Lower Than Atlantis embark on their sold out UK tour before leaving music industry forever
Lower Than Atlantis burst onto the scene with a curious hybrid of punk-rock swagger and lyrically well-led tunes, playing their part in the rise of post-hardcore, alternative rock bands.
Now, their chart-climbing, self-titled studio album proves that they are capable of turning their hand to a different pop sound.
Northern Lights caught up with lead singer Mike Duce to talk about embarking on their sold-out UK tour and how they were on the verge of leaving the music industry forever.
Mike sits back in his chair, calm, but with an air of nervousness about him.
Although surprisingly charming, I had an inkling that journalists and the press weren’t his favourite kind of people.
“We just, y’know, play all the shows the same and put in the same amount of effort.
“The whole thing has sold out, so every night is sort of a party. It’s good.”
Mike said, answering if the tour being sold out meant a lot to him: “I think a lot of bands are in a rush for people to think that they’re like massive, but we don’t really care about it.”
Lower Than Atlantis’s genre has changed quite a bit since first album Far Q, which was full of unclean vocals and more heavier riffs, compared to their newer and more upbeat pop songs English Kids In America and Emily.
“It seems bazaar to me to just play one genre of music that is expected of you, so it will always be different.”
Their fourth studio album could be deemed as being commercialised, as it sounds as it is much more likening to the current top 40 chart than Far Q.
But: “It was looking like, for a long time, that we weren’t going to release it. We weren’t going to do an album at all. We were just going to break up. So when we decided to release it was looking like it would probably be our last album,” Mr Duce added.
Thinking about those times seem to have really upset him, as he leaned forwards with his hands held to his face and said: “Eugh, it was so horrible, but basically, when we were first signed, we weren’t ready, we were inexperienced, we were never going to be what they.
“Our record company wanted us to like this massive band and, I dunno, that’s not what we do.”
The change from Island to Sony Music Entertainment was a rough one for the band.
“We were going, personally, through some stuff and just seeing it from that side, that something as passionate and creative as music is bought and sold like a chocolate bar, and the way it’s marketed and, it’s just really horrible to see. And we were just thinking, maybe we didn’t want to do it anymore.
“There’s this whole stigma with when bands sign to major labels after they’ve already had a career – they’ve sold-out or whatever, but here we are, we’re bigger than ever!”
When Island decided they did not want Lower Than Atlantis on their books anymore, there was a dilemma.
“They couldn’t drop us because they’d already signed the contract, even though they were trying to drop us basically.
“So, they said, ‘Look, we can either release the album and we’ll put no effort in at all, or you can just take the money and go.’
“And we were like, ‘Yes, please. We’ll have the money.’
“We built the studio and recorded this album in it, so perhaps every cloud does have a silver lining in the end, ey?”
— Lower Than Atlantis (@LTAmusic) May 27, 2015
— koo (@nakitawhitworth) May 27, 2015
— Security Guard John (@hesitantwayli3n) May 27, 2015