Melodramatic indie-electro Londoners Autokratz are signed (along with Playgroup, Simian Mobile Disco, Bloc Party and numerous others) to the Kitsune record label (part of the French Kitsune fashion label created by Gildas Loaec (Roule), Patrick Lacey, Masaya Kuroki, Benjamin Reichen, Kajsa Stahl and Maki Suzuki in 2002). David (vocals/guitars/machines) & Russell (machines/guitars) kindly took time out to answer a load of questions that I randomly threw at them!
AS: Why the name?
A: AutoKratz comes from autocracy and has 2 meanings. Firstly we are an autocracy of 2 against the world. Secondly is to scratch beneath the surface of electronic music.
AS: When you take aim with your peashooter/pellet gun/sniper rifle, you’re aiming at?
A: (David/D) The Barrett M82A1 – one shot. Target – Mark Ronson – Because David E Sugar told me to.
AS: Is bedtime more half nine with a half read paper or more half four with fully red eyes?
A: D – half nine in the morning trying to focus on a red paper on the pavement.
AS: Who would be your dream collaborator?
A: D – Tim Burton or David Lynch.
AS: What’s the best music video?
A: D- mOBSCENE by Marilyn Manson.
AS: Do you believe in love at first sight?
A: D – yes…….. “I love to love…. but my baby just wants to dance”…
AS: Any regrets, missed opportunities or things that might’ve been?
A: D – “in a darkened underpass I thought oh my god my chance has come at last, but then a strange fear gripped me and I just couldn’t ask”…
AS: Will your past come back to haunt you?
A: D – “all men have secrets and here is mine, so let it be known”…
AS: Why? What's your biggest why question and has mystified you the longest?
A: D – Why the mystics never actually solved anything. They just wittered on like a drunk in a bar hoping some fuck is gonna buy them another.
AS: Where do you sit in the grand scheme of things?
A: D – as an Olympian, a fighter and a lover…. and a bit of a twat!
AS: Whose the most likely to go solo or crazy?
A: D – me…I’ll drive myself crazy if I’m solo.
AS: What makes you better than everyone else?
A: D – lack of morals or conscience when it comes to killing.
AS: What changes can we expect to notice with this outing?
A: D – that my gaydar was wrong and the person outed is in fact 100% hetro!
AS: Wish you were doing anything else with your time other than music?
A: David – hitman.
AS: What do you think of the paparazzi?
A: D – I don't eat meat….. But I have a lot of friends who won't eat any other pizza.
AS: Any message to any underachieving or odds facing musician out there?
A: D – stop being lazy, write some songs & mean what you say/write. Success should not be frowned upon or feared.
AS: Do you enjoy playing live or are you more at home in a studio?
A: D – I love writing, but to see peoples’ reaction to what you’ve created is fuckin’ amazing… playing live keeps me on an even keel and when we don't play a show I miss it.
AS: Any upcoming music / bands worth keeping an eye on that are destined for greatness?
A: D – David E Sugar. He's like an electro Prince (the artist rather than a royal) but a true Englishman with both cravats and wit. Also a Japanese band called 80Kidz who are doing things that excite me lots.
AS: What was the highlight of your summer?
A: D – losing my religion.
AS: What will this year bring?
A: D – economic crashes, micro chipping of humans under the pretence that its the best thing for them, another government false flag 'terrorist attack' and a viaduct across the street from your flat that’ll cause you to move due to the constant klang that is the underpinning sorrow and cause of your sleepless nights and nervous breakdown.
AS: Are you unlucky in love?
A: D – I'm unlucky with gloves… left every pair I’ve ever owned on a train!
AS: Where did you sleep last night?
A: D – in the bed I made….
AS: What makes the world go round?
A: D – the hope and belief that things will get better… because it usually does… unless you have a terminal disease or a crack habit.
AS: What’s your weak point?
A: D – I care too much about how other people feel… how things will affect them rather than me. I’m a people pleaser who resents himself for trying to make other people happy rather than looking after number one.
AS: What kinds of music do you dislike the most?
A: D – bland…
AS: When will the world end?
A: D – 2012… The Mayans said so!
AS: How important are the charts?
A: D – depends how far you’re gonna sail me hearty… a good compass and the right chart will see you fair!
AS: What era would you have been born in ideally?
A: D – the 15th century…I would’ve saved Joan of Arc before her walkman started to melt!
AS: If you could save 1 thing in the world, what would it be?
A: D – myself… too selfish for words.
AS: Which rules, the digital age or the vinyl/cassette age?
A: D – still in love with vinyl but I love the simplicity of digital.
AS: Do you have any unused band names you'd love to use?
A: D – ieuhrdieuhrfiueuuuuuuu ko.
AS: What’s the biggest myth about stardom?
A: D – that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. People are too quick to call it a soulless existence but what the fuck is working in a call centre (which I’ve done)? Nothing is perfect but at least you can make your own rules if you do it the right way. Just don't become Peter Andre or Jordan and you'll be fine.
AS: Do politics have a place in music?
A: D – opinion is part of what makes music special and important, so if expressed with depth and originality, YES.
AS: What do you do in your recreational time?
A: Russell: Listen to music, make music and smoke excessively.
AS: What’s the last gig/concert you went to?
A: (Russell/R) – The last one where I didn't play! Electronic wise – I caught Brodinski at the end recently, I was very impressed. Gig wise I suppose it was when I went to see Neil Young in New York a few weeks back that was pretty amazing.
AS: If you were a music instrument, what would you be?
A: R – A rusty trombone.
AS: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A: R – The people around me; the people I love and the people I hate.
AS: Were/are you aware of your escalating popularity?
A: R – The shows we’ve played recently have been pretty mental, which is really cool because you don't get that energy in the studio. It’s great to see people taking something from your music, and that's a relationship you only get when you play live. I love playing small dingy clubs where you can look everyone in the eye and really convey energy to everyone in the crowd. It’s nice to hear your stuff on the radio and the press etc is great, but it’s only when I see people in a live setting that I start to get that we’re growing in popularity.
AS: Where do you most enjoy playing live?
A: Shows in Europe are always loads of fun, and it’s lovely to be looked after well. We recently toured France and the crowds were amazingly responsive, really going for it night after night. Paris is always very kind to us but the best parties are always in Brittany, places like Rennes and Nantes where people really go mental for your show.
AS: Who is most influential on your sound?
A: I’d probably have to say Kraftwerk and Daft Punk.
AS: David, Russell, thanks for your time, hope you enjoy your upcoming shows.
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