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Finding Clarity in the Obtuse:Mason Taylor Describes a’tris

front:  Mason Taylor, l to r: Nate Lueck,  Ben Azar, Travis Abel.

front: Mason Taylor, l to r: Nate Lueck, Ben Azar, Travis Abel.

New York- based group a’tris draw from myriad of influences….

Hometown: Clarence, NY
Genres: Alternative / Rock
Members: Mason Taylor – Vocals/Keyboard, Ben Azar – Guitar, Nate Lueck – Bass, Travis Abel – Drums

 “The songwriting process really depends on the song. Our goal is always to do what’s best for the tune, so the process is pretty fluid. Usually Mike and Nate will bring an idea to me from which I write a melody and lyrics. These ideas are usually presented in the form of music beds, or rudimentary arrangements.”

Listening to a’tris reminds me of the time I discovered Aphex Twin and Radiohead. Sophisticated beats, smooth synths and  psychedelic guitars   create a suave atmosphere that is distinctive and also pleasurable listening experience. a’tris is the brainchild of Mason Taylor, from the Berklee College of Music, and producer/songwriter Michael Kreher. Taylor and Kreher added co-writer/guitarist Ben Azar,then came Nate Lueck on Bass and Travis Abel on drums. Since then the band have drawn from interesting styles to create their own music that not moves the crowd to their feet but also makes on ponder about existential angst .

Mason Taylor talks to Sphere Music

Your music is very atmospheric and I love your occasional use of female vocals . What influenced you to create this direction as opposed to the current trend in your bands right now?

Thanks! We honestly just try to write and record music that we’d want to listen to. Our thought is that, by taking this approach, regardless of how different the arrangements are or esoteric the music may be, there are going to be people like us out there who will want to buy it and share it with their friends.

You seem to be doing a lot of things left and right. What are your rules about performing, composing and taking time off?

This is a full-time job for us. There just aren’t any medical benefits or vacation days. This year, we launched a project that saw us releasing a new song and music video each week. That is currently on pause as Nate is touring with Ted Nugent. Usually we take breaks when opportunities for collaboration come up or members tour with other artists. The Ted Nugent tour, for example, was something that we just couldn’t let Nate pass up. If your readers would like to check out what we accomplished so far with this project, I hope they’ll take a moment to visit atrishq.com and/or youtube.com/atrismusic.

Please describe a’tris and how you got that band moniker?

a’tris is a collective of artists that make noise. Some people call it alternative. We wanted the name to be as obtuse as the sound. Hopefully people will like what we make and share it with their friends or dislike it and share it with their enemies. If people feel compelled to share it, then we’ve done our job.

I heard about you through Pierre Massé. He is from Canada and you are in New York. Social Networks are really good in building projects across domains and locations. Do you other musical projects based on interactions in cyberspace?

That’s great! We’re big fans of Pierre. I believe we met him through ReverbNation, although I may be mistaken. I feel like we’ve known him a while and we still haven’t had the pleasure of meeting in person. Social Networks are pretty cool. Pierre and I are friends in Facebook and, you’re right, he’s from Nate’s home country. That is pretty wild, huh? As a collective, we definitely use web tools a lot for creation and collaboration. We recently worked with Tiger Darrow digitally on a cover of Jonathan Seet’s “A Million Hungry Eyes.” We met Jonathan online as well and we’re big fans of both of those artists. You can check out that tune at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0oPegyDT-Y. Hope you enjoy it!
http://youtube.com/atrismusic
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Whither one is listening to headphones or big speakers it is easy to notice sound details.You create atmospheric music that’s edgy and at the same time good in terms of the recording quality. Please tell us about your studio gadgets.
5. Thanks! I’m not really the best person to answer that question. My focus is more on the songwriting than the production and engineering. However, I know that Mike and Nate are big fans of Digital Performer and Logic respectively. In terms of the microphones and other equipment used, Shure gave us some pretty sweet gear a while back and we’re really enjoying using those products. With that said, I really believe in the adage “it’s the ear, not the gear” and I’ve heard some really great recordings made with shockingly inexpensive tech.

What’s the song writing process?

The songwriting process really depends on the song. Our goal is always to do what’s best for the tune, so the process is pretty fluid. Usually Mike and Nate will bring an idea to me from which I write a melody and lyrics. These ideas are usually presented in the form of music beds, or rudimentary arrangements. Although, sometimes they are pretty far along by the time they get to me. From there, I may or may not chop those ideas up and add my own. And, once I’m finished, they may or may not dice my ideas up and add theirs. In some cases, Mike brings lyrics to the table or a melody for certain sections. In others, we virtually write the songs on our own before presenting them. Regardless of how the song comes to life, more often than not, we end up ripping each other’s ideas to shreds somewhere along the way. Expletives are hurled. Knives are drawn. It can be a pretty a very graphic process, honestly.

Interesting! Last question how do you see yourself a few years from now in terms of being in the music industry and also projects?

Thanks! I couldn’t tell you, really. Our goal is to share our music with as many people as possible and to make a living by creating art. My hope is that, down the road, we might get to a place where we are able to sustain ourselves entirely through the creation of music. It would be an honor to support other artists as well. I guess we’ll see. The most important thing to me now is to focus on the present. I’m happy with where we are today and we are creating great new material. I think that’s what matters the most.

Thanks again for taking the time to speak with me! I hope your readers will enjoy what we’re doing and invite them to visit us on the web at atrishq.com or to search for us on their favorite social networks.

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