We caught up with Kai, Drew, Cam and Leon from North Atlas this week just ahead of their headline show at Tuts on Sunday. Read below for discussions of music videos, Nickelback and ClayFighter 63 1/3.
You’re planning to release an EP sometime next year, what should fans expect from this EP?
Leon – We always try to do something a bit different because, we are a rock band but we want to have a different angle. We want to bring in the electronics into it more than we’ve done already. And I think, for fans of alt rock, I think you’ll like it. It’s very difficult to describe, It’s so difficult to describe your own sound. As far as what people should expect, it’s gonna be alt rock, hard hitting, electronic, you know… It’s quite heavy, but it’s definitely got that melodic element to it.
Kai – Got that melodic goodness.
You’re about to release a music video for your song Orange, tell us about it.
Leon – Okay. Right well, I guess…
Cam – It’s quite orange.
Leon – It’s very orange. We filmed it in Iceland, the concept behind the video is, there’s a Nordic space-woman
Cam – Standard.
Leon – Yes haha! Who is in an alien landscape. We filmed it on a big beach in Iceland, it has that contrast between the orange space suit and the black sands. So I think that visually that’s what we were going for. It’s definitely, um, a choice because of our Nordic roots, myself and my brother, it’s something that, artistically we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. And we’re excited that it came out exactly how we wanted it to.
Cam – The landscapes over there are so otherworldly, I dunno it’s just very strange things like geometric rock formations and black sands and volcanic stuff.
Kai – Stuff you’d expect to see in an episode of doctor who or something
Leon – Absolutely. It was fun and exciting to be able to do that, we’re very happy that it came off and we got the chance to do it, it’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a while.
So what gigs do you have lined up for the next couple of months?
Leon – Well the next show we have is King Tuts, and that’ll be the last headline show we will do this year. So we’re very excited for that. We’re planning on doing a tour at the start of next year so that’ll be the next time we get on the road again. But yeah King Tuts at the end of this week it’s gonna be good.
Cam – The nerves are coming..!
You guys formed almost a year ago, how do you feel about the success you’ve had so far?
Kai – It’s pretty good, yeah! Aye we just want to have fun and play music, you know, anything above being in a rehearsal studio is great for me. It’s amazing all the stuff we’ve done, because we’ve done our own headline show in Stereo,
Cam – It was our launch, yeah.
Kai – It’s that way where, it’s all your mates and stuff that come down to see you at first so they’re almost expected to go there. But it’s cool now we’re a couple of shows further on now because people actually come down to see you because they’ve heard of you and they like the music
Cam – It’s a cool thing
Kai – I’ll never forget when we played Manchester there was a guy outside having a cigarette and just chatting away and I asked him, “who are you hear to see” and he said, “I’m here to see North Atlas,” I was like WOW! I actually know someone that came to see us!
Cam – It’s a good feeling you know!
Kai – It’s an incredibly humbling experience because we do it out of pure pleasure of doing it and enjoyment of playing music so when something comes back to you it’s sort of like a wee reward.
Drew – I think the way that we get people pulled in to our shows, you know, it’s brilliant!
Cam – It’s a good thing you know, like we’ve got the chemistry! I dunno. But seriously it’s really good when you’ve got people that you get on really well with and fuckin’ really good pals man you know.
Leon – It’s easy
Cam – That’s it!
We’re going to move on to a quick-fire round now, so aim for short answers!
First gig you ever went to?
Cam – Iron Maiden. Mon the irons.
Drew – S Club 7.
Leon – Awwww!! Man that’s fantastic, I wish mine was as cool as that! I think my first sort of big band was the Chili Peppers at Murrayfield, the ‘roll on red tour’. Um and that was really fucking fun man.
Cam – But can you condense that to two words though?
Leon – Red Hot Chilli…. Uh, red hots!! Yeah.
Kai – I went to see Fightstar and was left with a concussion.
What’s your musical guilty pleasure?
Leon – Nickelback.
Drew – I was gonna say the exactly the same thing!
