Next Stop Atlanta Interview

We caught up with Nik, Georgia, Rob and Blake from Preston pop punk rockers Next Stop Atlanta, just before their show in Cardiff, as part of the ‘Summer Lovin’ tour with The Afterparty.

So, hows the tour going so far?  Nik – The tours been going really well, It’s a fiveve date tour, this is date 4, really really happy with turnouts, they’ve been pretty successful and we’re selling lots of merch and getting to play a fair few new songs in the set.

How did the tour come about, have you played with The Afterparty before? Georgia – No we’ve never played with them before, they are really cool guys, really good band.

Nik – I contacted Nick the singer, and just sort of reached out and see if they wanted to come out and do a handful of dates, cos it had been a while for us, we just wanted to get back on the road really, to push the last single we released (Get In The Van from ‘The Things You Do Best’ EP) and just get a chance to play some new stuff.

Whats the best thing about touring? Georgia – Pancakes for breakfast!!

Nik – Meeting new people, not knowing what to expect…

Blake – Coming to new places, places you’d never go to again sometimes, but it’s good to get on the road and travel round the UK playing gigs.

Georgia – I like meeting fans, That’s really cool.

Ok, so whats the worst? Georgia – Breaking down! On the motorway!

(The band’s van broke down the day before and they waited 5 hours for a new one and still made it in time for the gig)

Rob, Nik, Blake – Vans!!

Rob – Just being in the van.

Blake – Lack of sleep, living out of a bag, I know it doesn’t sound that bad, but just sitting down for like 10 hours…

Georgia – Blake’s arse, thats the worst thing!

Blake – Yep!

Nik – After a few hours the smell just ferments!

Is this the first time you’ve played Wales? Nik – Not for me, no (Nik is Welsh) but Next Stop Atlanta played a festival in Mid Wales last summer, but this is our first headline date in Wales. Happy to be here, happy to be playing Cardiff.

Whats the bands songwriting process like?  Nik – It kinda starts with I’ll have an idea, at home or in the band practice room, I’ll loosely structure it and I’ll bring it to the guys and say this is what I’ve got so far lets work on it, develop it, if it’s not working fair enough. It generally stems from a hook that I’ll have, a lyrical idea or just even a chord progression and we’ll build on that collectively.

You’re recording your album later on this year, Excited?  Georgia – Really excited for it.

Tell us a bit about it?  Nik – We are gonna start demoing next month, first weekend of July, the majority of the album is written, but we are gonna write as much as we can just so we’ve got options.

Are you gonna use any material from your previous 2 EP’s?  Nik – No, it’s gonna be completely new, and we’ll play a couple of those this evening so you’ll get a taster of whats to come. We’ve been talking to a few producers and just basically sorting out logistics and finances really.

Are you going to record it all in one go?  Nik – The plan is to go in and over the space of a couple of weeks and just bang it out really, but if we do have to do it in stages, we’re fine with that.

What kind of release date are we looking at?  Nik – It all depends, obviously we wouldn’t want to stall on it but we wanna get the right backing really, do it properly, we wanna push it to a few people and see what we can do, hopefully before the end of the year, we’ll see what happens.

Do you all enjoy recording?  Nik – Absolutely yes.

Blake – Love it

Rob – Yes, I love recording.

Nik – At times the long days can be straining, particularly with Georgia’s vocals, because with us sometimes hand and eye coordination can go a bit, but with Georgia…

Georgia – When I’m tired, you can tell I’m tired, constantly pushing myself to be the best I can be but at the same time when you’re in the studio for 2 weeks straight it’s starts to take its toll, but I do enjoy it because the outcome’s always what we want…

Nik – That’s it, you have a vision of how the song is going to sound, if you reach it or beyond then it’s all completely worth it.

The music business is really tough at the moment, what would you say is the hardest part?  Rob – Getting people to gigs…

Nik – I think it’s a combination of a lot of things really, but there are so many bands that wanna get to certain levels and so many promoters starting out and not really learning the trade.

Rob – At the moment it’s like that the perception of doing well is more than doing well itself, so many times you see a band playing the same venue and you think ‘wow, they are playing that venue’ and you find out it was dead, but they have been seen to play that venue and thats almost the battle won.

Do you think it will get any better? Georgia – I think it’s gonna get harder, honestly.

Nik – There are certain platforms and avenues you can go down, like BBC Introducing for up and coming bands. There is that competition thing between bands and obviously from our point of view we have full time jobs so we cant tour as often as we would like and given the opportunity we’d like to push it and see what we can do but at the same time you’ve gotta know which promoters put the work in and will take a show and make a success of it with you…

Rob – It’s a catch 22, the cost of being in a band is quite expensive, renting a van, fuel, you cant really go out with £50 and gig anymore because it just doesn’t cover it, and then it’s harder to get people to the gigs and promoters don’t have the money to pay you, it’s a vicious circle. If you can cover costs, you’re doing well.

So, after the album, what’s gonna happen then? Nik – We’ll tour as much as we can, Obviously we have things in the pipeline and a few ideas, but ultimately just tour the album, promote it, maybe a music video, get some good PR behind us, if we can afford it. That’s what restricts a lot of bands, as Rob pointed out, it’s the catch 22, money.

You can read a review of the show here – Next Stop Atlanta, The Afterparty, Bridges, With Best Intentions – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff, 23/6/13 and you can check out the video for ‘Get In The Van’ below.

Massive thanks to Nik, Blake, Georgia and Rob for talking to us.

Photos kindly supplied by Tiegan Neary

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