Bakersfield band Automatic Redial dials in ‘hard rock’ sound
April 21, 2010
Filed under Spotlight
Don’t ask local band Automatic Redial to describe their sound. Progressive, experimental, hardcore, metalcore their list went on and on. Finally, singer Gary Taylor summed it up.
“Just rock, hard rock,” he said.
Over the five years of their existence, the band has undergone numerous lineup changes, but currently they consist of Taylor, guitarist Matt Bledsoe, guitarist David Bledsoe, guitarist Marc Munoz, drummer Sean Weimer and bassist Andrew Bledsoe. Of the six, Matt and Weimer are the only original members.
“We started in January of 2005; there were five members then,” said Matt. “We’ve gone through three bass players. In 2007, we replaced the guitarist with David. In 2008, we lost our singer, and Gary replaced him. Marc started in February of this year.”
Two of the additions to the band were Matt’s own brothers. David has been playing guitar for several years, but Andrew only took up the bass two years ago because he was “forced into the band” when their other bassists needed to be replaced.
“I think it’s cool because, besides the Jonas Brothers, there aren’t many other bands who have three family members, especially all brothers,” said Andrew.
With the evolving lineup came an evolving sound. Everyone contributes to the music writing and, although Taylor has been the primary lyricist, the band is trying to collaborate more.
“The stuff we had before, we scratched,” said Matt. “With the current lineup, we’ve started writing new stuff, and I think the songs have just gotten better.”
What hasn’t changed for the band is their name. Matt explained the history behind the name, which the band came up with while trying to think of a cool name.
“We couldn’t ever decide on something, and somebody was going through their phone and said Automatic Redial and thought it was funny. Somebody mentioned naming our band that,” said Matt. “We ended up keeping it because we didn’t want to be like everyone else who has ‘dying’ and ‘yesterday’ in their names.”
Automatic Redial won a Battle of the Bands contest in 2007 and used the $5,000 prize money to record their first full-length CD, which was the third recording in the band’s history. Currently, the band is working on a new EP which is due out June 4, the same day as their next big gig: the Rockin’ Roots Festival. It will be a different scene from the one the band is used to; Taylor said the band has played “almost every bar” and other Bakersfield venues, like Jerry’s Pizza and the Dome. The band said the experience is different depending on where they play.
“At a bar, people go there to drink, and sometimes they don’t even go there to listen to music,” said Munoz. “At a venue, they go there to listen to music and watch a show.”
The band expressed gratitude for the fans coming to their shows.
“Fans are the foundation. Without them, there wouldn’t be anything,” said Andrew. “You can have a huge label, a big manager, but without anybody to listen to it, it’s useless. If you don’t have fans, you can’t do shit.”
In addition to the Rockin’ Roots Festival and their upcoming EP, the band is preparing for a tour of California this summer and a Myspace revamp with pictures from a new photo shoot. With so many steps in the pursuit of their dream, their family and friends’ support is key for Automatic Redial.
“We have a one of a kind support system,” said Matt. “A lot of bands don’t have the opportunity of funds and chances to do what we have done.”