Signal is the debut album from LA trio Automatic, and it’s a little hard to define in words; it’s just one of those things you have to listen to. It’s eleven tracks that combine all of the members’ stylistic influences, for a wide-ranging sound that touches everything from dub reggae to motorik rhythms to gnarly synth work, all with eerie overtones inspired by filmmakers like David Lynch. It’s a lot to take in, but it’s truly great.
In anticipation of the record, the band sat down to talk Daft Punk, drumming in pants, and Pulp Fiction in the latest Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
Bank Robbery Anthem Rock.
It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?
Obviously cool, new, different, classic…
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
We don’t know yet! Automatic world tour 2020?
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
There’s not one single person that has been singularly influential to any of us. It’s a mash-up of all our slightly differing tastes, and each of our tastes are their own umbrellas that influence the music we make.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
Probably Los Angeles for me. Looking forward to going to Italy to eat though.
What album do you know every word to?
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
Daft Punk Coachella 2006. All my friends were there… we danced so much.
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
Lola doesn’t like to drum in pants.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
@rickeythompson, he is a light in this dark dark world.
What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?
What’s the last thing you Googled?
What the Spice Girl album is called.
What album makes for the perfect gift?
Depends on who the recipient is, of course.
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
It wasn’t with Automatic, but when I tagged along on Froth’s tour in Europe for a week we stayed at one of those venues in Europe that has rooms for the artists. I had never been to one and it freaked me out that they lock you in after they leave. And it was huge and totally haunted and dirty. I won’t name it though.
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
It’s this little stick and poke circle I gave myself when I was 17 because my mom decided to get her first tattoo at 50 and I wanted to beat her but I wasn’t legally old enough to get one, nor did I have any ideas. I can’t remember why it was a competition. People have asked me if it’s ringworm.
What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
Modern English – “Melt With You”… Any 90’s hip-hop.
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
Shown me good music.
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
You could get away with working a little less.
What’s the last show you went to?
Massive Attack at the Palladium!
What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
Anything with Blake Lively in it… Pulp Fiction. It’s always on!
What would you cook if Kanye were coming to your house for dinner?
Banana Pudding, something liberal.
Signal is out September 27 on Stones Throw Records. Get it here.