ENEMY OF ATLAS (from l-r): Zak Rathbone (drums), Dom Shaw (guitar), Matt O’Hara (vocals), George Buttery (guitar), Scott Bissell-Palmer (bass)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Formed from the remains of a previous band in 2016, Wolverhampton five-piece Enemy Of Atlas have spent the past two years working hard on creatively perfecting a metal sound that reflects a diverse array of musical influences, and delivering highly-charged live shows.
Both of these has resulted in the band earning an abundance of positive reviews, and they took time to discuss with me their journey so far, and future plans, prior to their recent set supporting King Abyss in the rural Staffordshire market town of Uttoxeter.
How did the band get together?
DOM SHAW (guitar): Me, Matt and Zak had been in a band before. We had a bit of a line-up change, and then decided to form a new band with a new name, so it was a fresh start actually. Scott joined soon afterwards, and George came in late last year.
GEORGE BUTTERY (guitar): I’m the new guy.
How did the name Enemy Of Atlas come about?
DOM: That was from a project we had done before, but it never really got much further than us demoing one song. However, we liked the name, and decided to use it for this. The name doesn’t really have any meaning to it, we just thought it sounded cool.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
GEORGE: The rest of the band tell me and Dom to start something off with a riff or something like that, which we then take to everyone else. Scott will add his bass parts, Zak will add his drum parts, and Matt will then write some lyrics over the top of all that.
They then come back to me and Dom with the basic structures, and then, it goes through a process of evolution, and that’s it, really.
DOM: We make beautiful music together!
What inspires the band lyrically?
MATT O’HARA (vocals): Multiple things, just stuff that I’m feeling at the time. I like to pick a feeling and just move towards that. First love, current events, just whatever.
SCOTT BISSELL-PALMER (bass): There are a lot of problems in the world at the moment, and I think our new stuff reflects that more.
MATT: We’re just a news broadcasting team, really, with George as the weather girl.
Towards the end of last year, you brought out your latest single, ‘Blind’. How was the reaction to that?
DOM: The reaction was mostly positive.
GEORGE: I wasn’t around when the other stuff had come out, but with ‘Blind’, there were a lot of comments on it, people saying that it was our best song to date. That showed how much the band has progressed, with the sound becoming more coherent.
DOM: I just think the single was better put together. We seem to have more of a chemistry now, and we’re creating a sound that we can now truly call our own.
We’ve raised the platform, and I think ‘Blind’ was the first single that really captured the essence of our live sound.
GEORGE: It was a taster of what’s to come.
How is the experience, for the band, of playing live?
DOM: More recently, more enjoyable.
MATT: We’ve gotten a lot better over time.
DOM: Now that the line-up has settled, we all seem to be gelling with each other really well, and I think that has made us much more comfortable on stage, and it’s just going to get better from now on.
MATT: We just fucking love playing live.
DOM: It’s the best part of being in a band, in my opinion.
You have also supported the likes of Sworn Amongst, Lotus Eater, and Skies In Motion. How were they as experiences?
GEORGE: Great, especially when we played with Skies In Motion, because they were so, so good. They’re really nice guys as well, they were able to give us some pointers on what they did when they released their debut album and stuff, so yeah, it was just a case of taking on board what they said, and using that to improve what we do.
What are the band’s plans for the near future?
DOM: We’re just going to crack on and get our debut album done. Most of the songs for that have already been written, so we’re just going to be working on developing them.
GEORGE: We’re currently about 60%, 70% of the way there.
When do you plan to have the album out by?
DOM: Later this year, probably around November, December time. That’s the plan.
MATT: It hasn’t really been set in stone yet.
GEORGE: We have been kind of hibernating.
DOM: Yeah, we’ve been mainly focusing so far this year on the album, so now that’s almost done, we’re easing our way back in.
THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM ENEMY OF ATLAS WILL BE RELEASED LATER THIS YEAR.
FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.enemyofatlas.com