Interview – The Photo Atlas
While the band gets ready to rock the West Coast with The Audition this month, singer Alan Andrews Jr. was able to discuss the media attention they’ve been getting and what their upcoming album will sound like.
How have you guys been able to tour with so many bands of different genres? Is there just something about The Photo Atlas that attracts people of all musical tastes and perspectives?
I think we’re just able to cross-over well. Obviously we fit with some bands better than others, but I guess we haven’t committed ourselves to being a certain type of band. We’ve always just played what came naturally so we can play with punk bands, hardcore bands or pop bands.
What have those artists thought of your music?
For the most part, I think they’ve all been into it. Some of them don’t really understand it sometimes, but others are blown away. I guess that’s the weird part of being able to play with bands of different genres.
What would classify your music as?
I always say indie/dance/punk or loud music with a beat you can dance to.
What do you think of the media attention you’re getting?
I think it’s been pretty good so far. It’s been positive. I’m always stoked when anyone likes what we’ve done. I’m not crazy into media, but it’s good to see us getting out there.
What was your first reaction when you heard Alternative Press gave your new EP four stars?
Honestly, I was kind of worried before it came out. I respect Alternative Press and I was relieved for the most part, but excited at the same time because I thought it was badass.
One track that really stands out is “Paper Trail”. How did you guys come up with that crazy intro?
We’ve always wanted to have strings in a song and we were telling our producer J. Robbins that. We figured “Paper Trail” was the best track for it and I could kind of hear the string part before it was even included. Initially, the strings weren’t going to start the song but after recording them, we singled them out and we all kind of decided that’s how it should start.
Since there was pressure to get an EP out because you needed to showcase new music, is there now pressure on you guys to release a full-length soon?
I don’t think there’s pressure but we really want to. We’re deep in the writing process every time we’re not touring. But some people have told us to get a full-length. We’re writing like crazy out of our motivation right now so we’re just going with it.
What do you guys hope to accomplish with the next record?
We’re hoping one of these days our music will get us a trip out of the U.S.. We’ve been to Canada a couple times now.
How is the writing coming along for the new record?
The writing is going great, I just keep trying to find more ways to open up and belt it out. I’m always inspired by music that sounds raw and genuine, so I think we might be headed for something crazier. Or at least I hope so.
When you compare your new EP to an album like No, Not Me, Never, you can definitely see that your music sounds bigger and full of energy. Will your upcoming album take your music to yet another level?
Yeah I think so. I feel like I’m losing my mind more and more everyday, in a mad scientist kind of way. I’m really getting into guitar work and vocal melody and these days, I’m finding more and more problems I have with the world.
Will you brave the cold and play a show in Canada anytime soon?
Hell yes. Canada is awesome. We had the chance a while ago on Warped Tour to do a few shows in Canada and we did it with The Bravery. It’s a gorgeous place, can’t wait to get back there!
Any ideas of who you guys would like to tour with?
Tons of bands really, but right now I’m thinking Tokyo Police Club, Minus The Bear, The Faint and/or Manchester Orchestra.
How big of an influence is At The Drive-In when it comes to your music?
Their energy has always been a huge influence on us. When we first started listening to them, we all instantly thought that we wanted to be as wild and smart as they are.
When it comes to vocals, do you think you sound like the indie-punk version of their singer?
That’s a cool way to think of it! From day one, I’ve always just sang along with my favourite bands and I found myself singing along with Cedric a lot.
Do you think its surprising that At The Drive-In rub off on a lot of young bands these days?
I would hope so. They were such a sweet band. They obviously influenced us and I’d like to see that energy again.
Who has influenced you as a singer?
Brian Molko of Placebo, Conor Oberst and Tim Kasher from Cursive as he’s one of my favourites.
Do you feel pressured to project a voice that’s unique and will have people saying, “Yep, that’s Alan Andrews Jr.”?
I hope to stand out like that. But honestly, I’m just going to let that happen.