Have we done a Lithuanian band before? I’m not sure. Well, in case we haven’t then we have now! Welcome Autism…
We are coming from Vilnius, Lithuania.
How did you meet?
It is probably just like any other boring story of how the band meets. Autism started as a bedroom studio project done by Tomhetas (me) in 2012. I recorded one EP and one full album at that time. In 2014 Karolis (guitar player) had a casual talk with Tme and suggested to start jamming in the studio and maybe form a band. The decision was made to try and play some of the tracks from the album just to warm up, but one thing led to the other and Autism became a full, live playing band.
How long have you been playing as a band?
So as a full band we started rehearsing sometime around 2015. We decided to play The Crawling Chaos album as it was done as a studio project before, so I guess it was a nice way to create some chemistry between us.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
I get asked this question quite a lot, and I received some quite negative comments about the title I’ve chosen. Anyhow, I’ve named this project because of pure fascination, excitement and admiration of autistic people. Since I saw Rain Man I was very fascinated by the human mind, and what little we know about it. People like Kim Peek, Derek Paravicini, Stephen Wiltshire or Daniel Tammet are only few of all the autistic people with incredible “powers”. And yes, I know that for the majority of people autism is a very scary and unpleasant disorder to talk or think about. But I find it quite inspirational, because I somehow feel, that each autist has something extraordinary and magical going on their mind that we cannot understand. To me , it somehow relates to the real life people with superpowers, which comes from the fantasy stories, movies or comics, although I know it sounds a bit strange.
What are your influences?
I think it comes from various different places. Our musical tastes are quite similar, yet each of us brings different flavours of the post metal / post rock / hardcore, progressive rock or event dark ambient genres to the table.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
In a broad sense we play instrumental post metal, but for example in the new album for the first time we introduced some vocals, dark ambient / noize textures and even saxophone. What makes us unique? Thats a tough one… Probably the spoken word narration or samples from different events is what is consistent from the beginning of this band.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Well, we are mostly an instrumental band, so it would be kinda difficult to talk about the lyrical themes. In previous album we used audio samples from real life events, like the Jonestown tragedy or Stanford prison experiment. So the core of the narration is quite a dark one. And in the new album Have you found peace? we decided to create a twisted short story about the six letters being sent to an old friend who that whole time was missing. It’s a very interesting and a little cinematic concept.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We try to play as often as it is possible. At our last shows we supported Rosetta in Latvia and Lithuania, which was a really cool experience, because this band was a big influence for us. Right now we are getting ready to do the official album release shows which will happen in March. Really looking forward to it.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I’m not sure if we could call it a wild thing, but it was surely a one to remember. In early 2018 we had a small tour with our good friends ROSK from Poland. A day or two before the first gig we decided to ask if Krzysztof (vocalist in ROSK) would join us on stage and improvise some vocals for our then new track. He was very excited about the whole idea and the result was so amazing that we decided to invite him as a guest appearance for the whole new record.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Our tuning is in B minor and for guitars we use a Japanese Tokai Les Paul and a 7 string Jackson. Sovtek mig100h and Marshall Modern Vintage amps, running through an old Orange 4×12 and a DIY 2×12 cabinet with some vintage Celestion greenbacks. Linas, our bass player uses a Marshall Silver Jubilee bass amp and japanese Fender Jazz Bass. And all of use of course plenty of guitar pedals.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We have just released our latest album Have you found peace? and we are putting all the energy in promoting this release.
What are your plans for 2019?
Right now we are trying to book us a European tour for autumn of 2019 and we really hope that it will happen. Fingers crossed.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
The first bands that popped to my mind were ROSK and Devin Townsend Project. That would be really a cool gig haha.