The Revolutionary Spirit of Rock and Roll…Meet Atlantic Thrills

Atlantic

I’m going to get a bit overzealous here, because that’s what happens when I listen to a band as good as Atlantic Thrills.

In her memoir Just Kids, Patti Smith wrote a lot about rock and roll and how her circle of friends: “imagined ourselves as the Sons of Liberty with a mission to preserve, protect, and project the revolutionary spirit of rock and roll. We feared that the music which had given us sustenance was in danger of spiritual starvation. We feared it losing its sense of purpose, we feared it falling into fattened hands, we feared it floundering in a mire of spectacle, finance, and vapid technical complexity.”

Sure, these days the fattened hands still hold onto a piece of rock and roll, and rock has certainly floundered in a mire of spectacle, finance and vapid technical complexity. But as we experience daily here at 50third, Patti’s Sons of Liberty torch has certainly been passed.

We hear a lot of amazing rock and roll at 50third and I believe that labels like Almost Ready Records and bands like Atlantic Thrills are now the bearers of Patti’s torch. With their new album Vices, Atlantic Thrills have that torch burning bright.

So what do they sound like? Well since we’ve been running this site, I’ve realized how hard it is to not tag a band with a genre – garage, punk, psychedelic, power pop, whatever – in the end it’s just rock and roll. But as far as I’m concerned, those tags are just an easy way to describe what a listener can expect, no more, no less.

With Atlantic Thrills, it’s all here folks. From the mind-blowing Chuck Berryesque opening guitar of Live For the Weekend, to the Everly Brothers harmonies of Bloodshot Eyes, to the Beach Boys jangle of Almost Anything to the drunken Replacements howl of Hold It Down – Vices rummages around in the pockets of these rock and roll legends without stealing their change. Sure it’s garage, it’s surf, it’s punk. That’s just what it sounds like.

With Atlantic Thrills you can also expect music infused with the revolutionary spirit of rock and roll and there’s absolutely no chance of spiritual starvation with a record like Vices.

 

We are….
Eric – Vocals / bass

Dan- Vocals / Guitar

How did you become Atlantic Thrills?

Eric :  I became obsessed with 60s garage and psychedelic rock back when I was doing hip hop and sampling vinyl.  One day I just decided I wanted to make that kind of music and so I hit up some friends and picked up the bass guitar.
Dan: Yeah, Eric and I have been working on music together for years. We both really dug on the early garage and punk, so we decided to play that kind of music. I grew up playing guitar and drums in rock and roll  bands as a teenager, so I thought it was a great idea to start a band like that…From scratch, like we were teenagers.

Tell us about the scene in Providence…

Eric: For a small city there’s a huge music/art scene.  It’s one of the reasons I’m still here.  Although it’s changed a lot in the last 10 years since most of the diy warehouse spots got shut down.  Still, there’s a lot of love and support for local music in Providence and tons of talent.

Describe your sound as a cocktail – what’s it called and what’s in it?

Eric: I don’t really fuck with cocktails – more of a straight bourbon or tequila drinker.  I hate all that syrupy sugary shit that hides the taste of the booze.  I’d say the same exact thing is true about our sound.
Dan: I don’t know what you’d call it. Maybe “Viced Tea”???? (lame)
A shot of whiskey with a kiss on the cheek and a dick punch for a chaser..
Served in a pirate head made out of a coconut topped with a parasol of fermented rotten fruit…

Tell us about your live show…
Eric: It’s always high energy, raw and imperfect…  The music we write lends itself to that.   We are definitely not the kind of band that stands on stage all still and plays and sings everything perfectly.
Dan: I like to wear a lot of silly hats, but it never really pans out that way…

How does your songwriting process work?
Eric: It’s always different.  Sometimes I’ll sit with an acoustic and come up with something on my own and sometimes we’ll bust something out as a full band – a lot of times me and Dan will come up with ideas together.  Recently I’ve been recording all the parts myself piece by piece and writing that way…  I think it’s important to switch up the process so things don’t get stale.
Dan: I’m more into the live aspect of writing… kind of off the cuff, whatever comes natural.

What influences the band lyrically?
Eric: the usual – women, drinking, drugs, life and death.
Dan: Pretty much what Eric said.. Usually, I write about the weird shit that goes through my head while I’m stoned….

If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….
Eric: It’s really fucking hard to pick just one….It would definitely be in the 60’s.  Would probably be an early studio recording session with Hendrix.
Dan: I’d say Early 70’s fuzz guitar era… That or prohibition medicine show guitar era..

What tunes are currently on heavy rotation for you…

Eric : I’ve had the first Os Mutantes album on repeat along with a Brazilian 60s psychedelia comp.
Dan: I like to listen to a bit of everything all the time, but  I’ve been listening to a lot of soul music lately..Charles Bradley is pretty rad..

If you could tour with any band right now who would that be and why?
Eric; I’d want to tour Europe with King Khan and the Shrines, cause that shit would be fun as hell.

If you could only bring ONE record in the tour van/bus/plane what would it be?
Eric: Back from the grave comp.
Dan: Wu-tang Forever

When you’re not playing and have some time off, where could we find you…
Eric: I pretty much live in the studio these days.  But when I need a break from that I’ll unwind with some cheesy horror flicks or binge watch a series like Fargo
Dan: I love playing and writing music, but I am a gentleman of leisure by nature…I like silly old man games that involve plenty of drinking and/or smoking…Hopefully in a tropical setting.. Bocce, Shuffleboard, Dominoes,etc…Lately I’ve been into Golf and Mahjong…

What’s up for the rest of 2016?
Eric:  We’re touring the US in April and hopefully make it out to Europe by the late Fall.  I’m also hoping to have another album recorded before the end of the year.
Dan: Yeah, recording a new album.. Oh, and memorizing the 81 different ways to score in Mahjong…

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Stephen

Domestic now, but spent early to late 80s playing drums in a hair metal band in Toronto. Since then I've lost the hair and have found new ways to scratch the rock and roll itch.

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