Two Part Question, If We May -
Jay: What do you tend to write about when writing music? What does that head space and surrounding environment look like?
CW: This is going to be my shortest answer – Stoned. Just being honest! To point two - having your own in-home studio never hurt anyone, hah.
AC: My music doesn’t have lyrics. But, I’m kind of aiming toward dark electronic, mixed with soundscape and epic tendencies. Emotions and feelings are really central in my creative process. One needs to feel something while listening to the music. When I work on Atlas Castle my surrounding is my living room. Always writing standing on the edge of my window, headphones on, going with the moment.
Jay: Honest and best short answer ever and yeah Atlas I can relate a little to the surroundings most times its a guitar, my pedals, amp, some whiskey and a sports game on. Name some of your favorite things about being an Artist/Musician?
CW: – Hmmm, how much time you got and do you want that list alphabetically, chronologically, or… ?
I’d say I enjoy the close personal nature it takes to learn and hone the craft. Now juxtapose that with the utter kickass-nature of performing live rock and roll. I'm sold. You've nailed the best of both worlds that way. The heady, brainy nature of things like sound studies, music theory, and archaeoacoustics. Ok, check. But then, how does it square off with the Elliott Smith looking gent? The sad looking guy in the corner too shy to say hi. This sad individual who sets these things aside to assume a new persona on-stage.
The wide range of sentiments + styles music suits, accommodates and shapes is stunning. It is something so unique I don't know if it has an 'Earthly' answer. It’s something outside human reasoning which gave man this great and broad ability. But, was selective over who got what. That’s pretty god damn special in my book (and for the record, I’m not referring to God above. I’m agnostic. But, it was some shit we can’t comprehend. Whether that is a God is not for me to say, or even care about haha).
AC: That’s a damn good question. But let's try to keep it tight! Music is therapeutic to me. It’s like a Diary. You can learn about my demons and life troubles by reading some of my titles, or by feeling the mood of my tracks. So here’s where music as an outlet rings most true. The ability to connect with people through frequency is definitely awesome as well.
Jay: There really are so many answers, for sure. Of all the amazing things about being an Artist, I'm fairly certain we could write a book between us three about them. We know currently that you have this new single recorded and ready to release when is the actual release date for 'Anaesthesia'?
CW: So! There is a pre-save link available for 'Anaesthesia', which comes to a local streamie dealie service near you on 10 / 30 / 2020 – Please PRE-SAVE NOW at https://push.fm/ps/anaesthesia-cwxac
. . . If you know what’s good for you . . .
AC - What the man said!
Jay: What they both said! go pre-save it, if you know what’s good for you! Will there be future Atlas Castle & Chuck W. collaborations, or are we letting the secret out too soon?
CW: Who knows? That's the most logical answer. Time’s long and I enjoyed working with AC a lot. I don’t collaborate much because I’m crass and have trouble playing nice when placed with others. After years of failing in attempts only to be called an asshole by the other Artist, I swore off it a very long time. This is my first collaborative effort in many years and even that one was meh. So, we’ll see what the future holds. I don’t put anything past anyone in the 21st century. The fact we’re doing this from 2 hemispheres and 3 countries kind of explains my sentiments in a nutshell.
AC: Hate me yet? What about this collaborative album that we’re about to distribute? - Aie! Alright… I can’t say yes, but I can’t say no either. Nothing is settled, but ideas are afoot and words pronounced. Let’s let time speak for itself and see what’s coming!
Jay: Time reveals all! What has the support been like for you behind this project? I know you released a teaser on social media & I was hooked in by the visuals - Especially the sample you used!!
Chuck - Sup… Supp … What’s this word you’re using? We’re DIY musicians and you know the game. There’s no support haha. We were everyone, outside acting and filming. AC does graphic art for a living and subsequently makes my efforts look like shit. But, it doesn’t keep me from trying, or him from pretending to smile and not cringe at my work. Lol, I’m kidding and I know you all know. It does need stating for those not in the know, though.
