Rudy talks about his upbringing, music career and what needs to change in the music industry today.
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 Wintersleep, Moneen & 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
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.
George brings his revolutionary new radio show to life by pushing boundaries and featuring today’s hottest bands, yet to be discovered….This is the World Rock Countdown.
This episode features: Shake Shake Go, Glass Tides, Better Half, Walking On Cars, Bay Faction, Revive The Rose, Nocebo, La Dispute, Can’t Swim, Call Me Karizma
It’s been quite the fight trying to get the word out about the show and today I am excited to share with all of you – that the show will be available on Spotify. I’ve had so many people ask me if I was on that platform and today is a happy day here at the WRC. I am excited about the upcoming seasons, get ready to discover artists from all over the world. You will hear them here first before radio, or other media actually gives them a chance.
See you soon and thanks for listening!
George brings his revolutionary new radio show to life by pushing boundaries and featuring today’s hottest bands, yet to be discovered….This is the World Rock Countdown.
Features music from Dear Boy, Paisley Sundae, Ascot Royals, The Bongo Club, King Shelter, Picturesque, Dead Favours, Micky James, Rascalton, Racing
You’re in love with music and at the age of 15, you became the CEO of your own record label. Can you explain how that happened?
At the time, my first band, HER, was about to release our debut album. As I didn’t want us to be seen as just “another high school band”, I thought it would be strategic to “professionalize” our release by associating it with a record label. The hope in doing so was to assist with obtaining better opportunities for the band overall along with potential management/booking agent interest.
I’m fortunate in that I come from a business-minded family – being the daughter of two entrepreneurs – so when I presented the idea to my parents, they were more than willing to help me recruit the services of a lawyer and an accountant to make my label a reality.
My label continues to be the home for my album releases and has also become a means through which I assist other artists with publicity and management advice.
You’ve been very successful with your music. How does it feel to have been added to the roster of the last ever Vans Warped Tour? Which is huge being that you were hand-picked by the founder.
I think it goes without saying that it’s an incredible honour, we are truly grateful for the opportunity and hope to do Canada proud.
I had the privilege of performing on Vans Warped Tour in the early 2000s with my previous band, Anti-Hero, and what I’ve always loved about the festival is its inclusive and supportive atmosphere.
The headliners and supporting acts are provided with equal opportunity to showcase their talents and as a result, many now-major acts were “launched” by performing at Warped.
From an audience perspective too – because Warped has mid-sized events – attendees can really connect with their favourite performers in a much more intimate way than say if they were attending a massive festival like Coachella. I really admire Warped’s commitment to its DIY grassroots beginnings and believe that’s why it is the longest running touring music festival in North America.
With Anti-Hero, you played many stages. For the listeners if you’ve never checked out this group I would suggest you do. You guys disbanded and you took a bit of a backseat to music for a while – What made you take that break?
In short, I needed to: I needed to distance myself from the music industry and fellow musicians to refocus and figure out who I wanted to be as an artist going forward. I had invested every bit of myself personally and professionally into Anti-Hero and it was absolutely heartbreaking to me when it became clear that my fellow bandmates and I were no longer on the same page.
As a rock musician, it has and continues to be difficult to find fellow players who prioritize the music ABOVE the “sex and drugs”. It’s a sad reality but this is often a key cause for many band breakups including the disbandment of Anti-Hero.
When I decided in 2010 to give music another go, I admittedly was still struggling to figure out which direction I should go in as a solo artist. I call “Off Of the Pages” – my debut solo album – my experimental phase. I did a mini tour on that material and it felt awkward and uncomfortable for me to be up there on stage, alone with an acoustic guitar. I wasn’t fond of the venues I was typically getting booked at (ie: coffeehouse type places) – they just didn’t suit me and my songwriting didn’t fit the typical “singer-songwriter” fare.
I continued to be experimental in the studio for my second solo album, “Onto the Floor” which was just released at the end of 2016. This time however, I knew I needed (albeit wanted) a band to join me on stage.
I’m very fortunate to have found Tyler Randall and Amber Gorham, the drummer and bassist for my new project, The Truth Untold. Both are not only talented musicians but they also “get” the importance of treating one’s craft with “professionalism.”
How important is it to be involved in the community as a musician or an aspiring artist trying to grow their fanbase?
Being involved with one’s community and local events can serve as a great way to network and connect with new potential business prospects and/or fans, BUT that (in my humble opinion) shouldn’t be one’s sole motivation for doing so.
