The Black Atlas – New Music and Interview
Album Releases: The Other EP (Volume I of The Equinox) released Nov 18th, 2014.
Devils EP (Volume II of The Equinox) scheduled for approximate Spring 2015 release.
New Millennium Music: What was the start of musical influence?
Peter: “I started playing the drums at age eleven. My first drum kit was a cardboard box and a tin garbage can. The influence that music had on my life began farther back than I can consciously remember. Music accompanied everything in my house when I was a kid, from special occasions to mundane daily activities like cleaning the house or cooking. Songwriting began with my first musical partnership at about fourteen years old. I wrote a lot of lyrics, and I’d sing parts for my friend that I wanted to hear on guitar. Believe it or not, he’s someone I still play with to this day. I knew I loved singing when I was about fifteen years old. I belted the chorus to “Sober” by Tool for the first time. It was like snapping out of a trance. I was in my tiny bedroom, out of breath, and I said to myself, “that felt good.” That was definitely a little bit of an epiphany.”
NMM: How did the current band meet? How did the music get produced?
Peter: “I spent a few years traveling around, doing a bit of touring, session drumming, sitting-in for some local bands on occasion. I knew that the lifestyle was for me. Some people hate being on the road or in the studio, and I have always loved both. But, I felt stifled because I was just a drummer. I always wanted to do more. I felt paralyzed to a degree. Kind of like sleep paralysis. I’m awake and I can see the room, but I can’t move my body. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but that’s the best analogy I can think of to describe how I felt. Very frightening, frustrating way to feel. So in 2013, I decided I was gonna figure this out and put the work in, and do this myself. That was the start of it. That emotional stress that lead to the seed thought – the idea for this project. For me, that’s when it was conceived. It was birthed when I started working with Jesse (Clasen of HRVRD and The Bear Romantic) on the three songs that would become The Other. That was produced and recorded in nine days at his place in Charlotte, NC.”
NMM: What are some of your travels/hobbies?
Peter: “There are definitely a lot of things I’m interested in, and I do travel often, but music is kind of the main fixture. Sort of a point where all those interests and experiences converge and find some kind of organized expression. I realized fully, about two years ago, that music is the way I identify myself. Anyone will tell you though, in order for music to happen, life has to happen.”
NMM: What were your highs? What were the lows?
Peter: “The “highs” so far has just been the experience of watching something you literally daydreamed in to existence take shape. And then to have the participation and collaboration of some of my favorite musicians. Their talent is frightening and sometimes it’s surreal, but it definitely adds fuel to the fire of motivation. The “lows” are just states of mind for me, really. I can get sidetracked, or disorganized because it is even more gargantuan of a task than I could have possibly assumed, to be doing this entirely alone. But that’s life – The Wheel of Fortune. Sometimes you’re at the top, sometimes you’re at the bottom. It will come around again.”
NMM: Is there a new album or single coming out?
Peter: “Devils is the second EP. It’s the second act, so to speak, in the series. I finished recording it about two months ago in Charlotte with Jesse. I’m really excited to release it this coming spring. It has some really intense moments, and it’s very true to what I was experiencing at the time. During the recording, it was the first time I’ve ever had a visceral emotional response when listening to the playback. Colin (Frangicetto of Circa Survive and Psychic Babble) has the second piece of artwork done for it also, and it’s stellar. Sort of a companion piece to the first cover.”
NMM: Are there any music videos being worked on?
Peter: “Some video stuff is in development. Gonna keep it real vague for now, though.”
NMM: What else do you and the band have going on in the future?
Peter: ‘Just finished a cover of “What The Water Gave Me”, by Florence & The Machine with James Meslin at Cove City Sound Studios in New York. That’s gonna be streaming soon. I’ll be recording with Drew Roullete (of Dredg and Dark Heavens) at Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco next month. A tour might be happening. Check back in on that.”
NMM: What would you like to have going on in the future?
Peter: “I’d just really like to keep writing music in any capacity. I love recording, and the creative process that occurs in the recording studio. I really enjoy learning from new people. Every producer/musician I work with is a teacher to me. I’d like to continue that. For as long as anyone is willing to work with me.”
NMM: Are there any values/beliefs that you want to disclose?
Peter: “The secret to happiness is seasons 4-8 of The Simpsons.”