Automatic is a post-punk trio comprised of Lola Dompè (drums and vocals), Izzy Glaudini (synth and vocals), and Halle Saxon Gaines (bass and vocals). The Los Angeles based band formed in 2017 and quickly gained buzz with their debut EP, landing them opening slots for Poptone and Surfbort. Their guitar-less, minimal sound plays with avant-guard synth experimentation, taking inspiration from bands like Suicide, Kleenex, and Neu. Their shows are interactive, visually charged, and always flooded with an enthusiastic crowd. The threesome talked with us about the LA music scene, color coordinating, and what it means to be women breaking into the industry.
What is your songwriting process?
Izzy: We write everything together usually in our rehearsal space studio. Sometimes we think of a vibe we want to go for. Someone will say, “let’s do an upbeat one” and then it usually starts with Halle writing the bass line and then we kind of jam.
What about the lyrics?
Izzy: I usually come up with lyrics on the spot and tweak them later or we pass them around, but it’s off the cuff most of the time and it develops from there.
Lola: Kind of collaboratively sometimes.
Is there anything specific about L.A. that you guys find conducive for your music?
Halle: Yeah, the community. We’re surrounded by so many musicians that either inspire us or want to play with us or we want to play with them.
Lola: Also there’s a lot of bands with too many guitar solos that I’ve become bored with.
Halle: Haha, they also influence us in the reverse way. They show us what we don’t want to do.
Lola: I wanted to play music without guitar and it’s been super fun because you have to be really creative since the sound is so minimal.
Your shows feel very visual to me… do you guys coordinate fashion wise?
Halle: Yeah we coordinate. When we first started we would each pick a color to wear.
Lola: The more we played though, we kind of stopped because we realized we coordinate even when we don’t plan it.
How would you describe your sound? Who are your influences?
Izzy: There are elements of krautrock, electronic, post punk, and synth punk.
Lola: Maybe even some dub and disco…
Izzy: A little Eno in there…
Lola: It’s just our favorite things… we take bits from everything!
Izzy: And low technical ability.
Halle: Oh yeah! Our sound is very informed by our technical limitations.
Lola: We have big imaginations and not so big technical abilities.
What do you guys see in the future for the band?
Halle: We just want to have fun playing music and tour more, we really love to tour.
Lola: We want to put out an album soon, but mostly it’s just really fun playing music with your best friends.
Any fun tour stories?
Izzy: We were on tour with Poptone and we tried to prank them but we actually ended up really inconveniencing everybody. Nobody was laughing.
Lola: We were so scared to do a prank because we didn’t want Daniel Ash to get mad, so we had the idea to just make their dressing room look really weird. We got all these paper plates and drew faces on them and took all the shirts and coats laying around the room and hung them up to make people…. it looked really creepy!
Halle: But in the process their van keys got lost and we all had to look for them for three hours after the show, at like midnight. So nobody even remembered we pranked them.
Lola: and it was our last show…
So you guys lost the keys?
Halle: Everybody thinks that we lost them, but we never even saw them.
Izzy: They were on a jacket that we moved so everybody thinks that we did.
Lola: They got pushed aside and someone else kicked them under the refrigerator! It literally took us three hours to find them! We were all so tired.
Do you guys feel like being an all female band influences your music, or the way people see the band?
Halle: We’re definitely proud to be women in music. That’s why we originally connected together because we naturally created a safe space.
Lola: It’s definitely a different dynamic, it’s very sensitive. I don’t really mind how people see us but I feel like it’s a great time to be a woman in music. It feels like there’s a community and it’s really inspiring, it’s definitely a moment.
Halle: I feel like people are making more of an effort to be inclusive. It’s great to have a space to be able to express ourselves.
Izzy: There are definitely more doors open, they probably wouldn’t have taken us as seriously in the past.
Is there anything specific you guys hope people get out of your music?
Halle: I hope people feel like a badass when they listen to our music!
Lola: We hope it’s empowering, that’s my favorite part about music.
Izzy: Yeah! Music can be so empowering. I hope it just inspires people to do whatever the fuck they want to do.
Halle: I hope people have a strong mental image while they’re listening, like a visual experience.
I definitely feel inspired and empowered listening to your music and talking with you guys. Thank you!
Photographed by Talulah Brown