Written by Lucy Natek
19 Sunday 19th June 2011

To the soundtrack of his relentlessly beeping Blackberry, Russell admits that since they started their own label Bad Life there isn't much time for anything else anymore. But it had to be done they say - both are committed to telling the autoKratz story in their own words and pursuing projects they feel passionately about. “Neither of us mind selling a tonne of records obviously, but we won't lose our values either” explains David. They make music they like and want  to be more than  just “two nodding men” on stage. They named their label after a Public Image Ltd song in order to show they don't plan on doing anything that doesn’t feel like "them" any time soon. Fair enough.  

So boys, do you have the second album jitters?

Not exactly jitters. We may have been a bit apprehensive at first, because we took the album in  a slightly new direction and developed our sound a bit more, but now that it's done we're immensely proud of what we did with it. Plus the reviews so far have been great, and any jitters disappear when you see that people get what you're doing.  

Are you more anxious about the response of your audience?

It's always nice to be respected by your peers, but if your audience don't agree with those said peers it doesn’t mean anything. It's the music-loving who are paramount here, definitely. We don't make music for critics, although a good review is always great to hear.

What were you trying to communicate with this album?

This album is an intense experience from start to finish. There's no background music on there. We did it in an interesting an honest way and it came out as raw emotion.

Fireflies by autokratz

Why the 'self help' title for the album?

After you release an album, all the work you put into it gets scrapped and you have to start again if you want to make another one. It's up to you to build yourself up and begin creating again. And the name also stands for us helping ourselves with starting a new label.  

You left Kitsune and started your own label Bad Life? Why the move?

Kitsune and autoKratz was a relationship that had run its course. They gave us a lot when we first started out, but as time went on we just grew apart. When we first joined the label, we thought they were the greatest label ever - they had all these interesting releases and now it seems they're more about fashion than music.  

Did you feel restrained by them?

Not restrained exactly, but there was a clash in how we wanted to present ourselves and how they imagined it for us.  

And how does it feel to be on your own?

There's such a sense of belonging with our label. We truly believe in everybody we're surrounded with and who are associated with autoKratz. It's 100% great music and we're really excited about all of it.

Are you planning to release a Kitsune-type compilation to introduce the whole Bad Life family?

Yeah, around the one year anniversary or something we will definitely do that. But it's not the main goal for us right now. We just want to keep on getting music out there by ourselves and the artists we like and support.  

You guys are said to be among the best live electro acts out there at the moment. What do you do that is so special?

We really do like being on stage and these things are all about energy. If you're going to go on stage and half-ass it, you're going to end up not having a very good time yourself, so what's the point in that? Besides, what's better than jumping around and being a dickhead on stage AND get paid for it? It's brilliant.  

Big or small venues?

Smaller gigs where we get to scream into people’s faces are the best! We don't like to have three fences and a wall of security guards between us and the people; we like to see the whites in their eyes as they dance.

Will there be a chance to see all this energetic jumping on stage any time soon?

There will be an album launch party on the 17th where we and some other artists from the label will DJ. We're also curating the 1234 Festival dance tent and the after party in XOYO. This summer will be spent touring around Europe and Japan but we will start organising tour dates after the album comes out.  

And how can a DJ with nothing than a mix and a dream approach you guys?

We get a lot of music sent to us now, and nothing makes the cut except the quality of the music. Well, that and they have to be a lovely person. So just be nice and make good music.  

autoKratz release their second studio album  Self Help for Beginners on 20 June 2011. See here for more details.

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