by Lauren Donnelly
Serendipity is more than an underrated movie starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. It’s also a real phenomenon; local power trio Autogramm is proof.
It all started when local music heavy-hitters Jiffy Marx, C.C. Voltage, and The Silo decided to create a vacation band. A vacation band is a musical group without lofty goals, but with “sunny destination gigs preferred” in their rider. With that, Autogramm was born. After recording an album, their first order of business was to play some shows. It was January in Vancouver, so they booked a flight to L.A.
“So we went down there and played,” says drummer The Silo over the phone from his Vancouver studio. “Afterwards, we bumped into this really drunk guy. He was like, ‘Hey, I really like your brand.’ And we kind of dismissed him as a drunk guy, but he got our contact info and then was like, ‘Yeah, I run a label, I’d like to put out your record.’”
The fellow that Autogramm ran into that fateful night turned out to be Nick Bernal, president of Nevado Records, who will be distributing the band’s soon-to-be-released debut album What R U Waiting 4 as an international release. It’s an impressive beginning for a band that was formed as a fresh start for seasoned musicians who wanted to jam together. The bandmates share a common love for early synth-leaden proto punk akin to bands like The Cars, The Go-Go’s, and The Screamers.
“[This band] is about starting over and doing something different,” says The Silo. “Right at the outset we decided it wasn’t going to be that serious. We were just going to try and do fun trips whenever we could. We never intended for any of this shit to happen.”
Autogramm’s early success makes a strong case for just doing what you like. They’ve already got Canadian and U.S. tour dates lined up into November. Their songs update nostalgia in all the right ways – most notably in the way that they don’t give a shit about being trendy. They’re themselves – they like what they like, and if the world likes it too, the more the merrier.
“It’s meant to be fun, really,” says The Silo. “That’s about it when it comes down to our band. We’re a vacation band. We just want to have fun, we want people to have fun at our gigs, and we want to go swimming more than any of those things.”
Autogramm perform September 13 at the Fox Cabaret (Vancouver) as part of Westward Festival.