Another young band from the Aberdeen area that seem to be getting good reviews these days are In Atlanta. Still Burning caught up with them just before the release of their latest track No Lies (available on their MySpace and Facebook from Friday July the 2nd) to discuss their artwork, the World Cup and various other stuff in between.
In Atlanta are Ryan Davidson (vocals & guitar), Chris Proctor (drums & samples), Greg Cooper (bass & vocals) and Liam Brown (guitar).
So… hows life in the In Atlanta camp? Getting into the World Cup?
Pretty good thanks, although we’ve recently had exams and other commitments we’re finally sorting ourselves out. Definitely, I’ve been glued to the TV, happy to see the games improving in entertainment compared to the initial lackluster. I arrived with USA and Slovakia in my World Cup sweeper so my hopes weren’t very high, but delighted with the Americans topping the group. Want to get my hands on a vuvuzela as well! – Greg
Back to the beginning, tell us how you got started and suchlike?
In Atlanta started off with Chris and I messing about in his room on the digital audio software Cubase, creating covers of songs and generally getting used to the software. After putting together a few half decent sounding covers, we thought we would give writing and producing a couple of our own songs we had written small parts of a go. We came up with our song ‘Fighting with Ghosts’ after working on it for a couple of weeks. We then had the thought of writing a few more songs, finding a couple of people to make a band with and putting our productions in front of a crowd which would generate some fans and our music would then possibly be appreciated by others. So we found Liam and Greg and decided to write a set and practice it to a gig-worthy standard to be played at a few venues around Aberdeen. – Ryan
In Atlanta, why the name?
The name ‘In Atlanta’ pretty much came from Chris and I sitting in his room thinking up a good name for the band that was quite professional and different. After brain- storming for about half an hour I came up with In Atlantis (named after the Klaxons song ‘Atlantis to Interzone’. But we thought that it was too obvious it had come from that, so I thought about ways to change it and Atlanta sprung to mind, so we then decided to stick with that. – Ryan
Who would you say your influences were? And is it hard not to show that in your own work sometimes?
Of course we’ve all got our own personal influences, some better than others (shouts to Liam), but as an electro based band we obviously take great inspiration from both modern bands such as Friendly Fires and Late of the Pier to the older stuff from Joy Division and The Cure. And for sure it’s sometimes extremely hard to keep those influences within a particular track but still create your own sound. When we wrote the our first song, Fighting With Ghosts, we immediately gave the bridge the name, “the Foals bit” – Chris
How does an In Atlanta track take shape? Who does what and so on?
Myself and Ryan are the ones who create the initial idea for a track, then see if the lads like it or not. If so, then we will work on it until perfected then fire it back to Liam and Greg to see if they are up for using it in a set. We are quite flexible with how similar the bass, drums and guitar are live compared to the track – just as long as it sounds decent! It was only two gigs ago that after listening to a recording of our set that we discovered that Mr Brown added in a cheeky guitar solo into the bridge of Cities. Busted! – Chris
You’ve recently covered Flashback (Calvin Harris), are you a fan of `covers` then?
We did indeed. We are a fan of covers if the song is reworked to sound different to the original, like in flashback, we decided to make it sound more our style, instead of sticking to the same sound as the original. So it depends on whether or not they do that really. – Ryan
Nice artwork lads. Who’s the photoshop and imagination king?
Photoshop. Pah! Microsoft Paint all the way. I just usually piss around on it until I’ve pretty much filled the page then hit save and upload it and wait for the praise….still waiting… – Chris
You seem to be a bit quiet on the gigging front at the moment?
Yeah, we have been! The main reason was that we wanted to get started on a whole new set, and maybe start working on a new cover, as ‘Flashback’ seemed to go down quite well with everyone. Also, Chris was sitting his 6th year exams, Greg his Uni exams and Ryan was finishing his 1st year at college, so they’ve all been busy revising and what have you. That’s kinda the only downside to being in a band this young (Chris 18, Ryan 18, Greg 19 and Me at 20), there’s all the other commitments like that at the moment, so gigging outwith Aberdeen wasn’t really an option until now. – Liam
You’ve recently played the Shmeet the Beat in Peterhead, how was that?
It was brilliant. After playing both in March and May, Scott and the rest of the Shmeet lads know how to host a gig and accommodate those who are playing. The venue ‘Mambos’ is a hidden gem of a location to play with a large stage, level with the crowd, good theatrics along with a band area upstairs to consume a few accumulates to a place where i would imagine every band would want to play, as well as almost guaranteeing a crowd. Having the guest house to stay overnight directly across the road was convenient as well. – Greg
Do you find it easy enough to get gigs booked, or is it a case of taking whatever you get your hands on for now?
