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INTERVIEW: Atlas Engine

Hi Nick, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks! I’m good – a little hungry, but good.

Can you talk to us more about your single “This Is The Place”?

This song really incorporates a lot of the album’s different elements in one song – the syncopated verses, big choruses, unorthodox song-structure, along with an ending that rocks pretty hard, which I love. Despite being my favorite track, it actually almost didn’t make the album. I had given myself a deadline to have everything completely written before my trip to South America and “This is the Place” came to me while in Argentina. I quickly knew that deadline was getting pushed back and now can’t imagine the record without it.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

The song was written while backpacking in Patagonia, and with that, I really wanted to make it a journey – both musically and lyrically. I had finally found some time to reflect on a lot that was going on in my life at that time, as well as taking in all of these amazing new places I was visiting, so the inspiration came pretty quickly.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

It’s possible – let’s see what the people want!

The single comes off your new material After The End – what’s the story behind the title?

While it isn’t a full concept album, “after the end” definitely encapsulates a specific time in my life where I had a lot of big changes thrown at me at once, and I really wanted to portray the process that one goes through in those situations – breaking, healing, and all of the steps, both forward and back, that take place in-between.

The biggest change was being kicked out of a band that I had been with for the previous 2 years. Aside from the time, energy, and money, being in a band is a huge emotional investment. It’s just like any other relationship, and with that, the breakup really hurt. It felt like everything was over. Like “Damn, do I really even want to do this all over again?”

The album title comes from a line in “Everest”, a song that is basically a conversation with myself addressing that exact issue. And the answer is, basically, “Yes, you have to do this all over again, and you’re going to like it”.

How was the recording and writing process?

Writing and recording an album on my own was simultaneously the most liberating and daunting thing I’ve ever experienced. It’s amazing not having anybody else to criticize any ideas that you really like, but not having anybody to validate them can really make you complacent about things. So for better or worse, you learn to stick to your guns. I also had about 50 demos to work with, which was great because it really allowed me to be picky with which songs were not only the best, but also which ones really worked best together as a cohesive unit.

The recording process was by far my favorite yet. I’m lucky enough to live with one of my best friends Justin Mayfield, who is also a hell of an audio engineer, and we have our own basement studio in Brooklyn. He did an amazing job lending his mixing and production wizardy to the record, and really helped pull everything together when I couldn’t figure out what I wanted. Also, New York can be pretty brutal in the winter, so with no studio time to pay for, I spent a lot of it staying warm indoors and working on this thing.

What kind of freedom did you get with this new project?

I’ve been kicked out of multiple bands due to “creative differences”, so this time I went the complete opposite direction and wrote/recorded all of the parts myself, which really allowed me to focus on the details. Maybe too much so, but I’m very happy with how it came out. So who knows? Maybe that’s what it takes for me, ha.

Any plans to hit the road?

The plan right now is to focus on New York and surrounding area.  So on that note, we’ll be having our EP release party next week, August 17th at C’mon Everybody in Brooklyn. It’s an awesome venue and we’ll be playing with some other great bands so we’re very excited for that. We’ll have some more Fall NYC/Brooklyn dates being released very soon as well.

What else is happening next in Atlas Engine’s world?

Sleep soon, I hope.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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