[Part 2 of 2] Read part 1 of the interview
[more:]Prefix Magazine: Your first EP was released in 2001, and not long after that you signed with DMZ. What made that label the right choice?
Autolux: T. Bone Burnett approached us and said he was starting up a label with the Coen Brothers (filmmakers Joel and Ethan) that was going to be a vehicle for his soundtracks and their soundtracks. It was going to be a collective of music that wasn’t genre-specific. He wanted it to be a place for whatever he called “good American music.” (That way), people couldn’t latch on and say, This label only does this. He wanted to do something that branched out into different genres — sort of an extension of his philosophy on music. We were just as surprised as anyone when he approached us.
PM: I always thought he was more of an Americana roots type.
Autolux: That’s definitely what people associate him with. But he’s definitely one of the most unique and musically experimental people that we’ve ever come across, as far as taste.
PM: Is that what made him a good pick as a producer?
Autolux: We had our sound and our songs together before we ever went in the studio. He would call himself more of a facilitator (than a producer) as far as getting us what we wanted and helping us flesh it out in a good studio with good engineers in an environment where we could play and do live takes and capture something that we wouldn’t be able to capture on our own.
PM: It seems like being on a film-oriented label might lead to other opportunities. Are you guys interested in working on movies?
Autolux: We’ve all been film buffs for a really long time. Soundtracks are something that we’ve talked about doing, that we’re completely open to and would like to be a part of. Not so much a song on a soundtrack, but scoring a film. Nothing’s come up as of yet. We’re still pretty much an unknown entity in that our record just came out a few months ago and this is our first tour. We’re still in the process of putting ourselves out there. I think you have to get your music out there a little more to where people associate you with something that you do on a bigger level than just playing shows. We’re pretty confident that that’s something that will play itself out and develop naturally.
We’ve never rushed anything (with Autolux). We didn’t go out of our way to get signed; we just did our thing and people ended up approaching us. That’s been our philosophy from the beginning. When things work out naturally, it’s better for everyone in the long run.
PM: After Carla broke her elbow, was there ever a time where you thought, Maybe Autolux isn’t going to happen?
Autolux: Maybe for a moment in the very beginning. Some of the doctors were saying she would never be able to play again, but then she found a doctor that seemed pretty confident that he could totally reconstruct her elbow. He (performed the) surgery and put eight titanium screws in there, and still even at that point they were saying she might not be able to play. But we were always supportive of her, no matter what, and we remained optimistic that she was going to be able (to recover) because she’s such a strong person. She’s a very determined, focused individual. I think mostly it was the physical therapy that made her recover one hundred percent, because she worked extremely hard every day after the surgery to retain full range of motion in her arm. This was one of the main elbow specialists in the country, and he said he’d never seen anything like it before; usually people don’t regain that complete range of motion, but she did after about four months.