Altostratus Discloses Details Behind the Music and the Band!


Instrumental metal band ALTOSTRATUS have been together, for a while now releasing content and playing shows as well of course. But what makes such a unique concept of music take off, well the band discloses the music and the band details below.


1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Altostratus began in 2015 with Jack (drums) and myself (Alex, guitar) writing/recording some Periphery inspired demos together in our hometown of Berwick-upon-Tweed. We’ve been friends since we were about 13 and had a close musical relationship since then, although we had mostly played covers in a wedding band, in private we played metal covers of Killswitch Engage, Bullet for my Valentine and Lamb of God. It wasn’t until 2013 when we became fascinated with modern progressive metal bands such as Intervals, Periphery, and Tesseract. These inspired us and our demos, and those demos turned into what is the Altitude EP (2015). This EP was a project we were persuaded to do for our hometown friend Jordan Bruce as his final major music production for university in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He also introduced us to his like-minded course mate Andrew Smith (bass) who we instantly had great a rapport with and got him to record bass on the EP. The three of us decided to make this a band and so we searched for a second guitarist to complete the line-up. That’s where Jordan Harris (guitar) came in, who funnily enough we found on YouTube! The three of us had been watching his guitar videos for some time until one day we checked his profile and noticed he lived really close to Newcastle. We were too shy so we got Jordan Bruce to message him on behalf of the band, some messages were exchanged and then we met him for a jam followed by a viewing of Mad Max: Fury Road with the rest of the boys...  since then we’ve been best friends and have gigged all over the UK.

For a brief time we had hoped to secure a vocalist in the band, but after some auditions we found that it really wasn’t working out and because the way our writing was going, it meant there was little space for a vocalist. We’ve been working on our debut album - Complete the Connection - for the past few years and are now finally about to release it !

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

Jack actually came up with that one. The name is inspired by cloud formations and the fact it’s always cloudy where we come from. A wealth of imagery and meaning can be attached to it depending on how deeply you want to look at it, like with our music.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

We were based out of Newcastle-upon-Tyne until recently, now we’re all spread out across England (Manchester, London, Berwick). Back in Newcastle there are some great bands though and a good scene emerging for math/prog rock music. I’d highly recommend alt-prog band Cauls, instrumental prog-metal trio Eunoia, and a super cool progressive rock band we’re playing with in April called Xero (check them out).

4. How would you describe your style?

Widdly guitars, fast-paced riffs, djenty breakdowns, moody clean breaks and catchy melodies.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

We released our debut EP Altitude in 2015, but more recently we’ve released two singles from our upcoming album called “Hosnian Prime” and “Zephyr”. These newer songs are faster paced and more dynamic than our old EP, but what you can expect of our music is intense, riff-based compositions that are laced with hooks, melody and groove.

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

Our debut album Complete the Connection is out on the 7th of February. We spent a large portion of the writing process making sure that the pace of the record as a whole worked from start to finish, and that every song has it’s own identity. It features our heaviest parts to date, as well as a grander, almost post-rock feel throughout. We paid close attention to what every chord says and how every section feels. It’s taken us this long to release as no compromises have been made in regards to composition, and we have spent countless hours discussing very minor details. This has accumulated to create a very nuanced, dynamic – and what we believe to be – epic piece of music.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

Yes we do, we’re playing at the Head of Steam in Newcastle on the 5th of February for our album launch party, it’s going to be a free show with hopes to get as many happy people headbanging on a a Wednesday night as possible. Then we’ll be hitting the road in April for a 7 date tour with tech-death band Pravitas. They are great fun guys and we’ve toured with them before so we’re very excited about it. We’ll also be hooking up with amazing bands such as The Mechanist, Xero, Chiasmata, Centrillia, and Withdrones. We’ll be playing in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Berwick, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham. and London. You can pickup tickets from our website!

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

Following the release of our album we plan to play as many shows as we can and to get back to writing music again. A lot of our album is very old to us and we’re ready to craft a new sound for our next release and see where the rabbit hole takes us this time.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

You can hear us on all streaming platforms (Spotify, Deezer, Bandcamp, Apple Music etc), as well as YouTube and directly from our website. You can purchase physical/digital album copies from there, as well as merch, guitar tabs, and tour tickets! Just head over to www.altostratusband.com.

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

I’d say listen closely, as there are some Easter eggs and subtleties in our music that make it a lot more meaningful. Our new album Complete the Connection is a journey through varying sound worlds that take place in a deeply connected universe. It’s not a concept album as such, but if the listener pays close attention they will hear the motifs, relationships, overarching themes throughout the album. It might take a few listens to get them, but I’d like to think that it will make for a richer listening experience.

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