Why the decision to come tour Canada? What did you like most about this country? 

Canada was always a country we respected and drew influence from, musically. Bands like WintersleepMoneen & Attack in Black had been in our record collection for years. 

I met Rob (Hasebe, Bass) in Toronto during CMW 2016 – He moved to Glasgow in 2017 and joined the band, at that point, touring Canada became a more realistic goal.

We love so many things about your amazing country, it’s tough to pick one! Putting me on the spot, it’d have to be how open-minded Canadians are to discovering new music. Or poutine.

The name Atlas : Empire is a name that stands out. Where did it come from or who thought of it? 
And what we’re some other names that were runner up? 

The band’s name originates from a song in a previous project. It represents a lack of boundaries & the desire to explore new territories. 

The name came to me pretty quickly, once Jamie (Sturt, Vocals/Guitar/Electronics) started writing together – we knew early on that this band would incorporate a lot of styles and be truly “Progressive”, so wanted a name that supported that. There were no runner ups. 

I’m a sucker for knowing the story of how it all began. When did you guys get together? Are you small town boys? 

 The band formed mid 2011, in Glasgow. Jamie and I had met around 2 years earlier and had played in friends projects, all pretty casually. What was very apparent through that period was the depth of Jamie’s artisty – his original material was so diverse that I knew us collaborating together would be something special.

We’re both originally from opposite coasts of Scotland though, with Jamie being born in Dundee & myself in a West coast town called Gourock. We both moved to Glasgow in the late 2000s, to pursue music in a bigger city.

Talk about the one of the hardest moments you’ve had as a band.

 I’d say the most challenging experience we’ve had thus far was back in 2015, both during and after a UK & EU with an Australian band called Closure in Moscow

We’d had over 6 months lead time for this tour, so everyone had arranged time off from their day jobs, saved up a bit of cash…or so we thought! Our drummer hadn’t cleared the time off work with his boss – he only let us know this 5 weeks before the tour started. We managed to find a guy to fill in, crammed rehearsals over the weeks to come, got the replacement drummer up to speed – then on day 2 of the tour, our actual drummer quit the band! 

Throughout that 3 week tour, the headline band had their van broken into & lost passports, laptops and personals, we had a promoter in Switzerland cancel a show AFTER we’d arrived at the venue and we played in Paris the night of the Bataclan incident, so were literally 10 minutes drive away from a terrorist attack! That tour definitely took its toll on us, but it also made us realise that we can overcome major adversity as a band!

Worst show memory? 

It might sound crazy but it’s probably when we supported one of my favourite bands, O’Brother, back in 2012.

We got billed as “main support” because our pre-sales were great, but the promoters didn’t give us a sound check. So O’Brother went on and killed it for 30 minutes – they’d just played festivals in Belgium, Germany and England and were on top form. We decided to play a few newer songs that weren’t 100% gig-ready, as we wanted to impress. 4 bars into the opening song, I snapped a string – which NEVER happens to me. Our set was pretty shambolic, partly due to the songs not being watertight, but also as we had no time to sound check, our levels were all over the place!

We definitely learned a valuable lesson from that show!

Is there something about touring that people should know ?

Touring is 70% sitting in a van, 25% eating & drinking in service stations, 5% playing music.

What does the future look like for the band going forward? 

We’re mid-way through the writing cycle for album number 2 at the moment and we’re really excited about the new material. It’s definitely an evolution in sound from TSBOF, possibly in a different direction to what people may expect. We’ve got 5 songs instrumentally complete, Jamie and I are writing lyrics & vocals just now. We’re aiming for 10 songs on this album, but at the rate we’re writing, we’ll have a surplus of material!

We’re also working on our next few tours – later this month we’ll be flying out to Ukraine to play a handful of festivals and a run of club shows! We’ll probably be back in Canada later this year too…

Your ideal vintage instrument of choice.. which guitar do you choose? 

I’d probably pick an original Fender Jazzmaster, one that’d been beaten up and gigged the hell out of for 60 years.

Dream situation: You’re about to collaborate with 
One musician of influence.. who do you pick ? Dead or Alive. 

I’d love to co-write & duet on a song with Bjork.

Tell the listeners and followers about Atlas Empire  and where to get your music. 

You can pick up our full back catalogue, including debut album, “The Stratosphere Beneath Our Feet”, from our bandcamp page – atlasempire.bandcamp.com

Our website is www.atlasempire.co.uk. We’re also all over social media – https://facebook.com/atlasempire

 Thanks a lot for your time & interest.

StevenAtlas : Empire

UK : (+44) 7473182944
        (+44) 7447359530
CAN/whatsApp : (+1) 437 370 5324

A WRC exclusive with Shawn Peter of The Ghost Town Rebellion

How did you guys meet?

