Perhaps the coolest thing about these bands is their ability to be like "you." What is greatly missing from their music is the rock star glitz and glam. These bands are aiming for people just like them. The music is passionate, raw, and most importantly, different. It's bands like these that are now starting to shine and gain their proper due.
Interview with Mason Taylor of A'tris
|(L to R) Nate Lueck (guitars and Bass), Ben Azar (Guitars), Mason Taylor (vocals and keys), Travis Abel (Drums)|
Photo by: Elizabeth Budd
Mason, a former student and music major at Berklee College, started the band in 2003 upon meeting Mike Kreher in his music writing class. Kreher became Mason's writing partner and musical mentor, as well as band manager and ideas guy. The only thing Mike doesn't do, is travel with the band and perform. "He's in the band and just as important as anyone else, except he's behind the scenes," said Mason. Taylor handles all the vocal duties, co-writes the songs, leads the social media charge, and plays piano. The other members of the band have rotated frequently, but one of the mainstays has been the guitarist, Nate Lueck who has been with the band for about three years and just finished a national tour opening for Meatloaf.
A'tris has been touring about once a year, and averages about a CD a year. There debut CD, Appeal, was released in 2005. Their second release was in 2007, an EP entitled, Commons. The most recent full length, Lensing, came out in 08 and featured their biggest single to date "Automatic Doors." The video was featured on MTV a few times, and gained a lot of plays on the college radio circuit. Purchase Lensing and Appeal here.
They have done all they can to get noticed, but Mason says, "The future is in placement. The newer A'tris music is more commercially viable." If a band can crack the walls of radio, TV, or movies, it opens a big door of opportunity. In addition to this, Mason is constantly using social networking to reach out to people. "Social media is tough because everyone can use it, but I use these sites to make friends. My ultimate goal is to one day pay the bills with music, so I have to do whatever it takes." Taylor says A'tris has never been on a label, but instead uses "structured partnerships." In this way, they aren't tied down to anything by contract, but still have some security in what they are doing.
Recently, Mason moved from the Boston area the band was originally located in, to New York. He feels the opportunities in the city are bigger. As of right now the band isn't playing shows. They are working on a college campaign tour, and are only playing shows of significance. They are biding their time for when a tour is a feasible. They are trying to build a local support in NYC, to have a strong backing before they hit the road.
And speaking of the road, Mason has plenty of great stories, just ask him. The tours are set up by Mike, and their first time out they hit 25 states. Taylor aims for about five or six shows a week, and sometimes doubles up on days. To save money they usually sleep in the van, but on occasion a stranger lets them in for the night. "" he says.
|(L to R) Ben Azar, Mason Taylor, Nate Lueck, Travis Abel|
Photo by: Elizabeth Budd
Some of the more memorable things about being in A'tris have been, "When I see someone in the crowd connect with the music from the stage. It makes it all worth while." One particular moment that was almost a failure but wound up being really cool was, "At a show, all the sound went off and would not turn back on. We made the set acoustic and I loved it. " Mason said jokingly.
Mason's hope is that in five years A'tris will be able to tour abroad and go to other countries. "," he said. As for the immediate future, he plans on having A'tris do something really big but Internet based.
"So tune in, we have some really cool stuff in the pipeline."
http://atrishq.com/Home.html (This will link to a number of social networks the band is on.)