Interview With Atlas Castle!

Good Ol' friend of the site, A.C. stops by for a quick chat regarding his ep TITANOMACHY

INTERVIEWS

7 min read

Interview With Atlas Castle!

Atlas Castle

For those not in the know, Atlas Castle is one of at least 3(?) Monikers I know he goes by. We had the pleasure of meeting when everyone's favorite Travis, @agentJohnnyred, brought me into a Musicians Discord run (in majority) by Atlas. Atlas Castle is the kind of person that, at first, you think is probably full of it because he's so god damn nice and helpful. But, the more you get the chance to speak with him in between classes, getting his Master's, running the discords and shipping out on tour right after graduation, you start to realize it's not an act. This guy really is this helpful and kind. Clearly not American for those reasons. I wish nothing but the best to him in his seemingly endless endeavors but more specifically with the May 15 release of his monumental new EP, Titanomachy

In four tracks recorded over less than a week, while locking himself from society, Atlas Castle ramps the themes from 0-60 consistently. From tackling things as extensive and heavy as foundations of Greek mythology, to how the artists’ perception of the generational re-telling of these myths unfolds, we see (hear) one man’s struggle to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders come to fruition as hastily as Zeus’ original punishment with the Mythological Atlas (wherein Atlas faced the same burden of earth-carrying weight be placed upon his own shoulders). 

Titanomachy

Triumphantly overcoming burdensome scenarios presents us this excellent opportunity to speak with our friend Atlas Castle regarding the EP, along with whatever other bullshit we may sling at one another. Without further adieu, I present you with the Internationally Acclaimed, Atlas Castle. 

Thanks so much for taking this time to sit down with me today, Atlas. Also, for tolerating my exposition. But, here, we are - at the summit - Anything you’d care to say before I start firing away? 

To start with, thanks to you for the consideration, Mate. Happy to spend some time with you today! Concerning my Monikers… I’ve stopped counting them on the internet, not always easy to keep up. Guillaume is the official one in case you didn't know ;) Happy to be here, sharing a genuine moment in your company, Chuck. Let’s get them cylinders firing!  

I feel as though I should know this, so please pardon me, but this will be release number? for this nom de plume? What keeps you going in this role? Why not bail on it for something else?  

This EP will be my eighth release. Since I launched Atlas Castle I've managed to release a couple of Singles, collaborations and remixes. This EP will be my biggest and most personal project to date. 

I’ve been a musician for a great amount of years now, playing in bands and trying to be as active as I can be with my creativity. I honestly never felt the need to bail for something else, at least not for now. I started this little project 9 months ago because I felt the need to have my own “baby”. With this baby, I wanted to provide myself a nice, little playground where I could enjoy some space for my creativity to blossom without any kinds of compromise. (You know the drill, being your own judge, without having to compromise your art and creativity with any band members). 

The new EP conjures loads of thoughts about who Atlas Castle is, but in your own words. I’d like to ask a rather obvious seeming one - Who is Atlas Castle?   

Well… I could start by saying that I’m a 29 year old French Dude living abroad in Denmark. My friends and beloved tend to describe me as a quiet and self-reflective guy. I rather like the idea of this persona and try my best to live up to this idea, haha. 

But, for real, I’m a hyperactive dude, constantly and psychically all over the place in order to put my heart and full effort into every direction I am pulled. I stretch my own personal limits so frequently, namely, for the sake of experiencing new and inspiring projects. I don’t talk much in real life (that’s maybe why people categorize me as quiet) but my brain is constantly running its own circus ... 

I tend to be positive, but I have my dark spot as well. I find strength and inspiration in epic, melancholic and moving music. My heart belongs to heavy and punk rock babe! 

Is the name you’ve derived from the mythological figure somewhat used in a tongue and cheek fashion? That’s always the best I could interpret it - Leave me be because I got some major shit going on and it. is . heavy. Not you, of course. Merely the name.  

So, Atlas, mythical Atlas, was given the burden of holding up the World. Clearly not me, haha. But, I love the story and the message behind it. I clearly picked up the name in references to the Titan Atlas. I clearly don’t bear the burden of the world on my shoulder, but I need to be involved, to be dedicated and keep the activity going. I see myself taking care of plenty of projects at once, carrying them on my shoulders the best way I can because I need a reason to wake up tomorrow.  

For those that don’t know, how old were you when you started tinkering with music and on what instrument? 

Atlas Castle

I started tinkering with music very late.

I was 12 years old, starting my musical venture trying to learn “Stay Together For The Kids” from Blink 182 on my first electric guitar (my parents must have been really patient back then, haha). I played guitar in several bands from there on (classical college revolution bands). Then, I decided to pick up the bass at 21, when I moved to Copenhagen. I’m currently active in some rock and hardcore/metal bands aside this project as well. 

With that sort of background, whatever brought you in the way of the dance music / EDM community? Seems like quite a 180 

I was really in awe of electronic music the first time I heard Oxygene 7-13, from Jean-Michel Jarre. The melodies hooked me big time and really talked to me back then. But I was still too young to really understand what it was all about. That is, until I attended my first electronic concert and discovered Vitalic & The Toxic Avengers. I felt that being able to function as a one man band, playing such melodic, dark and powerful music. It hit me so hard, in fact, I knew what would be my next move as a musician.

Onto Titanomachy - What struck me first was the delight of hearing someone actually play synths… with their freaking hands! As if it were an instrument or something which required you to think out what you were doing in advance. Is this ghastly-level-of-non-2020-behavior something you foresee being unique to this EP, or will you be exploring your electronic music in this somewhat more ‘manual’ fashion?

Atlas Castle

I’m not considering my approach to rendering electronic music as revolutionary. I’m just inspired by what I saw, experienced and my vision of being a live musician and producer. I kinda need to play and feel the instrument to be able to hear and understand the hook. 

Being able to jam overs loops, samples, beats and build a track live makes it all worth it for me in this process. I need to be able to play and perform, not just push buttons in a specific order. 

I don’t foresee my approach as being unique to this EP. Simply because I’ve always been exploring music in a more ‘manual’ fashion anyway; by grabbing a guitar or a bass, and jamming my way in and out. 

I had the luxury of hearing some early, not entirely mixed renditions - In those, it sounds as if you have some really unique and vintage synths at your disposal. I say this because I could swear I heard timbres similar to wood being struck. Have I finally lost it, or am I at least in the ballpark? What equipment did you find yourself using most for this release? 

I wish I could tell you that I was the happy owner of countless vintage synths and so on.. But it would be a very sweet lie haha. Well, let’s have a closer look together at my setup.. 

My setup is really minimal. I run with Ableton Live and plugins such as Serum & TyrellN6. As you can see, there’s an Akai APC40 MKII controller and an Oxygene25 keyboard MIDI controller. That’s pretty much it for now. 

I always feel like upgrading to new programs, vst/plugins, buy new keyboards and instruments. But before I do that I need to feel that I pushed all the possibilities I have already with this setup to their maximum. There’s still a long way to go. 

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