The Automatic

The Automatic

Infobox Musical artist
Name = The Automatic

Img_capt = (left to right) Robin Hawkins, Paul Mullen, James Frost and Iwan Griffiths.
Landscape = yes
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Cowbridge, Wales
Genre = Alternative rock [ allmusic ((( The Automatic > Overview ))) ] ]
Post-punk revival []
Electro [] (older material)
Pop punk []
Dance punk []
Post-hardcore [] (newer material)
Years_active = 2002–present
Label = (UK) B-Unique, Polydor
(USA) Columbia
Associated_acts =
URL = []
Current_members = Robin Hawkins
James Frost
Iwan "Wange" Griffiths
Paul Mullen
Past_members = Alex Pennie

The Automatic, (also known as The Automatic Automatic in the U.S. and Canada after the band were faced with legal action from another act under the name of "Automatic" [cite web |title=The Automatic Automatic interview |work=They Will Rock You (Mary Ouellette)|month=June | year=2007 |url= |accessdate = 2008-03-02 ] ), are a Welsh based rock band. The three original members James Frost, Robin Hawkins, and Iwan Griffiths are from Wales, however new addition Paul Mullen (originally of ) is from Sunderland. The band originally formed in Cowbridge, but are currently based in a studio in Cardiff. [cite web |title= If only success was Automatic|work= icwales (Claire Rees) |date=2008-10-14 |url= |accessdate=2006-11-10] Jarcrew, Muse, Blur and The Blood Brothers are among the band's influences [cite web |title= The Automatic, Not Accepted Anywhere |work= The Guardian |first=Sophie |last=Heawood |date=2006-06-16 |url=,,1798353,00.html |accessdate=2008-03-02] The band released their debut album, "Not Accepted Anywhere" (2006) through B-Unique Records and Polydor Records, the album featured the prior to LP release single "Recover", "Raoul" and "Monster". [cite web |title= The Automatic announce debut album release |work= NME |date=2006-04-27 |url= |accessdate=2006-04-27] The band as of 1 March 2008 have finished their second album with new member Paul Mullen, after keyboardist Alex Pennie left in September 2007.cite web |title= What we've been up to since last blog innit! | (James Frost)|date=2007-10-22 |url= |accessdate=2007-10-22] The band's sixth single Steve McQueen was released on August 18th 2008, followed by the release of the album, This Is a Fix, on August 25 2008.


Band beginnings (1998–2005)

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 five years later. [cite web |title= The Automatic play Cardiff |work=BBC Radio 6 |date=2006-06-08 |url= |accessdate=2008-03-14] [cite web |title= About The Automatic Automatic|work= Haystack Biographies |month=January | year=2007 |url= |accessdate=2008-03-14] Originally known as "White Rabbit", up until February 2005 when [cite web |title= The Automatic Automatic (2007 Band Profile)|work= MTV|month= June | year= 2007 |url= |accessdate=2008-03-14] they renamed themselves The Automatic because they believe that music is the antidote to "the automatic life". [cite web |title= /Wales Music/ The Automatic interview (2005)|work= BBC (Nat Davies)|date= January 4 2007|url= |accessdate= |accessyear=2005] After recording their two track demo featuring rough versions of "Monster" and "Rats" in 2005 [cite web |title= MOJO | Bands | London Live | The Automatic|work= MOJO |date=2008-03-14 |url= |accessdate=2008-05-11] they signed a five album record deal [cite web |title= The Automatic interview|work= Sound Nation (James McLaren)|month= September | year= 2005|url= |accessdate=2007-12-11] with B-Unique Records in their gap year, they are managed by Martin Bowen. [cite web |title= B Unique Records - Artists - The Automatic |work= B-Unique Records |date=2008-03-14 |url= |accessdate=]

"Not Accepted Anywhere" (2006–2007)

After signing their record deal with B-Unique the band began the writing and recording of their first record, the first release from which came in the form of "Recover" which on November 7, 2005 saw its release along with b-side "Jack Daniels". [cite web |title= The Automatic - Recover|work=BBC |date=2005-11-07 |url=|accessdate=2008-08-19] for the next 2 months the band were in studio, put under strain to write their record for a January deadline set by their record label, because of this the band believe the end result came out sounding quite similar. [cite web |title= Rocklouder catches up with The Automatic to talk all about the new album, on the last night of their first tour with new boy Paul Mullen|work= Rocklouder (Phillip May)|date=2008-04-29 |url=|accessdate=2008-05-03] Whilst début single "Recover" did not chart, it had still gained them publicity, NME put the band on their "new music" tour, also calling them "The sound of 2006", [cite web |title= The Automatic @ Bar Pure|work= BBC|date= 23 February, 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-08-19] [cite web |title= The Automatic announce tour details|work= NME|date=2008-08-19 |url=|accessdate=2008-05-03] the band quickly had further success, being awarded "Best New Band" in the Pop Factory Awards 2005. [cite web |title= The Automatic "Recover"|work= BBC Wales|date= November 21 2005|url= |accessdate=2008-03-15]

