XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: As you know, we just released the new album; ‘Howls in the Forest at Dusk’. We are setting up some summer tour dates with Canadian band Deep Dark River, and a plan is coming together to re-imagine, from a contemporary perspective, the very first Forever Autumn release from 2001 with a hopeful release in 2021 as a 20th-anniversary record.
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: The band has been together since late 2000, but to be fair it was just me, Autumn Ni Dubhghaill, at that point. It wasn’t until about 2005 when I began to add more people to the band.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: I am from a small area and in early days I had been frustrated that no one was or wanted to do what I did. So, I struck out on my own to make the music that I am called to make and bring Acoustic Doom to the world.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: I have no proper musical background. Everything I play I have taught myself. By now I have experience with a multitude of instruments. I have felt my way along this path and it has been fruitful.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: I believe that the images my music conveys are those of the World Between Worlds, of strange and different places, of ritual and dream. Some report being taken to an altered state during Forever Autumn performances. I recall my very first review. It was in a Polish magazine just starting up, called Shroud of Woe. In it, and I quote, the imagery evoked was thus; “recommended listening; In the Autumn, at Dusk, in a deserted forest.”
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: Goals for the next few years… I intend to release, ideally, another two albums in that time, as well as performances and small tours. Within this time, I am hoping to reach the next level of Forever Autumn, what ‘ere that may entail.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: My goals have always been simple; to bring my music to the worlds in hopes that it reaches those who could most benefit from it as well as the being able to support myself comfortably doing what I love.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: That is a difficult question. I do enjoy both. Writing new songs can be its own joy, but performing can as well, especially for a good crowd. There are great rewards to both but I may just slightly side more with the performance. The performance provides the ability to see first-hand if the crowd digs it, whereas the recording process doesn’t give much feedback.
XS ROCK: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: Another difficult question. I don’t often think about this, I just write, sing, and create. Now that I am at my thinking I could say that my songs tend to bring shamanic teachings back from the other world to share with those who will listen and most benefit from them. Many come from a dream, trance, in spirit and interactions with the natural and preternatural worlds. My songs touch on the ancient past, story and mythology and the ways of our ancestors.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: Outrageous you say? I can dig one up. Some years ago we were on tour with Italian band The Spiritual Bat. At one of the shows, well, I had forgotten my shoes. How can one forget their shoes you ask? Well, I often do not wear them, especially in the summer months. So we had loaded into the venue and a noise band was taking a long long time to set up so I went for a walk with Rosetta and Dario from the Spiritual Bat. When we returned to the venue there was now a very large, dour man standing by the door. He wouldn’t let me back in without shoes even though I pleaded with him, explaining that we were playing that night and all my gear was already inside. He would not budge on the issue, but Rosetta had a plan. She went back to the car and found a pair of her shoes. Now, I am six feet tall and she is, well… not. So somehow I contorted my feet just enough to barely fit in her shoes. that was enough for the door guy and I made it back in.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: One fan wanted to pretend he was a werewolf and chase me through the woods. Little does he know that it is HE who would have become the hunted. Another time a fan wanted me to follow him home and “do a reading” for him. I tend to get my fair share of creepos at my performances. There seems to be one at every show.
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: Supportive enough. They did come to some of my earliest performances and never berated me for my passions
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: I enjoy playing ‘Hagalaz Can’s See My Dreams’, ‘All My Relations’ and ‘Tir na nOg’. ‘A Sadness on Winter Leaving’ always goes over well and the howling section of ‘Ragnarok’ tends to be a crowd pleaser.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: I don’t know if I can really state a performer who inspired me to perform. It’s something I enjoy doing when it is my own work and I am passionate about it. Whilst writing, David Bowie crossed my mind, not just in performance but in most of what he did. I could say that he taught me that you can do whatever you want as long as you believe in it.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: Hmm… I think that it would be fun to play with Christian Death (with Rozz of course) and/or Death in June. We’d have to get some good solid doom in there too and I would likely choose Skepticism.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: Greatest accomplishment musically or in general? Either way, it’s hard to choose. I would suppose that that accomplishment could be how far I have come within my art and music. It’s been a long hard road and it’s not over yet. I never stop to think about what I’ve done, I just move on to the next thing. In reflection, I can start to see some of the amazing things.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: I am also an accomplished artist. Were I not performing in a band, I’m sure I would find another way through my art. I have in the past few years delved into Sound Art as well as my visual work. That had some international coverage. I am to create. So I do. Whether art or music, they are one and the same.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: For live shows, we often rely on the house P.A., for amplification as we are mostly acoustic. I use a Holy Grail reverb pedal for my live vocals. Jon uses an olde 1940’s Kay cello and I have my 1960’s Stella guitar by Harmony. We’re not sure what year my balalaika was made but it does have a sticker that says “made in USSR” so we at least know that it’s authentic. I am not sure what brand my bodhran or doumbek is. I have a Kustom P.A. that we use when there is no Haus P.A. and some Shure microphones though I am not sure the model.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: It’s difficult to say. I feel set apart from the current music scene. I rather feel like I “live under a rock” at times. I was once much more in the know, but as time went on and I become more and more absorbed in my own music i lost track of the outside scene.
XS ROCK:For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: They would be surprised to know that I tend to not wear shoes, or perhaps that I was once a martial arts instructor.
XS ROCK:If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: I would use the term that I coined when describing Forever Autumn; Acoustic Doom.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: Czek out the new album. I am very happy with how it turned out. It feels like a defining album for the growth of Forever Autumn and I do hope that some will take the time to listen.
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!
Autumn Ni Dubhghaill: My pleasure. Thank you for the interview. Hail Woodland Sorcery!!