But, yes! Thank you. Visual arts are as near and dear to both our hearts, though music completely edges out the others. To not include visuals is a bad move on SO many levels. Plus, who doesn’t want to look cooler? I know I’m always looking and failing.
Anyway, at its MOST simplistic, you're denying your audience an entire sense - They’ve only got five! Don't hijack 20% of their ability and be too lazy to at least replace the empty space in the back with some blinky lights! That would so not fly in my book were I a larger act. Nothing would start before assurance was obtained that both mediums were up to snuff.
Also, keep in mind, I spent nearly the whole of my twenties at Flaming Lips shows. So, I have high expectations if they’ve managed to do it every night for 31-32 years straight now.
AC: To start with, I’m glad you enjoyed the artwork! I had fun putting this together while picturing Chuck in some anaesthetic moments. Our primary support comes from the IG community. Our friends out there, team Netvio and so on... It’s always lovely to see dedicated souls ready to help, spread the word, all while coming with a virtual high five. Atlas Castle is “known” only by the IG community… I never told my friends, family and near social relations about this project of mine. It’s like my private garden. So I’m really thankful for all the virtual connections I got to make so far with AC.
Jay: Shout out to Netvio, which Atlas is a co-founder, along with One Spoon Music.
Great group of amazing people in there and beyond talented! With this new release coming up, a lot of people don’t really see the behind the scenes work that goes into all the releases and music. What have you been doing to prepare for it?
CW: Steak lunch usually. His people call my people or vice versa. This is when the ghost writers do all our work. God, I do love steak …
Okay, sorry, I got silly again. serious face on Song, always first. I try (can’t speak for AC’s mind set here) forgetting I have this heaping to-do pile of PR after my 3-6 minutes is complete. None of that promo work is worth a flying fuck if your material not A+, A++, or something higher. Shoot for a Doctoral degree but settle with a Master’s. We’ve tossed around a lot of ideas, but again, I don’t want to spill the beans on any cool shit that may or may not be planned… ;)
AC: We both have a lot of different skills in different domains. Our strength is that we both have a lot of knowledge and routines when it comes to releasing music. Which made the whole process easy and smooth to deal with. The PR plan got settled in like 10 minutes. Chuck took care of the whole EPK, I took care of trailers, artworks… A real teamwork all the way!
Jay: Are you a medium rare kinda steak, dude Chuck? Atlas very cool visuals, for sure. And great team effort! So, my view on the single was I loved how it pulled me in with the opening notes then that head space of different directions with the visuals of the music video the doll will it sit up or not sit up and the overall song the journey it takes you on. What do you hope people will get out of this track?
CW: Medium would be fantastic! Just enough blood remaining for me to realize I’m eating something formerly alive … * mmm. Tasty. Anyway . .
Nice question! So, I can only speak for myself here, being the only one on the team for this having had recent, adult surgery. Anaesthesia, like the medicine kind, for me causes a very Atypical reaction. Most wake up and their words are unintelligible, or they can’t form sentences. Sometimes they cannot focus their eyes.
Of course, I have the complete opposite. I’m chipper and talkative. Most dangerous actually is extreme lucidity. The Nurses always think I’m okay to handle myself because I still speak normal…. But my legs are jelly. And it takes lifting my butt not 3 inches from the wheelchair to go, oh, wait… I’m fucking ZONKED right now. My intention here is to create an audible sense for this really weird thing it triggers. It's near indescribable. Thus, the ethereal tone to the tune.
In one other dramatic twist, I wanted to portray this sense of hope, a light at the end of the tunnel - But, an uncertain one. This was the justification for the major-y timbres heard on the former part of the song vs. the latter. The latter being where things get a little more haywire. But, hell, usually when posed with this question I say it is subjective. It's up for the audience to decide and I do still stand by that. Your interpretation of my material is far more important than my silly intentions.
AC: I’m with Chuck on this, people’s interpretation of this track is far more important than what I wanted to express. I kind of hope that people will think: “Wtf was that?” and press Replay ‘cause it’s kinda addictive!’
