Positive vibes found in The Autumn Defense

by Paul Hernandez

Photo courtesy of theautumndefense.com
Photo courtesy of theautumndefense.com

The timeless sound of quiet soul and evoking images of dim sunsets continue to become a standard for veteran pros Pat Sansone and John Stirratt.

The duo’s daytime gig guides them around the globe with high-profile act Wilco, achieving success beyond the hills of expectation.

Yet, off the brightly lit stage of the Wilco world, the past decade has steadily encompassed an extended sound of brisk winds, rocking chair grooves and melancholy avenues in its outfit, The Autumn Defense.

On its fourth album “Once Around,” experienced songwriting has become a relaxed, spontaneous effort with the band.

“We’re very comfortable now. We have a shared language on a foundation level; things get done without any discussion,” Sansone said. “I guess you can say a collective conscious has been formed with John and drummer Greg Wieczorek after a decade.”

Inspiration for the album took some time, but rekindled at a reasonable pace.

“We didn’t sit down and say we have to write another Autumn Defense album. The songs kind of came along spontaneously,” Sansone said. “Of all our albums, this one is the most natural.”

When discussing the formative days of the band, Sansone tracks back to the days before joining Wilco.
“John and I met in New Orleans in the late 1990s and started hanging out and talking about records and bands we were both into,” he said.

The collaboration of shared love in music eventually took a positive toll. “We realized we were digging a lot of the same music from the ‘60s and ‘70s that wasn’t quite celebrated then, as they are now,” Sansone said. “The Zombies, Love, The Kinks, Cat Stevens and Scott Walker are just some of that musical atmosphere that inspired us to try and create something with similar colors and sounds.”

The Autumn Defense’s sound has embodied a core audience for which Sansone acknowledges.

“We’re lucky, and we know that there are people who like to listen to our music and that’s a wonderful thing.”

While the positive vibes and musical tapestry deepens in The Autumn Defense’s own right, Sansone and Stirrat’s other outfit, Wilco, is currently active. “We are in the process of making another record, so we are in the studio chipping away and working, and there will be some touring in the spring and summer.”

The comforting and simplified sounds of the Autumn Defense will be visible at 7:30 p.m. tonight, at the wonderfully acoustic venue Anthology.

For more information about the band, go to theautumndefense.com.
For more information about the venue, check out its website anthologysd.com.