After touring with The Kooks in early 2006 the band began the release of second single "Raoul" which came on March 27 2006, being the first chart eligible release, reaching a peak in the UK Singles Chart of #35, album track "On The Campaign Trail" was also released on the CD single, whilst "Trophy Wives" was released on the vinyl, the single received as a large amount of airplay on MTV Two amongst other channels, as well as further exposure. [cite web |title= New Automatic Reviews...|work=|date= March 12 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-08-19] the band went around the country between touring promoting the single and the forthcoming album with instore signings. [cite web |title= The Automatic announce tour details|work= NME|date=2008-08-19 |url=|accessdate=2008-05-03]

On April 27th 2006 Not Accepted Anywhere was announced; the début 12 track long album, which would see release on B-Unique Records on June 19 2006, with a new single "Monster", as well as further tour dates. [cite web |title= The Automatic announce debut album release|work= NME|date=2006-04-17 |url=|accessdate=2008-05-03] When the album then arrived it received fairly mixed reactions, many reviewers pointing out the high pitched backing screams from Alex Pennie, which whilst some pointed out it gives the band an identity and a level of individuality, whilst others just found it annoying Dom Gourlay of Drowned In Sound wrote "the unnecessary screeching of the keyboard player just a tad irritating - bordering on the side of wanting to commit homicide - at the best of times" [cite web |title= The Automatic Not Accepted Anywhere|work= Drowned In Sound|date=2008-08-19 |url=|accessdate=2008-08-19] whilst NME wrote "screeching backing vocals, have made him sound like a new instrument all of its own" regarding the notorious vocalist. [cite web |title= The Automatic - The popsters borrow some emo and a bit of Kaiser Chiefs to give us lots of good tunes!|work= NME|date=2006-06-16 |url=|accessdate=2008-08-19] The album however remained very popular as far as sales went, reaching number #3 in the UK Album Chart, and remaining in the chart for over half a year, new single "Monster" also proved to be a huge success, reaching #4 in the single chart, oddly the band were then accused of being a one hit wonder, despite "Monster" being their second top 40 hit, the band also said since its release that there was no pressure, nor was it an objective to come up with something as popular as "Monster". [cite web |title= The Automatic - Interview (2008)|work= Digital Spy|date=2008-08-19 |url=|accessdate=2008-08-18] The Raoul EP, a collection of b-sides and songs which didn't make the final album was released on July 17, 2006. [cite web |title= The Automatic compilation EP "Raoul"|work= Virgin Music |date=2006-06-27 |url=|accessdate= 2008-03-16 ]

Following the release of the album the band went on tour with Cat The Dog and Welsh friends Viva Machine, and played a 13 date tour across the United Kingdom, which also included their hugely publicised appearance on GMTV as well as a UK festival circuit, included Reeding and Leads festival, T4 on the Beach and T In The Park, all leading up to their fourth single a re-release of "Recover", which had been re-recorded for a larger release than its original limited release the year before. The single peaked at #32 in the UK after its release on September 18, 2006, surrounding this the band played various dates around Europe and Japan. [cite web |title= The Automatic Japan Tour|work= Music Towers|date=2006-08-14 |url=|accessdate= 2008-03-16 ] [cite web |title= The Automatic 2007 Interview|work= Designer Magazine|year= 2006|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-15 ]

We wrote a song, it did really well, I don't really see what there is to be upset about. You get labelled "one hit wonders", but that's more hits than most people have. And it's not like we've disappeared without a trace. We've got a second album coming out, which in my opinion is full of much better songs. We wouldn't have been in a position to fly to LA to make a record if it wasn't for 'Monster'."

Robin Hawkins [cite web |title= The Automatic - Interview (2008)|work= Digital Spy|date=2008-08-19 |url=|accessdate=2008-08-18]

Over Christmas 2006 the band wrote and recorded two new songs which would begin play next year on the NME Rock Tour 2007, these songs titled "Steve McQueen" and "Revolution" (now known as "Secret Police") would be accompanied by a cover of Life During Wartime by Talking Heads, as well as the fifth and final single from Not Accepted Anywhere, another re-release, despite many fans wanting another album track to be used, "Raoul" was chosen by the band's record label, with the band saying they were not "into" the idea of releasing Raoul again. [cite web |title= BBC Nottingham Radio Interview Segment, Prior to NME Indie Rock Tour|work= BBC Radio (Interview with Guitarist James Frost)|year= 2007|url=|accessdate=2008-05-31] [cite web |title= The Automatic - Raoul (B-Unique)|work= musicOHM|date= 8 January 2007|url=|accessdate=2008-05-31] the single charted slightly higher than previously (originally at #36) instead the single charted at #32 in the UK single chart. [cite web |title= (Review) Raoul 2007 Re-release single|work= |date=2007-01-04 |url=|accessdate= 2008-03-15 ] [cite web |title= NME Rock Tour - Liverpool Mountford Hall|work=|date= February 21 2007|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-15 ]

