Big Black's Steve Albini wrote something in the liner notes for Songs About Fucking about how only the wrong bands seem to break up and sure it's not completely true, but hell if it doesn't feel that way sometimes.
LA's Automatic Drawing were what we like to call "indie pop charmers," the sort of immediately-likeable music that you want to hear more of and expect big things from. (Our friends at Classical Geek Theatre marked them as one of the top five local acts to watch out for last December.) Sadly, the members of the group went their separate ways earlier this year.
We checked in with the group to find out what happened and what they're all doing now -- and they gave us six songs to offer up to download. Some of them rare or unreleased, all free.
How long was the group together?
June 2007 - January 2009, with a couple lineup changes in between. The final incarnation with Rachel on vocals lasted for about 6 months.
Why the split?
Drew Kirkpatrick, our singer/guitarist, got a great job as an engineer up in Seattle after finishing grad school. He moved away at the end of January, and the rest of us tried to keep it together, tried out a lot of guys but never found a suitable replacement and it just kind of fizzled out.
What are you guys all doing now?
Rachel Koukal (vocals/keys): Right now I'm working with Letting Up Despite Great Faults. We just laid down some vocals for the new self-titled album, which is getting mastered next week -- there's a sneak peek of the album on www.lettingup.com. Once that's finished we'll start playing some shows around town. I'll be on guitar and vocals more, which I'm pretty excited about. I've also been working on a folky/electronic side project with my boyfriend - the working title is Clusterfolk. He plays banjo and I play my 8-string uke and Omnichord. Diana might play some guitar on it too. It's been sort of a low-key thing we're doing in our spare time, but I'd love to see it culminate into something.
Drew Kirkpatrick (vocals/guitar): I moved up to Seattle for a structural design job. I'm living in the Ballard area, just north of downtown, which has a lot of great little clubs and a thriving music scene. I'm really starting to love the Northwest, but I miss writing music with Automatic Drawing. I've started writing new material and practicing with a multi-instrumentalist friend and a drummer, the project is called City States and we hope to be playing some small shows in the Seattle area starting this fall.
Sarah Hithe (bass):
i've been working on learning to play the drums and writing material
for a post-hardcore influenced solo project. I want to try to record an
EP within the next year...mainly just for fun. Other than that, I've
been spending a lot of time studying for various grad level entrance
Diana Salier (guitar): I'm playing guitar in a pretty new 5-piece indie/rock band called The Ross Sea Party -- found them on Craigslist as Automatic Drawing was starting to die down, and I've been with them since January. Since the summer started we've been playing shows pretty frequently, trying to get the word out and maybe write/record some more songs soon. Definitely still miss Drew and the good old days though!
Photo by Classical Geek Theatre