Tony Young started writing music under the AUTOCLAV1.1 moniker in 2004. Since the first album released in 2005 on Crunch Pod, the creativity of the British artist has no limits. AUTOCLAV1.1 is a prolific project releasing new material nearly every single year. Dealing with different, but related music genres and influences like IDM, Industrial, Electro-Ambient ao Tony Young released his albums on different labels; the already mentioned Crunch Pod, Tympanik Audio, but also Hive Records and WTII Records. EP’s were released on other labels. This year AUTOCLAV1.1 joined hands together with Audiophob to unleash the new album “Nothing Outside”, which is without a shadow of a doubt the most intimate work so far. I talked with Tony Young about his new work and a few more things.
(by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: “Nothing Outside” has been released during the Covid-19 pandemic, which clearly also inspired this work. How do you as citizen and as artist experience this situation?
Tony: Yeah, this was written as the initial lockdown took hold over here. It’s been tough for everyone really; but I do have the luxury of enjoying my own company. As far as writing music is concerned, there has been little difference for me. I spend a lot of time just messing with music and not really recording it; and this album just came into being. I remember thinking I may write an EP of just piano and Ambient music and when I started I just got out the bass guitar and then of course, beats followed. Covid-19 or no Covid19 there would have been a new album; just probably with a different concept if there hadn’t been a pandemic.
Q: The album also wants us to reflect about what is going on in the world, but I’m afraid less politicians and/or leaders feel really concerned. What’s your critical perception about it all and how do you see things evolving? Do you also see positive things evolving?
Tony: Well, it’s more about my own experiences and environment really than asking anyone else to reflect. It would be cool if it has meant something to anyone else though with regards to his or her own personal experiences in this time. As far as how the pandemic has been dealt with… well, our government has been shocking from start to finish. They’re a bunch of over privileged Tories who just look out for their own; and are now maxing out on an opportunity to stamp out those less fortunate. I wouldn’t have expected anything less from a UK Conservative government. I don’t see anything positive on the horizon really. It makes me wish I lived in New Zealand. The UK really is a shambles; and with the compete clusterfuck of Brexit tag-teaming with the pandemic, it’s only gonna get worse.
Q: I’m not affirming that you reinvented the AUTOCLAV1.1-sound at “Nothing Outside”, but the composition sounds more intimate and Cinematographic than ever before, which is probably due to the piano play and arrangements. What did you try to accomplish and did you handle specific references and/or criteria to compose the album?
Tony: I do try to make each release different, but in all honesty, when I start a new album I have no real idea how it’s going to end up sounding at the start, with just a general impression of what I am after.
I wasn’t really planning of having a lot of piano in my newer songs; and “Makeshift Splint” was my first in a while where I only utilized it a small amount. However, I was having an afternoon just playing around with piano giving my fingers a workout, so to speak; and I just hit record and it went from there. I really enjoyed making this one. Song titles are personal reference points in my home environment, apart from the non-piano track “Hiraeth”, which was a nostalgia-fest for me personally speaking. There’s so much I write that I normally just bin; but for the first time ever, I was genuinely happy with everything I was writing. There’s so much I have released in the past that was below par; and if I had chance to re-write a couple of those albums with what I know now programming wise, I would.
Q: You’re a prolific artist, but you don’t exactly repeat yourself; it feels like every single album reveals new ideas while it remains difficult to label your music as one specific music genre. How comes you’re that prolific and where does this eclecticism comes from?
Tony: I listen to a lot of styles of music; and this keeps new ideas forming in my head. I haven’t listened to anything really Industrial in a long time and a lot of my songs are written in the formula of a lot of music I listen to. I listen to more guitar-based music than electronic really. Don’t get me wrong, I still listen to Dark-Ambient and stuff like that; but you’re more likely to catch me blasting out New Model Army, The Wonderstuff, PWEI and The Mission over any Industrial band nowadays. Although I still adore Coil and Swans.
I like to think an appreciation of different styles means I am going to be more adventurous when I write. Although I know I can’t write as well as half the bands I listen to.
Q: As I just said you’re a prolific artist and even started a side-project NATURA EST together with Andreas Davids from XOTOX. What does this project bring you next to AUTOCLAV1.1 and what makes the chemistry between you and Andreas?
Tony: Andy is one of my best friends. We don’t see each other much, but it doesn’t really matter. I always wanted to do a Dark-Ambient project, knowing one day I will stop writing Autoclav1.1; so I wanted a project that seemed more fitting of someone growing older.
I knew Andy liked his Dark-Ambient stuff too. I asked him just the once, if he wanted to do this and got an emphatic ‘Yes!’ immediately. We work well together and I don’t see it as a side-project. It is its own beast, running on its own steam. The possibilities are endless; and we cannot wait for “Real Seasons” to be released. I think because Andy and I have a different style of writing on our respective solo-projects, it filters into a different kind of Dark-Ambient when we combine the stems we write. “We both have had the same vision when writing each album too. I am really proud of the project and I know he is too. There’s a lot of snobbery within Dark-Ambient circles as with other scenes, but we appear to have got our followers now.
Q: Covid-19 is definitely a curse for artists, but don’t you think it’s also a kind of blessing? An opportunity to work on new material, remixes, clips, revisiting old- and/or unachieved songs? What brings the future for AUTOCLAV1.1?
Tony: In no way, shape or form is this a blessing; but I think I see where you are coming from. As far as writing goes, it shouldn’t have an impact on anyone writing Electronic music as most have their own home studios. But I can definitely see how it affects bands playing live. I have missed many a show this year and I am sure I won’t see many next year either.
The future of Autoclav1.1? Who knows? I always say after each release that it will be my last; but I always find myself playing my bass or keyboards one miserable Yorkshire afternoon, where I more often than not, hit the record button once more.