Experimental act Crashing Atlas have teamed together to infuse a style that brings the likes of pop sensibilities with hard driving sound and force! Guitarist/vocalist Dougie Chi-Town discusses their new release "Ascend" an EP due this fall!
1. What role do you play in the band?
Dougie: My name is Dougie Chi-Town and I play guitar & scream in Crashing Atlas.
2. Crashing Atlas is your namesake, but why is that? Does the name represent a meaning or is it just a name?
Dougie: To me the name represents carrying a burden so strong that eventually it falls down all around you. For those that don’t Atlas was a Greek God who was condemned to hold up the sky for all eternity.
3. What has influenced your sound and style?
Dougie: We all have numerous influences but for the time being and during the writing of the EP we were listening to Paramore, Palisades, PVRIS, and AFI.
4.What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Dougie: The majority of the record was themed around the promise of going to a better place when life seems to have to trapped in a place you don’t want to be. It doesn’t have to be about a relationship, which a lot of us can relate to. It can be about getting out of a cycle of drug use, depression, anxiety, whatever demons you are battling inside just know there is another place to turn to if you are willing to fight for it.
5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
Dougie: Yes. Crashing Atlas’s writing process starts out with Shelby and I coming together with the bones of the song. We usually hash out the lyrics and melody on acoustic guitar, then we bring it to our other guitar player Felix who adds amazing guitar lines and synth. Our drummer Chris adds little nuances that help the song shine.
6. How do you describe your music to people?
Dougie: High flying guitars with electronic experimentation. Shelby’s sweet pop voice combined with our hard driving edge.
7. What can be said about your single "Savages"? What is the story behind this track, and will it have an accompanying video to go with it?
Dougie: Savages is one of the darkest songs I have ever written. At the time I didn’t have much faith in the human race. I wrote Savages about living in a world with all of these self absorbed things like social media. Hypothetically if it were to all come crashing down would we as humans be able to go back to the way things were and treat each other with dignity and respect? I would like to think yes, but in the end humankind always reverts back to its most basic needs. As we speak we are planning a video for it! Stay tuned!
8. Give in more detail, some information about your latest album “Ascend”?
Dougie: We will release the EP on September 22nd!
9. What is the concept behind “Ascend" and how did the idea come about?
Dougie: Like I said the theme is about being in a place in your life that you don’t want to be in, but knowing that there is Utopian type place you can go if you are willing to fight for it. For me at the time of writing the record I was in the midst of a military enlistment. I was struggling with balancing my life with the band and adhering to everything I was responsible for at work. The military was the best thing to happen to me in terms of writing music for the band, because I felt so bitter that all of these feelings started pouring out of me. ASCEND to me is rising to the occasion and never going back to where you were.
10. What is your favorite track off “Ascend" and why?
Dougie: Mine would have to be “To Hell & Back”. It is one of the most hard rock driven songs on the EP. I wrote the lyrics and melody in my car 15 minutes before I met with the band to show them. It just poured out of me, all of these feelings of being shattered by someone and wanting to do the same back to them. It’s just an anthem that you can turn up in your car when you’ve had enough of someone.
11. What can fans expect from the new Crashing Atlas album?
Dougie: A record like you have never heard before. We have many elements swirling through our songs that will grab the ear of most music fans. If you liked old school Paramore this record is for you!
12. What was the writing and recording process like for the album?
Dougie: We recorded half of the record at Felix’s studio called Vantage Studios. The other half at Oceanic Studio with Vocal Producer Spencer Sotelo from Periphery. We had Billy Decker (Sam Hunt, Montgomery Gentry) mix the record in Nashville.
13. Why do you think people should check out your new album?
Dougie: We are real people with real stories. We don’t sugarcoat much, what you hear is what you get. Ascend is a record that people will be able to put in when they are down and find some real comfort in the moment. It’s a record of hope, promise, and a purpose for a brighter new day.
14. How would you say you differ from other bands and artists on the scene?
Dougie: There isn’t a band like us out there right now that’s incorporating all of the elements like we are while still retaining a “mainstream” listenable sound. The combination of Shelby’s sweet voice and our hard driving sound lures people in instantaneously. We are a genuine band that loves what we do and hope to continue to do so for the rest of our lives.