By: Ali Owens
It’s a calm and low-key evening on the patio of a local brewery, where I sit with the members of the melodic-rock-meets-metal band Autumn Burn. We are here to discuss their new structure and their upcoming album release, but we are interrupted by an enthusiastic young man who approaches to say hello.
“You guys are in that band! You rock!” He points at Mikus Shoemaker, the band’s epic bassist. “You were doing that thing…” he attempts to imitate a rasping growl. “It was so awesome!”
From the way the guys humbly and genuinely accept the praise, it’s obvious this is not the first time they’ve been recognized by enthralled fans. From Fort Collins to Denver, and everywhere in between, people are getting to know Autumn Burn.
The band is quite the enigma. They’re heavy but melodic; hardcore but accessible; a perfect balance between grit and vulnerability. Lead singer Eric Romero delivers refreshingly raw and unguarded lyrics, vacillating flawlessly between smooth, catchy melodies and guttural screams. Guitarist Josh Rivera glides through impossibly intricate instrumental hooks like it’s no big thing, while Mikus and drummer extraordinaire Matt Durnil provide the pulse – driving and impeccably precise.
Autumn Burn has shared the stage with national acts such as Trapt, Buckcherry, and All That Remains, proving they have the chops to be serious contenders in the music scene, and their long-awaited sophomore album, aptly titled Reach Up To The Stars, is set for release on October 7th through Sugarfox Records at Hodi’s. They’ll share the stage that night with Saints of Never After, Mosaic, and Bronze.
“The strength of the material shows – the growth from the first album to the second,” Mikus says. “I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.”
Josh agrees. “This is a huge step forward.”
Both of the band’s albums have been produced by renowned metal guitarist Ahrue Luster, former member of the Grammy-nominated band Machine Head and current guitarist for the illustrious Latin metal group Ill Niño. “He’s a brilliant engineer,” Eric tells me. “He made me do over 100 takes on one line. It was not a good day. I was so mad. But then he showed me the finished product, and it ended up being one of the most defining lines of the album. And I was like, okay, now I get it.”
What’s next? Writing new songs in a collaborative format. Mikus and Josh, as the newest members of the band, had a lot of catching up to do this year, by way of learning the songs on the album; now, they’re looking forward to contributing to the songwriting process. “We’re lucky,” says Eric. “It’s not often you find like-minded people who all want to do the same thing. It’s unique and special.”
Want to hear what all the fuss is about? Head to the album release party at Hodi’s Half Note on the 7th (see inset for details) to witness Autumn Burn doing what they do best – reaching up to the stars. For a group with this much talent, drive and determination, the sky’s the limit.