The Black Atlas released his debut EP, The Other, the first in a series of EP’s titled The Equinox, showcasing ”brooding, dark, beautiful sounds.”(Diffuser.fm) The second installment, Devils, is set for release this summer and continues to “lead you into the inner recesses of your mind to heal the scars and dance the night away.” (The Drainage)
Central figure/vocalist/instrumentalist, Peter Koronios, a drummer by trade, spent eight months teaching himself guitar, bass, and piano and completed all performances on the recording himself, except for a few collaborations with Jesse Clasen (HRVRD, The Bear Romantic). The Black Atlas will be celebrating the release of Devils on June 16 at The Manderley Bar at The McKittrick Hotel in New York City
You Indie recently caught up with Koronios to discuss the EP. This is what he told us.
When did you begin writing the material for Devils?
Some of the material on Devils has come from pretty far back. I started to organize it and demo songs out probably late May of last year (2014).
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
We didn’t encounter any real difficulty in putting any of the songs together, and I think that has a lot to do with the rapport Jesse and I have developed, and the relaxed and totally open vibe we have when we track together. There were one or two spots where he had to push me to deliver a stronger performance. Other than that, I don’t have any recollection of any real difficulty in the process.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
Probably “XIII.” The introductory guitar part was something I had been playing for about fourteen years. A very close friend of mine had written it, and I altered it, sort of made it my own. I was playing it in between takes of another song, and we started jamming on it. Jesse and I decided we liked the direction it was heading in, and so we just let it happen. The song almost wrote itself.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
Jesse performed the trumpet and violin, and there are samples of him speaking in different voices through an old Casio keyboard with a record/talk-back feature. Ally Hoffmann sings with me during the chorus melody of “Black Milk.”
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
Jesse Clasen co-produced, engineered, and mixed this EP and its accompanying EPs. His input and guidance was instrumental in allowing me to find my voice. Every session with Jesse is a masterclass in creativity.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new EP that ties the record together?
Devils is the second act in this series, and deals a lot in the subconscious and the way it processes experiences and transforms that information in to dream material, which is essentially the mind’s creative method of self-communication.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
These songs will be performed live for the first time on June 16 at The McKittrick Hotel in New York City. The songs are markedly different in a live setting than on the record. We’re experimenting with different ways to give the songs new life.
(Visit The Black Atlas here: https://www.facebook.com/TheBlackAtlas.)