Jay: I hit replay on this a few times on it for sure! As a fellow musician my brain when I hear a song is the different sounds inside a song, I can hear different instruments or a key a song is in but this song had some different sounds to it so where did you get some of these tones from?
AC: The whole track was written on Ableton Live 10 with presets. I started fooling around with “organic” sounds: Grand Piano, Violin, Bells, real drums, then came the fuzzy electronic bass, and that’s pretty much it. Chuck processed the overall through tapes to get this gritty and warm touch that I really love. Upon adding some more pads and magic, there we were!
Jay: Thanks, Atlas, us music nerds in the house thank you kindly for the insight! As the track is set to release soon what are your overall feelings of where you see this track going? I know social media is massive now-a-days for releases. A simple pre-save goes a long way & a share, a view, a stream, and so on. I guess what I am trying to ask is, what does that support look like, or mean to you both?
CW: Jay, you little Lester Bangs in training, you. Another really good question. I’m entirely stealing the technique you mentioned when we discussed this earlier. I won’t divulge but will for sure be following through there. There is a press release for the track, but I can’t say I terribly feel like spending the money to send it down a news wire. So, looks like AC are doing what we always do - fucking hustling. Hoping on friends, politely badgering people into attending your events (I’d assume live streams with Covid and all that happy horse shit), making sure when submitting to playlists, or blogs, I didn’t just roll by ALL the crucial details regarding technical requirements before submission. That one I’m notorious for and nothing sucks more than prepping an email for 30 minutes, only to realize you sent them a wetransfer link when they had a stick up their butt to ensure it was a drive link and have (in one stinking click!) disqualified yourself the second you hit enter.
Support from an audience, to me, is ANY time which someone is willing to donate to me some of their time in listening to any of my material. The human condition is fragile and our time here is finite, so quite literally any moments you spend with my material means the entire fucking world to me. I’d trade it ALL, be it paltry, to infuse more of those moments into this absurdity we call life.
AC: I tend to never have expectations on anything. So I’ll patiently wait and see, while embracing the moment.
Jay: So, an important take-away from that is GO PRE-SAVE the track & then stream it all the time! Will there be any merch options for this track (Stickers, Shirts etc) maybe a vinyl release? I would say CD but some people would be like what is that?
CW: Unfortunately, I think time just got the best of us here. We cranked through the song so fast and were onto PR planning so quickly in such a limited amount of time, it became so back burner it didn’t occur. But, we both have our own respective merch on our stores! Mines through my site ChuckW.Com - Can’t miss it. AC's shop is at atlas-castle.com.
To your other point, Jay. Vinyl is ungodly expensive to press. Even for a single. I’m not sure I’d ever press to vinyl unless it became a very large fan request. Always want to satisfy there, but there’s pricing and quality issues that don’t make sense right now. HOWEVER ! I did put my last LP onto CD. Typically, yes, the reaction was 100% wtf is this. I don’t own a CD player so I still haven’t heard HMDBCII on CD, hah!
Jay: I've seen both your sites and there is definitely some cool merch options. Everyone, be sure to go hit those links and websites to see for yourselves! What advice would you give to other artists maybe just starting up for the first time or getting that moment where they want to become a musician?
CW: Oh, god, so much that I could write a book - which I did - I just decided not to finish or publish it. But, namely, FUCK THE HATERS!!!! With people enjoying your material it is near universally guaranteed you will also attract trolls. Ignore their comments and don’t engage. In the long run, you’ll thank yourself for not decking that person, which was filmed on twitter, then you were arrested and your label dropped you, etc. It’s so immensely not worth it the thought of physically fighting someone over my music makes me chuckle.
Also, keep in mind, I play experimental and to do so you need a high threshold for the word no. When my folks made this brain they really fucked me with this hatred for structure and penchant for improv.
You just. Keep. On. Chugging. Fuck, I nearly lost my entire fucking arm! I put out my first record 13 days from the accident. So, if I did it with one arm - You’ve got this - JUST DON’T STOP !!!!!!!!
