AtomA's new album Skylight was such an excellent surprise this year. Another winning powerband to add to the Napalm Records catalog of talent. Power guitars and vocals, with some of the best keyboard work of 2012. So after many listens to the album, I thought it would be great to read their perspective on this debut album and what the band hopes to achieve over the years. I was lucky enough to find that singer/keyboard player Ehsan Kalantarpour was as willing and interested to answer some questions for fans at Sea of Tranquility.
Ehsan Kalantarpour, welcome to Sea of Tranquility. We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule promoting your new album "Skylight" and rehearsing for your tour to take some time out to answer some questions for your fans.
MJ SoT So please tell us about the genesis of AtomA and your hopes for the band's success.
Kalantarpour -After feeling huge disconnection and alienation to the world we live in, we decided to take off and become astronauts in our heads. Intronauts. To explore new ways and sounds like we've never done before, blowing our own borders. In AtomA we created the home we've been longing for. A home where we are free to explore and let the music take us wherever it wants. We will spend the coming years completely dedicated to crafting some very, very special albums.
MJ SoT "Skylight" is an amazing sounding album. Tell us about the concept and story behind this masterpiece.
Kalantarpour - The story is about a few astronauts that leave earth in search for something, finding the AtomA monolith. The music is their reflections and emotions through their journey lost in space. We wanted to create a kingdom in the sound where we could roam free without limitations of genres or other artificial creations as much as possible, and instead let the music take us wherever it wants to go. Gotta say, somewhere along the line writing the album, we became servants to our own created music entity we call AtomA, instead of always dominant masters. I often feel there's a greater force pulling the strings, commanding me and the others to new objectives constantly. It's difficult to explain.. maybe I'm just paranoid
MJ SoT Every track on this album is amazing, but I think from reading my review, you know I love that opening. Tell us about where the inspiration and ideas came for the music behind the story and how you were able to take that vision from your head and put it to music so well.
Kalantarpour -We had an unexplainable need, an urge to create a new type of larger progression in an album. One of the main things we wanted to do on Skylight was to create a journey beginning from a tribal and dark place, and as the songs progresses, the general atmosphere becomes slowly calmer and brighter with its ups and downs to at last ending in a whole different place. It's a wide emotional spectrum and requires an open mind from its listeners, and rewarding for those that goes through it.
MJ SoT What are some of your favorite concept albums and sci fi films?
Kalantarpour -Concept albums.., maybe a couple of albums from Roger Waters. I'm not that familiar with concept albums at all to be honest. I'm more into film. Blade Runner is my favorite without doubt, the fusion of Vangelis music to that dystopian scenery is some of the most beautiful things I've seen and heard.
MJ SoT Did you capture every amazing element of what you planned to do with this concept and storyline or did you feel limited by today's technology or available instruments?
Kalantarpour -In ordinary life outside music I feel suffocated by all the technology. From computers and iphones to the mentality of people that are becoming more and more calculative and cold like the computers. But in music I see completely open worlds to discover with huge technological advancements to help new ideas become reality.
MJ SoT What is the upper limit or price you would be willing to pay to live your dream and travel into space?
Kalantarpour - If I could go get lost in space I would by all means necessary. I'd need a portable studio to bring. Just float around in my space suit and write music until I die.
MJ SoT Where would you most like to go, in space?
Kalantarpour -I like to just race toward whatever direction to find out how big space is, and what comes after. It can't stretch out into infinity can it? Everything in our planet is temporary so we're not really familiar with the term infinite. I want to find it!
MJ - SoT - With 2012 being an epic and historic year, what are your or the band's feelings about the year so far?
Kalantarpour -I don't find it more epic and historic than any other year. It's just the same old shit repeating itself it seems. Banks, Corporates and conquerors roaming the world. At least if look to the world in general. For us personally though, it's a very special year. This is the year where we begin our journey in AtomA. Where we wave goodbye to earth and leave. About god damn time
MJ SoT "Rainmen" has that Chameleons UK feel to it for me. Were you influenced in any way by "Script of the Bridge" or any of their classics?
Kalantarpour -I haven't heard them so I wouldn't know. I wouldn't be surprised if it was similar though. One thing I've learned about music is that there is some kind of universal thing going on. At the same time one unique idea is born in one place, the same unique idea can be born in the complete opposite side of the world. There has to be more to humans than just ordinary flesh and mind. Things seem too connected in odd ways.
MJ SoT Where did you find Ida Sundqvist
and thanks. She has a beautiful voice?
Kalantarpour -She was a good friend of mine and got involved in the album as guest artist in that way. She, as a human, is a unique and genuine mix of pain and joy, and was therefore perfect for this album. I could feel the pain she had in her voice, and the longing to leave that pain behind.
MJ SoT Will you feature Sundqvist more on future releases?
Kalantarpour -No we will be working with a few new guest artists on the next album.
MJ - SoT You have released a cool video for "Bermuda Riviera" already. Do you have additional plans for more video to capture the visual power of the effect of the music on this album? (A mini film would be so cool).
Kalantarpour -I agree, a mini film would be ultimate. I come from a director education background, so I'm always dreaming and visioning in visual ways as well as audio. We need to work our way up to the opportunity to actually create a film/album, but it would be the ultimate thing. To both write the soundtrack and direct a film, what a powerful and volatile fusion!..
MJ - SoT Do you have plans to take this masterpiece out on the road for a full track by track presentation?
Kalantarpour -We are preparing for tour and gigs in fall. It takes a lot of time to create a coherent visual show to the music so that's what we're doing now. But yeah, we'll take this album out on stages definitely.
MJ - SoT What is next for AtomA?
Kalantarpour -Even before Skylight was done and ready for launch, we were already preparing for next album. So that's where our minds are at. Entirely focused to create the world of AtomA through writing the coming albums.
MJ - SoT Thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for us. We at the Sea of Tranquility wish you and AtomA much success with the launch of "Skylight" and all that you do in the future. We will be watching your star rise. ;^)
Kalantarpour -Thank you for the interview. Bon Voyage
(Click here to read our review of Skylight)