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ATLASES: The Berkshire wolves arrive!

“Ubringing” is the ATLASES‘ first release and whilst being a young band, the maturity of this EP is something to be admired – the press releases says. Well, this professionally produced self-release caught my eye and ear and I’m bringing it here for you to test it out. Taste it below and scroll down to read my interview these passionate young fellas.

The band is going to be touring throughout the UK and EU from the new year. Dates to be announced very soon. “Ubringing” is to be released on January 20th, 2014, available on CD and digital.

ATLASES are Jack Parsons (vocals), Alvin Russ (guitar), Jamie Butler (guitar) , James Collins (bass), and Lydon Benson (drums).

Hey guys! Thanks for having some time with me! What’s up, Berkshire wolves? :)

Berkshire Wolves? Like it! Might use that one from now on! Yeah we’re all good. Working hard on getting everything in place for our debut record.

Yeah, we’ll get to that, but first off, let’s clarify your origins. Which part of the county you come from?

Haha, sorry for jumping the gun. We’re  based in the surrounding areas a small town called Newbury. 

Looks like a nice place to live, doesn’t it? :)

Other than being a pretty sleepy place, it’s cool. Has a nice selection of chavs strolling through the high street with their tops off in the summer looking for a good old scrap. And once the shops are closed, they tend to do the same thing in their cars. Cool huh!?    

Haha, nice. So how did your home town affect your music?

The scene around here used to be really strong back in the “nu-metal” era which influenced us all massively. But as soon as the main venue stopped the shows, the scene rapidly declined. It’s been building up again recently which is great to see though. Loads of old faces are coming out of the woodwork.

Alright. So shoot us some details. How did you guys form this pack?

Most of us have been in bands here and there for a while. Our vocalist Jack is new to us as musicians which has helped us capture the sound we’ve been after for quite some time now. The good thing about us is that if we’re not rehearsing or writing, we’re hanging out. Its great to be in a band with all your mates.

Were you in other bands before?

You could say we’ve been in different bands I guess. It’s more of a case of line up shifting and name changes to be honest though.

Any releases and names worth mentioning?

We’re good friends with a band from Newbury called THIS IS SHARK COUNTRY. They released their debut album over the summer just gone. Well worth a listen if you haven’t already heard it.

Thanks!

So, you have a brand new debut EP coming up. Tell me about it. Are you proud of it? And what might fans of heavy music find on this new release?

It’s our first release other than the free download we put up of Consume/Deny at the start of the year. Before we began the work on Upbringing, the writing process would often take place in the confinements of a rehearsal room. With Upbringing, we made the decision to set up a mini recording studio in my house so we could work in a relaxed environment and really get into the details of how the songs could be built one step at a time without any interruptions. It was great to be able to send fairly good quality MP3 files across to give an idea of how the songs could sound. I think the decision to change the writing process has had a massive impact on the quality of the music, which to us is reflected massively throughout Upbringing.

Was it hard to put all the necessary gear together?

I’ve always wanted to set up a home studio and luckily have a few good friends that could give me advise and a sneaky bit of discount. To start with it was a massive case of “all the gear, no idea” but after a few YouTube tutorials things became a little clearer. It’s pretty amazing what a selection of tasty little plugins and some good samples can achieve.

Would you be looking for an outside-of-the-band producer for a debut full length? :)

We recorded Upbringing with a good friend of ours Craig at The Crib Studio. It was only for the writing process that we were set up in the home studio. It just made it a million times easier to focus on the writing and enabled us to have more of an idea of which tracks would make it onto the EP. I think we ended up writing about 15 tracks in total and only 6 made it. Working with Craig was great once we’d decided on what to record. He had a genuine interest in the songs and really gave each track that extra boost. I would definitely recommend working with him to anyone.

Oh, I see. Are you already thinking as far ahead as a full length?

We’ve already started the writing for a full length. We want to spend a bit more time on pushing our sound forward really. We’ve got a few ideas that we’ve been toying around which could possibly have potential to grow. Upbringing is our first release and we’re all really happy with it but it’s still early days for us.

Cool.

