Thursday, 30 May 2013

We're Only Here For The Banter - Atomic League

Proving once again that Glasgow is full of musicians and producers making sweet sounding electronic music is Shaun Canning, a.k.a. Atomic League.  Having done the whole 'band' thing earlier in his musical journey, Shaun now makes gorgeous chilled out grooves, the kind that deserve a sunset and drink in hand to match the vibe.  Have a read at what goes on behind the scenes in Atomic League HQ.

Hello, how are you?

I’m great thanks.  I’m just currently working on my EP at the minute and the sun is shining which is a rarity in Glasgow so all is good.

It's the question everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and your influences?

I would describe the music I make as melodic electronica with an emphasis on creating melody on classical instruments such as piano and harps and then merging it in with some bassy synth noises and electronic drums.  It's hard to name influences without forgetting a few because there are so many, but firstly Radiohead played a big part in inspiring me to do something different and more original musically through my teens and up until now . I was lucky enough to go to their gig at Glasgow Green a few years ago and the atmosphere they create just blew my mind and made me realise all I wanted to do was music.  Another major influence for me would be Philip Glass and Yann Tiersen and the intense emotions which they create through melody and its something I strive to achieve on each track I write and produce.

What's your song-writing / creative process like?

It tends to involve a lot of late night experimenting with loads of different sounds.  I’ll sometimes sit and write melodies on the piano and then take them to other instruments to find the right sound.  After the melody is created I start to think about percussion and drums and finding the right beat to work with the melody.  I always feel if the melody is strong, its difficult to go wrong with the drums and the other parts tend to fall into place.

What could we expect to see from a live show?

I had my first live show in April with the Finnish band KXP and it was great to finally get the tunes out to a live audience.  The live set up involves a friend of mine Michael on drums and me just tinkering away on the keyboard playing the lead parts and mixing loops.  If you come to a live show in the future you can expect to feel really chilled out and then quite excited and then really chilled out followed finally by a finaly flurry of excitement not to give the show away.

You've got the same management as fellow electronic melody maker Miaoux Miaoux. Is it inspiring to see how his music has grown and is now nominated for The SAY Awards?

It really is and I have to say I’m glad I finally managed to catch one his live shows a few weeks back as it was brilliant.  He is definitely one I can see becoming huge this year as, although he has had some recognition, he definitely deserves more on a massive scale for the talent he possesses.

If it were all to end tomorrow, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

I think so far being played on Radio 1 for me was fantastic and gave me a lot of confidence that I’m doing something right and making progress.

What have you got planned for 2013?

I just intend to keep progressing in terms of my producing and my music and I’m planning my first release very very soon, which I’m buzzing about.  I’m always looking to improve though with every song I do, I work really hard to make it better than the last.

Who would win in a fight? Atomic League or Atomic Kitten?

I think if it was the original trio with Kerry Katona involved they'd win all day long as she just seems a bit mental.

What other artists (Scottish or not) would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

I heard a band the other week called Le Thug and they’ve got a great sound.  They were playing with my mates in Machines In Heaven who are also on the Piggyback management roster.  Machines In Heaven are another band who deserve greatness.  Great EP and a brilliant live band, and they're playing T In The Park this year as well.  Plus they’ve got that synth-y magician Magic Daddy playing with them, who is rumoured to be a distant relative of Puff.  What more could you ask for!

Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?

I like this joke because it reminds me of my current situation:

“I have enough money to last me the rest of my life… Unless I buy something" - Jackie Mason

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