“One of our main goals is to not force ourselves into one strict sound or genre,” Greg Laut of Whiskey Autumn shared with AXS. “Whiskey Autumn started out as a folk band and our latest single is an R&B tinged electro-pop song. We really look up to acts like David Bowie and Radiohead who kept reinventing themselves and pushing the envelope.” Playing tomorrow, Saturday, January 23 at Boulder’s Studio 700, Whiskey Autumn released “07.04.07”, their newest single and its corresponding music video, last month. Heading back into the studio after plans to release new videos of live footage in February, Laut went into further detail about Whiskey Autumn's three years of history in this exclusive interview.
AXS: Are you Colorado natives? If not, where is everyone originally from?
Greg Laut (vocals, guitar, keyboards): I’m the only Colorado native in the band. David Landry [bass, vocals] is from Dallas and Matty Schelling [drums, vocals] hails from St. Louis (unfortunately, he doesn't personally know Nelly).
AXS: What brought the band together?
Greg: I originally started Whiskey Autumn as a folk project before meeting David and Matty. I was introduced to David through my roommate at the time and we started casually jamming together and borrowing each other's records. We clicked musically and began playing local shows with various drummers. Eventually, we recruited Matty into the band and the lineup felt complete. The three of us bonded over our mutual love of The Beatles and "Pet Sounds" era Beach Boys. Our long conversations about these groups moved me to start consciously writing songs from a pop perspective. We've been chasing the perfect pop song ever since.
AXS: How long have you guys been together? What have you learned during that time?
Greg: The three of us have been playing together for three years now. I think we've learned that our strongest work happens when we can put our heads together and truly collaborate on an idea. Our songs and records become much more cohesive and original when mashing up all of our respective strengths. Additionally, we've learned that David wants to become the world's greatest donut baker when he grows up.
AXS: Where was your first show in Colorado, and what was the experience like? Who else did you play with at the show?
Greg: Our first collective show as a three-piece band in Colorado was at The No Name in Boulder. Matty wasn't an official member of Whiskey Autumn at the time and was just filling in for our drummer who was out of town. The show was intimate, yet rocking and everyone told us it was the tightest we had ever played. It was clear that Matty needed to join the band. All the crazy kids were dancing to his beats.
AXS: Have any Colorado musicians inspired your group?
Greg: When we were still fairly young as a band, we played a Bob Dylan tribute show at eTown Hall in Boulder. That night we shared the stage with some of the best Colorado acts around like Gregory Alan Isakov, Reed Foehl, and Halden Wofford & The Hi-Beams. All the players on the bill were total pros and it was incredibly inspiring and motivating to be surrounded by these top-notch musicians. We learned a lot by watching their performances.
AXS: What projects are you currently working on?
Greg: In addition to the music video that was just released with our new single, we have a couple of live videos in the works which should be dropping in February. After that we'll head back into the studio to start working on a new record.
AXS: What other stuff are the band members involved in locally, either as individuals or as a group?
Greg: Matty plays in Boulder-based tribal breakbeat band Asalott and runs the aforementioned No Name Bar. Greg holds down a day job at Sender Films, a documentary production company. David works at Boulder restaurant BRU but can often be found precariously reworking Whiskey Autumn songs into surf-punk jams.
AXS: Do you have a goal in mind for the sound the band produces? Are there certain influences or themes the band tries to inject into its own music?
Greg: One of our main goals is to not force ourselves into one strict sound or genre. Whiskey Autumn started out as a folk band and our latest single is an R&B tinged electro-pop song. We really look up to acts like David Bowie and Radiohead who kept reinventing themselves and pushing the envelope. You don't want to ever feel like you've fully arrived. There are always new avenues to explore.
AXS: For someone who has never seen or heard you play, what would you tell them to entice them to watch your set?
Greg: We will keep you on your toes! Our sets typically range from dance party rockers to swaying doo-wop ballads. Plus we might cover "With A Little Help From My Friends" and turn the show into a massive sing-a-long. And it goes without saying that everyone who attends will be incredibly good-looking.
AXS: What would your ideal live show look like? Where would it take place? Any particular time of year? Would a specific band/musician share the bill with or open for you?
Greg: Our ideal live show would be playing Red Rocks in the summertime with the Colorado Symphony. Just to give the show a little extra something, Tupac's hologram would make a special guest appearance and perform an orchestral version of “California Love”.
AXS: What do you enjoy most about Colorado’s music scene, and why?
Greg: The Colorado music scene is very welcoming and supportive. All of our musician friends are always attending different shows and hyping each other's record.
AXS: Loved the music video! What was the process of making it like, and how did you pick "07.04.07" as your single?
Greg: We're glad you dig the video! We worked really closely with the director, Ian Glass, on the storyline and all the little transitions that take you from one scene to the next. For the house party scenes, we invited some friends over and drank whiskey and lit a bunch of sparklers on our front lawn. That was quite the time. We chose “07.04.07” as our newest single because it's a sonic 180 for the band. We are big R&B fans so it was fun to release our take on that type of song.