A Return From Slumber: An Interview With Autumn Tears (gothic/darkwave/neo-classical)

Autumn Tears have always produced a uniquely blended gothic/neo-classical style.  Their a1511242060_16Love Poems For Dying Children trilogy had left an indelible mark on the underground music scene. 

After a 10-year silence, they have awakened from slumber with a new EP, The Origins Of Sleep.  As welcome as their return has been to Autumn Tears’ cult-like following, we wanted to dive deeper into the “whys” for the silence and to find out more about the new release.  

We are very grateful to Ted from Autumn Tears for taking time to answer a few of our questions. 

Please check out Autumn Tears via the Bandcamp link at the bottom of the interview.

Ok the big question…  Why a 10 year break and  Why did you decide to return now?  Did you experience some sort of creative catalyst that re-inspired you?

Well the main reason for the break was just that life in general got in the way and there seemed to be very little time to do much of anything creative. I went back to my illustration for a few years from 2012-2015, which I had originally stopped doing in the 90s, and transferred my creativity into Autumn Tears, so now I think the cycle has started again. This time I plan on focussing all my time and creativity on the music which is of course my passion, plus I had the 10 years to really study music more and hone my composition skills. 

Did anything happen after Dark Symphonies and the “Hallowing” EP that left you kind of disillusioned?

Not particularly no. I just got rather busy with life and kind of got sidetracked for a while. I did start up the label again in 2009, but focused mainly on reissuing classic metal on vinyl. Then in 2014 I started releasing CDs again as well, so I supposed revisiting Autumn Tears was to be inevitable.

You’d mentioned that “the Origin of Sleep” contains material that was exclusive and would not be included on the LP due later in 2018.  But is there a general theme to the EP?

The theme is actually intertwined with the upcoming album, part of a larger vision, dealing in part with the cosmos, the earth, life, death and celestial entities. It’s grander and more in depth than anything we have ever done before.

It almost seems as if “the Origin of Sleep” has a much more personal, intimate feel to it as opposed to say the “Love Songs for Dying Children” series.  Was that a conscious decision?

Absolutely. I wanted the new material to reflect who I am and what I feel now in present day, rather than rehash any older ideas which have been exhaustively explored back in the 90’s. The Origin of Sleep”as well as “Colors Hidden with the Gray” expand upon a much more personal journey, and a natural progression, whereas the older material had dealt with more fictitious storylines and themes. Also the new material isn’t quite as dark and depressing as the earlier works.

The cover of the new EP looks oddly familiar and if nothing else, pretty evocative.  Can you talk about that for a moment? 

The concept of the cover is “other worldly” or “cosmic” mother which ties directly into the lyrics, the story and the entire theme, but not so much in a literal sense, rather a more as a symbolic gesture. The EP cover is a prelude, and will fully evolve into it’s final form on the upcoming album.

What has changed in terms of your studio equipment/approach since your last release?  Your inclusion of a full string and horn section is new, correct?

Actually now we utilize a full chamber orchestra including live strings , woodwinds, live percussion and horns, whereas in the past we still heavily relied on synth and virtual instruments for the music.  My goal was to one day realize Autumn Tears with full organic sound and instrumentation, as well more symphonic and classically influenced, and 23 years later, we are finally able to do so. 

You have some new blood on the EP.  What can you tell us about them and how they came to be a part of the project or contributed to the initial inspiration?

Well like anything, we are not the same people we were 20 years ago, and obligations and priorities change as we all have more responsibilities, so it was time to have new people who could commit to the project as well as be able to adapt to the vision and ideas of what the project is now.


Doing a little history… for those who might not know, could you explain the meaning of the “Love Songs for Dying Children” title?

“Love Poems for Dying Children”  was at it’s roots, loosely a vampire story, which is of course very cliché but in the 90s and at the age I was at, it was very interesting to me at the time, so I wanted to express those ideas through poetry and music. Like anything it had evolved into a story dealing more with the changing seasons, until it’s natural conclusion with the 3rd release in the trilogy, “Winter and the Broken Angel”.

Since ten years ago, the music scene has undoubtedly changed with people buying far less numbers of CDs.  How have you adapted?  Or do you find that not much has changed and that people interested in this music still very much would like physical product?

Physical CDs most definitely do not sell like they did in the 90s, however I am old school and still like to have the actual product so we are still manufacturing Autumn Tears CDs, but are also distributing it digitally as well, to “adapt” with the times.

Aside from the LP due out in 2018, what other plans might you have?

To just continue writing new music and hopefully release a number of albums in the future. 

Should we be anticipating any Autumn Tears life shows or do you think that the dynamics of all involved in the studio project may not translate to a live show?

As all of the members not only live in different parts of the country, but also some live on different continents, so live performances would not be feasible so we remain a studio project as before. 

Many many years from now, a very distant relative locates a box inside the attic of an old home.  In the box they find an Autumn Tears discography and something to play it on.  What do you hope this person learns of the Autumn Tears legacy simply from listening to your work?

I hope that can feel the passion and emotion that we put into the releases and be able to fully immerse and experience them as they were intended. 



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