Talking With: Arthur Autumn
November 3, 2015
Since we started planning the Only in Hollywood Music + Arts Festival, we’ve met so many amazing and inspiring artists right here in our very own neighborhood. The festival was conceived to highlight the abundance of talent and creativity right here in Hollywood. An interesting part of the process has been discovering that so many people we see all the time here are musicians and artists, in addition to their regular jobs. Brent A. Nuffer, aka Arthur Autumn, is one of those people. By day, he can be found outfitting people with stylish eyeglasses at Optometrix here at Hollywood and Vine. By night, he can be found rocking out on stage in several various guises: solo as Arthur Autumn, or with one of several bands, including Barbarian Overlords. He will be performing in both guises at #OIH2015.
Only in Hollywood: We’re so glad you’re playing OIH2015, both as a solo artist and with your band, Barbarian Overlords. What can we expect from the two different shows?
Arthur Autumn: And Thank You! I’m thrilled to a part of the 1st annual Only In Hollywood Music + Arts Festival. Well, the shows are two very different sides to me musically; a bit like polar opposites I guess. The ArthurAutumn show at Hotel Café will have a much more chill, folk/songwriter/troubadour type vibe to it, in a much more intimate, introspective form. It will have a basic set up of acoustic guitar, harmonica, raspy vocal, and a handful of stories. I’m really pleased to be returning to the Hotel Café, it’s just a perfect vibey setting for this kind of atmosphere.
Barbarian Overlords are pretty much a ROCK AND ROLL band, ya’ know: thunderous drums, deep grooves, loud guitars, and heart on your sleeve wailing vocals. Sweaty, sometimes bloody, stuff like that. As much as I dig playing raw and alone with an acoustic guitar, there is a special thrill to feel the thump of a band of brothers running along with you, feeling and heading toward the same goal. I’m really excited to bring it to The Record Parlour. Always interesting and a pleasure to play music amongst vinyl records and vintage gear, and amazing stuff all over the place. Been in there a few times searching through the vinyl. Looking forward to playing there, maybe get a little osmosis vibes from the vinyl crates…
OIH: You work in the same building as the OIH headquarters – the historic Taft Building at the corner of Hollywood & Vine. Do you enjoy spending so much time at this iconic intersection?
AA: Indeed I do. Optometrix has been there for about two years now and we’ve seen a lot of growth and have met a lot of amazing and inspiring people. Well, it’s an interesting corner, adventures all the time, that is for certain! Whenever I hear it mentioned like that, I think of the Tom Waits song, “Heart Attack & Vine,” which pretty much sums up the corner. As I said, we’ve met a lot of great people there and around the block. By the way, it’s also known as Bob Hope Square. He was pretty amazing.
OIH: What do you like most about the music scene in Hollywood?
AA: It’s definitely an eclectic scene, and that’s always healthy for music. On any given night you can find different sorts of sounds sneaking out of the clubs, and I like the idea of that. I came up in a music scene in Michigan where bands and musicians really worked hard to support one another. I’d like to see more of that here, versus everyone just out for themselves. To me, part of the thrill of creating music, is finding a collective group of like minded musicians/bands who are interested in teaming up for shows, or writing or recording together. That is where you find the true beauty of a “real” music scene. That was always the driving force in all of the great music scenes, from Seattle to San Francisco, Motown to Memphis… They all had that feeling of the “all for one,” and “one for all” mentality. That is where you find the heart beat of a scene and that’s how it grows and eventually takes on the world. I’ve met a lot of great songwriters & bands out here in Los Angeles. Always interested in building shows, and lifting each other up…
OIH: You recently performed at the Hollywood PAL (Police Activities League) annual dinner, how was that experience?
AA: It was a great honor, and a wonderful evening all around. All the good folks at Hollywood PAL were so good to us, and we met some great people doing great things. The theme of the evening was the evolution of Rock and Roll, so we decided to perform songs from bands that had a big influence upon each generation. It was just GK Via, a friend and fellow band mate in Barbarian Overlords and Jetlemons, and myself acoustic. So we “acoustified” all the songs and it gave them all a different texture from the original recordings. We had a really good time and it was a great learning process as well.
OIH: Is there another artist at #OIH2015 that you’re particularly looking forward to seeing?
AA: Well of course your band Devin! Devin Tait & The Traitors. Honestly, I haven’t had a moment to look over the list just yet. Looking forward to just roaming around and checking out the sites and the sounds. Ya’ know, watch all the bands, try to steal all their tricks, watch their hands for the chord changes. That sort of thing. That’s the nice thing about these festivals, sometimes you discover artists and bands that you may not have been aware of before. Then, you become Friends, you write and record together, you form a collective, build shows, create a “scene,” and you take over the world!!! See you there…