We got quite lucky for our 1st gig, in that Shmeet heard us on Myspace and liked what he heard, and offered us the chance to play up in Peterhead with Minnaars, which was awesome. That night was a blast! And everyone was super confident and we pulled a good show out of ourselves. After that we played at Snafu with The Little Kicks, which once again was really fun. Ross from AGP has been really good to us. He gave us the chance to Support Chew Lips at Drummonds, and we also have a gig at The Tunnels in September, supporting Angry Vs The Bear with him. Other than that, i just kinda look out for promoters on Facebook, Aberdeen-Music, MySpace etc, and get in contact with them there. We’re playing Maggie Mays down in Glasgow on August 12th, so were really hoping they go well, so maybe another promoter catches us and maybe gives us a another chance to play outwith Aberdeen. But the one I’m looking forward to is at The Warehouse on August 6th, supporting Not Advised. They’re a Pop Punk band, so it’s kinda strange for us to be on the bill, but i really think it’ll be good to get our stuff out to a crowd that maybe haven’t heard us before. – Liam
Any festival appearances happening? Either performing or attending as a punter?
Unfortunately we weren’t selected for T-Break this year. But hey, that’s made us all the more determined to come out and write songs that justify why we should be there next year. I’m myself hoping to go to T in the Park. There’s bands I’ve seen before, like Friendly Fires, Biffy Clyro, Kids In Glass Houses and We Are Scientists that I’d love to catch again. But i love checking out bands and artists ive never seen before so Ellie Goulding, Rise Against, La Roux, The Drums, Two Door Cinema Club and Billy Talent are really making it hard for me to miss this year! And obviously, Eminem and Jay-Z will be amazing! – Liam
I believe you intend going into the studio to record before the end of the year?
Well we are constantly writing new ideas and recording songs. And as for the studio – it’s simply just a spare room in my house that over the years has become rather overpacked with old, new, borrowed and broken equipment that we use, trying to get the best sound out of everything and anything. – Chris
You have a track coming out tomorrow, “No Lies” which I believe has an interesting twist to it?
Indeed we do. With much debate over the name of our latest release, we finally have it perfected for you all! Trying not to give too much away just now, even with one day to go, but it features a certain ‘special guest appreance’ shall we say from a rather talented solo artist. We have had this idea since about January but just waiting for the right moment to write it and get it out. Its a risk, I will say that. But a risk we are all bloody excited for! Just a one off track showing another dimension to In Atlanta. But yeah the song will be up on our facebook and myspace and if you would like a copy of it then feel free to drop us your email address on our facebook page and we’ll get it to you asap. – Chris
What’s your favourite venue(s) in Aberdeen, both to play and to watch?
Personally my favourite, both to play and watch, is snafu. I think the atmosphere is commonly buzzing in a compact venue that houses a few hundred people at capacity. A great place for bands and djs to play. It’s in a great location, right at the top of union street, as well as the athenaeum above it, quality bar to begin a night. – Greg
Downloading music. Illegally. Bad thing or okay because so many people do it?
Definitely a bad thing. Plenty of artists/producers etc put in great deals of time, effort and money to create their music, and unless they authorise it, it should always be paid for. I remember the days of CD singles being £3+, surely people can’t complain about paying 99p for a single on itunes or amazon etc? That’s pretty much a steal in itself! – Greg
Spotify. Are you fans or users of it?
Yeah i love it. It’s so awesome to have all that music in one place. I mainly use it to check out new albums, to decide if i should buy them haha. Or even for checking out bands people have recommended to you, it’s just the bees-knees! – Liam
Any comments on Flares n Seagulls? Any way you’d like the music coverage in the North East improved? And the local music scene in general?
Flares n Seagulls offers a fantastic way for folk to check out interviews with bands, info on local venues both for gigs and rehearsal/studio, listings of shows and reviews of the various shows. All these features are brilliant but this site also gives new bands like ourselves, a way of attracting possible supporters of our music and that for any band is something we are very grateful for. And I would say from what I have learned whilst trying to stretch out with Aberdeen for playing gigs, it has proved to be extremely hard for unsigned bands up here to get out and about in places such as Edinburgh and Glasgow. This could very well be because we are not good enough in their eyes, but it seems to be the case for many other new bands from ‘the Deen’. I would love to see more unsigned acts from up here get the chance to get even just a gig or two outwith their local venues. When we formed, In Atlanta, we were really not sure if what we were doing would be accepted by the indie/pop-punk/metal scenes that dominate all local venues. However being different is something we very much like – I really doubt we would still be going if everyone else was doing the same as us. It allows us to fill a space in the music industry that we feel we can claim is ours, and develop this sound to wherever the record button on the PC takes us! – Chris
If In Atlanta were a team in the World Cup which country would you be and why?
In Atlanta would have to be USA as Atlanta is in America, they managed to hold England to a 1-1 draw after a nice blunder by England’s goalkeeper Robert Green haha! – Ryan
Anything else you’d like to add for readers of Flares n Seagulls?
Cheers guys at Flares n’ Seagulls for giving us this opportunity to show folk a bit about In Atlanta, and will enjoy browsing your site in future reading up about other new bands and their backgrounds. Its much appreciated by In Atlanta.
Your favourite desert island tracks?
Strobe by Deadmau5 – Ryan
Charmer by Kings Of Leon – Chris
Two Receivers by Klaxons – Greg
Up And Go by The Starting Line – Liam
And finally… your favourite flavour of crisps?
Sensations – Thai Sweet Chilli – Chris/Ryan
Ready Salted Pom Bears – Greg
Salt & Vinegar Squares – Liam
Thanks for your time lads, its been a pleasure. Still Burning
Photos by Angus Ross and Phill McHardy
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