Leon – I don’t feel ashamed I think Nickelback are awesome…
Cam – Abba…
Leon – Naw you can’t feel guilty about Abba, Abba are amazing!
Cam – They’re good man they’re good, yeah.
Drew – I’m gonna have to go with Nickelback too man…
Leon – Aw dude you can’t just steal mine!
Kai – Eh, shit, don’t look at me when I’m thinking… Ehm… nah, blank.
Leon – Can I change mine to Coldplay?
If you could have written any song ever what would it be?
Leon – Bohemian Rhapsody
Cam – Nice…
Drew – (Mustang playing in the background) Would definitely not have been Mustang Sally, maybe Bohemian Rhapsody or Stairway to Heaven.
Cam – The Next Episode by Dr Dre. Straight Up.
Kai – Probably Tribute by Tenacious D
Leon – That’s the best answer man!
What was your most embarrassing moment on stage?
Drew – Actually, smashing my guitar off the floor by accident. Strap wasn’t on, chipped it, brand new first time on stage and I chipped the paint…
Leon – Well I was doing a show with another band a few years ago, and it was a sort of a bit of a bustle and a bit of a mosh pit starting and it was a small venue… And a kid got pushed into the bottom of my mic stand, and I was using a boom mic stand, the kid hit the bottom of my mic stand and it went and it chipped my tooth and the kid was terrified, he was saying “Oh my god I’m so sorry man”. But I was like FUCK it keep going, everybody keep going it’s fine! I was like, in a lot of pain, but shit man that was pretty embarrassing for me, my eyes were watering and I was trying to keep singing.
Cam – How do you keep cool after that, you know?
Kai – My most stupid moment is eh, jumping about going a bit mad during a song, getting lost in the flow and I stood on my guitar cable and it came out and I tried to turn round to pick it up and I tripped up on my own cable. And I just landed face down on my bass, I tried to roll about a bit and shake it off but I ended up just looking like an ass. There’s no coming back from this. Bad times…
What is your hidden talent?
Drew – I can’t tell you it’s hidden…
Leon – It would cease to be a hidden talent if I told you…
Kai – I don’t need sleep apparently, that’s my hidden talent…
Leon – I’m really, really good at a game for the Nintendo 64 called Clay fighter 63 1/3.
Cam – Oh my god, don’t get me started! My childhood was ruined by this man and clay fighter.
Leon – Yupp that’s my hidden talent
Cam – It’s not so hidden to me, I was always player two man! I dunno, I don’t think I can eclipse this. I’ve always been really good at nerdy strategy games on the computer, not that I’m good at them but I’ve clocked up a lot of hours.
Leon – You’re pretty boss at Age of Empires
Cam – Oh yeah, we’re getting to nerdy here
Drew – My hidden talent is that I can untangle a slinky.
Cam – Is that useful ever?
Drew – It was useful one weekend on a high school residential trip and everyone had slinkies, because there was all these stairs. I can untangle anything but I’m best at slinkies.
What’s your favourite vine or meme?
Leon: This was me and Cam as kids man..!
Kai – Me and my girlfriend laughed at this vine non stop for hours!
Favourite unsigned band right now?
All – Ohhhhhh
Kai – I think it’s unfair to choose, I can’t think of one and say that’s the best.
Drew – The Lawrence Obrien band are fantastic. It’s mental, it’s totally insane weird cat noises. His songs are just crazy, I would have never thought of doing it. He takes an idea, and he turns it upside down and he folds it inside out and he rips it apart and puts it back together… and the he meows, yeah!
Cam – I do love Crash Club man, but I’m digging The Ninth Wave right now. The new video for Human Touch is cool, I’ve had that song stuck in my head all day.
Describe North Atlas in 3 words.
Drew – Big Industrial Noise.
Kai – Really good fun
Leon – Intense electronic rock
Cam – I dunno… I would say…. Intense electronic rock, yeah!
Make sure you check out the new music video for Orange, it’s both strange and beautiful! You can get your tickets for their headline show at King Tut’s WahWah Hut here.
Big thanks to the North Atlas guys for being hilarious and awesome!
Peace n Love
Phoebe @ Club Decode