The new ATLANTIS album ‘Omens’ has just released through Burning World Records (the guys behind the Roadburn festival) and it is my pleasure to present you my follow-up interview with Gilson Heitinga, the main man behind the project.
Gilson started this project in the summer of 2006 as a one man project combining soundscapes, metal, doom, noise, electronic music and rock into the first release ‘Carpe Omnium’ trough Field-Records from the UK. Omens is the first record ATLANTIS released via Burning World Records. Gilson started writing and recording this new full-length between August 2012 until December 2012. Having collaborated on Mistress Of Ghosts with the singer Big from Germany and on the La Petite Mort EP with Swedens Johannes Persson (from CULT OF LUNA), it was this time Sanne Mus (a professionally trained classical vocalist) who brought her voice and skills to the table on the songs “And She Drops The 7th Veil” and “Omen”. And so here it is, the new ATLANTIS album: OMENS sonically inspired by the ATLANTIS live band and the emotions that come to play as things change and you can sense there are events going to happen, positive as negative.
Hi Gilson! What’s up man? It’s been 1,5 year since we last talked. You have a new album available via Burning World Records. I remember you told me how important is to support the independent record labels. Tell me about this new collaboration.
It’s all good thanks!
Well when I was finishing the writing of the album (late 2012) I started to talk to different labels, labels more focused on heavier music than that we previous worked with.
I knew Burning World Records through their involvement with the Roadburn festival which we played in 2012. And after a few good Skype talks, emails etc. we decided that the new album fits right at home with this label, and we got a lot of support from them.
You wanted to have it out in spring 2013. What caused the delay?
Well as the songs started to develop more and more, the programmed drums just didn’t fit well in the whole vibe. And I was listening to a lot of our live recordings, and I watched some footage from shows we did on YouTube to try to catch the live sound on record. Carlo (our drummer) and I suggested we record “real” drums for the whole release. So the songs were all ready to get mixed, but we put that on hold to record the drums. So we had to plan a recording period, and thus rescedual mixing and mastering… and thus the entire release.
Tell me more about the writing and recording process. What’s husc.sound and why do you want to produce your records all by yourself? :)
After our tour in the spring of 2012 I started writing the songs for the OMENS album.
I had a clear vision in mind how it should sound, what the vibe should be, etc… and I wanted it to sound as we sound when we perform the songs live. As with the Mistress Of Ghosts album I wanted a more electronic/industrial feel where the drums are more leaning towards ‘hip-hop’ based rhythms. And thus started writing those songs from a rhythm/beat point of view. and with Carpe Omnium (my first album) it was really soundscape, synthline based songs.
With OMENS I really wanted a harsh, huge live band sound and riff based album. So I started writing every song from guitar and build around those structures.
husc.sound is the name under which our live sound designer & keyboard player operates with his own electronic music projects, but also as a masterings engineer. Check out his work, it’s very cool!
Hmm… the reason I produce everything myself is that I have a clear vision, and I write fast in pre-producion. When it’s time to fine tune the songs I tend to take my time,.. maybe to much haha. As with the writing process in a “band” you get all these opinions, ego’s shifting of goals, which is cool, it’s just not the way I and this band operates. Plus with this music I try to be in control as long as I can. It’s not just some songs together on a album for me, and then we play them live. I live in the theme of an album, and let those emotions flow into music. And by playing those songs live I find closure and a place for those emotions.
Last time you collaborated with Marijn, Samir and Gido from ATLANTIS live band. Has its line up changes somehow since the beginning of 2012?
Well we started in to play live in 2007 with 5, but since the 2012 tour the line up has been the same six guys; Carlo, Gido, Sander, Samir, Marijn and me. And because I wanted the album sound like us as we sound live everyone contributed on the album, from some leads, drums, synth parts or guitar riffs. Although it’s still me behind the wheels, it does feels like a band in the traditional sense.
I love to collaborate with the guys in the band, but also with people with from outside. For example working with Sanne Mus on two tracks (‘And She Drops The 7th Veil’ and ‘Omens’) on the album was really a cool thing to do, and so was what Gijs did on trumpet on ‘Raptor‘. Collaborating can open eyes.
What are you most proud of about the new album?
I think it’s the overall sound, working with the other guys. Plus songs like ‘Raptor’ and ‘And She Drops The 7th Veil’ are maybe more complex compared to songs I’ve written in the past, but they came out very easily, and are very fun to play live. Just the overall intensity of the album.
Yeah man. It’s oozing with it, that’s for sure. Now it would be awesome to see you performing the new stuff. Shoot me some details on your upcoming tour.
Ah thanks man, glad you like it! Yeah, would be nice to see any of you on our tour. We’re going to announce the tour soon, but we will be playing the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, and maybe more in December all to be announced soon! But first we’re going to play Mudfest, which is going to be awesome, with great bands including our good friends in RORCAL. And mid-November a weekend with THE GATHERING. So I’m really looking forward to all that.
Nice. And how do you remember your Roadburn and Dunk! festivals appearances? What makes these gatherings so special?
The thing that pops into mind at Dunk (and I know other bands will agree) are the drinks and food, and the general kindness of all the people involved. Great atmosphere, cool bands, just relaxing and at the end if the day you play a killer show. Was awesome!
With Roadburn it was more different because the band started in that city, some of us, me included, lived there for a long time. And I visited the festival in their early years every year. So that was a proud moment. And to be welcomed with open arms by the crowd was amazing.
The cool thing to play those two festivals is that we are able to get booked with different types of music. As this music has different levels in being extreme. Loud, soft, metal, rock, electronic… So it brings in touch with a wide audience and we get to see and meet all kinds of bands.
And of course not everyone will like what we do, but when you do, you’re hooked. Or at least that’s the reaction I receive.
Do you interact with enthusiasts of your music after your shows? Merch table is a perfect chance to do it, right?
Well of course if people come over and buy some of our merch, we talk, share some drinks, answer questions, occasionally sign some autographs. It’s always nice and an honor to meet the people that spend money on a ticket, or merch. We’re very grateful and never take that for granted.
Can it be surprising sometimes?
Yeah it can be! Sometimes we play a festival or open up for a band that we think is too far from what we are as a band and the music that we play. But after a show like that and people get in touch to tell they really liked what they just saw or heard comes as a surprise and then we’re very grateful to be able to talk with them. We always give 100% and that does pay off from time to time.
And that’s how it should be, Gilson.
Alright, thanks so much for your time.
Would you like to add anything else to this quick update of yours?
Yeah I believe so too, Thank you for having me!
Yeah, keep checking our facebook page for updates on the new website, tours, merch etc.