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Interviews: A//tar

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Doom Metal/Sludge Metal/Post-Metal band, A//tar from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1.Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

Tim: We needed a name. We had some songs and wanted to play some shows. Finding the right name took us a long time. First, coming up with a good band name is super hard anyway. Every straightforward, short, or easy to say and pronounce band name had been taken multiple times over. I know friends who are in bands who have names that at least 2-3 other underground bands are trying to use for their band name, which isn’t optimal. So I keep a list of possible band names, we went through all of those and couldn’t get everyone to buy in on one name. Then we went around and round kicking out idea after idea with nothing we wall felt good about. Finally, decided we were going to call ourselves War Altar, which the astute reader may note is also a song on our 2019 release Hallowed. We had agreement and everyone bought in, but after sleeping on it, cracks in our faith appeared and we all soured on the name. That’s when Juan suggested we call ourselves Alltar with two ls and forward slashes instead of ls. We would be called Alltar, but we would always type it out A//TAR. We all liked the idea, and it went from there. 

2.Why did you want to play this genre?

Tim: I was playing in a stoner doom band years ago. We were a trio called Bonework, and we broke up. The drummer for Bonewom and I decided we wanted to keep playing music together, so we started another band called Skull Island, after the island in the San Juans with a dark history, not thinking about King Kong, but it worked both ways. We had a bass player and were playing instrumental stoner doom, but all of the sudden there were stoner doom bands everywhere. The bass player decided to move on, and we had a hell of a time finding a new bass player. Some interesting auditions there. My musical interested were drifting away from stoner doom at the same time, and I had become more and more interested in Neurosis, ISIS, Cult of Luna, and a number of lesser known bands in the post-metal genre. My feeling was the post-metal offered the opportunity for me to express the clean/heavy, ying/yang thing I love. I had written the riffs for Induction and Horology. We did the usual, talked to our musician friends and people we knew who were good players in the local scene, but after nothing panned out, we put up a craigslist and facebook ads looking for other musicians. Colin answered the ad, and when he came, I knew pretty quick it was a good fit. I don’t click with every guitarist I play with, but Colin and I clicked right away, and he was a solid player, a cool guy, and was willing to invest in his gear to sound badass without us having to bug him about it or anything. That is the root of A//TAR, and how we ended up originally going in a post-metal direction. 

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Tim: Nate, Juan and I knew each other because we play in another band together called Hound The Wolves (check is out!). I meet Colin though craigslist ad as discussed above, and we found Casey, the fifth bass player for A//tar. Nate was originally playing bass. When he moved to drums, we were wishing we could just clone him. 

4. Each band member favourite band?

Casey: Pink Floyd/Tool

Colin: Amenra 

Nate: Fugazi/Ween

Tim: Currently, Neurosis 

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Tim: This is a hard one to answer. Where do the songs come from? I think about this when I know we need new material and I sit down and try to write something. A lot of times, I hate everything that I write for various reasons, too cliche, sounds to much like something else, just leaves me feeling meh. Then other times, it feels like the good ideas just flow. You are less in control, and more a conduit of some unspoken, unseen force that causes humans to create,, and to build the object that allow us to express ourselves. I see the songs as each of the band members filtering the music they like through their consciousness until in manifest itself as a particular beat, a line, an idea for a riff. We build everything up from there. 

6. Where was your last gig?

Tim: Our last gig was Ceremony of Sludge, the live performance we are releasing as an album in February 2021. 

7. Where would you like to act?

Tim: I have never really thought about this, as acting is not something I ever have been interested in, playing someone else, filling some other roll. 

8. Whom would you like to feature with? 

Tim:  I would to be featured on Bandcamp. Love the platform from both a fan and an artist perspective. 

9. Whom not?

Tim: IDK, there are lots of answers I could give for this but I prefer to focus on the positive, not the negative. [Tim]

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Tim: It can be intimidating standing up in front of a crowd where everyone is focused on what you are doing and critically evaluating you. The best advice I can give is to lose yourself in the moment, focus on the music, and let it guide your actions. We are all just humans in the end.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Tim: I have been inspired by a number of bands over the years. Neurosis is one band that I have seen several times. Their live performances are massive and captivating, dripping with emotion. 

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Tim:  Once a girl came up to me after a show and asked if she could use my phone as a hotspot. It was really confusing, maybe she was coming on to me and I was too daft to notice, but it seemed like a really weird request. I just told her my phone did not have those capabilities. After that there was a long awkward silence, then she told me how much she dug the band.. [Tim]

13. What do you think of your fans?

Tim: Anyone who likes our music is probably some sort of degenerate. We are all a bunch of weed smoking, beer swilling degenerates, so it kind of makes sense, like a circle of nar do wells hiding out behind the dumpster smoking cigarettes. They may be degenerate contrarians, but they are our degenerate contrarians. 

14. What do you think of our site?

Tim: Covering the underground music scene with such a breadth of genres must be quite an undertaking. Really dig that you utilize bandcamp and out all those comps. Still digging through them to find my personal gems, kind of reminds me of the days of going to a record store to flip through the stacks, looking for nothing in particular. 

15. Something add?

Tim: We have a Live album coming out as mentioned earlier, Live at Ceremony of Sludge that was recorded live at Ceremony of Sludge IX. We are really excited about the record. We are getting ready to head in the studio to record our second release, and we are always working on new material. Head over to our bandcamp to take a listen to Hallowed, the album we put out last year. We got some CDs, T-shirts, buttons. Head to to follow us on all the social media platforms and keep an eye out for more content in the near future. 

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