After extensive UK touring the band released "Not Accepted Anywhere" in the United States and Canada in June. This preceded their attendance at the Warped Tour, 2007 and was opened with their first U.S. single, "Monster" which was released on May 14 2007. [cite web |title= Columbia Records Announces the Stateside Release of 'Not Accepted Anywhere,' the Acclaimed début Album From Emerging UK Band, The Automatic Automatic|work= PR Newswire|date= 2007-03-20|url=|accessdate= 2007-03-20 ] after the Warped Tour and release of the album embarked on their first USA Tour, before returning to the United Kingdom for their final show of the Not Accepted Anywhere era, Get Load In The Park. [cite web |title= The Automatic Automatic: Double the Name, Double the Fun|work= Spin|date=2007-07-27 |url=|accessdate=2008-06-18] [cite web |title= The Automatic plot first US headlining tour|work= NME|date=July 17 2007|url=|accessdate=2008-06-18]

Departure of Alex Pennie

On 18 September 2007 it was announced by The Automatic that Alex Pennie had departed from The Automatic, a departure that for the band had happened for before the announcement. Alex performed for the final time with band mates at Get Loaded In The Park 2007, however had been active for some time with the band assisting with the writing process of their second album, This Is A Fix. [cite web |title= Get Loaded in the Park - Sunday 26 August 2007|work= efestivals|date= August 26 2007|url= efestivals|accessdate=2008-01-08] [cite web |title= Automatic now Pennie less|work= icwales (Gavin Allen)|date= November 7 2007|url=|accessdate=2008-03-22] It was announced through the band's website and through the band's MySpace that Pennie had been finding playing with his band mates "increasingly unenjoyable" and that he had been growing apart from them. [cite web |title= The Automatic have today announced that keyboard player Alex Pennie has left the band|work=|date= September 18 2007|url=|accessdate=2007-09-18] [cite web |title= Pennie quits The Automatic|work= NME|date= 2007-09-18|url=|accessdate=2007-09-18] [cite web |title= Home and Studio stuff|work=|date= September 10 2007|url=|accessdate=2007-10-09]

In November "NME" reported that the band have had no direct contact with Pennie since the split, which also took place earlier than the official split according to his former band mates. Hawkins has exchanged MySpace messages with Pennie however, reporting that he is doing ok, and that he now has a new punk band. [cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title= The Automatic; We Weren't "Cool" Enough For Pennie|url=|work= NME|publisher= |date= 2007-11-03 |accessdate=2008-03-22 ] Alex Pennie has more recently stated that he is returning to the UK to start work on "a new project". [cite news |authorlink=|title= Update|work= Alex Pennie |publisher= MySpace|date= 16 December 2007|accessdate=2008-03-22 ]

Robin Hawkins commented on the situation of Pennie's departure in an interview with Xfm in August 2008 stating;

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.

Alex Penniecite news |first= Barry|last= Nicolson|coauthors= Dean Chalkley (photo)|title= There's An Annoying Little Man Shouting All Over Our Album - And It's Me|url=|work= NME|date= 2007-11-03|accessdate=2008-03-22 ]

This Is A Fix (2007–present)

After the departure of Alex Pennie the band was quick to make a new recruitment, Paul Mullen of was brought in after his band went on hiatus, taking on the position of guitarist, vocalist and synth player, so he would not be a direct replacement for Alex Pennie. The band had already been at work before Pennie's departure and had around 10 songs already done, [cite web |title= What we've been up to since last blog innit|work= (James Frost blog)|date= October 22 2007|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-26] two of which were "Steve McQueen" and "Secret Police", which both had been performed throughout 2007 on various tours. [cite web |title=Comin home, with new tunes in our suitcases. literally. |work=MySpace blog |date=2008-03-01 |url= |accessdate = 2008-03-02 ] [cite web |title= Automatic now Pennie less|work= icwales (Gavin Allen)|date= November 7 2007|url=|accessdate= 2007-12-01 ] [cite web |title= Yourcodenameis: The Automatic, apparently|work= Drowned in Sound|date= October 19 2007|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-26] [cite web |title= The Automatic announce famous new member|work= NME|date= October 19 2007|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-26] [cite web |title= Automatic Automatic Interview (w/ Iwan Griffiths)|work= (Unofficial Warped Tour Guide)|date= March 24 2007|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-26] [cite web |title= Blah de blah!!!|work= (Iwan Griffiths blog)|date= October 29 2007|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-26] [cite web |title= Back to the grind|work= (Rob Hawkins Blog)|date= September 20 2007|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-26] After working doing a lot of work in Cardiff in their studio, the band flew out to Los Angeles, California were they began working with Don Gilmore, who has worked with the likes of Linkin Park and Dashboard Confessional, however were not happy with the results, thus switched to working with Butch Walker (Fall Out Boy, The All American Rejects, Simple Plan) were they worked for some time, until having to return to the United Kingdom were they finished up much of the record back in Cardiff working with Rich Jackson, who worked with the band on Not Accepted Anywhere. [cite web |title= The Automatic James Frost Audio Interview (5.16 single details)|work= BBC (Nottingham)|month= February | year= 2007|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-26] [cite web |title= The Automatic Unleashed|work= (Helen Duong)|date= January 15 2007|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-26]

