Local jams: Atlas
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 17:09
With six band members bringing their ideas and talents to the table, the band Atlas is pumping up the crowd.
“We play what we like. Our music questions the ‘normal life,’ questions the future of mankind. Genre isn’t a word we like to use, but ‘progressive metal’ fits us,” said Trent Duff, a music performance major of Pocahontas who plays guitar in the band.
Other band members include: art and music major of Jonesboro, Addison Boling on drums; Tyler Neal of Kennett, Mo. on guitar; Nathan Waddell of Jonesboro on guitar; art major Sasha Rayevskiy of Russia on bass; and Alex Cole of Kennett, Mo. on vocals.
The band came together in February after Duff’s other band, Monolith, ended. Neal and Cole were also members of Monolith. Duff knew Boling and Waddell from school, and Rayevskiy from another band.
With no real local venues to play at around Jonesboro, Boling started up the Annex from a building that the First United Methodist Church had previously used. The venue offers local and out-of-state bands a place to play or practice.
“The venue brings in bands of all types,” Duff said. “We’ve had the metal/hardcore bands, skit bands, hard rock, acoustic bands and a lot more.”
Atlas has only played once around the Jonesboro area, but the band is hoping to do a mini tour in the surrounding states around the end of December.
“We played at the Annex when we were first getting started,” Boling said. “We don’t have any songs on the Internet just yet, but we do have a Facebook page so our friends and fans can see what we are up to. We have a few songs written out, but we are still recording. Our first CD is still in the works, but we hope to get it finished soon.”
The band members pull inspiration from bands like Slipknot.
“We aren’t as heavy as Slipknot,” Duff said. “We aren’t metal in the evil sense, and there is no inclination of Satan. We are just metal as in how hard the music is to play. We practice all the time just because the music is pretty difficult to play. The music really pushes us to our limits, in a good way though. We call our music ‘intense music.’”
“We seriously spend hundreds of hours practicing,” Boling said. “We don’t just make noise for the fun of it. Our music is insane to play and hard to learn.”
Duff said with the anxiety of work and school, he channels that anxiety through his music and turns it into something beautiful.
“We put a lot of emotion into our songs,” Boling said. “Our music requires more personal responsibility just because we do put a lot of emotion into our music. When we play for people, the looks on their faces are really rewarding.”
“People just look stunned,” Duff said. “They have a curious look on their face like ‘uh what just happened?’ It’s really great to see that.”
Duff and Boling believe that music comes from inside a person.
“Boling and I have been playing instruments since we were little, but Tyler pretty much just picked up a guitar one day and started playing,” Duff said. “I believe that is proof that the music resides in him. That curiosity in music just came out one day. Some people have that voice and I think that’s what sets some bands apart from others.”
Boling wants to encourage fans of local bands to check out the Annex’s Facebook page at facebook.com/theannex and the Atlas page at facebook.com/atlas870.