Ahead of their gig at Mad Hatters in March, Cam and Leon of North Atlas chats to Chris Lemon of IGigs.
The Glasgow based four piece which consists of brothers Cam & Leon Hunter, Drew Lesslie and Kai Carney has been heralded by The List as “like Biffy Clyro, with electronic rock sounds”. Whilst the band are not shy of the comparisons with Simon Neil et al, they have drawn a significant amount of support from audience and music professionals alike. We fortunate enough to catch Cam & Leon prior to their Inverness Gig.
IGigs – Where does the North Atlas sound come from?
Leon- The sound comes from a love for British Alt Rock and modern Electronica, bands like Awolnation and Biffy Clyro drove us to explore a way of creating fun accessible music that worked well live without being cliche’ or cheap. Its all based around a love to perform live!
Cam- Being able to create the sounds live without backing tracks is important to us too, it keeps the push and pull of a band while adding in some new mental stuff.
IGigs – You kicked off 2017 by returning to King Tuts, how’s the year shaping up for you?
Leon- Tuts was a F*kn great night, the audience seemed really up for it! And Its a solid venue. We’re back out in the coming months playing a few shows before summer, we want to give 2017 a good kick start before we release our Debut EP later in the year.
IGigs – How does the band stand out in a scene that is thriving at the moment?
Leon- I agree whole heartedly, the scene is incredible at the moment. Which helps us all, bands and music lovers, because we’re kind of in it together if that makes sense. Its strange, personally I feel we’ve never had a problem being different, whether thats a good or a bad thing haha. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we are an Alternative band with that rock aesthetic, but also have that electronic influence which could sometimes make it difficult to define, but I guess some people might like.
I also think the gravelly/electronic sound of the Bass guitar is an important part of what gives the band that particular sound live. Kai has this early Muse thing going on with his effects which really impresses me, he’s like our beardy red haired Chris Wolstenholme. Drew & Cam are also very strong players which locks everything in together nicely, making some of the complexities of the songs seem fun and something to jump around to instead of a chore to listen to.
IGigs – The visual presentation for your videos are so bold and impressive, how important are videos to the whole North Atlas package?
Cam – I guess the way music is released online now, videos are almost an extension of the song too, so if you can add a wacky visual element then why not! We were lucky enough to be able to work with some very cool videographers from different places in the world like Japan, the US and Europe for HAL, and Iceland for Orange. I loved the black-sand textures from Reynisfjara beach, and the weird hexagonal Basalt stacks in Iceland. The lyrics are quite esoteric and earthy, the song was based around a desert metaphor, which was one of the reasons we wanted to use the emptiness of Iceland.
IGigs – You have spoken about an EP coming for you guys, where are you with that now?
Leon – I’m so excited for the EP, its penned for release later this year. There’s a few songs on there we’ve been playing live for the past year as well as some brand new ones. I think its more honed than what we have out already, with all the punchy bass sounds/electronic samples its been written entirely with the thought of being performed live! We plan to play some of the new EP songs for the first time in Inverness, really looking forward to it!
IGigs – You were asked in an interview what was the first gig that you went to (the list included Fight Star, Iron Maiden and Red Hot Chilli Pipers) but was was the last gig you went to, and what draws you out to live music?
Cam – The last gig I went to was Bloodlines at Stereo in Glasgow, it was just after they launched their new single and the energy was great. The thing I enjoy most about live music is the community that’s around it, it’s a lot of fun to see familiar faces on the stage and off the stage, going to gigs is definitely what got me started playing in a band and the excitement hasn’t worn off.
Leon – We’re going to see Vukovi at King Tuts this week then Lower than Atlantis at the ABC in Glasgow later this month, there are so many great bands to see, some veterans and some on their first releases. Just keeping an eye out to whats happening on our doorstep and taking a chance on something can make some of the best nights I’ve ever had. Being spontaneous with the gigs you go to adds a whole new spice to a night out. Even if the venue isn’t filled wall to wall, usually doesn’t detract from how great a band is live! And you never know who’s early gig you’re going to see. I guess thats what draws me to live music in the first place and what keeps me on my toes as a musician
North Atlas plays Mad Hatters, Inverness on the 17 th of March.Free Entry
Other Upcoming Gigs;
Manchester | Fight & Day | Wednesday 12th April 8:00pm (18+)
Glasgow | King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut (w/ Kieran Robertson) | Thursday 27th April 8:30pm
Dumfries | The Venue | Friday 28th April 7:00pm (16+)
Carlisle | The Brickyard | Friday 5th May 8:00pm (14+)