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Jason Gregory

13:55 10th July 2008

The Automatic have told Gigwise that the introduction of their new member, Paul Mullen, has been instrumental in bringing “fresh ideas” to the band.

Mullen joined the band during recording sessions for their second album, 'This Is A Fix', as a replacement for synth player Alex Pennie, who left while touring the group's debut album.

Speaking exclusively to Gigwise about their new album, drummer Iwan Griffiths said: “We could have had a bit of danger with this next album of kind of trying to do the same thing again.

“I guess the problem with the first album was we wrote 'Monster' and then tried to do a lot more Monsters and this time round we’ve gone we’re not going to try and write any singles we’re just writing for ourselves and enjoy it."

Griffiths said it helped having Mullen in the band “because he thinks a bit differently to us so and we think differently to him so we’re all pulling eachother around but it works really well.”

New 'Heavier' Sound

Griffiths described 'This Is A Fix', which is released on August 25th, as a much “heavier” record than their debut, 'Not Accepted Anywhere', which peaked at number three in the UK charts in 2006.

He also praised the production of  Butch Walker, who The Automatic recorded much of the album with at the Sage and Sound studios in Los Angeles.

“He (Walker) was really into the music and throwing lots of new ideas. We were trying out different things and seeing what sounds we could get and playing around with the studio which is something we’ve always wanted to do and we had time to do it this time round,” Griffiths explained.

“I think on the production you can definitely hear a difference between this one and our first album because a lot more time had been taken over it.”

Three Takes

Griffiths also revealed that the band recorded their new album three times with different producers until it sounded right when they teamed up with Walker.

“Originally it got really processed and we were like shit what’s happened to our music and then he’s (Walker) a producer that had more of a feel for keeping it with what the room sounded like not pro-tools to build the music with a computer – we tried to avoid that as much as possible,” he said.

The Departure of Pennie

While the departure of Pennie in 2007 came as a shock to many of the Automatic's fans, Griffiths said that the band and Pennie could see it coming.

“We’d said bye to him in a way a long time before he actually left,” he said.

“We all started off quite young and grown up and grown apart. It wasn’t a nasty split really it was just accepting we’d all grown in a different way from him.

“We’d gone one way and he’d gone into another different type of scene and his ideas of what he wanted were different from ours.”

You can see exclusive pictures of The Automatic recording the album below.

The Automatic's Iwan Griffiths spoke to Gigwise's James Dannatt.

The Automatic At Sage and Sound In LA (photos by: Peter Hill)

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Photo: Peter Hill