The Atlas Moth (Stavros far left)
The Atlas Moth continue down their uniquely forged labyrinth of hardcore, black metal, sludge, and all of the above on their latest and possibly most realized effort to date, An Ache For The Distance. The follow-up to their amazing A Glorified Piece of Blue Sky, the new LP marks their first effort for Profound Lore and first since releasing the One Amongst The Weed Fields digital covers EP last year. An Ache For The Distance arrives on September 20th, and you can stream the new title track for the first time below alongside the previously released "Coffin Varnish" and "Holes In The Desert".
The Atlas Moth toured heavily behind the release of A Glorified Piece of Blue Sky, hitting NYC with Dark Castle in the early stages, then SXSW (for two of our shows, at Emo's and Hoeks Death Metal Pizza), again with Harvey Milk/Coalesce followed by Nachtmystium/Zoroaster/Dark Castle (x2), and eventually back at SXSW and on back to NYC as part of Metalliance with bands like Crowbar, Saint Vitus, and Kylesa. Now the band is preparing to hit the road for a string of dates with KEN Mode (also BV SXSW veterans x2) including October 1st at Union Pool with The Year is One.
In preparation for the tour and the impending release, we sat down with vocalist/guitarist Stavros Giannopolous to discuss the origins of the record, their home base of Chicago, and his participation in the black metal super crew Twilight.
All tour dates, the song stream (with NSFW cover art) and that interview is below.
The Atlas Moth - "An Ache For The Distance"
The Atlas Moth - "Coffin Varnish"
The Atlas Moth - "Holes In The Desert"
The Atlas Moth - An Ache For The Distance art
An Ache For The Distance is the title of your new LP. Would you say that the title reflects your philosophy as a band? To travel the world with, to coin a phrase by a great poet,"a loaded six string on your back"?
Absolutely. The title came up while out on the road. The sense of freedom you have from your home life while touring is incredibly relieving. Obviously at times it can be stressful and very hard to be away from everyone and everything for so long, but at the same time, you're in a van with your best friends doing exactly what you want to be doing. Its all about that 40 mins a night for us.
One thing that is definitely omnipresent in The Atlas Moth sound is the mish-mosh of influences. Keys. Psychedelia. The clean singing. The hardcore/scream parts. Chugging guitars. Who do you think are some bands that ignored the rules and went their own way that maybe you looked to as inspiration and why?
The first band that comes to mind is Deftones. They were associated with the whole nu metal scene and in the middle of its hey day, they released White Pony which was something i dont think anyone really expected from them. And in turn, their longevity speaks for itself. I think its necessary to take chances and push yourself into unknown territory. How are you suppose to grow without doing that and isn't growth what its all about at the end of the day?
The Atlas Moth at Irving Plaza (more by BBG)
One of the first songs you guys released off of the new LP was "Coffin Varnish", a term used in the early 1900s for a stiff drink. That combined with some of the lyrics feel a bit like discussion on the repercussions of drinking, and possibly of drinking and driving. Care to shed any light on the concepts behind the song?
This record is very personal for me, much more than our previous releases. But i wanted to write from more of a fantasy point of view. I would prefer letting the listener relate to the lyrics in their own way. The song to me is about people being judgmental to others around them without looking themselves in the mirror. You must recognize that working on yourself is never ending. You don't just wake up one day and understand yourself and take a vacation from life. You have to wake up every morning and take the opportunity to understand who you truly are.
One recurring theme I hear running through your releases are slower almost bluesy guitar riffs. How much do you think Chicago and in particular Chicago blues has influenced your sound?
We are all born and raised here, so it would be silly to think it hasn't influenced us at all. There is definitely a don't-give-a-fuck attitude that comes along with being from Chicago. Chicago blues is also in your face constantly, from the specific blues clubs to Blues fest every year, you just can't escape it. I mean, a scene from The Blues Brothers was filmed a few blocks from my house, you just grow up with it ingrained in you.
As a Chicago-an, what local band in particular inspired you the most in your formative years?
I would say when i was younger it was without a doubt The Smashing Pumpkins. When they blew up i was 11 or 12 and it meant a lot to my friends and I that they were from here and a part of something so huge and representing Chicago. Although, i would say as i got older The Jesus Lizard would be the band i champion from here. Certainly not fuckin' Disturbed.
The Atlas Moth at LPR in 2010 (more by Meghan McInnis\)
How would you qualify the state of heavy music in Chicago currently?
I think the type of heavy music coming out of Chicago is very unique. No one sounds like each other yet we all support each other and play shows together. Its a refreshing to see such a diverse selection of metal locally.
What do you think the move to Profound Lore says about your band as opposed to Candlelight?
I have had respect for what Chris has been doing with his label and bands he works with for a long time now. He has such a passion for what he does and he truly believes in and stands behind his roster. He seems to look to where a band is going, not where they are and that was most important to us. We want to keep moving forward and progressing, signing with Profound says just that.
Who is handling vinyl?
Brutal Panda will be releasing the vinyl in Nov i believe.
Are there any plans on heading back in to record new material as Twilight?
I love working with those dudes and i would love to make some more Twilight music happen in the future. It just all depends on when everyone has time. There is a new Leviathan coming out, Nachtmystium has a few splits coming out as well as working on a new record, We have this record about to come out, Sanford is recording every band under the sun. Its all about timing and recording that record was really special to me and i would hate to piss on that for the sake of just doing it. It has to be approached correctly but i am ready when they are.
KEN MODE, THE ATLAS MOTH - 2011 TOUR DATES
SA - Sept 24 - Madison, WI - The Wisco
SU - Sept 25 - Indianapolis, IN - Vollrath Inn
MO - Sept 26 - Detroit, MI - Lager House
TU - Sept 27 - Columbus, OH -KOBO
TH - Sept 29 - Allston, MA - O'Brien's
FR - Sept 30 - Providence, RI - Castlevania
SA - Oct 1 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool
SU - Oct 2 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie
MO - Oct 3 - Harrisonburg, VA - TBA
TU - Oct 4 - Chapel Hill, NC - Nightlight
WE - Oct 5 - Ashville, NC - The Get Down
TH - Oct 6 - Jacksonville, FL - Burro Bar
FR - Oct 7 - Gainesville, FL - The Atlantic
SA - Oct 8 - Orlando, FL - Will's Pub
SU - Oct 9 - Miami, FL - Churchills
TU - Oct 11 - New Orleans, LA - Siberia
WE - Oct 12 - Austin, TX - Emo's
TH - Oct 13 - San Antonio, TX - The Korova Basement
FR - Oct 14 - Dallas, TX - Phoenix Project
SA - Oct 15 - Columbia, MO - TBA
Su - Oct 16 - Chicago - Ultra Lounge