Written & Photos By: Zane Brammell
After their debut full length “Dazed In Danville,” Kentucky punk rockers, When Autumn Calls returned to the studio to begin work on what would become their follow up release, “W.A.C. Tracks.” Teaming up with producer Cole Clark of Sightglass Sound, the band prepared to break out of the local scene, and do it in a dangerous way-carving their gloryhole in the punk rock stratosphere. The band started on their first tour to support the release. Allowing time for things to simmer, the band rejoined Clark to begin recording a second string of releases, beginning with the fresh new single “Millennium.”
A tale of friends circling others while stationary, the song follows their snappy song writing niche with catchy lead lines and Turner’s strong vocal delivery proving “Millennium” is guaranteed to be one of their most honest releases to date.
Headrush TV had the chance to chat with the band’s lead singer, Bradley Turner and lead guitarist Jacob Kerfoot about their plans for 2020.
Headrush TV: First off, congrats guys on a stellar two years! You’ve made quite a dent in the music scene in Lexington, Kentucky and the surrounding cities with your releases and live performances. “W.A.C. Tracks” even earned you guys a nomination in the inaugural year for “Best Punk” at the Lexington Music Awards. That’s gotta feel pretty good, right?
B. Turner: The first round of voting was designed specifically for the public, and it felt great to receive that praise from our peers.
J. Kerfoot: It’s been a lot of fun. Very happy to feel the love!
Headrush TV: One of my favorite songs from the EP is the least abrasive on the record, “I Know, I Know.” I heard that you’ve decided to retire it from your live shows for the time being. How come?
B. Turner: No one seemed to vibe with it when performing it live, so we decided it was best left for fans on the record.
J. Kerfoot: Yeah.
Headrush TV: How did When Autumn Calls start, and where did the name come from?
B. Turner: It’s actually been a thing for a really long fucking time. Haha.
Basically, it started years ago when my cousin Zacc, and I started playing really bad acoustic music. We had grown alongside the Kerfoot twins in the same scene, and at one point we realized we were less attached to the more intimate acoustic sound, and so we linked up with Jacob and Aaron to pursue a more energetic performance, with the goal to keep the intimacy intact. As far as the name goes, I really wish there was a unique story behind it, but there just isn’t. Zacc overheard someone talking in class one day saying “Man, I can’t wait for Autumn to call,” and he just liked the ring of it.
J. Kerfoot: We’ve more recently adopted the shorter acronym, “W.A.C.” as well. Friends started calling us that, and it just sort of stuck.
B. Turner: It’s actually pretty funny, because a lot of people assume it’s a reference to the season, but it’s not.
Headrush TV: I can remember discovering Green Day for the first time back in 2004, and answering the age-old question “What do you want to be when you grow up?`` with “Billie Joe Armstrong” for the following ten years. Can you recall the moment you decided to become musicians? When did you decide to start making your own music?
B. Turner: Honestly, I can’t really pinpoint a specific moment. As a kid, when asked that question, my usual answer was either a cartoonist or professional skater.
I can remember my parents buying my first guitar and it just sat in the closet for years. One day, out of the blue, I decided to pick it up and sat down to try and learn the first few notes of the Green Day song, “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” When I had figured it out, I thought I was so cool. After that, it just stuck. It’s weird because I wasn’t really into music as a kid. I sort of just listened to whatever my parents listened to, and never thought twice about it. I was spending some time at my grandparent’s house and my older cousins were watching VH1; I saw the Bullet In A Bible performance of Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” and it just liberated me in a way. I know that sounds overdramatic, but I had never felt music before, and it all just hit me at once.
After learning how to play Green Day’s catalog at home, our (Zacc and I) grandfather built us this little stage out of plywood in his barn. We would turn on music on the radio and pretend we were performing at Woodstock to thousands of people. I’ve yearned for that ever since those days.
On a side note, for the first couple years while learning to write songs, Zacc and I would draft concept albums basically rehashing Jesus of Suburbia with various character names. However, I would literally write new lyrics to their music. I had no idea what I intended to really ever do with them, but once I was done, I felt accomplished. The most memorable was my shitty rip-off of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” called “Path of Misheld Contempts.” Maybe I could rework and release them as a parody record… Hahaha.
J. Kerfoot: In school, my brother and I participated in interpretive speech acting, singing and spent hours watching MTV. My father was a touring musician in his glory days, so access to music and instruments was easy. Plus, there’s no greater feeling than seeing positive crowd response. It makes each show different, and fuels a fire to work harder, whether it be the next show, or the next song.
Headrush TV: You guys have spent a lot of time with Cole Clark in the studio. How has working with Cole been? Is he pretty hands-on deck when working through kinks, or does he just let you guys loose to see what comes out?
