Autogramm - Merging Musical Histories

Sometimes you need to look to the past to move into the future. As musicians that have played in a ton of successful and varied projects throughout the years, the three fresh fellows that make up Autogramm have embraced that sentiment. Drawing from the traditions of late 70s and early 80s pop and punk rock power trios, the band has found a fresh and fun take on modern pop music that doesn’t feel at all dated. From the brash opening of “Jessica Don’t Like Rock ’n’ Roll” from their debut album What R U Waiting 4?, the band sets the tone for what’s to come, chiming bouncy guitars, propelling drums and perfect Moog-y synth solos mixed in with some of the most immensely sing-along vocal melodies around. “All of us grew up in the 80s and have an appreciation for that music,” says vocalist and multi instrumentalist Jiffy Marx when reached on the phone from his Vancouver home. “We all just like to play rock 'n' roll music and it’s a fun band to play in.” Jiffy explains that the three musicians have known each other for years, sharing stages with their various projects, which include heavy hitting luminaries such as Black Mountain, Hard Drugs, Lightning Dust and Destroyer. “We are just all old friends and had a similar idea of what we wanted to do at this point,” he explains. “It’s all gone far beyond our expectations. It was just for fun, start a band that doesn’t tour and just plays on our vacations.” This playing on only vacation time though has turned into a bunch of actual touring. “We’ve done a ton of dates out east with label mates Gringo Star. It was super fun, we hadn’t met the band before but they were all sweet guys and a great band but that was a series of dates, playing almost every day so it definitely felt more like work at that point and not vacation.”

That being said, Jiffy and his bandmates, CC Voltage and drummer The Silo, couldn’t be more excited about this new project. The guys had gotten together with old songs that they had written while in some of their other bands. Bands that seemingly are very different from Autogramm. “Although we were really purposefully drawing on bands from the 70s and 80s pop and punk scenes, you can’t help have all the previous bands we’ve played in have an influence on the music that we make,” says Marx. “We all brought our musical histories with us. Silo has more of the post punk knowledge and CC the New Wave aspect. A lot of the stuff we wrote for this record was a lot of things that we had on the back burner. Songs that we thought were maybe too poppy or silly for other projects.” Not that the record feels silly at all. Even though touchstones like The Cars and Gary Numan do loom large over the proceedings the songs do manage to feel modern. 

“The three of us do need to work around each other's schedules still,” Marx explains, when asked about what’s coming up next for the band. “The Silo is a full time musician and producer that has his own studio and we all work day jobs and need to balance that with having families, but we will be hitting the road more again in the new year.” Autogramm just returned from a west coast American tour and will be heading back down to California and Mexico come the new year. These tropical destinations seem like the perfect spots for Autogramm to share their sunny, poppy songs although the band is so good at what they do that they could easily make Moncton in January feel like Los Angeles in June. 

Photo: Ryan Walter Wagner

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