Sunday 17 February 2013

Autumn of Communion interviewed - Part 2: Lee Anthony Norris

Last week NMLK interviewed Michael Gainford (a.k.a. Mick Chillage) and this week the other half of the acclaimed duo Autumn of Communion, Lee Anthony Norris also kindly took the time to chat about Pete Namlook, Fax and his projects past present and future.
Q: Can you remember when and where you were when you were first introduced to Fax music?
A: I was in Totnes, Devon in 1993 and was at my friend Peter Cox's house. He had just bought a nice selection of Fax CDs from Sister Ray in Soho, London. We both used to phone our orders in from the little advert they had at the back of NME. I didn't buy any Fax CDs, as Pete bought them all. I was too busy ordering Warp and Rephlex stuff. The first Fax CD I bought was Dreamfish when it was released.

Q: Do you have a favourite Fax album (or a few favourite albums)? If so why do you like it/them?
A: There are loads of Fax albums I love and play. My faves are:
The Silence series, Dreamfish, 2350 Broadway, Sad World, Electro Harmonix, The Putney, Dawning of a New Decade, Gate/Sol and Labyrinth 3.

Q: Can you tell me about your musical projects before Autumn of Communion?
A: I record as Metamatics, Norken, Nacht Plank, Moss Garden (with Dimitar Dodovski), The Ashes of Piemonte (with Wil Bolton), The Angling Loser, Ishqamatics (with Ishq) and Norken & Deer (with Martin Hirsch). I also ran the label Neo Ouija and now I run the label ...txt.

Q: How did you first make contact with Mick?
A: I came into contact with Mick through the radio show he does with his mate Paul: The Chillage Idiots.

Q: What are your memories of working in a (sort of) collaboration with Pete Namlook? Did you have any personal communication with him?

A: Pete was e-mailing me quite a lot before he passed away, as he was interested in Moss Garden and the Nacht Plank albums I had just recorded. He asked me to give him until Monday to decide and I agreed (this was on the Thursday he died). Anyway, Monday came and no e-mail. A few more days passed and I had a feeling something was wrong, as he always was on the ball. Then Mick told me he had died. Really sad and upsetting few days that was.

Q: Did you discuss any concept for Autumn of Communion before you began or was the creative process completely spontaneous?
A: We both wanted to make an ambient album that had that '90s vibe to it. We never really discussed Fax as a label to release it on. The process was quite easy really. It all came very naturally and it was not until we have finished it that we decided to send it to Fax. Pete loved it straight away so me and Mick were very pleased with the outcome of that.

Q: Can you give any insight into the inspirations behind the Autumn of Communion album? Does the album title (or do the track titles) have any significance at all?
A: The name Autumn of Communion comes from my time here in Italy. Recording the album in autumn and also being surrounded by religion pretty much nailed the title. Sunrise for Claudio is dedicated to my girlfriend's brother who died in September. On the Way to Sesterie is me and Dana driving up into the mountains just outside Turin. Happy days.
Q: Autumn of Communion was incredibly well received by Fax fans and yet it may end up being the last ever release on the label. I guess this is kind of bittersweet in a way?

A: I met some nice people through Fax and it would be a sad state of affairs if it was the last Fax release but I reckon Autumn of Communion will be a fitting end to a fantastic label.

Q: What can we expect from Autumn of Communion II?
A: The same kind of trip but a bit more upbeat. I think if you liked the first album then this won't be too far from your taste buds.

Q: Your Moss Garden project, Understanding Holy Ghosts is a superb record. Very gentle, relaxing stuff. I believe there is a second collaboration with Dimitar Dodovski in the pipeline? Do you have any other future musical plans that we can look forward to?
A: My album The Ashes of Piemonte (with Wil Bolton) is released on Time Released Sound in March.
My new Nacht Plank album is released on Alio Die's Hunt Sic Leones label in April. I'm working on Moss Garden II at the moment and plan to start the Ashes of Piemonte II in March. I'm still working on an album with Ishq, which is like 40% complete. I have just finished an album called The Angling Loser (having had a sneak preview of this album it is excellent: a gentle, reflective trip, taking us through a day from dawn to night and back again  - ed.) 
...and there will be remixes from that album by Stormloop, Solipsism, Logerybeam and others. Autumn of Communion II is also ready to go. At some point I will get round to a new Norken album with Deer and start a new Nacht Plank album. I think Mick wants to start AOC III towards the end of the year.
Sorry this is not as long and detailed as Mick's chat but I have never been good at interviews, really. I guess I just let the music speak for me.
Extra large amounts of gratitude to Lee for taking the time to answer these questions for NMLK. Check out his musical projects by following these links:
Lee has also launched a brand new blog, encompassing all of his music and art projects. See here:
Coming soon: another exciting and exclusive Fax related interview. Watch this space!


  1. Nice interview. If he was buying his FAX albums from Sisteray then he was buying them from down the road (not the shop shown in the photo). They were originally further along in Berwick Street - by the market (I used to buy all my FAX albums second hand in there as well). They later took over from SELECTADISC and moved to their current address (shown in the photo). Keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks 24db for ironing out an inconsistency with my post! Yes: Selectadisc can be seen on the front cover of (What's the Story) Morning Glory? by Oasis.