After the recording process was complete, in March, the band began a club tour, playing at smaller venues to "get up close" with the fans, supported by friends Viva Machine with the likes of Canterbury and Attack Attack also performing at select dates. [cite web |title= The Automatic Announce UK Club Tour|work= gigwise (Daniel Melia)|date= January 01 2008|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-28] The band's first single from This Is a Fix was soon announced, "Steve McQueen", first played on the NME 2007 Tour, would arrive on August 18th 2008, a further number of tour dates were also announced for August and September, the band were also announced to be play at Reading and Leeds Festivals, as well as performing at the UK release of the Rock Band video game, Glastonbury, and a number of other festivals and gigs around Europe. [cite web |title= The Automatic Announce UK Tour!|work=|date= April 10 2008|url=|accessdate= 2008-02-21 ] [cite web |title= New line-up, new sound, new album for the Welsh rockers…|work= MTV|date= May 21 2008|url=|accessdate= 2008-05-25 ]

Single "Steve McQueen" was premièred on the Zane Lowe show on BBC Radio 1 on July 7th 2008, the following day broadcast the music video for the first time, [cite web |title= Bloc Party & The Automatic Both Debut New Material|work= Rocklouder|date= July 7 2008|url=|accessdate= 2008-07-08 ] following this track "This Is A Fix" was released as a free gift on July 30 2008 via [ download] . [cite web |title= Free downloads, gigs and other shizzle!!|work=|date= July 31 2008|url=|accessdate= 2008-07-31 ] On August 18th, the release day of Steve McQueen, the entire album became available on the band's myspace page, the band also days later performed an all new cover, "Love in This Club" by "Usher" on the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge.

Other appearances

The band are well known for their performances of "Gold Digger", which on numerous occasions they have been joined by various guests when performing the cover, including Newton Faulkner on the Warped Tour, and Goldie Lookin Chain at the Reading Festival. [cite web |title= The Automatic Cover Kanye West's 'Gold Digger'|work= gigwise|date= September 23 2006|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-31] [cite web |title= The Automatic Cover Kanye West On New Single|work= angryape|date= October 25 2006|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-31] [cite web |title= The Automatic interview (2006)|work= BBC|year= 2006|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-31] [cite web |title= Interview: The Automatic (Daniel Robson)|work= Music Towers|date= August 03, 2006|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-26] The band as well as covering this have taken to covering Talking Heads' classic, Life During Wartime. [cite web |title= Interview with guitarist James Frost|work=|date= October 27 2006|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-26] the band also used to occasionally cover At the Drive-In's song "Arc Arsenal" [cite web |title= Interviews: The Automatic Automatic|work= punknews|date= June 13, 2007|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-31] [cite web |title= (Video) The Automatic Life During Wartime (Cover)|work= Youtube/The Automatic/Talking Heads|date= February 25, 2007|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-26] , on tours and performances in 2008, with the addition of Paul Mullen the band have been performing a 50/50 split of material, including "Monster", "Raoul", "Lost At Home", "That's What She Said" and "By My Side" and "Recover" from Not Accepted Anywhere and various songs from This Is A Fix, no other songs from Not Accepted Anywhere have been performed as of yet since Mullen joined, however "Jack Daniels" from Raoul EP has been promised for autumn tours by the band, Usher cover "Love In This Club" which the band performed at radio 1 live lounge, as well as "Epic" by Faith No More have also been mentioned for further performances in 2008. Some of The Automatic's most notable touring appearances include Reading Festival 2006 and 2008, NME Awards Indie Rock Tour 2007, as well as appearances at Glastonbury Festival [cite web |title= ShockWaves NME Awards Tour 2007 Indie Rock line-up|work= NME|date= November 27 2006|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-31] and Warped Tour 2007.

