Tuesday, 21st August 2018. 6:27:18am ET
Interviews Experimental, IDM, Glitch Interview- Autoclav1.1


Band: [Autoclav1.1]
Interviewer: [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ]
Date: [07-15-2005]

Grave Concerns recently had the pleasure of interviewing underground music veteran, Tony Young. Though a new name for many, Tony has spent years behind the scenes working with various influential labels and artists. Tony recently decided it was time to put his experience to work, or better put: to music, in his new project Autoclav1.1. With the well received No Protocol EP, the newly released Indelible EP, and a full-length already slated for release this year, Tony Young/Autoclav1.1 looks to be an unstoppable force. Below, Tony speaks fondly of the past, talks about his current ventures, and hints towards a bright future.

GC: What is the meaning behind the name, Autoclav1.1?

Tony Young: It’s funny you should ask that right now. I was in London the other night walking around with my friend, Kev, who is in Revolution by Night and he asked me if the name had anything to do with something called a “synth-clav.” I basically asked what the hell a synth-clav was. Apparently synth-clavs are analogue, store layers upon layers of live instruments, and you can multi sequence. I said I would probably use that as an answer if anyone asked me that question. I won't though, as its far too geeky. I actually just liked the word “autoclave,” which is a sterilizing instrument, and altered it a little to make it more personal--like I was personally sterilizing music...

GC: Oh?

Tony: …Okay I’m lying, I needed a name and that just worked for me. Laughs.

GC: You've been involved in the scene for a while, working for Peaceville Records and Wax Trax II. How did those opportunities come about?

Tony: Christ that’s dragging up memories. Well when I was in college many, many years ago I met Hammy, who owned Peaceville. He came back to the college to visit and asked if I was interested in working for him at Peaceville I said yes. I probably hung around there for about 5 years. It was great fun and there were some amazing people there…Dave Pybus, for instance, who was in Cradle of Filth and Anathema. He is an utter star.

GC: And Wax Trax II?

Tony: Well, I knew Bart from the old Wax Trax, as he was the A&R man there. The man is fantastic and little does he know it but he changed my life in a lot of respects. I went there with one of my best friends, Pete, for a week and looked around the old Wax Trax hang-out. I was going through a really, really bad phase in my life and was pretty much on the verge of losing it, head wise. Bart mentioned I should come back and so I did. I went home, packed my then job in straight away, put everything I owned in storage and went.

GC: How did you like it there?

Tony: Chicago really is a lovely place. Fantastic people. I made so many friends such as Kent McCarty who has helped me with ‘Zine stuff and reminds me of myself in a completely different way…

GC: What did you do for WTII and Peaceville?

Tony: I helped out where I could. I have done WTII a fair bit of press, and I was an A&R man at Peaceville. If you can imagine going through a box of 100 tapes trying to find a good band…it can be utterly boring.
Oh, a hint to all metal bands who send demos to labels: Don’t send big striking pictures and fancy covers, send a plain white cover with a contact E-mail, believe me you will be the first to get listened to. That’s how it works.

GC: What was the most fulfilling thing about working with Peaceville and WTII, and what did you bring away from them?

Tony: Learning the tricks of the trade. You won’t believe how different a metal label is to a label in our scene. I can’t really say a lot, I kept my eyes and ears open. A lot of things shocked me about the ways things work...I will leave that side of it there.
Lessons learned? Well let’s just say if I ran my own label, which I am thinking of doing shortly, the artists would be treated fairly paramount. I am all too aware of just what counts as a band meeting and what is just a pub lunch--and I can pay for my own beer.

GC: Is Autoclav1.1 your first project?

Tony: Yes and no, I was in many-a band as a kid. You know, playing bass or guitar. I was supposed to be doing a project called Satorii with Justin from this really cool label, Cold Spring. That was based on In Slaughter Natives and stuff like that. I adore Neo-Classical and crushing war-like beats. A demo was sort of done and that’s all we have done with it, and that was a couple of year ago. Justin is a cool bloke and maybe we will finish it one day.

GC: What has taken you so long to record and release a project?

Tony: I had so much going on with label work that writing an album never completely crossed my mind. I like music. It truly is everything and I don't mean to sound corny, but I just liked promoting and managing bands. I like guaranteeing a good night out with a band on stage that I love in a good venue with people around me I like...

GC: Have you worked with many other artists in the past?

Tony: I have had a LOT of studio time with other people. I do like remixing as well--but not really. There are proposals for Chuiy from Epidemia to send some beats for me to add music and then release it on a 12" picture disc. I really hope that comes off. I would love to remix Censor as well, he's awesome.

GC: Is the project with Chuiy going to be a collaborative project, or will it be released under Epidemia?

Tony: It will be a collaboration. Chuiy will supply pieces and I will construct with synths, etc... It will be cool, believe me...

GC: What inspired you to begin releasing music so seriously?

Tony: It was actually just going to be something to relax me. Then as I got better music programs it was just something that came out. It was inevitable I would end up getting more programs because I am such an utterly sad Mac geek. I am sure Owen (Brown) and I drive everyone else quite insane with our Mac rantings--either that or bore them stupid.

