Artist of the Month- April 2011- Man From Atlanta
Man from Atlanta.
Where did your band name come from?
The name is a pun on Man from Atlantis. That was a cult TV series from the late 1970s. The hero has amnesia. He is the only survivor from the lost civilization of Atlantis. Allan changed it to “Atlanta”, for some strange reason. Still, that city has produced some great bands, such as The Black Crowes and the B-52s. It also hosted those two amazing Atlanta Pop Festivals in 1969 and 1970, with Hendrix, Joplin, Creedence and many other classic artists, all on the same bill. A lot of our material is really eclectic, all over the map of influences! Also, we love that half-forgotten retro 70s sound. So, all in all, the name seems about right. Except that there are two of us!
Who’s in the band? How did you meet and when did you get together?
Well, its just Allan Innes-Walker (who lives in Nelson, New Zealand) and Ilmar Taimre (who lives in Brisbane, Australia). We first started playing together in a couple in indie bands in Wellington – The Sushi Lovers and Booster. Our incarnation as Man from Atlanta has been going for a little over ten years. MfA is where we do our alt-country and soft-edge material. We also have a harder-edge alter-ego The Too Lates, but that’s another story for another time.
What is your creative process?
With both of us living in different countries, our collaboration is almost totally conducted in cyberspace. In that sense, we are a completely virtual band. But we’d love to play live gigs together again, if we got the chance. We haven’t actually seen each other physically for years. Lucky for us, the friendship and creative bonds that we formed during those early years in Wellington are really strong. There is a lot of creative trust and rapport. So, being separated by distance isn’t a major obstacle. In terms of the mechanics, Allan comes up with the initial song idea and lyrics. He records an initial set of tracks – usually vocals, guitars, drums. Allan then sends those to me, and I’ll add keyboards, orchestral overdubs, soundscape effects … and mess around with the mix in various ways. After a few iterations, we have the end result.
Who are your musical influences?
That’s such a tough question, cos’ we both love so many different artists, styles and genres. It must all be influencing us somehow, at least in some subconscious way. You could say that some of our tracks sound like an unauthorized mixture of very early Neil Young and the Kinks, maybe with a touch of late Beatles. It feels like we sometimes wander off into musical sidetracks that these artists pointed towards, but never fully explored themselves. The common thread that runs through our stuff is a fascination with songs in the pop/rock idiom, especially anything that stretches or breaks the “rules” a little. But never so much as to overwhelm the song. For us, the song always comes first. We try to use whatever resources we have between us to bring out the best in the underlying song.
How do you sell your music?
Right now, our only commercial outlet is through Austep. We have a track on the Indie Insiders compilation. A new track “Such A Beautiful Day” is on the new AMES compilation.
What live performance experience have you had?
To date, there have been no performances as Man from Atlanta. But we played heaps of gigs together in those earlier indie bands. Allan currently has a live band in Nelson (The Immigrants). Ilmar is currently working on a part-time Ph.D. in music at the University of Newcastle. So, when the day comes to perform together as Man from Atlanta, we’ll be ready for it.
What are your long-term goals as a musician?
We have been doing this long enough to know that, for both of us, music is an essential part of our lives. So, the long-term goal is simply to keep doing it, and hopefully get better and better at it.
Where can we hear your tunes online?
We have several tracks on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/manfratlanta
One of our tracks “No Wonder” is on the Austep Indie Insiders CD Vol.3, available at http://www.austepmusic.com.au/index.php/Buy-Music/View-all-products.html and also available on iTunes- http://itunes.apple.com/au/album/austep-music-vol-3-indie-insiders/id413197813
We also have a track- "Such A Beautiful Day" on the most recent compilation release by Austep Music "AMES Unsigned & Original", available at http://www.austepmusic.com.au/index.php/Buy-Music/View-all-products.html and iTunes- http://itunes.apple.com/au/album/ames-unsigned-original-austep/id430263005
Interview by Austep Music, April 2011
About Austep Music:
Austep Music provides CD replication, offset printing, and promotion resources for the Australian Music Industry. A key player in the Green Music Movement, Austep Music specialises in eco-friendly card CD packaging, and is a founding partner of the Australian Green Music Coalition.
Musicians Wanted- Submit your song to an Austep Music compilation CD and have it mastered by internationally renowned Daniel Fournier, distributed to 50+ radio stations, 100+ digital stores, and more.