Atlas Entity, a progressive metal band based out of the Tampa Bay Area in Florida, is my solo project that I created after my last band split up around 2015. Since then I’ve released a four-song EP titled Enceladus, and on June 14 I’m releasing my first 8-song full-length album, Beneath the Cosmic Silence. On both releases I play guitars, bass, keys, and do vocals. Each release features different session musicians including Samus Paulicelli on drums (Decrepit Birth, Devin Townsend) and guest solos by Rafael Trujillo (Obscura) and Mark Hawkins (LVM Trio, Devolved). Even if it does take a bit of time between releases, I intend to continue writing new material and featuring talented musicians that I’m inspired by and lucky enough to work with.
2.In June you have a full length coming out, musically how does it differ from the ep you had released in 2015?
Beneath the Cosmic Silence differs from my first EP as it focuses more on composition and atmosphere rather than raw brutality and technicality. Now of course there’s plenty of technical and heavy parts in the full length, but I feel like each song has its own organic flow that tells a story. I would definitely say that the new release is a much more relaxed approach to Atlas Entity and my writing style. Beneath the Cosmic Silence also has lyrics designed around stories originating the western US, ghosts, and a general appreciation of nature, rather than the concept-based space themes of Enceladus.
3.This is your first release in 4 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
Life has been busy since then! Besides writing and recording music, I help run my family business and I also have a wonderful girlfriend and dog that I love spending time with and traveling with. Writing, recording, designing, and coordinating with companies and other musicians to create a full-length album takes an enormous amount of time, effort and money, especially when handling it on your own. At times it was hard to find the right balance between music, life, work, and everything else but in the end, it worked out and I ended up with a product that I’m truly proud of.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the newer music?
As I mentioned above, Beneath the Cosmic Silence has lyrics written about stories originating the western US, ghosts, and a general appreciation of nature. Over the past few years we have been traveling a lot and we’ve seen some amazing places out in the western United States that have really inspired me. I’ve always loved nature and I’m frequently out hiking in local state parks and wildlife preserves, but the towering mountains and plummeting gorges of the natural landscape out there provide such an amazing contrast to the swampy, humid, and relatively flat scenery that Florida provides.
5.On your previous ep you had explored space themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
I’ve always been interested in astronomy and in turn, science fiction. Anything from sci-fi books, comics, terrible B sci-fi movies, I’m all about it. I’m also a firm believer that we’re not alone in the universe – it is wayyy too large for us to be all alone here. I’d say that’s where most of the inspiration for Enceladus came from. Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, has an icy surface that’s about 20 miles thick. Due to its elliptical orbit around Saturn, the gravitational pull squeezes and flexes the moon enough that it can melt some of the ice underneath the surface. This means that there could be a giant sub-surface ocean that has existed there for millions, if not billions of years. If there’s liquid water, I’d bet that there’s some sort of life there.
6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Atlas Entity'?
So the Atlas Entity is a planet-devouring cosmic being which is first introduced in the Enceladus EP. Enceladus is the first entry of a 3-part concept series about a group of space explorers that land a manned mission on Saturn’s moon Enceladus and (unfortunately) find sentient life below the frozen surface. The first EP scratches the surface of the story and the next two EPs will continue the saga. On the shirts available in our merch shop you can see an awesome depiction of the Atlas Entity.
7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The cover artwork is a photo I took in Grand Canyon National Park – what an experience that was. On the drive in, we’re going through a hot, arid, Arizona desert. Once we get into the park and start gaining elevation, it became colder and colder until we started seeing patches of white on the ground. Soon enough the temperature drops below 30*F and it starts snowing HARD. I couldn’t really feel my hands or my face at this point, but I managed to get a couple good pics before we had to leave. The album cover on Beneath the Cosmic Silence is one of them.
8.Originally the band started out as a solo project, what was the decision behind adding in other members?
The band still is a solo project. I write the majority of the material and then I’ll often work with session musicians to help fill in the gaps for drums and guest solos. I can play drums, but I don’t have the facilities to record at the quality I want, nor do I possess the skill that someone like Samus does.
9. Currently the band us unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
I’ve received some interest from a few smaller labels, but no offers or anything that would meet the needs of Atlas Entity. I wouldn’t say that I’m actively looking for a label, but I’d be glad to entertain any offers that could lend success to the project.
10. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of prog, black and death metal?
So far, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive – especially from overseas fans. Atlas Entity is based in the US, so it’s very interesting to me that the majority of purchases and pre-orders come from other countries like the UK, Canada, Russia, Germany, and Portugal. I absolutely love being able to send the music I make to people all over the world.
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
The writing continues – as it always will! I think next up I’m going to finish up a single or maybe another EP along the same lines as the first EP. I have a couple of new ideas that I’m piecing together but I’m also looking to continue the Enceladus story.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Enceladus was heavily inspired by bands like Between the Buried and Me, The Helix Nebula, Ne Obliviscaris, Arsis, and more. During the writing process of Beneath the Cosmic Silence, I was listening to a lot of black metal/folk metal – especially bands like Falls of Rauros, Agalloch, and Celephaïs. If you haven’t heard Monad by Celephaïs, do yourself a favor and give that a listen through. More recently I’ve been listening to these awesome bands and albums on heavy rotation: Wide Eyes – Paradoxica, The Omnific – The Mind’s Eye, Obscura – Diluvium, Andy James – Arrival, Devin Townsend – Empath, and (wild card, also not new) Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime.
13.What are some of your non-musical interests?
Some of my non-musical interests include (in no particular order): hiking, travel, drawing/painting, photography, video games, doing cool stuff with my girlfriend, playing with my dog, and recently I’ve become really interested in house plants, ha.
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I’d just like to say thanks again for having me and thanks to everyone who’s purchased or listened to Atlas Entity. Atlas Entity is my labor of love and I while it may take a bit of time between releases, I intend to keep writing and putting new music out there. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.
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