GC: Who is Owen Brown, and how did he become involved with the project?

Tony: Owen is one of my best friends. He's a worse geek than I am. We both took media in college, though years apart. We decided to start our own video company, Alternative Perspective. When I started doing Autoclav1.1 it made sense to have my friend on stage doing the thing he enjoys most (I think). Also, this way I wouldn’t feel like so much of an idiot either, instead of just standing on stage on my own.

GC: How would you describe your sound as Autoclav1.1, and is there a particular theme or direction you are going for?

Tony: I don't know, really. It could be IDM-ish, but I like ambient. The first two EPs are an experiment I did in Reason, which I now realize is way too muggy on the sound, but hey-ho the CD's are done. I have logic now and everything has changed again. It’s got more break-core and harsher beats. I listen to people. ESA Jamie said I need to work on my synth more so I did on these new tracks I’ve just completed and I can't believe that these are me. I am actually confident about it for once.
The problem is, you hear bands such as Keef Baker, Bitcrush, or Detritus and realize you want to sound like that because they are so bloody amazing. It’s a struggle to get there. Practice makes perfect I guess, and I have plenty of time.

GC: With your past working for Metal and EBM labels, why did you choose IDM and ambient?

Tony: Doesn't everyone in the industrial scene come from metal? Laughs.
I still like Iron Maiden and Slayer, they are tight as a ducks arse live, you know? I like a lot of styles under the industrial umbrella and I would love to try them all. I was in the Goth scene many years ago, too. I do love the break-core IDM stuff a hell of a lot, though. It induces emotions, and that is what I work on as a person. It’s how I am. You try listen to the Bitcrush album Enarc and you will end up struggling to hold back tears. Seriously. That may say more about me as a person though. Music moves me.

GC: Did you have any expectations going into Autoclav1.1?

Tony: If one person can turn around and say they like my music then everything has been achieved. I would like to carry on and write better songs. It’s fun, and if I can make more real friends out of it then that can only be a good thing.

GC: Why did you name your first release the No Protocol EP?

Because I literally didn’t have a protocol when I wrote it. No agenda, nothing. I think at the time I just wanted people to see individual tracks and try to make each one subtly different.

GC: How did you wind up working with NEIN records?

Tony: I do promotion for Nein records. Roberto is a really passionate guy. All The Mexicans I have met are the most friendly people you could talk to. He always sounds really excited, and that’s utterly cool. I asked if he was interested and he said yeah, so that was it really.

GC: No protocol was released on Diskus Fonografika though, correct? What’s the story behind that?

Tony: Yeah Diskus is a label run by Chuiy, who is Roberto's brother. He heard my music at Roberto's and was interested in a release. It’s a new label and I thought, “Sod it,” and released No Protocol through them, as it’s looking sweet with their roster. They have Rudra Vena and Armenia signed up. It’s gonna kill.

GC: How has the response been to No Protocol?

Tony: Steady I guess. I can't grumble. It is a little odd, though…I was in a club in London called Slimelight last night, at a gig I put on (Censor/Keef Baker-it was amazing!). I was walking around and a girl stopped me and said she got the CD. I couldn’t say anything but, “Thanks, really!” and gave her my beer.

GC: Have you had a lot of help or input from other artists on the No Protocol EP and your upcoming releases?

Tony: Jamie and Paul, who I mentioned above, and a hell of a lot from Josh of Scrap.edx. The man has helped me in more ways anyone will know, and more than just musically. I practically hinge myself on every word he says when I give him tracks. Scrap.edx is just amazing, period.

GC: How do you feel about No Protocol now, looking at it 4 months after its release?

Tony: It’s been that long? Crap! Where is this year going? I am happy I did it, also unhappy it wasn’t done in logic. I just hope people think it’s okay, see the next EP the same way, and the album as a big step in progression.

GC: You have 3 releases currently planned, what are the next two, and can you tell me anything about them?

Tony: The second EP, Indelible, is made of tracks I wrote over a couple of weeks, literally, after No Protocol. Again, if I don’t release them I will most likely regret it. I did get Keef Baker, Displacer, Scrap.edx, ESA, Epidemia and another cracking new artist, Triax to mix a track each, as well, to make it an extended EP. So that’s probably an extended, extended player. Laughs.
They all added something of their own in the mix, and I couldn’t be happier with what they have done.
At the end of the year there will hopefully be the album, When You Fall I Fail. The title pretty much sums up how I am. There are other lovely happy titles on there, as well, such as Meet me half way, and Tell me when to care, Tomorrow it rains, This is the hollow point, etc…You get the mood I am in generally. I can be a proper miserable bastard!

GC: Is there any thematic direction you were taking with these albums?

Tony: Mainly on Indelible. I wrote every song after seeing something on TV. I hate television. I only watch Film Four, Formula one, and the odd cartoon. Oh--Nip/Tuck wasn't bad, and neither was 24. God how sad am I? Laughs. With When You Fall I Fail I am building ambient structures with chimes, sounding pianos, and stuff. It’s hard work.

