Autumn Kings 2-9-19 St Andrews Hall Detroit Michigan.
Interview/Review by Michalle Henderson
Photos by Michalle Henderson Photography
Experiences come along, you choose how they make you feel and what value they bring to your life. I had the experience to meet the guys from Autumn Kings. What a bunch for amazing dudes, all humble, honest and excited for life and Music. It’s such a bonus to meet a band that you are a fan of and have them be as welcoming as you hope they would be.
Autumn Kings opened for Dorothy and Spirit Animal at a Sold out show of 800 people at the St. Andrew Hall in Detroit on February 9th of 2019. Normally openers don’t get the same type of hype that the main acts drive, but let me tell you this you couldn’t tell by the interaction of the crowd that these guys were openers. They brought the house down, owned their set, and commanded the stage.
Joe Coccimiglio the lead singer had little room to move around on stage but it did not stop the jumps and running around the stage. Once he ran onto the stage it was pure energy until they walked off.
Bassist Tibor Bognar has to be one of the most energetic comedians on stage when it comes to playing up to his fans. The girls that stand on that side of the stage scream and yell and fan themselves every time he leans, jumps, or sticks out his tongue. I love watching his showmanship on stage.
Jake Diab has a deep voice on co-vocals and plays a techinical guitar. Jake pumps up the crowd, talking about the band and their accomplishments. Please see Interview. Bonus when the crowd sings lyrics back Jake’s cute dimples appear.
A pleasant surprise was the new addition to the band Drummer Troy Dawdy. Troy sat behind the drums with a confidence I was very pleased to see, his cute grins and eagerness were a nice addition to the band.
The band covered my favorites Devil In Disguise as the closing song and pretty much got the crowd jumping and fist bumping to that song, they also played their newly released single Want you to Stay which I was so surprised about because it’s only been released for under two weeks. The new song already has over 150k streams. Other songs played were Livin’ La Vida Loca, Aliens, If I leave Today.
Quoting the Band from Instagram “Ain’t no party like a DETROIT party!” and that is the truth of it!
I also had the pleasure of interviewing the band so we can all learn a little more about these upcoming guys, hope you enjoy the read.
Last year I had the pleasure of seeing you guys live for the first time when you played with 10 years and Shamans Harvest and I have been a fan since. I get so excited to see the advancements you continue to make. In the last year you’ve had some huge opportunities and moments here in Michigan as well as other places. What was your favorite memory in the last year and why?
Jake: Our favourite memory is when the Detroit Red Wings called to let us know that our song “Devil in Disguise” is one of the Goal Songs for the 2018-2019 season, because the Red Wings have been my favourite team since I was a young child, and now 20,000 people get to hear the song at every game. Subsequently, rock radio royalty station 89X added the song to regular rotation on the station. We are the first independent rock band to get added in over a decade without the help of any outside label, management, agent, etc.
For new fans I highly recommend following Jake Diab on Instagram, I can’t help but find myself smiling and eagerly listening to what he has to share on his live feeds. Your energy and excitement is off the hook and that alone can make new fans and followers. As a fan I am curious to know if you (Jake) practice what you’re going to say and if so how many times you have to practice it before you post it to your Instagram feed?
Jake: I am honoured by your compliment. I seldom practice what I say – It comes from the heart and flows out of me subconsciously because music is all I do and think about. When you love something, I find it is easy to convey your enthusiasm in an authentic manner. I do make sure my hair looks good though- That’s the hard part!
Want you to Stay is such a strong lyric song with so much emotion. What experience happened in who’s life to prompt these lyrics?
Joe: Want You to Stay is a true labour of love. The song combines all of the real-life experiences Jake and I have gone through in relationships, especially because being in a band takes a toll on your loved ones. We’re always writing, rehearsing, and moving, and as a result we’ve had a few relationships where prior significant others would say things like, “Why do I only see you once a week? I’m not sure if I can do this anymore” – And Want You to Stay essentially captures the emotion felt when being forced to make a do-or-die decision in a relationship. The messages we’ve been receiving from people around the world has been staggering. It is a really therapeutic song for a lot of people.
What new music do we expect to hear in the new year of 2019? Are you guys working on a new album to follow the new single that was just released?
Tibor: We are releasing an EP in a few short months. It includes Want You to Stay and 4 additional songs that are perhaps better than Stay, in our opinions. It is a step in a new direction, and still feels like the Autumn Kings everybody knows and loves. The production feels like 2022 – Very fresh. Our fans are in for a big treat.
One of my favorite songs of the band is Devil in Disguise I am sure this is no surprise. When the Detroit Red Wings’ endorsement of the band’s song happened I can’t imagine what this felt like but please try to describe the feelings and has it increased your followers and sales? Any other endorsements in the work?
