Even with singer Kris Roe being the only founding member remaining, it’s been over ten years and alternative rock’s The Ataris are still alive and kicking.
Recently they began on their Summer Tour across the U.S., with one of their first stops being the Boobie Trap Bar at 1417 SW 6th Ave. The tour continues through September with Don’t Panic joining later in the tour. Gasoline Heart is currently playing with The Ataris and the Topeka show included local band The Balance.
Gasoline Heart is headed by singer Louis DeFabrizio. DeFabrizio normally plays with the members his band, but after touring with him during the last few weeks of their previous tour, The Ataris wanted to continue playing with him, so they’re doing the instrumentation for him on the tour.
“We’re fans. We’re Gasoline Heart fans. And he asked us if we wanted to play some songs and we all were like ‘hell yeah’. We get to play other people’s songs so it’s like you’re a part of his songs and it’s awesome,” said guitarist Aaron Glass. “This is only the second night we’ve done it on this tour and it’ll hopefully snowball into more songs eventually.”
While The Ataris did play mainly music for their set from their most recent record Welcome the Night, the band did also play their 2003 hit single “The Boys of Summer,” which they joked before playing was for the mainstreamers who didn’t know any other songs by them. They do also plan on releasing a new album by the end of 2010 or by the beginning of 2011 titled The Graveyard of the Atlantic. They have completed all the song recordings for the record, except for vocals, deeming any extra songs they create before the time the album is completed.
The title may quick sound odd, but as bassist Bryan Nelson explained, when Roe named it, he did so with meaning behind it. As he was exploring information about explorer Anglo-Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton for a possible song, he discovered what he’d name the album.
“Kris found this website that had all these old maps for ships traveling the world. And there’s one that’s called The Graveyard of the Atlantic and it’s where a bunch of ships have actually crashed or sunk and they’re in the ocean,” said Nelson.
A seven inch vinyl record is also expected to be released soon including a couple new songs off the upcoming record. It was due out July 6, but a defect has pushed back the date.
It was not certain to Nelson or Glass how the album title was taken and put into concept for the new album, but according to them, Roe does not simply write lyrics. All songs are based on experiences. And while sometimes, he may go very personally in his writing, all the songs are written with a good intention behind them.
Nelson can definitely reaffirm this.
“The lyrics that he writes now and has been writing for a long time actually have a lot of meaning. They relate to something that he’s experienced. I think that’s the idea a lot of the time. You put it out there but you make it big enough that people for people to relate to. I mean, Kris gives away a lot of information in his songs. And I don’t think a lot of people realize it.
“But when you think about it, don’t you want to hear songs that have meaning? It’s not just something that’s like when you write it ‘It would be cool if this happened.’ It’s like, ‘It’s cool because this did happen.’”
In their free time, the band likes to check out places they’ve seen off the Food Network for their meals and has also had some interesting meals in their experience. As the band notes, Roe likes barbeque and has found, the more “sketchy” the restaurant looks, the better it usually is.
They’ve also stopped recently at the Guinness Book of World Record’s Largest Arcade in the World called the Fun Spot. Located in New Hampshire, it’s connected with a movie “King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters” which includes Steve Wiebe, who has now has the world record for the highest score ever on the original Donkey Kong game. He will be joining them for their Seattle stop on the tour.
When it comes to venues, they have played their fair share, from small venues where they play on the floor to the Pontiac Superdome in Detroit. But they definitely enjoy places like the Boobie Trap when it comes to their performances.
“We love places like this. I’d like more stage room but if it were that and the same exact size of the room, then that’d be perfect.” said Glass.
Nelson agreed, adding too about the sound aspect of a smaller “dive” as he termed the venue.
“I mean it’s awesome to have a big stage but usually with that comes better sound. But places like this, you don’t need the sound to be the best, because you can hear it wherever you are in there. It’s great at these kinds of stops.”
For now, they continue across their U.S. tour. You can check out their music and their tour dates at www.myspace.com/theataris.