The GMTV Incident

On July 21, 2006 some time after the band's chart success with "Monster", they were asked at the last minute to perform the song on GMTV at around 9am. The night before the band had been drinking after their gig at Carling Academy Bristol on their tour with Cat the Dog and Viva Machine and "decided to stay up all night after the gig" drinking more and more, unhappy with the prospect of having to mime on the morning show. [cite web |title= The Automatic Facing Legal Action|work= Contact Music|date= August 2 2006|url=|accessdate=2007-10-07] [ [ contactmusic] "The Automatic explain their GMTV incident"] Former keyboardist Alex Pennie explained; "Frost (James, guitarist) was pretty drunk when we started 'Monster', and I'm easily led. Before we knew it I was standing in my boxer shorts in the GMTV garden and Frost had trashed all the equipment". [cite web |title= The Automatic trash GMTV set|work= NME|date= July 21 2006|url=|accessdate=2007-04-07] Guitarist James Frost had smashed his rented guitar, as well as throwing himself into the drum kit, whilst Pennie waved his Alesis Micron around. Iwan and Rob had continued to mine. During the incident a cameraman allegedly received a glancing injury from guitarist James Frost and threatened the band with legal action. This matter was later resolved. The band have stated that they doubt they will ever be asked back, although they have 'not been banned' by GMTV. [cite web |title= The Automatic Explain TV Set Trashing|work= Contact Music|date= October 12 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-04-08]

Relationship with other artists

The September 2008 issue of Rock Sound magazine pointed out that the band don't have many fans among their peers, the band blamed their hit single "Monster" and its success, they also pointed out how they have got were they are on their own and not relying on other bands to help them out, however they have made friends along the way.

I think that most bands don't like us, I think bands look at us and go 'Nah'.

James Frostcite news |first= Tim|last= Newbound|coauthors= |title= The Automatic - Second Album! - Easy?|url=|work= Rock Sound|date= 2008-08-01|accessdate=2008-08-19 ]

The band have made their fair share of criticisms on other, in 2006 the band slated Sandi Thom for mixing with the wrong scene, Frost saying; "If she was a punk rocker with flowers in her hair she'd get the s*** kicked out of her by other punk rockers, for having flowers in her hair." [ [ BBCTOTP] "Monster Stink" "Retrieved" - December 4 2007] the band also had a short feud with The Horrors, Throughout the build up to the NME Indie Rock Tour 2007 there was growing tension between the band and The Horrors, the problem started after in an interview with NME guitarist James Frost was questioned about The Horrors, saying they were "crap", over-hyped and who just have "big hair" [cite web |title= NME tour tensions - Little tour of Horrors for The Fratellis|work= BBC|date= October 13 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-04-07] . The Horrors responded to this in an interview saying "there are probably people who don't get our music. I'm sure they'll be much happier flogging their dead horse." The bassist then responded by saying “They’re raping a dead pig.” In an interview with Frost continued the feud by stating "I think that they come from the sort of art-school background and they’re just trying to be as cool as possible. We don’t really care to be honest, if you don’t like us don’t bother with us." [cite web |title= The Automatic rubbish The Horrors|work= NME|date= October 11 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-04-07] [cite web |title= Call the RSPCA: The Horrors "Raping a dead pig" say The Automatic|work= Drowned In Sound|date= January 16 2007|url=|accessdate=2008-04-07] The dispute was supposedly settled during the NME Tour over a game of 'Rock, Paper, Scissors'. [cite web |title= The Horrors "The Automatic are Boring" And they tell all just hours before lining up to play alongside them…|work= MTV|date= March 3 2007|url=|accessdate=2008-05-25]

[The Automatic were at the receiving end of criticism when Kasabian lashed out at The Automatic as well as Bloc Party and Pete Doherty, branding them as "horrible". [cite web |title= Kasabian Slam Music Scene|work= Contact Music|date= May 7 2007|url=|accessdate=2008-04-07]

Other incidents include during the 2007 "NME" Indie Rock Tour Alex Pennie had a incident with a stage invader, who managed to get on stage, lighting a cigarette, and sat on one of the stack amps, this lead to Pennie jumping up and wrestling the invader to the ground where the scrap was broken up by bassist Rob Hawkins. [cite web |title= The Automatic cause havoc on Shockwaves NME Awards indie tour|work= NME|date= February 2 2007|url=|accessdate=2008-04-07]

The band are good friends with Viva Machine, Gallows (band), Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly and Ash. Ash and The Automatic have been seen together and have a good relationship, at Cardiff Big Weekend 2008 Ash dedicated their single "Oh Yeah" to The Automatic, who had played earlier in the day. [cite web |title= The Automatic - unrelenting drizzle and Ash|work= The Automatic NME blog|date= August 05 2008|url=|accessdate= 2008-08-10 ]

Throughout 2005 and 2006 tours the band had been requesting shrines for David Hasselhoff at the venues they perform at. [ [ contactmusic] Rob Hawkins explains David Hasselhoff shrines "Retrieved" 2007-12-07] The band have said they respect the actor and musician and would in-fact at some point like to work with him.

