This Early Autumn is a Colombia based alternative rock band fronted by singer-songwriter / lead vocalist Juan Valderrama. New self-release single 'Yours', funded by the fan pledge site Kick-Starter is taken from the upcoming debut album 'Trust' to be released later this year.
This Early Autumn's sound evolves like the colour palette of the Autumnal season, with an ever changing sound of romanticism, nostalgia, melancholy, beauty, hope, darkness and light. Juan's honest and unique vocal winds into the melody of the song, which is about a declaration of love.
We caught up with frontman Juan Valderrama where we chatted about his love for rock giants 'Queen', floppy haired popsters 'Hanson' (Mmmbop anyone?) and wanting to be the 'Genie' from the Disney Aladdin cartoon, here's how we got on....
Please introduce your band and your music in one sentence....
Music from a melancholically smiling heart, in the quest for understanding and joy.
You’re called This Early Autumn, how did you come to choose this name?
I have always liked autumn as a season; its colours, feelings, atmosphere, aesthetics, etc. I looked up its meaning and it not only referred to the weather itself, but to what it really means to human beings emotions wise. It said it is a time when men and women experience an early decline or an early maturity, which I think is a beautiful thing.
How and when did you decide that you wanted to be in a band?
When I started playing the drums at the age of 11. I joined school rock bands and finally formed my own, at school as well.
What is the best advice you ever received and who was it from?
There have been loads, though the one I think has been best so far, is the one I received from a friend who at once he listened to my music said something like "stay as honest as you can to yourself and people will love whatever you put out there".
Well, ‘Nothing Compares’ had an instant positive response from people in the media, and somehow told the world about This Early Autumn, so there was no question about it. ‘Mood’ was chosen by 1-2 hear to be the next single for its radio-friendliness and finally ‘Yours’ means a balance between a catchy, romantic, but also edgy and so it sort of puts together what the project is about.
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released?
‘A Night at the Opera’ by Queen.
You had help from the fan funded website ‘Kickstarter’ what made you go down that route?
Honestly, my lack of funds. I have always paid for everything in my project, yet this time I really didn’t have any money for it, so I decided to use ‘Kickstarter’ and it turned out to be a wonderful experience that showed many people’s care about me.
How do you feel social media has helped musicians and bands over the past few years?
Social media is a great tool for anything that wants to be advertised nowadays, however what the public consumes is very picky and very shallow sometimes. Even if you get your stuff out there, it needs to be either a stuck of luck or a trendy mechanism that will make people click on your post. I fairly believe in live music and a closer connection with fans and followers, at the end of the day social media is still being very de-humanised.
Do you own a record that you wouldn’t like to admit you have?
I do, I have Hanson’s Mmmbop record.
Is there something you would like to tell each of the band members that you haven’t told them before?
That I wish they had as much drive as I do!
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
Not sure, some classic romantic jazz I believe. I am really fond of that music, I think it expresses so much vocally.
First gig you ever went to in Bogota and London?
If someone is afraid of the dark, do they get scared every time they blink?
Lol, it depends on the blink, it is quite fast to actually get any dark. Maybe when you pass along your fears too fast you don’t really fear them.
What do you miss about Bogota when in London? and vice versa?
When Im in London I miss my family, girlfriend and friends. When Im in Bogota I miss everything about London.
What English words have you never heard of before you were in England and would never be able to translate or explain to someone in Colombia?
Pernickety, it was even difficult for an English person to explain to me.
Where did you record your album ‘Trust’ and what made you choose that studio?
It was recorded at Crooks Hall Studio in Suffolk. I didn’t really choose it, the producer did, yet Im very much pleased he did, it turned out to be an amazing experience on the whole.
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like as dinner party guests?
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
What ringtone do you have on your mobile?
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
The Genie from Aladdin. It is mostly about me really.
Do you think we can ever live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned?
Lol, not really, If I understand well, questioning belongs to human nature, everybody is too focused on what the rest is doing, yet nobody thinks first there has to be a motive for everything and they don’t stop to analyze how much they should get involved.
What are your plans for 2015?
Release the whole album and hopefully get some attention form small, mid and big festivals to play live as much as I can.
Before parting company with Juan, we thought it was only fair that he answer some quickfire questions....
Rain or Sun?
Boxing or Football?
Drum machine or the real deal?
The real deal
Mac or PC?
Fry up or Bandeja Paisa?
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)?
CD or Vinyl?
The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad?
Car or Motorbike?
Live Show or Recording Studio?
Acoustic or electric?
Shower or Bath?
Facebook or Twitter?
Tattoos or Piercings?
Robert de Niro or Al Pacino?
Robert de Niro
God or Google?
Lol, Google if it means any of humankind's Gods.
We'd like to thank Juan for sparing his time to answer our questions, we wish him and the band every success in the future and look forward to maybe catching him at a show in the not too distant future....
Interview by Mark Wincott