B. Turner: Working with Cole has been great! When it comes to songwriting, I believe he elevates our output when it comes to restructuring and general additions. He’s also an incredibly positive person, so when I’m feeling a bit nervous working through different song elements, he’s quick to reassure us of what’s going on, and is easy to correct us when we’re drifting.
Headrush TV: I need to know, as I’m sure everyone else does, what the hell’s on the cover of the “Millennium” single? It looks like a ticket.
J. Kerfoot: It’s a collection of memories from tour. A parking ticket can't stop us! Haha.
Headrush TV: Your instagram announcement to accompany the release of “Millennium” gave some insight to the song’s subject matter, but what does the song mean to you?
B. Turner: This song has been worked on so many times, with so many variations over the past few years. It was tough to figure out what exactly we wanted to say, or how to say it. I’m still not sure that the finished version said everything we needed to say. It does very come close though.
J. Kerfoot: Our memories of growing up in Danville are stories that I share often. Most of our music reflects our lives and experiences there, but I believe this song is easier for everyone to relate to.
B. Turner: With that said, it’s basically a reflection and observation that although time and people come and go, we have remained close. It’s a love note for the four of us.
Headrush TV: Is there a general underlying anxiety that runs parallel with time/friends coming and going, or a contentment knowing that you’re still growing with certain people?
B. Turner: I like to think some people aren’t intended to be in your life permanently; everyone has their own path to forge. So, for the four of us to remain close despite everything, I think that’s what makes “Millennium” special.
Headrush TV: In the video for Millennium, you guys packed out a small cabin for a live set. How was that experience?
B. Turner: That was great. I thought no one would come. It's Jacob and Aaron's new property out in the middle of nowhere in Nicholasville, KY. Who would come to that?!
J. Kerfoot: Very fun. Nathan Hampton was very professional to work with and captured the energy perfectly. I wish I got to crowd surf, though. Hit me up for a house show if your band shreds.
Headrush TV: Not only are you all close friends, I know there’s family ties in the band. How is it getting to work with family as well as friends? Does it make resolving issues more efficient, or more difficult?
B. Turner: Uhh, that’s a tough question. As mentioned before, Zacc and I are cousins and Jacob and Aaron are twins. If anything, I think it helps resolve issues in the long run because we are able to voice our opinions at a personal level, rather than a business level. I mean, we’re not fucking coworkers! We’re brothers.
J. Kerfoot: I think it makes our decision making a lot more cohesive. There’s no mixed signals. I know it’s hard to make a band work, but having a relationship that extends beyond WAC is beneficial for all of us.
Headrush TV: I was a huge fan of the skulls design you guys printed on shirts a few years back. Will we see a return of that design, or do you have plans to release something new?
J. Kerfoot: Probably won’t see the skulls design anytime soon. We are actually looking for a graphic designer to make some new WAC designs. Any inquiries are welcome (with a portfolio)!
Headrush TV: Although you work hard to release quality work, you attempt everything with a D.I.Y. finesse. What does D.I.Y. mean to you, and what advice would you recommend artists coming up in the D.I.Y. scene?
B. Turner: The D.I.Y. attitude is the most important thing any up-and-coming band/artist can have. I feel that if you’re relying on too many outside sources, your control over your own art is less tangible, and you start to lose genuinity. However, I DO think receiving help from peers is still D.I.Y. You shouldn’t expect to do everything alone, and it’s much more beneficial for the community if it’s done together for the same end goal. I guess I feel the heart of D.I.Y. is making art for the same reasons, not in competition. Art can not be done in competition.
J. Kerfoot: There are so many incredible artists out there that people miss out on, and simply comb over because there’s a lack of community to support them. If more people would strive to design a community around the art they create, and less about the finished product-everyone would grow. Everyone would benefit.
We have a playlist on Spotify, showcasing various artists we’ve played with during our time as a band. It’s called “A WAC Playlist” on Spotify.
Headrush TV: What’s on your personal playlists right now?
B. Turner: I’m basically cycling between PUP and Slaughter, Beach Dog. Hahaha
J. Kerfoot: Hot Mulligan, Gus Daperton, The Story So Far, Brigades, and Niiice.
Headrush TV: What’s next for WAC in 2020?
J. Kerfoot: With everything going on health wise, we decided to postpone our March-April run for this summer. We have a couple festivals and mini-tours planned for later this year! But we can’t really talk more about those at the moment while details are being ironed out.
B. Turner: Right. Our main hope right now, is that everyone stays safe and is careful when attending shows. We’re hoping to write more music for an expected release later this year. We’re really bummed that we are unable to head out on the road to promote the new song, but in the meantime, check out “Millennium,” and come say hi this summer.
You can watch the new video for “Millennium” below, and follow the band on their various social media outlets. While you wait for everything to pass, flip the record over, lay the needle down and listen to some great music.
All images and visuals are originally produced and owned by Headrush TV. Any unauthorized use of material is strictly prohibited.