We can all make a difference in this world in small but meaningful ways and being involved with one’s community – especially non-for-profit causes/events – is a great way to make THAT difference.
I feel very fortunate to have been blessed with the ability to perform and public speak and I’m happy to lend those talents to worthy events, like London’s Defeat Depression.
As far as growing one’s fanbase as an aspiring artist in today’s age of social media, I’m pretty old-school and I still maintain that the best way to do so is to:
1) be genuine
2) connect with people in REAL life (not just the internet) whether it’s through workshops, open mics or gigs
3) always express gratitude
Let’s get to know you: How’d you get into music and what made you say, “Hey I think I could have a future in this”?
I actually began my musical journey as a classically-trained singer. My parents enrolled me in vocal lessons through the Royal Conservatory and I studied vocal technique and theory for over a decade. I had once upon a time aspired to be on broadway but life, as it were, had different plans.
As the story goes, it was a fateful performance at a local talent show which connected me with the woman who would become the guitarist in my first band, HER. It was further because of a “challenge” to my musical credibility that I picked up the guitar and within six months had written my first rock album, HER’s “Straight from the Loft”.
I don’t think at any point I actively thought, “I could have a future in this”. I’ve never had delusions about the near impossibility of “making it” in the music industry. BUT from the moment I began writing and performing rock music, something in me awakened and I can say with certainty I have no greater love than a love for music. It’s simply a part of who I am and I can’t imagine my life without having music in it in some capacity.
We’re talking to Rose Cora Perry of the Truth Untold. What are some tips you can give a band that is just starting out? What does one need to do to stand out?
1) Don’t expect anyone to work harder for this than you. If this is your dream – what you truly want in life – learn how to navigate the BUSINESS and don’t expect any handouts.
2) If it’s about the MUSIC, that should always be your priority above all else. Learn your craft, practise diligently and always be open to improving.
3) Have a good story to tell, be relatable and write music with meaning. Understand that your band is a whole package: from your biography to photos to your music and videos. Be consistent with your marketing, be consistent with promoting everything you do and above all, be sure you can back up the hype.
To learn more about Rose Cora Perry & The Truth Untold, connect with them on social media:
A Life To Live, featuring former members of From Ashes To New, have released their emotionally impactful tribute video to Chester Bennington with a cover of Linkin Park’s song “One More Light”. The band, who had been working on the video since January, were waiting for the right time to release it. The one year anniversary of Linkin Park’s album, One More Light is on May 19th and they felt this would be an appropriate time for the video’s release. The band is currently writing their first independent LP with producer Rick Lander (Flaw, Dead Horse Trauma). The yet-to-be-titled LP is expected to surface later this year, but you can count on new material emerging as we progress through 2018.
“We are incredibly excited and proud to release this long overdue tribute to Chester. We wanted to take this opportunity to not only pay our respects to such an immeasurable influence on us personally and the rock world at large, but also do our part to raise awareness for mental health. I have been open about my struggles with depression in the past in hopes of letting others know it’s okay to talk about it because you are not in this alone. Any and all proceeds made from our rendition of “One More Light” will be going to charity in support of mental health awareness.”
– Much love and respect, Chris Musser & A Life To Live
The “One More Light” video can be seen here:
A Life To Live is an American rock band from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Chicago, Illinois. Formed in 2018, the band consists of Chris Musser (lead vocals, guitar, bass), Tim Donofrio (drums, vocals) and Branden Kreider(lead guitar, bass, vocals). All three members are formerly of rap/rock band, From Ashes to New (Better Noise Records). The new project marks a much anticipated derailment from their rap/rock past. As they explore their newly reinvigorated passion for music, the band is plowing ahead showcasing their eclectic influences and dynamic versatility as musicians. Their unapologetic approach to songwriting makes it abundantly clear that they have no intentions of going quietly into obscurity.
Get your introduction to Dash Cooper, the son of Alice Cooper. He’s got a new band called CO-OP thats taking their music across North America. In this episode, we discuss his love for music, growing up with a rockstar dad, Star Wars obsessions, CO-OP, and hanging out with Johnny Depp.
Bands you’ve yet to discover: Hail Sagan, The Wake Woods, Flowers For Daniel, Veridian, Cold Years, Ducking Punches, Stone Horses, Retro Video Club, Saint PHNX, Sunflower Bean. George continues his journey to find today’s best talent, and tomorrows generational talent.