In 2006 the band aided Hasselhoff's chart success by purchasing all of his single "Jump in My Car" in Bristol Virgin Megastore; drummer Iwan Giffiths then justified their actions by saying the band were Hasselhoff fans and that they would love the opportunity to work with him at some point. [ [ contactmusic] ] The band have been featured a number of times in parts of various Hasselhoff websites. [ [ thedailyhasselhoff] "Merry Xmas from The Automatic" - Hasselhoff website appreciating The Automatic]

TV, Internet and radio appearances

In 2006 they became the first band to make an return performance on "The Friday Night Project". [cite web |title= The Friday Night Project Episode #2.8 (2006)|work= IMDB|date= 24 February 2006 (Season 2, Episode 8)|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11] [cite web |title= The Friday Night Project Episode #3.9 (2006)|work= IMDB|date= 11 August 2006 (Season 3, Episode 9)|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11] On March 18 2006 the band appeared on Channel 4's The Album Chart Show with Placebo and The Kooks. [cite web |title= The Album Chart Show Episode #1.3 (2006)|work= IMDB|date= 18 March 2006 (Season 1, Episode 3)|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11] The band were featured in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge where they first performed their cover of Kayne West's "Gold Digger" which was later released on the compilation CD "Radio 1's Live Lounge" as well as being re-recorded and added as a b-side to the 2007 re-release of "Raoul". [cite web |title= Radio 1's Live Lounge|work=|date= October 16, 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11] [cite web |title= The Automatic To Release 'Gold Digger'|work= ClickMusic|date= November 27, 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11]

On June 18 2006 the band played T4 on the Beach, similarly to their GMTV performance they were forced to mime, again leading to the band playing whilst drunk, however this time not as much destruction was caused by the band mates. [cite web |title= T4 On The Beach 2006 The Automatic|work= Channel 4|date= June 18 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11] [cite web |title= The Automatic hint at drunk T4 performance|work= (Daniel Kilkelly)|date= June 10 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11] [cite web |title= The Automatic Promise Live TV Appearance To Remember|work=|date= June 11, 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11]

In June 2006 the band appeared twice on "Transmission" [cite web |title= Transmission with T-Mobile Episode #1.3 (2006)|work= IMDB|date= 30 June 2006 (Season 1, Episode 3)|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11] [cite web |title= Transmission with T-Mobile Episode #1.2 (2006)|work= IMDB|date= 23 June 2006 (Season 1, Episode 2)|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11] Prior to the album release, the band appeared on Top Of The Pop's where they performed "Monster". [cite web |title= The Automatic - TV Credits - Guest Star|work=|date= |url=|accessdate=2008-04-11]

On four separate occasions the band have appeared on the T4 show "Popworld". After the broadcasting in an interview the band stated that if The Kooks and Razorlight got into a fight then they would support The Kooks, saying that Johnny Borrell has a lot of people who already dislike him. This came after their appearance on "Top of the Pops", as were The Kooks, and ironically Lostprophets, which they felt was awkward considering Fearne Cotton had previously been dating Luke Pritchard and Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins, during the interview with "Popworld" Iwan made jokes of how Fearne was giving Frost the "eye". [cite web |title= What's that coming over the hill? Oh, it's an interview with The Automatic about monsters.|work= BBC Top Of The Pops|date= June 09 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11] [cite web |title= T4 Popworld Interview with The Automatic|work= T4 Popworld|date= December 4, 2007|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11]

In September 2006 the members made an appearance along with Manic Street Preachers in Sky Sports show "Soccer AM", their track "Raoul" was also soon featured on the show's soundtrack to the year. [cite web |title= Soccer AM and T4|work=|date= September 21 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11] On 16 November 2006, Alex Pennie appeared as a guest on panel show, "Never Mind The Buzzcocks" along with Amy Winehouse. [cite web |title= Never Mind the Buzzcocks: Andrew Maxwell, Alex Pennie, Penny Smith, Amy Winehouse|work=|date= November 16, 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11]

On January 9 2007, Robin Hawkins and Alex Pennie stood in on the Zane Lowe show on BBC Radio 1, hosting a two hour show, with tracks from Frank Turner and Viva Machine, The View, and several other artists. [cite web |title= The Automatic - Salvo February 2007|work= Charlotte Dunckley (Interview with Robin Hawkins)|date= May 7, 2007|url=|accessdate=2008-04-11]

During the band's stay in the USA and Canada they appeared on several Fuse TV including "The Vinnie Langdon Show". [cite web |title= THE AUTOMATIC AUTOMATIC - 2X ON FUSE TODAY!!!|work= Purevolume USA Blog|date= July 11, 2007|url=|accessdate=2008-05-11] Months later after the departure of Alex Pennie the band were briefly featured with for the first time with Paul Mullen, attending the 2007 Pop Factory Awards which was Broadcast on ITV Wales.

