The Automatic otherwise known as The Automatic Automatic, in the U.S. and Canada, are a band who formed in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales but are now based in Cardiff. They are influenced heavily by acts such as Jarcrew, Muse, Blur and The Blood Brothers, among others.
The members first met at Primary school, in the early nineties, and formed a band at the age of 13. This was without ex-member Alex Pennie, who was asked to join 5 years later. Originally known as White Rabbit, they renamed themselves The Automatic because they believe that music is the antidote to "the automatic life". They signed with B-Unique Records (home of Kaiser Chiefs) in their gap.
Not Accepted Anywhere (2006-2007)
In November 2005, the band released their first single, "Recover", prior to the release of their debut album Not Accepted Anywhere, this single however was not chart eligible since only 1,500 copies were released on vinyl and only 3,500 on CD. Also in 2005, The Automatic won The Pop Factory award for "Best New Band".
On March 27, 2006, the band's next single, "Raoul", was released, reaching #32 in the UK Singles Chart. The third single, "Monster", was released on June 5, 2006 and reached #4, but entered the UK Singles Chart at #23 the week before based on download sales alone. "Monster" has also been re-mixed into a dance track by Fatboy Slim, and some football teams use the song as an anthem. Former Keyboardist Alex Pennie has expressed his thoughts on football fans singing their song "Monster", and does not see it as a good thing, nor does he get any thrill out of them singing it, also stating "I'm not the biggest fan of football, I class it a waste of time," in an interview with MTV.co.uk
Not Accepted Anywhere, was released on 19 June, 2006, which they celebrated with a signing and performance in Oxford Street's HMV.
On July 17, 2006 shortly after the UK release of Not Accepted Anywhere, the Raoul EP was released, containing a number of early songs and b-sides to Not Accepted Anywhere. The EP also included the original versions of "Recover" and "Raoul".
The Automatic have been heavily criticised for their follow-ups to their chart hit "Monster", which peaked at #4 in UK charts. The band has been accused of being a "one-hit wonder" Not Accepted Anywhere was also criticised for the tracks sounding too similar to one another.
The fourth single was a full release of "Recover", and is actually a re-recorded version of the song which the record label felt to be a more fully-realised performance. Generally it is heavier in sound, features more synths from Pennie and a sharper guitar sound for Frost's solo.
16 August 2006 saw the band's second EP, titled Live at the 100 Club, the EP was recorded at the 100 Club, in London and made exclusive to iTunes.
The Automatic on the Vans Warped Tour.The fifth single, a re-release of "Raoul", was released
The fifth single, a re-release of "Raoul", was released on January 8, 2007. The single fared worse than its original release, however received higher plays on MTV, Kerrang and other music stations.
On June 26, 2007 the band released their debut album, Not Accepted Anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. This comes prior to their attendance at the Vans Warped Tour, 2007. Their first U.S. single, "Monster", was released on April 24, 2007.
Alex Pennie Departure 18th September 2007
On 18th of September 2007 it was announced by The Automatic that Alex Pennie (synths player) had left the band due to finding the last year increasingly unenjoyable and growing apart from the rest of the band. It was later revealed that Alex had wanted to leave the band since January 2007.
So you all know today we announced that keyboard player Alex Pennie has left the band.
Alex Pennie, whos been in The Automatic since 2003, played his last gigs with the band at the recent Get Loaded In The Park festival (25th-26th August) and has left after due to finding the last year increasingly unenjoyable and growing apart from the rest of the band
The three members of The Automatic Rob Hawkins, James Frost and Iwan Griffiths will soon be flying to the USA to start recording the follow up to their debut album Not Accepted Anywhere' and are looking forward to announcing more news soon.The Automatic
In November NME reported that the band have had no direct contact with former band mate Alex Pennie since the split, which also took place earlier than the official split according to his former band mates, Rob has exchanged myspace messages with Pennie however, reporting that he is doing ok, and that he now has a new punk band, and a new girlfriend.
Second Album, future Album (2007 - present)
In late February guitarist James Frost was interviewed and stated that a non-album single would be released around March 2007. However it was never released, nor was it ever officially said what song was going to be released, although it was speculated to be Revolution.
So far the official details on a second album are limited; however, new songs have been showcased on the NME tour, including "Steve McQueen" and "Revolution". Also in playmusic magazine it is suggested that the sound on the second album will change. "Our record is a bit too pop for my liking," says Alex Pennie in the interview, however they have said in other interviews that there will be no drastic changes in the genre for the second album. However Alex Pennie has since left the band prior to the recording of the album. They have also stated that they will start writing this album when they go out to America, for the Vans Warped Tour 2007, and it is expected to be released early 2008.
I'm much more excited about the second record, its shaping up to be quite dark and sinister and my vocals are getting better as well.
After Warped we have a few gigs planned, but were mainly going to be concentrating on writing and recording our second album!
On 26th July 2007 theautomatic.co.uk was changed for the first time since the UK release of Not Accepted Anywhere, from the Not Accepted Anywhere Theme into a new lighter flash aided design, the design may or may not have relevance to the forthcoming Untitled Second Album scheduled for a late 2007/early 2008 release. A US site was also released, the style only slightly differs with The Automatic UK site featuring a new logo, the USA site uses the logo from Not Accepted Anywhere.
On October 19 2007 it was reported by Rock Sound that former yourcodenameis:milo vocalist Paul Mullen would be replacing Pennie.
It was officially reported from the automatics website on October 22, 2007 that Paul Mullen was to the join the band, however he is not the direct replacement for Pennie, in fact Paul will be acting as the bands rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist. The band also are reported to have 20 songs demoed and ready to record, half of which were written with Alex Pennie, and the other half have been wrote with Paul Mullen. The new album will however feature just as much keyboards according to James Frost, however synths and keyboards will be split between the four band members.
The band plan to go back on tour promoting the second album from March 1, 2008, although dates, support and venues have yet to be announced.
The new songs apparently are poppier than before, with some heavier songs and some more mellow songs.
Currently the band are slated to begin recording in January 2008, with a March 2008 tour, and the album release in May 2008.