Autumn and the Wasp
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Autumn and the Wasp

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Flint dance-rock band Autumn and the Wasp shows no sign of hibernation this winter. Touring the state relentlessly, with four shows in West Michigan alone this month at the Division Avenue Arts Cooperative in Grand Rapids Dec. 2, Eagles Hall in Muskegon Dec. 3, Lemonjellos in Holland Dec. 9, and The Center in Ionia Dec. 10, the band wants to make concertgoers sweat even when it’s snowing outside.

“The weather as always in Michigan has its setbacks, but so far we’ve been in the clear,” lead guitarist/vocalist Matt Davis said. “We’re just ready to spread our sound to as many ears as possible, and we figure we might as well begin close to home and get ourselves a name in our home state.”

Autumn and the Wasp began at the end of summer 2004 when the band members’ previous groups called it quits. Davis, bassist/vocalist Chad Horton and drummer/vocalist Chris July, all formerly of Calling All Heroes, started Autumn and the Wasp as the last band they would ever play in, not letting any of the outside factors ending their last band affect their new one. Looking for a lead vocalist to fill out their sound, they soon tried out ex-For The Best vocalist Randy Meteyer. He brought his keyboard as accompaniment to his audition and after getting the lead vocal spot wouldn’t stop bringing it. Soon, his efforts had everyone singing.

“When lyrics came along it was just apparent that more than one voice would fill out the sound and emotion more,” Davis said about the band’s unique, four-person vocal harmonizing. “So as time passed everyone fell into their own and started singing. Our song ‘From Pilates to Karate’ was the first song that really let us know we were on to something.”

With influences ranging from Minus The Bear, Coheed and Cambria and Fairweather to The Beatles, Boston, Journey and Fleetwood Mac, the band let its own sound, dance-rock, come naturally. However, with frantic punk-rock energy colliding with dance-house keyboards and the band’s love of melody, Autumn and the Wasp was not immediately embraced by the harsh, unforgiving, hardcore-dominated music scene in Flint.

“The scene itself is like the city…it’s slowly dying,” Davis said. “The bands that have been around and that bring in people get all of the support, which leaves the young bands starting out no way to become known. It’s pretty sad because there are some amazing musicians in Flint, but they just aren’t allowed the resources to get their sound out. As far as how we fit in the Flint scene, we really don’t. The scene is mainly made up of hardcore/screamo acts. We’re suckers for melody, and the scene is full of suckers for chug chugs and squealies, and obscure indie.”

Luckily Autumn and the Wasp did find a few friendly faces within the Flint scene, most notably The Skyline Obscura, who introduced the band to Dave Tucker, owner of Michigan-based label Lakehouse Records. Tucker listened to the band’s three-song demo (available at all of their shows) and after a few meetings on his pontoon boat, the band agreed to join his roster. In October, they began recording their first full-length at Lakehouse Studios and will continue work on it through January in between their many tour dates across the state. They hope to have the 10-song disc released by early next spring.

“Our music means so much to us and we let it be known,” Davis said. “There are no gimmicks, no fire-spitting, back flips and no choreography. We’re not putting on a circus act; our goal is to make a connection with our audience. Music to us is an emotional release, we want the kids that come see us to be able to completely let go of all the horrible things in life that weigh them down and steal from who they are. That sort of therapy is why we got into playing music. The bands that really matter to us got us through the hardest times in our lives. We now want to payback what was given to us, and allow a channel for our fans to release.”

For even more Autumn and the Wasp tour dates elsewhere in Michigan, visit their web site, autumnandthewasp.com.

December 2005 - Recoil Magazine, www.recoilmag.com


Emerging from the urban chaos of Flint, all sound and fury signifying dance come Autumn and the Wasp.

The four-piece, featuring guitarist Matt Davis, bassist Chad Horton, keyboardist Randy Meteyer and drummer Chris July, formed in 2004, after the break-up of two other bands. Vocal duties are split between the members, with Davis taking lead vocals and Meteyer adding interstitial singing in a register usually reserved for Coheed and Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez or Rush’s Geddy Lee. Their vocal prowess is exemplified in “From Karate to Pilates,” which climaxes in a kaleidoscopic round of all four voices.

Autumn and the Wasp play with the emotional energy of their influences, Motion City Soundtrack and Coheed and Cambria, injected with hip-shaking rhythms and spacey synthesizers. It’s a sound that could seem jarring, but Davis said this gives the band a leg up.

“It’s nice 'cause we can play with any genre of music and still hold our own,” said Davis. “Also, fans of any genre are able to grasp on to some parts of the songs 'cause we cover the entire spectrum.”

They may have come along during an influx of dance-oriented rock bands, but Davis said Autumn and the Wasp should not be lumped in with the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party or The Killers.

“When we first were mentioned as dance rock, we were thrown in with those bands, but once you take a listen you catch on to our originality,” he said. “At this time in music, to have those bands be popular, gives us that edge to put our foot in the door so we’ll grab people’s ears, but allows us to keep them listening.”

What lies ahead for Autumn and the Wasp? The recording of a full-length album, a “hectic schedule of shows in Michigan,” and a cross-country jaunt once recording is finished.

“Our show is always high energy and we give as much as we can to all of our fans,” said Davis. “No matter how big or small the audience.”

To find out when you can catch these guys next, check out their Web site at www.autumnandthewasp.com.

-- Erik Adams - The Big Green, www.thebiggreen.net


Discography

Three-song remastered promotional demo available now!
1. Put Em in a Bodybag, Johnny!
2. You're Doing It, Peter!
3. From Pilates to Karate

Recorded at Sentient Studios with Mark Michalik
www.sentientstudio.com

Released independently spring 2004.

Tracks from the demo have been played at Impact89FM in East Lansing, WIDR-FM in Kalamazoo, SayHy Radio in Brighton, and various other local and college radio stations.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Every beginning has an end. The beginning of Autumn means the end of the wasp. But with the evolution comes change and the wasp will one day not succumb to death.

From the ashes of "Calling All Heroes" and "For the Best" comes an evolution of new music. Playing for a cumulative of 19 years, this progressive pop quartet from Mt. Morris, Michigan is sick of dead ends and dissapointment.

Autumn and the Wasp has been on a mission since their formation in the Summer of 2004, and that mission is to play feel good music with an edge. The progression of time has lead to band after band trying to sound like something that has already been done. This four piece has other plans, however.

Autumn and the Wasp does not like staying in the lines and brings back an aspect of music that has been dying...music with catchy melodies but with a splash of complexity. The compassion held for their music can be seen by each individual member as they express themselves through their instruments. With all four members singing, and a very unique vocal range, AATW brings a fresh new sound to the music scene. Combining their experiences from seasons past with their never ending passion for music, the members of Autumn and the Wasp are ready to begin a new season of providing "feel-good" music with an edge.