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June 2020

Lower Than Atlantis: "A lot of people are trying to be too cool"

Mike Duce reveals what’s going into Lower Than Atlantis’s new record, and why they like a bit of pressure.
Published: 4:16 pm, November 24, 2016
Lower Than Atlantis: "A lot of people are trying to be too cool"
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If any band were testament to the idea that hard work pays off, it’s Lower Than Atlantis. Their self-titled fourth album, released in 2014, offered a real breakthrough - and it’s helped shape a follow up that, according to frontman Mike Duce, is their best yet. “‘Lower Than Atlantis’ was kind of just chuck it all there and see what sticks,” he explains, “we know what worked on that last album so we’re really confident in what we’re doing. It’s the best music that we’ve ever put out. A lot of bands now would’ve plateaued or peaked and binned it, but our last album was the most successful of our career. It was very much an amalgamation of everything.”

Currently in the later stages of the album creation process, with eight songs in various stages of completion, he explains the end goal: “We’re aiming for ten tracks, but if you’re going to have ten tracks on an album they’ve all got to be outstanding.” With the deadline fast approaching, Mike admits the band thrives in this environment. “It’s quite nice to have something to push against because the last album it was all very open ended; we didn’t have a label, we didn’t have a manager, and we were working in our own recording studio. It’s like an artist painting, when it’s finished you can keep on adding to it until over an extended period of time you’ll have a completely different painting.”

The first teaser of what’s to come, ‘Work For It’ is an aggressive and melodic self-confessed “basic track” - though they didn’t quite realise the impact it would have. When the band played a Reading & Leeds warm up show in Oxford, they found it had already made an impression with their fans. “Half the crowd were singing back at us,” laughs Mike. As for the rest of the new material, he says: “We know other people are going to like it. It’s been stressful but you’ve got to put pressure on yourself to get the best content. I’m hoping to write an amazing song today and an amazing song tomorrow and the album will be done, in an ideal world, but you can never know.”

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Mike puts the band’s recent success down to their avoidance of following the crowd. “We’ve never been a ‘cool’ band, which has really worked in our favour, because if something is really current in 2012, and it comes to 2013, it’s gone. I think a lot of people are trying to be too cool or current.” He continues: “We’re very much a hit or miss band, sometimes you think what you’re releasing is the best ever but people absolutely hate it; I think we’ve nailed it.”

“If you’re wanting to follow trends,” Mike elaborates, “you figure out what it is, do your own version, nail it, and then release it - then it’s gone. You’re always playing catch up and chasing, that’s why we’ll just do whatever we want and everyone else will rip us off later on.”

The band are currently on the road with You Me At Six throughout Europe, but they’re wary of the perils of introducing new material live. “Everybody’s got camera phones these days, and they’d all be filming it and putting online. When we want people to hear the stuff for the first time, we want it to be the recorded versions that we’ve laboriously, meticulously, fine-tooth combed worked on.”

It’s a delicate task, trying to please existing fans. “Now we kind of know what people want from our band, which means we’ve got a healthy balance of what we want out of music,” Mike says. “We’re fucking playing it every night, you know what I mean? We’ve got a balance of what we like about our band and what other people like about our band.”

That said, “I’ve always taken anything anyone’s said about our band personally because it’s my life. It’s so easy for someone to make a flippant comment on the internet, but it’s what I live and breathe, this band, so why would I not be offended if someone didn’t like it? Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, so what can you do, you know?”

“You can’t please everyone, but you can please yourself,” Mike concludes. “Just do what you want to do and if other people like it then great, if not, fuck ‘em.”

Taken from the November issue of Dork, out now. Lower Than Atlantis’s new album ‘Safe in Sound’ is out 3rd February.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link="
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