Singles "Steve McQueen" and a new revamped version of "Monster" were broadcast on Channel 4s T4 on the Beach 2008 after Cage The Elephant dropped out last minute due to a injury in band, the videos were also made available on YouTube. [cite web |title= The Automatic For T4 On The Beach|work= clickmusic|date= July 20, 2008|url=|accessdate=2008-08-08] The band are said to be featured in online television show "The Secret World Of Sam King" which began broadcasting from August 6 2008 and will feature other names such as Sugababes and Sam Sparro. [cite web |title= Sugababes, Automatic, Sam Sparro for music industry drama|work= NME|date= August 6, 2008|url=|accessdate=2008-08-08]

Activism & Charity work

The band have been seen supporting the "Bollocks to Poverty" campaign, giving the advice "My tip is to do it with your friends. Get all your mates together and put on a gig in a youth club. Have fun. Try and be self-critical. Get a buzz going, put up lots of posters". [cite web |title=Advice from Bands and DJs: The Automatic|work=|date= May 19, 2008|url=|accessdate=2008-05-19]

Taking time out during the band's tour in the USA, the group signed a Gibson SG decorated by artist Andrew Hewkin, the guitar was later auctioned for charities including The Prince's Trust, Teenage Cancer Trust and Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy. [cite web |title=The Automatic signs their hand painted Gibson SG guitar for Gibson Guitartown London|work=|date= July 13 2007|url=|accessdate=2008-06-19]

Most recently the band have been involved in charity work for The Samaritans, through a Six A Side football game, with such bands as Babyshambles, McFly, The Wombats and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. [cite web |title= Pete Doherty confirmed for Celebrity Soccer Six|work= NME|date= May 19, 2008|url=|accessdate=2008-05-19] [cite web |title=Celebrity packed six-a-side|work= Virgin Music|date= May 19, 2008|url=|accessdate=2008-05-19]

The band performed as a headlining act on the Rock Against Racism stage at Glastonbury Festival 2008, months later the band also donated money raised from a gig at Pontypridd Muni Arts Centre to "Help a South Wales Child". [cite web |title=Free downloads, gigs and other shizzle!!|work=|date= July 31, 2008|url=|accessdate=2008-07-31]

Musical style

The band are often described as electro-disco-punk rock, [Cite web|url=|title=bbc theautomatic not accepted anywhere|accessdate=2007-10-29|publisher=bbc] and at one point Glam rock, which former keyboardist Alex Pennie blamed NME for. [Cite web|url=|title= The Automatic - Popworld Interview (Video)|accessdate=2004-05-14|publisher=Youtube, Popworld] The band cite their influences such as Jarcrew, Muse, Blur and The Blood Brothers, [Cite web|url=|title=theautomatic influences|accessdate=2007-10-29|publisher=The Automatic (Myspace)] and a joint love for bands such as Radiohead and Ash, [Cite web|url=|title=theautomatic "the sound"|accessdate=2007-10-29|] the band also despite not ever touring with Ash have been seen together and have a good relationship, at Cardiff Big Weekend 2008 Ash dedicated their single "Oh Yeah" to The Automatic, who had played earlier in the day. [cite web |title= The Automatic - unrelenting drizzle and Ash|work= The Automatic NME blog|date= August 05 2008|url=|accessdate= 2008-08-10 ] "Not Accepted Anywhere" was said to have elements of pop, punk, emo, techno and electro [ [ NME] "The Automatic Not Accepted Anywhere"] During their live performances the band are usually extremely energetic on stage performances, the constant microphone swinging during their Not Accepted Anywhere era from former keyboardist Alex Pennie, as well as regular crowd surfing from guitarist James Frost were part of the usual stage antics, Pennie could also often be seen climbing on stacks of amps and whatever else was available. [cite web |title= NME SXSW showcase packs the house - Razorlight, Automatic and Jamie T hit the stage|work= NME|date= March 18 2008|url=|accessdate= 2007-03-15 ]

Many of the band's lyrics are taken from the drill of day-to-day lives and the direction you take ("That's What She Said", "Raoul", "Light Entertainment", "Time=Money", "By My Side") and the lives of the people in the band ("Seriously... I Hate You Guys", "Team Drama") other lyrics and song themes include alcohol and drug abuse ("Monster", "Recover", "Responsible Citizen") relationships and love lives ("Lost At Home", "This Ship") music chart followers ("You Shout You Shout You Shout You Shout") the climate ("High Tide on Caroline Street") [cite web |title= The Automatic Automatic Interview|work= They Will Rock You (Mary Ouellette)|month= June | year= 2007|url=|accessdate= 2008-05-15 ] [cite web |title= The Automatic Monster Hit - Interview with Robin Hawkins(June 14 2006)|work= The Sun|date= June 14 2007|url=,,2006140003-2006270815,,00.html|accessdate= 2008-05-15 ] [cite web |title= Introduction to The Automatic - "On The Campaign Trail, All full of angular guitar chops and tight jerking rhythms, its title is a backhand reference to Hunter S. Thompson"|work=|url=|accessdate= 2008-05-15 ] [cite web |title= The Automatic - News - Recover Re-release Single (July Thread)|work=|month= July | year= 2006|url=|accessdate= 2008-05-15 ] [cite web |title= Rocklouder catches up with The Automatic to talk all about the new album, on the last night of their first tour with new boy Paul Mullen|work= Rocklouder (Phillip May)|date=2008-04-29 |url= |accessdate=2008-05-03]

