High Five! from Autumn Owls
It was just another afternoon in Dublin, Ireland, when Gary McFarlane, Will Purtill, and Paul Bermingham converted an old shed into a recording space, penned a handful of lyrics, and began working on their 2008 debut EP, Insomnia Lodge. The trio better known as Autumn Owls quickly followed up with their second EP, On The Trail of Disappearing, before hitting the road in support of Devotchka, Early Day Miners, and Real Estate. With several Irish radio and television performances under their belt, North American audiences welcomed the band with open arms during their full US tour and spotlight shows at SXSW and NXNE in 2010. Although Autumn Owls are currently hard at work putting the last minute touches on their first full length record due out later this year, Gary McFarlane took a breather from his latest recording session to tell us about the five things he loves most.
1. Late Night Pedal Board Antics
I like to connect every effect pedal the band has in our recording space and assemble an almighty pedal board that can range between 15 and 20 different effects. From there, I’ll plug in a guitar or bass and let the feedback wail while I adjust and change settings on each pedal, without having any real idea of what I'm doing. This can sometimes result in some delightfully strange and terrifying sounds. Then, I’ll press record and listen to the weirdness. For some reason, this particular sonic endeavor works best between the hours of 2 am and 4 am.
2. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
This is one my favorite books and I have only recently finished it after revisiting the author's work once again. Published in 1961, the story focuses on a young couple living in 1950's American suburbia and their desperate craving to be extraordinary. As a beautifully written and devastatingly poignant text, for me, this is every bit as powerful as The Great Gatsby.
3. Meanies by KP
Meanies are a cheap Irish corn snack made by KP. The nasty pickled onion flavor is essential for both lunchtime recording and late night sound experiments. Although the scent can prove to be divisive to the general public, this crisp has had an influence on the band and the recording of our album.
4. James Markey
James is my two year old nephew and the band’s unofficial forth member. The little man likes to drop in during recording and remind us all that he is the boss. Blessed with natural swagger and rock ‘n roll golden locks, he exudes more charisma than the three of us put together. James even made a toy piano feedback cameo on one of our songs. He’s definitely an artist with an attitude and one to look out for in the future.
5. Sneaky Dee's
Sneaky Dee’s is a cool and cozy-sized music venue, which doubles as a delicious Mexican restaurant in the Kensington area of Toronto, Ontario. We have been in Toronto a couple of times now and we always spend a lot of time here. With the nice atmosphere, great hangover food, good music, and cheap beer, what else could one ask for?
This week's High Five! is brought to you by: Gary McFarlane of Autumn Owls with Lauren Mercury Roberts
To celebrate the end of the nine to five, a Green Light Go staff member or artist will leave you with their short list of favorite things, better known as the High Five!