Steve Lane and The Autocrats have turned into a family affair.
The band hit the road on Thursday for an east coast tour to launch their second album.
The tour started in Sydney and will finish in Melbourne on Saturday.
“I’m pretty excited about it haven’t played at Camelot (in Sydney) but I’ve heard so many good things,” Lane said.
Steve’s brother Tim Lane has joined the band on drums and his son Kai Lane-U’Ren is playing bass.
“It’s the first show we’ve ever done,” Lane said.
“Kai has played with us before as a bass understudy when Ed hasn’t been able to.
“With Dave (Williams) and Ed (Ammendola) focused on Augie March the opportunity was there and it seemed right to go this way.”
The Lane brothers haven’t played on stage together for 20 years.
With Steve living in Emu Creek and Tim in Gisborne, it make sense for the band to play central Victorian shows.
To make it even more of a family affair, Lane’s son’s band The Kings Republic will support The Autocrats for their Victorian shows.
“They are all doing year 12 and did well on Unearthed High so it makes sense to give them the opportunity,” Lane said.
Lane said his son grew up going to music festivals with him.
“I find it hard to blur music and life without family,” he said.
“Their support has been amazing through years. He’s a far superior musician to what I was at that age.”
Steve Lane and the Autocrats’ second album, Birds Taking Flight, was co-written between Lane and author John Holton.
“One on level it’s more of the same but on the other level it’s about always trying to challenge yourself. This has been a lot more challenging,” Lane said.
“Because I work, I have to organise time to write a song. We recorded 16 or 17 and brought it down to 11, which worked pretty well.”
Debut album, The Romance of Communication, was short-listed for the Australian Music Prize.
“It’s good to have critics raving but I think it’s harder than ever to get music heard,” Lane said.
“It’s different if you’re 18, but for my age group still you like people to have a chance to make their own decisions about it.”
Lane said the collaboration with Holton was one of the biggest joys of The Autocrats.
“On the first album we had a whole well of stuff,” Lane said.
“(One reviewer) said how the album was more introspective but we didn’t sit down and decide to do be introspective.
“We’re both a similar age, we live similar area, have similar age kids and are doing similar things with our lives – so maybe there’s sub-conscious connection there.
“I do wonder if would have the same creative capacity without John.”