Vehicle problems are never fun and Kris Roe, lead singer of the Ataris, and Louis Defabrizio the lead singer of Gasoline Heart rushed up to Sioux Falls South Dakota for the show at Nutty's North. Rather than cancel the show completely they each played solo sets while the rest of the band stayed back to fix the transmission in the tour van. More Than Enough, a local band from Sioux Falls, opened the stage for the night. The show turned out being a mixture of comedy and music, and singing happy birthday for a spectator was added to the set list. After the show Roe ran the merchandise both signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans.
Kris Roe poses for a picture with a local from Sioux Falls.
Pictures of Roe jamming at Nutty's North.
Louis DeFabrizio, lead singer of Gasoline Heart, rocking out with some fans.
Pictures of Defabrizio at Nutty's North.
AndRemote opens at Nutty's North. more pics here
By: Richard Kelly
They began in 2006. They continue in 2010.
For singer Colleen D’Agostino, when she met guitarist Jon Moreaux, they began writing music together. Both from the same town in California, D’Agostino ended up heading to San Diego State to pursue a degree in music. Her third year at the university in 2006 brought Moreaux, past drummer Noah Vowles, past bassist Kevin Falk and her together to begin writing their first songs for a band they termed as The Material.
But a little line-up change then brought in past bassist Brian Miller and also added another guitarist, Roi Elam. Elam moved from St. Louis, Mo. to join the band and with this line-up, their initial EP titled “Tomorrow” was released in September of 2007.
Fast-forward three years. There have been some lineup changes and there has been a new EP titled “To Weather the Storm” but D’Agostino, Moreaux and Elam are all still members and new bassist Dustin Sherron, who put on a show with his bass guitar before their act, and recently added drummer Kevin Pintado round out the lineup.
Their current tour they just concluded included Every Avenue, There for Tomorrow, Sing it Loud! and the Secret Handshake. The remainder of the bands now continue on tour, but The Material played their last date on July 6.
But they’re so grateful for Every Avenue picking them to take part in the Motel Six Rock Yourself to Sleep Tour at all. It’s their first tour where they haven’t been one of the headlining acts and have been able to be on the same bill as larger bands.
“Yeah, we’ve toured the nation a few times, three times, but it’s all been on our own thing where we’ve booked all the shows,” said Moreaux. “We had some runs with some signed bands like The Scenic from Victory Records and Neural from Hopeless Records, but this is the first tour we feel is more credible and will give us more credibility down the road.”
It’s been a quick connection with all the bands for the Material. It’s now easy for them to say they’ve welcomed the other bands into their lives and want to perform with them again. Furthermore, the tour’s “spoiled them” by giving them their first tour where they sleep in the confines of a hotel room between shows, rather than in fans’ houses or in their tour van.
Describing the style of the Material is hard even for the band. They try to differentiate themselves from other bands and D’Agostino admits it’s hard to try to tour with other bands who’re female-fronted, simply because they’re often compared so much to each other.
“I actually like being the only female-fronted band on a tour. I think it gives us something a little bit different. Whenever we play any one-off shows, they try to throw a local female-fronted band on the tour,” she said. “It’s like, you have to really be into female-fronted bands to want to go to a show where there’s more than one of them.”
Moreaux agreed when asked about a tour with all female vocalists.
“The issue is that female-fronted bands are still kind of a novelty, so even if we thought it’d be a good idea, people would just kind of pigeon-hole it. Generally speaking, we get compared to Hey Monday and Paramore simply because we have female vocals but we don’t really sound like them. We’re definitely a little bit heavier.”
With the tour wrapped up, the band will now take a break until the last five stops of the Vans Warped Tour, beginning August 10. In their break, they may go to see fellow band and friends Blameshift play in California and also embark on a trip to Flagstaff, Ariz. to visit a restaurant called Primo’s. D’Agostino is a vegetarian and Elum is a vegan and they claimed they’ve actually gone out of their way before after tours are finished to stop there.
In September, The Material will release their untitled new album and are still searching currently for a record label. Moreaux’s very certain though they’re not worried about finding one quickly.
“We’ve talked to labels, but the way the music industry is right now, it’s got to a ridiculously good deal or it’s not worth it. We like doing things ourselves and independently. We’re not closed-minded to record deals but we want to see someone who believes in what we’re doing for what it is.
“A few of the labels we’ve talked to have wanted to change us and we tried it for a second, and then it was just so unnatural. That is definitely not going to happen again.”
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