SP: Mike and I have been friends for a long time, and I reached out to him, because Mike is a great songwriter. Mike and Steven joined the group at about the same time, about 3.5 years ago. Steven actually found us; Mike and I loved his drumming, and then Jacob reached out to us about a year later when we needed a bassist.

Where did you start?

SP: I was in a Sacramento group called A Single Second, and my group was ending after a 13yr run so I was asked by another prominent Sacramento group, One Dying Secret, to audition, because they needed a new front person. Then TGTR came together in 2013.

At what age did you become fascinated with music? And what does creating new music mean to you?

SP: I became fascinated with music as soon as I was able to turn on the stereo! And to create new music? It means everything to me. That is the most exciting part of being a musician, aside from performing new songs to an excited audience. My favorite part of song writing is always the beginning. Mike and I get together, weekly, sit down and play to each other what we’ve written for the week. We pick the two best ideas we’ve come up with, work on a vocal melody, and then bring the skeleton of the song(s) to Steven and Jacob, so they can add their magic to them as well. Once that’s done we take the song, (if he approves it,) to Michael Rosen (our producer,) and he breaks it apart, and we all put it back together again!

If you were to revive one musician, of influence, who would it be?

SP: Oh gosh, too many to actually say for me. What I mean is none, I wouldn’t revive anyone, because if you have their records to listen to, your influences are never gone, they’re right there coming out of your speakers, or headphones.

There are so many great bands out there, how do you plan on standing out from the rest?

SP: Everything actually, from our songwriting to our live shows! First our lyrical content is unique in that it is mostly about real American History. 2nd, our musical content; we combine so many genres from Rock to Blues, Folk to Country, Hip Hop to Metal, and, of course, Punk. The 3rd thing is our live shows. Our live shows are what truly make The Ghost Town Rebellion. We perform nightly 2-3hrs non stop. When you come to see The Ghost Town Rebellion, we take you on a full emotional journey; our songs are so diverse, and catchy, its like listening to an old school mix- tape, but live. Our goal by the end of the night, is to get everyone off of their feet, dancing around, have a good time, and to forget about their problems for a few hours!

Where did you find the name from?

Let’s talk about the new record.

How many songs?

SP: It was with the very first line up of TGTR. Rob, our bassist, came up with the name along with Corey, Joe and I. 

SP: We’re thinking 8-10 tracks. We have 4 completed, 4 we’re still finishing up, (vocals, keys, and other instruments), and possibly a few more. We have 2 more completed songs which are being released on two different compilation records, but I can’t really talk about that! 

What can you tell fans, listeners of the podcast, and people looking to find out more about your new record?

SP: The album is called ‘Eldorado’, and it has multiple songs surrounding the “idea” of what ‘Eldorado’ means, from all senses of the phrase, word, or place! If you’d like to get a sneak listen- and watch us live – we did the Song “Diamond Queen” on Portland Oregon’s “Bridge City Sessions” – its a great video recording we did, and gives the viewer a very good idea of The Ghost Town Rebellion live experience.

Who’s producing the new record? How did you connect the dots? And what can we expect from The Ghost Town Rebellion going forward as far as plans go?

SP: Micheal Rosen (Rancid, Journey, AFI, Tesla, Papa Roach, Santana), is Recording and
Producing the album at his studio in Berkeley California called East Bay Recorders. Otherwise we usually self produce at my studio, The Decompression Chamber, and have everything mixed and mastered by Joe Johnston (he did all the early Cake records.)
As far as connecting the dots, we still are connecting them with Michael. Michael’s an old school producer, which we love, and is really pushing us to deliver our best performance, and
material, and won’t settle for less. He’s a perfectionist in that area!

If you mean how did we meet Michael? 
Well I’m good friends with the band Papa Roach, The Lonely Kings, both whom Micheal has recorded and produced records for in the past. Papa Roach had purchased a recording studio here in Sacramento a while back, and I was already an established engineer, having worked at local studios, as well as interning for TapeOp Recording Magazine. Anyway they invited me over and wanted my opinion on the studio etc. Micheal was there and we started chatting, geeking out on gear, and always kept in touch after that. So finally a year ago we started working together, and the rest is history.

   As far as what the future holds? We’re working with The DNS Agency based in Los Angeles that has already got us connected with a few labels and we have songs coming out on two different projects to be announced soon.  Micheal Rosen is guiding us to be a professional recording group, and not just another indie group. As far as The Ghost Town Rebellion goes we want our fans to hear some really great music and enjoy an energetic show that will being them back time and time again.