Autograph, Simon Daniels Interview – New Music and ‘Turn Up the Radio’


Autograph- band photo

Autograph – Story by Anne Erickson, courtesy photo

Simon Daniels of Autograph joins Anne Erickson to discuss the band’s new album, “Beyond,” and more in this video interview

Autograph is one of those legendary bands from the 1980s that continue to make new music with their signature style, but a modern edge. While the lineup has changed over the years, the style that made hits like “Turn Up the Radio” so ubiquitous is very much still a part of the band.

Autograph are coming up on the release of a new album, “Beyond,” on Nov. 18. The album is the last one to feature late Autograph bass player and founding member Randy Rand.

Lead vocalist Simon Daniels says what he misses most about Rand is, “my friendship with him.”

“He was my best friend for the past nine years,” Daniels tells Audio Ink Radio in a new video interview (watch below). “We were really close together. We’d talk on the phone every other day. It’s a void that’s not only as a band member, but to me as a friend. But, in terms of the band, obviously, he was actually the only member that was in the band the longest of all. So, it’s bittersweet. But, we focus and carry it on and put the music out and dedicate it to him, so we can also utilize all the work that we did together.”

Daniels joined Autograph around nearly a decade ago. He says that since the band wasn’t active for a long period, it wasn’t that awkward stepping into the lead vocalist role.

“It was not really like that, because the band disbanded in 1989, so the band was not active for 20-something years, unlike other bands that kept playing of that genre,” he says. “So, it was really an idea that two of (the band members) had when they ran into each other at the NAMM show. I got a phone call from Keni Richards, the original drummer, in 2013 saying that they wanted to create a new version of the band and that they wanted to modernize it a little bit. But, they did approach the original singer before me, and he didn’t want to do it. So, this kind of fell in my lap, and we talked. I said, look, I’m going to be who I am. I love the music. I’m a fan of the band. Let’s go. So, we did a lot of touring the first wo years until we put out the first EP in 2016.”

Daniels says he thinks the band’s massive hit “Turn of the Radio” is an anthem that “came out at the right time.” Does he ever get tired of playing it live?

“No,” he says, very quickly. “It’s like me asking if you ever get tired of having a huge party with everybody singing and dancing. It’s the truth. Twist my arm!”

When it comes to the state of rock music and whether it’s in a good place, Daniels says, “I know the genre of rock is not the mainstream that it was back then. If anything, it might be even one of the smallest in the markets. But, people are open to it. However you make people feel emotions- if you kicked them in the teeth or if there’s a lyric or if there’s chorus, I think it’s all about energy in rock n’ roll. Its about feeling the energy. That’s something that if you come to our show, you’ll definitely get that.”

When asked whether there’s a new appreciation for live music following the pandemic lockdowns, Daniels says yes. “You would think so. I think, yes,” he says. “That makes total sense, because if you take something away from people, they appreciate it when it comes back. But, it’s that we’re also excited about the music and the new songs and about the performances, so it’s really electrifying. So, I couldn’t really necessarily describe what is the reason, but every show we play is a big party and a big event ,an we treat them all like it’s the biggest thing in the world.”

Anne Erickson
Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Interviews, Music, Rock