1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
In addition to promoting the new album as much as possible, we have actually been working on new music for the next album since and even before the release of the new album. We currently have close to 43 minutes of new music composed already. With luck we should have another album ready at the start of 2020 if all goes well.
2.Early this year you had released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
The two major differences are that unlike the earlier music which was more darkwave / gothic influenced and mainly supported with synth based music, the new music is more cinematic / classical in style rooted more in actual composition. The main difference, and this was always one of my goals with Autumn Tears, is that now all the music is recorded with all live classical instruments as opposed to keyboards or sound libraries / VST.
3.Before 2018 you had taken a 10 year hiatus from releasing music, do you feel their has been a lot of changes since then with the way people have changed in the music industry over the years?
Absolutely it has changed dramatically. For one, compact discs sales are nothing like they were 10 years ago. Everything is digital now. When we first started back in 1995, we were able to sell so many CDs back then, and even 10 years ago. Now it's all itunes, spotify, pandora, etc. I realize times change but I guess I'm old school where I still appreciate have the actual physical CD, or better yet, vinyl.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored with the newer music and also how would you describe your progress as a songwriter over the years?
The new album, and even the EP "The Origin of Sleep" before that, are part of a larger concept based on the idea of the universe and the birth and of the goddess Gaia. I wanted to write something more meaningful and mature than much of the older, darker themes that were the root on Autumn Tears philosophy back in the 90s. Back then it was more of a trend to try and be as dark and depressing as possible with music, but i'm 48 now and quite happy, and want to touch on concepts that are on a much deeper level. Same goes with the songwriting. I've pent the last 10 years studying music composition so when we finally did make a comeback, the music would be so much more than it had been in the past.
5.I remember in the mid 90's and early 2000's the band would get a lot of press in the metal scene while being of a complete different genre, do you feel their is a lot of similarities between goth, classical and the more darker forms of metal?
I definitely feel there are many similarities and a lot of crossover interest between the genres. Back then (and even still) I was very much into the underground metal scene so I decided to take a chance and promote Autumn Tears in that market. It seems nowadays there are a lot of classical / metal bands so I think they style still fits like a glove. I'm not sure how much of a goth scene there really is anymore compared to the 90s but I know Project records is still around and they were one of the giants of the scene back then.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The cover was painted by an amazing Polish artist that I discovered named Graszka Paulska (https://www.facebook.com/graszkapaulskaart). Her paintings are exquisite and I felt her style was the perfect visual representation for the music. The imagery captures exactly how I want the songs to be represented. Her artwork also graces the cover of the Autumn Tears - Convalescence: A Retrospective Official 2018 compilation CD that was released last year on Dark Vinyl Records.
7.On the new album you worked with 30 different musicians, can you tell us a little bit more about how you went with this process and also do you feel it made the music sound a lot more powerful?
From when I first began Autumn tears in 1995, It had always been my dream and goal to one day use real classical instruments instead of keyboards and sound libraries for the music. Back then it was never really feasible with our humble budget or experience. We slowly started to employ organic instruments for the first time on the 2004 album "Eclipse", with the introduction of woodwinds and Contrabass. Then in 2007 for 'The Hallowing", we added some violins. After our 10 year hiatus, our comeback offering "The Origin of Sleep" was our first fully organic release employing a full string, horn and woodwind section as well as orchestral production. With the new 2019 album "Colors Hidden Within the Gray", we took it a step further by adding some ethnic and world instruments to diversify our sound, yet still retain that cinematic, orchestral feel which is grander and more powerful than any music we have released previously. For example, the song "The Day of Wrath" on the new album has 64 individual instrument tracks, something that we have never attempted before.
8.At one you also ran the 'Dark Symphonies' label,is there anything going on with that label these days?
I actually still run the Dark Symphonies label 24 years later, although now we no longer run a mail order or distro, and we specialize exclusively in classic thrash and death metal reissues on CD, as well and continue to serve as a home for Autumn Tears. In 2009 we opened a sub label - "The Crypt" which specializes exclusively in vinyl reissues of classic metal titles.
9.On a worldwide level how have your long time fans reacted to the musical style that is presented on the new album?
I am extremely thankful that everyone seems to have embraced the new style wholeheartedly from what I have seen and heard so far. Essentially I feel that we are still the same project and have not changed so drastically to have forgotten our roots, rather have just have expanded and matured in our style and sound. It's Autumn Tears 2.0!
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I definitely want to keep moving forward in the same direction, with fully orchestrated organic music, but if my ambition allows, I hope to make the scope of the project even more grand than it is now with even more musicians and vocalists. I suppose it is all a matter of how successful the project is and what the future budget will allow as we are still very much and independent act and self finance everything at this point.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Most of the influences from the newest album come mainly from classical masters both old and new, including Vaughan Williams, Albonini, Arvo Pärt, Max Richter, Ólafur Arnalds, Mahler, Barber and of course Jóhann Jóhannsson. As far as what I listen to now, in addition to many of the great composers I still listen to a lot of classic underground death and thrash metal, as well as a good healthy dose of Devin Townsend.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
I love illustration, film, nature walks, reading, and bing watching netflix shows!
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I want to thank you again for this interview and the opportunity to share words with our fans. We apologize for having been gone so long, but we are definitely back for good now!