Glasgow’s alt-rock quartet North Atlas present their dynamic new single Another Ocean, out now via King Of The Woöds Recordings.
Another Ocean is a song about moving on and starting again. Written as the result of the end of a relationship, the lyrics reflect the feelings of self doubt, isolation and misery, combined with anthemic pop-rock melodies and soaring choral harmonies. Vocalist Leon D Hunter goes on to say; “the uncertainty of the future is an endless ocean in-front of you. This makes you feel like you’re an imperfect person among a sea of people who from the outside seem to be doing well. You become a cast away, who arrives at a separate island to that of your former life.”
In this interview spotlight, we chat with North Atlas about the latest project, influences, challenges and more.
Full Q&A along with links and a stream of Another Ocean below.
What led you into this journey with music? And further, what drives you to push it out to the public?
Leon Hunter: Growing up in a small town in Scotland with not many other young people around made it hard to find an identity of your own. Most people were farmers or owned a shop. We were one of only a handful of kids who actually hung out in the local record store and listened to rock music. It seems to strengthen your resolve for something when you find yourself to be a minority like that and obviously a cheeky sense of rebellion always comes into play when you’re in your late teens.
I wanted so bad to get out of my little town and I guess the dreams of being in a band were a way of escaping when we were young.
I found myself writing big metaphorical lyrics about mountains and travel, I felt kinda like a Scottish Bilbo Baggins, maybe a little taller but definitely just as hairy and Naive.
My dream quickly turned into an obsession to perform, and to put on the best show we possibly could! I worked at the local fish and chip shop and got paid something like £2.50 ($3.20) an hour. I’d save up all the money I could to hire church halls in neighbouring villages and print up posters and flyers to get the local kids into the idea of coming to see a rock band, in hindsight I don’t think we were actually any good but the drive to do it was unquenchable.
There was always a lot of alcohol and with minimal security so sometimes these little gigs would get out of hand, the police would often turn up scattering drunk teenagers, running through fields in all directions.
The same mentality towards shows has always stuck with us through the years, that want to put everything you have into gigs. It’s never been about getting up on stage and trying to be famous or to get girls or whatever, I guess it’s really still just the drive to get people together who all like a certain band or genre and to be a part of that with them is such an honour.
Who or what influences your creativity? Have your tastes in music changed over time?
Bands like Imagine Dragons, Awolnation and Biffy Clyro have been hugely influential to the band’s sound. Other bands in our scene are what really push us to improve though, and keep us on our toes. It’s tough competition in the Glasgow music scene, it’s crazy!
Yeah tastes definitely change, but everything you’ve ever liked influences you even if you hadn’t intended it that way.
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific on this new project? Creatively or otherwise?
I’m proud to say I think we accomplished exactly what we set out to with the sound of Another Ocean. We sat down with our producer Dan Weller and really carved out the sound. With the next few singles we were looking to create something with an authentic alt rock sound organically mixed with electronics.
What was the last song you listened to?
Bjork Human Behaviour
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never actually owned a record player, but I think that vinyl would have to be my answer!
I bought my friends a record player and a whole bunch of cool vinyls for their wedding last year, felt heartbroken giving them all away!
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
Definitely Spotify, I listen constantly, everyday. I’ve found so many cool new bands on there through related artists and the playlists are always so good.
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what is the biggest challenge you face when trying to connect with or find new fans?
Connection is always made in real life, you can’t truly connect with any band until you’ve seen their show, the biggest challenge in 2017 is letting people know that through a phone screen.
If you like a band go see them play.
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more music?
Anything else you’d like to add before signing off?
Big love to you guys for the interview, and big love to Tennessee for Jack Daniels