Tibor: It was a monumental turning point in the band’s career. We met Kid Rock because of it, we got added onto regular rotation on 2 major FM radio stations because of it, we have 20,000 people hearing us at each home game because of it, and the overall excitement and respect people have for the band has increased ten fold. Most importantly, our vision for the song — to be an arena anthem – has finally come to fruition. The people at the Detroit Red Wings organization are beauties. We love them, and we love the people who keep e-mailing the Red Wings telling them how much they love the song. We just did a sold out show at Saint Andrew’s Hall in Detroit, and will be playing at Caesars Windsor, to a 5000 capacity room on April 18th – All of these opportunities stemmed from the excitement started at Little Caesars Arena and via the Detroit Red Wings.
When it comes to song writing and performances, is the band influenced by other bands? Who are they? What type of influences do you pull from other bands into yours?
Jake: Autumn Kings is a band that listens to everything. We dig pop, rock, EDM, metal, and in some cases, country. We are rock guys at heart, although we’ve recently taken a liking to Twenty One Pilots, Imagine Dragons, and Fall Out Boy. I also love the rapper NF, who happens to be from Michigan. Our influences growing up included Billy Talent, Metallica, Papa Roach, Nickelback, and Rise Against. The excellent news is that nowadays we feel like fans are far more receptive and welcoming to music that features a hybrid of genres – The new Autumn Kings EP coming out in a few months seamlessly incorporates all of our favourite bands and conveys it in the most genuine way possible.
Who mainly does the song writing or is it a complete band involvement?
Jake: Typically I’ll do the lion’s share of the songwriting, present an idea, and then Joe will help out and finish off lyrics. We have a very synergistic relationship as collaborators. Once we lay down the meat and potatoes of a song, Tibor lays down the bass lines, and there you have it – An Autumn Kings song. We don’t usually veer far off from that arrangement for making music. It’s interesting – Some musical acts write altogether, some have ghostwriters who write the songs for them, some have a sole songwriter.. We’ve found that this process for Autumn Kings has been the key to effectively channeling our inner creativity.
If you could share the stage with one band, a band that might give you the guidance and crowd support that you have always dreamed of which band would your dream tour include?
Tibor: Opening for Billy Talent at Rock Am Ring. They are Canadians like us, and – Similar to them – One of our biggest fan bases is in Germany. They have a thing for high-energy music.
We all know the stigma that goes along with being in a band or in the music profession in general. I for one always think its bull when I hear it so I always like to ask, if you could look back and the one person who gave you the most flack about music what would you say to them now and what advice would you give them about following their dreams?
Jake: Generally speaking, I’ve found that people in many cases find comfort in maintaining the status quo, and have a severe case of zero-risk bias, failing miserably to challenge the beliefs of their elders – parents, coaches, teachers, etc. There’s this old cliché of parents wanting their kids to become a doctor or a lawyer. Thankfully, I have parents who always said, “Do whatever you want to do, just think big and kick ass”. That mentality was instilled in me from a young age, and I never felt like there was a limit to what I could accomplish, especially in music, because I knew I was blessed with an innate level of talent musically. In fact, when most people looked at becoming a doctor as the most prestigious job – And don’t get me wrong, I love and respect doctors in every way possible, and respect anybody who chooses to pursue that as a career – the first thought regarding choosing my profession at the age of 15 was “Why would I go into something where my success and income is capped, regardless of the results I produce?” Although I wouldn’t have been able to articulate that concept clearly at the time, the idea was always clear-cut in my mind. I’m learning that the more real-world experiences I accumulate, the more I realize that most people’s parents do not share the same sentiment as mine; They grow up being told to work a comfortable job and not take risks, regardless of how calculated the risk is and how intelligent and disciplined said risk-taking individual is. There is a high level of skepticism from most as it relates to the idea of pursuing a sustainable career in the music industry, and while I have had interactions with cynics, be it my high school math teacher, so-called “friends” etc, I have never been remotely close to being bothered by attempts from outsiders to undermine my career choice because I fully understand that they are programmed with a fixed mindset. In fact, these people serve as a reminder that we are heading in the right direction. I have so many friends in the music industry who are incredibly well-off and made their income through consistent hard work and talent, so the notion of “looking out for one’s best interest in advising them against a career in music” is incredibly flawed, in my opinion. I feel bad for anybody who associates a negative connotation towards being a musician, because they are missing out on perhaps the most fulfilling profession!
Last fun question, as a band if you were granted 3 wishes what would they be?
– To be 90 years old and still headline arenas.
– To do another interview with you
– To continue what we’re doing, how we do it, and enjoy it!