Interview: Lower than Atlantis

catches up with the alternative band before their gig at Fibbers


Even as a band that hasn’t released an album in 2 years, Lower Than Atlantis definitely managed to pull a large crowd and as one of the first bands to play in Fibbers’ new location, no one would contest that they brought it to life. I got to talk to Mike Duce about LTA’s ‘Here We Go’ intimate tour and forthcoming album.

Previously having toured with All Time Low, I was curious as to why Lower Than Atlantis had chosen to do an intimate tour this time around.
“We’d been away for like 15 or 16 months, we hadn’t toured at all so we needed to get back into and ease, dipping our toes in. Just try out new songs as well just iron out all the creases, shows we sort of cut our teeth on. Get back into the swing of being a real band again.”

When I asked how this tour felt different to previous tours, Mike replied with:
“It’s things like having a cigarette and a beer outside and having a chat with the kids. You don’t normally get to do that when it’s big shows.”

However, Mike didn’t have a preference and seems to see the benefits in playing both stadium tours and more intimate affairs like the current tour.
“If you’re just doing big cities like London and Manchester, people travel from everywhere to go; but it’s cool coming to places like York, places you don’t normally go to. So for kids that can’t travel or if they can’t afford it or if parents won’t let ’em, it’s cool that we can play to them in their hometowns.”

LTA’s upcoming self-titled release was announced on social media prior to their signing to Sony Records, so I asked how the label influenced the new album.
“We didn’t even have a manager. We had a mad falling out with Island Records and then she just jumped ship. Basically, when we were with Island, they were streamlining the record label and anyone who sold under a certain amount of records was getting dropped. But they couldn’t drop us because they had already picked up our option for the record. So they said, “We’re legally obliged to make your record but we’re not really up for it. So we either do it or do a half-arsed job of it or you can take your full record advance and leave.” So we took the money, built a record studio, recorded an album and then got signed to Sony.”

It seemed odd to me that Island wanted to drop LTA due to sales numbers despite ‘Here We Go’ being named one of Zane Lowe’s hottest record in the world and playing festivals like Download, Reading & Leeds and Slam Dunk festival. When asked about how LTA fit in the mainstream and how the new album would be received, Mike was pretty apathetic about the idea.
“I don’t know. We won’t know till the record’s out, but I don’t really give a fuck man. Just travelling around with my friends, playing music. That’s enough for me.”

Despite Mike not really caring about LTA’s place in the mainstream, their music was still featured on Made in Chelsea and more recently World Cup Highlights.
“We never hear about it. People just tell us you were on blah blah blah and we’re like, oh alright, we’ll check out.”
Once again, Mike didn’t have a particular stance on it, choosing just to see the positives of the exposure.
“I don’t give a fuck man, I don’t watch Made in Chelsea ‘cause I’m not a fan, obviously. But yeah, fair play man, if it’s getting our music out to people…”

‘Here We Go’ is the lead single off the forthcoming album and seems to be mix of the heavier styles prominently featured on their debut album, simplistic synths and incredibly catchy lyrics but apparently this isn’t what to expect from the rest of the self-titled album.

“All the songs are completely different from each other because they were written over such an expansive period of time. So, no. They’re all catchy, our writing with a very pop sensibility like a pop structure. They’re just catchy pop songs with a band playing them. A good song could be translated to any genre.”

Mike then added that this wouldn’t be a throwback to ‘Far Q’ or a continuation from the theme of ‘Changing Tune’.
“We made those records, so if you want to listen to music like that, listen to those records. You still have those albums. It would be boring as fuck for us to do the same thing again.”

He remained tight lipped when I tried to find out if there would be any surprises on the album.
“It’s pretty fucking different that’s all I’m gonna say. You’re gonna have to wait till it comes out.”

I assumed that LTA would be the theatrical sort and assumed they would be more suited to a small basement venues but they definitely managed to strike a unique balance with their performance in Fibbers. The crowd responded incredibly well with multiple mosh pits, constant singing along and seven crowd surfers during the band’s stellar performance of ‘Deadliest Catch’.

If LTA have channelled the energy and musicianship they exhibited at Fibbers into their new album, I would advise everyone to pick up ‘Lower Than Atlantis’ on the 29th September.