AC: I’d say don’t do it! Buy a Game Boy! It’s definitely a less expensive hobby lol! - Alright, just kidding. But I’d push them to fail and try harder. Failing is really essential in the process of becoming an independent musician. I’ve “failed” SO many times since I started my musical journey as a kiddo playing in my first punk bands. Then processed, learned more, and tried harder. I would not be where I am today without all those different experiences.
Jay: Chuck, yes I agree. Someone will always hate on something you do. But, I think it's because they want to do it and can't! So, always do you & never listen to the haters. See what I did there?..Some hate fuels you to become even better! Because it can be quite funny. Be you and do you and Yes - If all else fails, buy a gameboy 'cause music equipment is an addiction.
What has Social Media’s influence been like on you both as artists?
CW: A fucking god send. And a grind which SUCKS. All at once.
One hand, free promo. Can’t beat free promo. I’ll throw up my info for drunken barn raising dance festival music if it will net me one loyal fan.
Other hand, you can make it quite the unpaying job for yourself. After my injury, I just hit the books before I could move again. In that time, I learned sooooo much, simply because I had the luxury of time again to experiment, fail and then by chance one day have my effort succeed when least expecting it. If you can somehow manufacture this time for yourself after work, or on weekends, you’ll know what to do with those algorithms better than myself! They just use intimidating language so others find their industry too complicated and never even apply to start. Stay focused, find the right resources and it is doable to run all those accounts as one person. You may have to get creative, but allow yourself the opportunity to really think on it and what you’ll do, BEFORE doing it. I’ve done it the other way around as an experiment …. And …. Yah. Let’s say if you’re looking for statistical success, this is not the route to choose.
AC: AC would be absolutely nowhere without Social Media influences. Like I said earlier, I built up this project on the internet. None of my relatives knows about this project. Which means that no one would listen to my music today if it wasn’t for IG. I’m still mastering the art of SoMe every day… trying to get better at managing my time on it as well. This is definitely a constant battle haha.
Jay: I love good ole Drunkin' Barn parties throw on that Bluegrass - Bring the moonshine lets get it! What are some of your future aspirations as a musician? The good ole 2 year plan and 5 year plan question? Goals?
CW: The entire industry is just fucked. It’s really ruined. I just moved to NYC proper and surrounding me 9 zip codes are facing another shut down. These venues can’t afford to go without an audience much longer. Thank god there’s some people out there who care about the historical importance of some of the really essential underground NYC clubs, but a lot of other really fantastic and legendary ones in their own right will undoubtedly shutter - So, I don’t think it really possible to HAVE a 2 / 5 year plan at this point. Hell, I’d love to have a 3 month one that just included: Show on the XXADD DATEXX. But it’s not feasible, or worth investing time in right now. I fully intend to do so once venues (if venues?) re-open. I’d actually love to hit the road and gig some. So I guess that’s my, “Please don’t let this take longer than a year to accomplish this” plan.
AC: I’d like to get back at touring soon with my main band. Concerning Atlas, I’d like to finalize my current EP. Then, dig into the concept Album planned for next year. And in the long run let’s say: Virtual Reality? I haven’t found out exactly what & how … but I really see VR as a bright future, even for musicians and producers. There’s something to try out and develop for sure in the VR world.
Jay: Great answers guys I think right now for all musicians not playing live or being able to tour is the worst feeling ever alot of empty stages waiting to be lit up for so many musicians!
For question 21 I figured we could do a bunch of rapid questions so we can get to know you even better & have some fun!
1. Favorite Foods
2. Favorite Beverage to write with or enjoy on some down time?
3. Favorite pieces of musical equipment?
4. Sports or Nope?
5. Beach or Ski Resort?
6. Camping or Cabin?
7. Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter?