Alright, guys. In your “sounds like” column we can find OF MICE & MEN, ARCHITECTS, THE GHOST INSIDE and BRING ME THE HORIZON, but it’s not that bad with you afterall, huh? ;) No, but seriously, I wonder, how do you label your own sound? Would you say you’re more metal or hardcore? Does it make any difference?

The bands mentioned in our “sounds like” section have definitely influenced us to be the band we are and there’s no denying that. I guess is more of a “for fans of” thing. We just wanted to write something super heavy with hints of our favourite ingredients thrown into the mix. There’s influences of all sorts in there from over the years really. Personally, I don’t really think that fine tuning or manipulating the title of a genre to the extent of something like “melodic progressive ambient death metal” is necessary needed. Unless you’re into things like stacking your CDs into alphabetical order of course? We just use metal or hardcore as an answer if anyone asks what kind of band we are.

Any plans to reveal more songs this year, to make it easier for your listeners to judge and put some crazy labels on you? :)

We’re releasing a few things in the build up to the release so keep your eyes peeled. Really excited to finally get some stuff out. 

Do you plan on making any music videos for this outing?

We shot a video for the first track on the EP, Betrayer with our good friend Rob Ward which is premiering on AltSounds.com 20/11/12. He’s done a great job on it and put in a lot of work for the narrative side of it. There are a few more promotional things we’re discussing at the moment for the next couple of months so yeah, pretty busy at the moment.

Here’s the full video, just released earlier today:

How do you remember the recording process?

The recording was fairly chilled process. It was recorded over a period of around 4 months roughly. Craig the producer was working with us on the side of his full time job so we only had weekends and the occasional week night here and there.  It kind of worked out well that way. It gave us time to reflect on things and also Jack was able to lay down his vocals over a period of time rather than hammering it all in one session.

So where and how do you plan to distribute this new baby of yours?

We’re releasing the album digitally though all of the usual distributors and will be selling physical copies at shows and from our online store.

Who’s that freakin’ lady on the cover art? What happened to her?

The young lady in the cover art is Elsa Breda. The EP artwork features a set of images taken by Ilse Moore. We’re big fans of her work and were really keen to use this set in particular. We felt that the shots really symbolise the lyrical content throughout.

What IS the lyrical content on the new album mainly about? Who’s the main composer?

The albums called upbringing because lyrically it’s based around Jacks life to now. The lyrical content varies from emotional pain to political and cultural views.

Betrayer stems from the pain of seeing someone you love with someone else whereas the likes of Consume//Deny focus on Jacks frustration with a lack of accountability that we as a human race seem to share where it concerns the environment and the world we live in.

Secret Keeper is based on the inner workings of a close group of friends and how complicated it can be with holding certain information from certain people because a friend has asked you to. It puts into question your morality.

You Dreamer, You Fool is about looking in the mirror as an adult and realizing that the hopes and aspirations you held dear as a youth have been overwhelmed with bills and taxes and jobs. It’s a coming of age thing with a bitter taste.

And The Deepest Dark is closure on an old relationship that still had it’s claws in. It’s about letting go of some emotional deadweight.

In regards to the instrumental side of it we all play our own part really. The song normally tends to start from the rhythm sections on an mp3 track. Everyone can then take the mp3 away and put their own touch on it. Once we’ve all got our teeth I to the final thing normally ends up being ten times better and pretty different to how it started.

Alright guys. Let’s discuss touring. When are you hitting the road? I can see 2 local shows planned for the rest of this year. Any plans to go further?

We’re in the process of booking a tour for the new year so watch this space.

You bet! Would you feel a bit jittery before leaving on a proper trip? What’s your experience in performing live?

We’ve toured in bands before and played weekenders as ATLASES too so it’s not a case of feeling jittery. We’re more eager to get out there. We’re hoping things will excavate once we released a few things.

Ok, guys. So what are your thoughts and predictions for 2014? Any commitments?

2013 has been a busy year for us in the studio so we’re looking forward to finally get out on the road once Upbringing is released.

Cheers for the interview and your time fellas! Feel free to add your last words. Thanks a lot!

Thanks for the interview. Hope you got what you wanted :)

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