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Friday, April 12, 2019

Exclusive Interview: Steve Lynch on All Things Autograph, a New Creative Beginning with Alena Rae & the Importance of Good Energy

Photo: Sloane Morrison

It's always fun to get to spend a few minutes with Steve Lynch, lead guitarist/vocalist of Autograph. Since it has been a while I thought I'd check in with him ahead of this year's M3 Rockfest (happening May 3-5 in Columbia, MD). This past year has brought the band new music, a spot on Billboard's classic rock chart and of course, an impressive (and ever-growing) list of tour dates. As if all of those things aren't keeping him busy enough, Lynch is also managing some of Autograph's business details and readying a new creative project with his equally new fiance.  Not only did Lynch grant me a few minutes of his time, but it didn't take long for my subject to also become my teacher. I love when that happens, check it out below.  

Photo: Autograph Official Facebook

Cate Meighan: It has been awhile, how's everything going for you and for the band?

Steve Lynch: Everything is going great. We're going back out on tour on May 2nd and we have a lot of dates that aren't listed yet on our website that will be added on.in the coming weeks. We've also got a new single  "Meet Me Halfway" and so things are fantastic. We're taking a more subtle approach with this song and video because we've got something big planned in the coming months. We're going to be releasing a big version of "Turn Up the Radio" with a compilation of live video concert clips and that is really exciting for us. We're saving the big production for that release and sticking with a calmer approach to "Meet Me Halfway". 

We're taking more of a just releasing singles approach for the foreseeable future, rather than full cd's. Right now it's better to work on one song at a time and to focus on just really perfecting and releasing it. I've got one in the works right now called "Big Foot Down" and we'll probably release that within this year of course. We all live in different places and so with that, plus the touring I think one song at a time is certainly the way to go now for us.


CM: I know in the past we have talked quite a bit about how the musical landscape has changed and that means that you guys need to be out there playing live.

Photo: Sloane Morrison

SL: Yes, the reason so many bands are out there on tour now is because that's where the money is at. You don't sell a lot of merchandise online, people want to buy it at a show and they want you to sign it. We always do a meet and greet after the show and sign everything and then have a photo op for everybody. We make it really personal and don't rush people through like some bands do. People that wait in line, so many of them end up framing their signed shirt or cd and hang it on their wall. It becomes a treasured piece to them and that's what we want it to be. We're there to really connect with the fans and make those few minutes special.

CM: There is so much merch out there now, everything from coffee to hoodies to candles. How well does it actually sell?

SL: We sell a lot at the festivals and state fairs, places like that where people actually have come out to see you. At a casino, they're already there gambling any way so they might as well catch a show too (laughing). It's not the same kind of atmosphere. 

CM: Are the festivals still your favorite kinds of shows?

SL: Yeah definitely, well depending on the weather of course (laughing). I enjoy the casinos but the big outdoor festivals are my favorites.

CM: Events like M3 Rockfest really do attract the most diehard fans around. Even when you're out in the crowd on the lawn it feels like an extended family reunion.

SL: It feels extraordinarily good with the fans now. Everyone knows us for "Turn Up the Radio" of course, but when I watch them singing the lyrics to songs that weren't singles I'm blown away. It's cool to see teenagers with them too. I think the 80's stuff was really the last rock that you could just sing along to. The '90s came along and it just wasn't the same. There weren't as many songs that you could turn up in your car and just sing along to. I think teenagers now like our music because who doesn't want to be able to sing along to a great song? 

Photo: Sloane Morrison

CM: I've had people mention the songwriting of the '90s and how while the songs maybe didn't stick as well, the songwriting grew. What are your thoughts on that?

SL: Yes and I do feel like the '90s got much more real. The music addressed things like suicide, depression, drug addiction and so it had a definite purpose. Just like with Beatnicks in the coffeehouses back in the '60s, their lyrics were very deep and often morose. I really do feel that the truth being out there and reaching people that are going through all sorts of heavy emotions, that's important. Having serious lyrics and every song not just being about a fantasyland is important. Rock seems to have stayed in a darker place and some of the heavy metal now is really deep and dark. I understand it, but I also think that the same people that identify with these things also need an escape or something to make them feel happy. 

There's a Japanese scientist and author named Masaru Emoto, that has studied the effect that words and music have on water. In his book The Hidden Messages in Water, he talks about playing classical music near springs, rivers and ponds all over the world. They would play music and speak words near the water and then freeze it and take a microscopic picture of the frozen water. This crystalline formed when kind words were spoken and classical music or ballads were played, and it's absolutely beautiful. When they played heavy music or rap music with heavy undertones when they froze it and looked microscopically the crystalline was all red and black blobs. You can even google it to see the pictures. That means that water is actually intelligent and changes based on its' surroundings.

So, if we're 70% water how do words and music affect us? It really got me to thinking and I feel like, at least for me, it should be more about positivity and sending a good message out there. Knowing how water is influenced I would hate for our music to in any way and on any level add to peoples' depression or negative feelings. Painting a really dark portrait out there and then having people feel the depressing feelings that come with that portrait just isn't something that I want to do.

CM: Wow, I didn't know that. It kind of proves how things really are subliminally affected and internalization is real.

SL: Yes exactly. These things are very, very real. Even when it comes to watching television I try to stick with educational programming. Things affect us, it's scientifically proven. If you're selective with what you watch or who you associate with, you'll notice a difference in yourself. So I'm very selective with my close friends because they have a big influence on my life. I'm an extremely private person because of the energy that's out there. When I post on social media it's always something positive or spiritual, or it's something funny. I want people to know that I'm in that kind of light and I don't want any darkness. When people say negative things I delete it right away. I ignore it and choose not to keep the tennis game of negativity going. It rarely happens though because I don't post things to draw that out of people. If you're in the spotlight then you're in a position to be able to inspire them, so why not do that. 

CM: Speaking of positive things, congratulations on your engagement to Alena Rae.

SL: Thank you, I'm so happy! Alena and I are also working together on a project called 2:22.  We decided to it call it that because the number just so happens to come up all the time with us. So many times we post things at 2:22 or we see the number randomly show up almost every day and so finally we looked it up because it was so prevalent for us. If you look up the numbers 2:22 you'll see that it means a new beginning and that positive things are coming. When we learned the meaning then we decided that it had to be the name of the project. Coincidences aren't merely coincidences, there's a reason for them. Sometimes you just have to wait a little while to figure out the meaning behind them.

Check out Autograph's official site for updates from the band, new merch and of course, TOUR DATES  You can also catch them at the M3 Rock Festival May 3-5th in Columbia, MD!





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