digitally. I go into a digital mixer, it’s actually a Phonic Helix 24 MKII Firewire mixing board, which goes into my iMac. I use Logic Studio to record everything. On the first couple of releases the drums were all digital, I programmed them out. I did live drums on “The Awakening of the Sleeping King,” which was fun but they didn’t really come out how I wanted them. They lacked power and punch, so this time I made sure the drums are right in your face. You can tell too, they are definitely punchy and have that live feeling to them.
xFiruath: How do the songs on this album differ from your last few releases?
Dan: It still has that same Autumns Eyes feel to it, but there’s a bit more of that Halloween spirit I guess you’d call it on the songs. There’s a lot of that, what I call Halloween synthesizers, inspired by the band Goblin. But again the songs each have their own identity. There’s a song called “Pangea,” which is inspired by the comic/T.V. show The Maxx from the ‘90s, which I was a huge fan of. I actually took the theme from the T.V. show, if you go back and listen to it, it’s not really a theme song is just this music they played at the beginning or whatever, I took that and molded it into the song itself. It still has the Halloweeny/Autumns Eyes sound to it.
xFiruath: You’ve got a costume contest going right now. What sort of entries did you receive and has the winner been picked yet?
Dan: The costume contest, that was fun. We did that last year and got a great response. This year there was a little bit more promotion and there was a really great response. We took the contest to Rock and Shock, which I’ll go into in a minute. But there were a lot of really cool costumes. As you know I’m a fan of Halloween so it was cool to share that with people and see what they had up their sleeves for costumes. There were a couple of goofy ones, I think one guy submitted one which was just him with an empty case of Bud Light on his head, that was pretty interesting. The winner was a blue guy, he had a blue face with a top hat and some cool contacts. I don’t know what the heck he was but it was pretty cool, he was like a blue zombie. Second prize went to a zombie storm trooper, which was pretty fucking bad ass. It was the storm trooper helmet and armor and everything, but totally undead, zombified, bloody gnarly teeth sticking out of the bottom. The third prize scared the living shit out of me. It was a girl who had black contacts and fake teeth and when I saw her entry I think I pissed myself, it was pretty fucking disgusting. She had blood coming out of her mouth and huge teeth, there was definitely a urine stain on my chair.
xFiruath: Tell me more about your recent Rock and Shock appearance and meeting up with fans.
Dan: Rock and Shock was fun, it was a great time. I definitely want to do it again. I’m not really too much of a public person, as I’ve stated in the past. The whole live show thing, I don’t really have any chances to get out there, so this was a good opportunity to get out to the public and meet and greet some of the fans. You do this from home sitting in front of your computer and you’re kind of stuck in this little zone and you don’t really think about who is out there listening to this. This wasn’t something I started for the money or fame or anything like that. I only started promoting Autumns Eyes a couple of years ago, so it’s cool to see it’s getting out there and people are responding to it. It’s actually touching people, not in the way that Michael Jackson touched people, but just in the sense that it’s touching people, not perverted. Next!
xFiruath: As a horror fan, what have you thought of this year’s crop of scary movies in general and have you seen any really gems or absolute flops?
Dan: As usual, there’s not much in the horror department coming out recently that I’m a fan of. I think the last two horror movies I saw that were absolutely amazing were “Let the Right One In” and “Trick ‘R Treat,” which is my new favorite Halloween movie. Other than that I can’t really name anything, because to be honest it’s all fucking shit.
xFiruath: Metallica’s “Lulu” – genius we just don’t understand, or worst album in recent memory?
Dan: Uh, first of all, let me just get something straight. This is fucking Metallica, and just even saying the name of this fucking album is embarrassing, because it’s Metallia and it’s supposed to be fucking heavy shit. What’s Metallica working on? Oh it’s fucking Metallica, they’re working on something called “Lulu.” So, that’s kind of sick and twisted in itself. Honestly I think Lou Reed is a great guy, but if he wanted to make this work he should have collaborated with multiple artists, not just Metallia. I know they have this whole cock in the ass relationship with each other where they want to feed off each other’s shit or whatever, but it’s not working, it’s not working at all. They can play the whole creative card all they want, but I could do the same thing and sit in a tub with a toaster and a banjo and call it art, but that doesn’t mean everyone is going to like it. It’s a stupid idea and they shouldn’t ever have done it. They should have worked with other musicians where it was Metallica and I don’t know, Aerosmith, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phil Collins, Neil Diamond, or something, but the whole fact that they focused on Metallica – they deserve what they are getting. They put themselves up on a pedestal, a pedestal made of shit, and they deserve all the criticism they are getting. I still love them though, those four albums they made are fucking killer, we’re just never going to get those ever again. They’ve gone off the deep end.
xFiruath: What’s on the horizon for the band after the release of the new album?
Dan: After “Please Deceive Me” is done I definitely have some plans. I’m going to be opening a new canning business. After “Please Deceive Me” I’m going to be flying abroad and trying to sell cologne to immigrants. I’m going to open a hair salon for the elderly and style their pubic hair. Plans after the album… I’m going to have a DVD coming out, which is going to be an adult DVD of me having group sex with alligators.
In 2012, I’m going to be releasing a DVD which will be a bunch of Autumns Eyes behind the scenes stuff, I’m going to do a song writing thing, I don’t know what to call it, basically I’m going to video the process of writing a song to recording it start to finish all the way up to the mastering. A lot of music videos coming out, a lot of cool ideas for videos. I do have some stuff I’m planning with Metalunderground which is pretty fucking cool, but I can’t talk about that right now. I do have some plans to shoot a horror movie or two or three with some buddies of mine, which I wish I could tell you the title, it’s too fucking funny, but I don’t want to get into it now and spoil it. Other than that, the live show thing, and I don’t know, whatever happens, happens.
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