The band instrumentally use various synthesizers to produce many of their sounds, during the recording and touring with the album Not Accepted Anywhere the band's former member Alex Pennie used an Alesis Micron and an Alesis Andromeda during live performances, and in addition to this in studio he used an Roland Juno-106. More recently since Pennie's departure new addition Paul Mullen uses an microKORG whilst James Frost continues to use an Alesis Micron, although fewer of the songs on This Is A Fix use synthesizer as a predominant instrument. The band use Sennheiser microphones, 'e 945s' for vocals, 'e 906s' for the guitar cabinets and snare drum, the 'e 604s' for toms, and an 'e 901' on the kick drum.cite web |title= The Automatic fixed with Sennheiser|work=|date=2008-06-05 |url=|accessdate=2008-06-14]

Band members

During live shows from 2006 to 2007 the band could be seen accompanied by Jamie Allen during their cover of Kayne Wests "Gold Digger" where Alex Pennie would take role of lead singer whilst Rob plays flute, Jamie has now taken on the role of bassist for Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, The Horrors guitar technician is now replacing him. During 2008 shows, the band's song "This Is A Fix" see Robin Hawkins playing synthesizer, thus requiring a bassist to fill in, Tom Stephens of Viva Machine was seen doing this in the 2008 Club Tour and at various other gigs including Glastonbury Festival 08. Photographer Peter Hill can be seen at most live shows taking photos, filming, as well as occasionally tour managing the band, most recently Peter during the band's trip to Switzerland performed bass guitar during "This Is A Fix" at the Rock Oz'Arenes music festival. James "Jizz" Lawrenson is one of the band's guitar and sound technicians, along with Stan Saunders, he to has toured extensively with the band, the band are managed by Martin Bowen, with Mike Doyle managing many of the band's tours. [cite web |title= Tour Starts Today!|work=|date=2007-04-02 |url=|accessdate=2007-10-22] After the departure of Alex Pennie, the remaining band members were joined by front-man Paul Mullen, and whilst he was going to be taking over part of the synthesizer duties he would not be a direct replacement for Pennie, in-fact Mullen would be acting as a guitarist/vocalist mainly, continuing the band's three part vocals from previous material. [cite web |title= The Automatic Confirm New Member|work= This Is Fake DIY|date=2007-10-22 |url=|accessdate=2007-10-22]

Current lineup

* Rob Hawkins (lead vocals, bass guitar, synths and keyboards, flute)
* James Frost (guitar, vocals, synths and keyboards)
* Iwan "Wange" Griffiths (drums)
* Paul Mullen (guitar, vocals, synths and keyboards)

Former members

*Alex Pennie (synths, keyboards, vocals) (2003–2007)



*The Pop Factory Awards 2005 - "Best New Act"
*The Pop Factory Awards 2006 - "Best Performance" Award [cite web |title= BBC Wales/Music 2006 awards results|work= BBC|date= 30 November 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-05-11]
*The Pop Factory Awards 2006 - "Rock 'n' Roll Excess" Award
*Vodafone Music Awards 2006 - "Best British Breakthrough Act" [cite web |title= MUSE, U2 AND THE WHO TRIUMPH AT VODAFONE LIVE MUSIC AWARDS|work= Contact Music|date= October 12 2006|url=|accessdate=2008-05-11]
*T4 Popworld "Artist of the Year 2006" [cite web |title= T4 Popworld Music Awards 2006|work= T4 Popworld|date= |url=|accessdate=2008-05-11]
*The Pop Factory Awards 2007 - "Best International Band/Export" [cite web |title= The Pop Factory Awards Winners!|work= |date=|url=|accessdate=2008-05-11]


*The Pop Factory Awards – 2007 - Best Band [cite web |title= Awards ceremony that's top of the pops|work= icwales (Karen Price)|date= October 26 2007|url=|accessdate=2008-05-11]
*Kerrang! Awards – 2006 - Best British Newcomer [cite web |title= Kerrang! Awards 2006 Best British Newcomer Sponsored by|work= Kerrang!|year=2006 |url=|accessdate=2007-10-22]



*"Not Accepted Anywhere" (2006)
*"This Is A Fix" (2008)


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Official Myspace]
* [ Official Purevolume]
* [ Official Facebook]
* [ Official haystack]
* [ Official buzznet]
* [ Official picture gallery]

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