8. Believe in Karma?
9. Ice Cream Flavor?
11. Big City or Small town life?
12. Superhero or Villain?
13. Whatever answer to #12 who is your favorite (superhero/Villain)?
Oof favorite foods is a touchy subject at the present - My fat ass is on a diet - but it seems to be working at least - Let’s go with answers from a month ago when I was 30 lbs heavier with less inclination to handle it - Well, I’m in NY, so Pizza, fuhgedddaboutit - got to be a jabrone to not grab a hot slice when in town. I despise seafood and those indulge should be aware of how much fish poo they’re consuming, though that’s not my reason lol. This honestly maybe the interview’s toughest question because it’s not pizza but I got nothing else - So, let’s say it’s pizza! Yay, Pizza!
Always been a HUGE fan of a big ol’ bottle of fresh ass water from the fridge with just a touch of lysergic diethylamide. Great way to spice up an afternoon! Refreshing too!
Ooof, you rolled me again. I’ll be right back need to tell the other to close their ears …. It’s the MS 20 Mini. Rather than talk about features, how’s this for an endorsement - I had one crap out on me a few days before an important live stream. I saw the issue and anyone who has ever repaired a jack could have done it - But I got this stupid arm issue! Can’t reach past the PCB to tighten that one little fucker. Shops are quoting such crazy prices I just bought a used one and rush shipped it. It made it with plenty of time for the show and now I’ve got two! Once I learn how to patch those 2 together, someone needs to stage an intervention, though.
Depends! I played baseball growing up for a decade, same with basketball. Nowadays, I don’t have the patience for the pace of baseball and the others just never appealed to me the same. But! It is good you’re a Yankee fan over a Blue Jays one. It definitely provided me a sigh of relief during set up while filming Sunday Sessions V. 11. Let’s also be honest, we’re all adults here - Who hasn’t got high and watched Curling during the Winter Olympics before? If your answer is no….. You need to re-think what you’re doing for 2 weeks next winter. Trust me.
Studio - fuck those places - I mean, there’s no studio …
Neither - Nature is for people that are …. Not …. Jewish …
Fall/Winter - I am a horridly sweaty person. It’s terrible. Like, clinically terrible. For that reason alone I have to pick Fall and Winter, where I still sometimes find myself sweating lol (I think it’s the medication I’m on, I’m not dying. Thank you for the concern, though).
Believe in it - Yet to see it really just stomp into action on someone deserved of receiving it’s negative side though.
Since I cannot think of anything better, I’d like to provide a recommendation on a certain brand because theirs is tops - The Breyer’s Vanilla with the tiny flecks of vanilla bean - oh, wait forgot Americone Dream - Both - I choose both. In a trough. Thanks.
Nothing is easy with me - I was born in Van Nuys, California but at the age of 3 my dad found his job transferred to Centereach, Long Island, New York and that abysmal concrete jungle was wear I wasted an otherwise perfectly fine childhood.
Well, just got here and have always loved it so I better fucking continue loving big city or I have a lot of shit to handle. .
Superhero/Villain - I’m going hero and that’s actually mild-mannered Attorney Matthew Murdoch, otherwise known as the blind Daredevil - People …. He’s blind. Sorry, but that wins until you lose a leg or something, Wolverine.
Villain - Duuude, Venom is the coolest mofo out there. Hands down. I can’t even think of an alternate right now bc that’s how awesome Venom is. Maybe Bane? But compared to Venom, Bane is a CLOWN!!!!!!
I quit drinking almost two years ago. But back then Captain Morgan was my best friend.
I’m coming from an old sailor town! I’ll always go with the sea.
Depends on my mood. (More on my account to be honest haha).
Winter. Just winter!
Vanilla and Salt Caramel
Villain - Darth Vader - Dude, a blend of tragic figure and evil presence. Vader's story takes all the great twists and turns and it even ends in redemption!
Jay has left the final words with us, so on both our behalfs - We’d just to thank anyone and everyone involved. Yourself and Lucky Anchor entertainment. To each other, pleasure, my friend. Every time. It won’t be the last but collaborating makes for a special, “Hey, pound it,” mentality towards any friendship. I can say the same for @gorygloriana. To any future listeners . . . Who maybe didn’t see that they should PRE-SAVE NOW - A thank you in advance. Hint. I hope you enjoy the tune, the video and hmmm, perhaps more? !