GC: How do you feel about playing your music live?

Tony: Apart from being shit scared? Seriously, it wasn't as bad as I thought. I will tell you a story. We played our second gig in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Dark City festival with Combichrist, Scrap.edx, Icon of Coil this year. It was stupidly hot on stage and I wear eyeliner, the liquid rubbish, on stage. It ran down my cheek into my eyes and I couldn’t see the bloody Powerbook.

GC: Do you plan on touring for the new/upcoming releases?

Tony: Tour?!Laughs.
I am playing in Rhode Island soon, and I also plan to do a show with Iszoloscope. There is talk of a show next year in Germany with Scrap.edx. I want Censor there for that, too.

GC: How is your live show set up? Do you have any specific approach to your show?

Tony: It’s a royal pain in the arse! I do all the music and Owen stands next to me on stage and does live visuals. It’s a swine to set up and if anyone gives you those low tables you feel about 50 years your age when you try stand up straight afterwards. We have a rock ‘n’ roll idea for live shows. Imagine when a rock band smashes a guitar. Well we have a geekier version. You will have to come see it to witness it. I want it to be a surprise in the states.

GC: What kind of equipment do you use?

Tony: At home I use an Imac and the beauty that is OSX. I use a Power Mac live, although I was green with envy at Mike's (Censor) new aluminum version. On top of that, I have an M-audio midi keyboard and a Kaoss Pad 2 which are brilliant. Owen uses a Power Book, a Sony PS1 screen for playback, a DVD player, a midi controller and way too much to go into, apart from the appalling amount of bags we carry when we go somewhere. It’s ridiculous.

GC: You're currently active in the scene beyond Autoclav1.1. Can you tell a little more about your work with Sentry and Alternative Perspective?

Tony: For Sentry, I was doing promotion for a few labels and management for bands, and thought it best to place it all under one umbrella. I am trying to give Sentry a protective seal of quality. So far every band I have brought over has been excellent, and if the reputation is that I put on good gigs, I can get some virtual unknowns some exposure because people will still then turn up.
Alternative perspective is the video company I mentioned before. We also do live beat match VJing in clubs, which is proving rather popular. It’s hard bloody work. The last festival we did took 50 hours of preparation time-each! It did look rather nice though. It’s all fun in the end. Sort of...

GC: Where do you find the time? That’s quite a load to take on…

Tony: My friend Jamie asked if was insane the other night when I was talking about it to him. It really does take time. I practically live in front of my computer. Sometimes you can just crack up. But this is what I want to do and I know Owen does, as well. So you just work at it.

GC: Do you have a day job?

Tony: I do. It’s a suit and tie job. Owen works with us and so does my friend, DJ Matt from Triax, so lunch is always cool. Labels in this scene don't make a serious amount of cash, let’s be fair. I do get money in from Sentry, and it ticks itself over nicely. Owen and I would love to do Alternative Perspective all the time, really--apart from me doing Sentry, which I do nearly every second of the day anyway. I love it. My day job does pay a fair whack I would be silly to ditch it now...

GC: What are your favorite things about working in the scene/industry at this point?

Tony: It’s music and music is good. It’s everything to me, apart from cats…Seriously though, my favourite thing is...Well, let’s put it this way: If I have the slightest bad feeling I won’t really get on with someone now, I won’t really bother. I want to be with friends and have us all have a good time together. I met Josh from Scrap.edx and Peter from Force of Nature records and I can't see them as anything but brothers now. I see them twice a bloody year because of the 4000 miles between us and when we meet up it’s like it was yesterday. Also when Yann from Iszoloscope was over and then Mike from Censor. In a short space of time you make a real friend and then they have to bloody go home, which really depresses me. That whole experience though makes EVERYTHING worth while. Another thing is people cheering for the bands I bring over. It’s a real buzz. If the band walks off happy then I am happy.

GC: How do things in the scene/industry compare for you from the time you began to now? You’ve had the chance to witness a lot…

Tony: A hell of a lot! And out of each bit of the scene they leave behind a couple of big bands who are still worth it when their current trend is out. Technology has played a huge part in sounds, but music really does go round in circles

GC: Do you have any concerns about the current state of the scene/industry?

Tony: Always. There is so much rubbish out there. People must be bloody deaf! Still somebody's probably saying that about me, now. Laughs

GC: So, what can we expect next from Tony Young and/or Autoclav1.1? Do you have any long-term plans in motion? Tony: The album after the Indelible EP. Some shows, catching up with friends, some videos, visuals, a proper EBM project. I’ll carry on I guess.

GC: A proper EBM project?

Tony: I am in talks with two other guys at the moment to do a proper Nitzer Ebb-style, true EBM project. Not all this synth-pop pretend EBM stuff. Me on vocals, Paul--who has this really cool project, EVA/3, whose album is out soon--doing all the beats and synth, and Jamie from ESA on guitar. ESA sounds like a much more interesting Converter to me and has a split with Scrap.edx out soon, as well. I can't imagine how big that is gonna sound...

GC: Thanks a lot for your time!


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