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THE ATLAS MOTH
By WENDY WWAD
Band on Facebook MySpace


Photos by Derek Dietrich-Mueller

WW: For starters, why name the band The Atlas Moth? Is there any significance?

AM: When we first started out we wanted a psychedelic sounding band name as opposed to a "metal" sounding name.  I think it did the trick but i am always amazed by how many people leave off the "the", its actually quite obnoxious.

WW: So your debut album, ďA Glorified Piece of Blue SkyĒ seems to have received quite a bit of attention. What do you attribute that to?

AM: Touring for sure, not to mention the incredible amount of support we have gotten from our PR and Booking agents. They did a great job for us and we are really lucky to be associated with people that believe in what we do.

WW: Is there any significance to the title?

AM: Itís about life being built up into this extravagant event where everything is so perfect looking on the outside but clearly there is always a dirty underbelly. You can take that title and apply it to your life any way that seems fit.  Life is always changing, so what it meant to me in 2009 isn't exactly what it means to me today but that was kinda the point. Hopefully, regardless of what I meant when I was 26, I will be able to look back when am 36 and find relevance in the title.

WW: I know you guys hail from Chicago, but how and why did you get together? And who was responsible for the bandsí overall sound? Was it primarily one person? Or did you just happen across some like-minded individuals?

AM: I had been playing in a band for 7, 8 years or so that had just broken up and I was going through the end of a relationship which went very sour. Tony, our drummer, was hanging out at my house every day but he was in a band so the initial plan was to simply record some songs on a pro tools rig I had set up in my basement. Eventually, we found Dave and started taking our music a bit more seriously. Alex was in Tony's other band that eventually disbanded as well and he joined on full time. We worked on our first EP for about 8 months before we met this engineer, Andrew that wanted to record it for us.  When we picked up our final master from him, he started talking about how he quit his band and was gonna start one like ours so we said fuck it and asked if he wanted to join our band. The rest is history. I think back then, we didn't have much of a "sound", just more like dudes trying to play music together. I honestly think that our upcoming record is us finally settling into what we actually sound like.

WW: What bands were you guys formerly in?

AM: Nothing worth mentioning that's for sure.

WW: How do you think living in Chicago has influenced your sound, if at all?

AM: It definitely has. I think Chicago has a very unique sound when it comes to metal. We are in the middle of the coasts, we are a major city that has every kind of music you can think of coming through it. I don't know if i can actually pin point exactly what influenced us, but i will tell you that the scene here is tough. It will chew you up and spit you out, so I think that was a driving factor.

WW: What do you think makes The Atlas Moth unique?

AM: As far as the current doom/sludge scene goes, we definitely have the most people in our band hahaha. I think we have always just tried to take a side step to what a traditional doom, sludge or even just what a plain metal band would do.  We all seem to have severe ADD so that probably plays a part in our sound as well.

WW: If asked to describe your sound in 5 words or less, what would you say?

AM: "Are these guys fuckiní serious?"

WW: Are you guys still on Candlelight Records and how did you hook up with them?

AM: We wound up playing a basement in Delaware on our first tour and Steve from Candlelight USA came out to see us. He was a supporter from very early on and he saw potential in what we were doing so signing with them was a no-brainer. Our next record will not be on Candlelight though; we will be announcing a new label over the summer.

WW: Have you toured Europe yet? And, if not, will you soon?

AM: We havenít made it over there yet, unfortunately, but we plan on making it over there on our new record.

WW: Whatís your definition of success in rock-n-roll?

AM: i think that might be an oxymoron in 2011. But to me, itís definitely having money for cigarettes and not eating cans of tuna for every meal.

WW: What do you think is necessary to a bandís longevity?

AM: I always felt as though i had a pretty good grasp on this concept but today's scene makes me question that. I hear a lot of these metalcore bands that I became familiar with back in the early 2000s still putting out records that sound exactly the same and they are selling out arenas. I would love to say pushing boundaries and keeping things fresh but that's not necessarily the case. If i base my answer on bands I respect and love, I will say itís about doing what you feel is right and not letting outside perceptions lead you astray. But I would assume if you ask the bands that come to mind, they would probably tell you something completely different.

WW: If you were stranded on a deserted island what 5 albums would you like to have with you (assuming you had a way to play them, haha)?

AM: White Pony - Deftones, Deloused in The Comatorium - The Mars Volta, Ready To Die - Biggie Smalls, Meddle - Pink Floyd, Fantastic Planet - Failure.

WW: When can we expect the next Atlas Moth album?

AM: September 2011, itís called "An Ache For The Distance," We just finished up basic tracking in February and are going to add some finishing touches and mix it when we get home from Metalliance.

WW: Who hooked you up with the Metalliance tour? Featuring Helmet, Crowbar, Saint Vitus, etcÖ?

AM: Our booking agents, The Kenmore Agency, made it so. I had caught wind of a Crowbar/St Vitus tour and I kept bugging Ďem until we were on it.

WW: If The Atlas Moth had a mission statement, what would it be?

AM: "relax dude."

WW: What do you hate the most about the music industry? Love the most?

AM: I could probably bitch about nearly everything in the industry but itís just like someone coming home from their day job and bitching about it. Itís a dream come true to be involved in general. It is pretty sweet that I get a lot of free shirts, records and shows. I also get to tour with some of my heroes and contemporaries that I respect. Not to mention, I love meeting new people and making friends with touring brings in droves. I have met some killer people in the last few years that all have come from being involved in a band.

WW: If you could tour with anyone, who would it be and why?

AM: Deftones. They are pretty much a collective favorite band between us - they are personally my favorite band and the top of my list. Or Metallica. Just cause. Touring with Metallica may also be an answer for true success in rock and roll

WW:† When will you guys be playing and where during SXSWÖ officially and [sic] unofficially?

AM: Unlike our 7 shows in 5 days like last SXSW, we are only playing the 18th at the Dirty Dog as part of the Metalliance. I must say, as much as i love Austin, i would truly love to hit the town up sans the SXSW insanity.

WW: Parting words of wisdom to your growing legions of fans?

AM: Don't eat the brown acid.

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