Atropas is a metal band from Zürich, here we spoke with them about their present!
Hi! Tell me about Atropas. Why did you decide to name the band with such title? What kind of ideas do you explore?
Hi there, thanks for getting in touch with us! We decided on that name after a short while. We were brainstorming and I had the shittiest names, while our drummer at that time came up with Atropas. It’s short, it’s unique and people won’t necessarily know what kind of musical style it is. That, in turn, leads me to your second question! We like to explore all sorts of ideas. From political lyrics, to love, hate and any other emotion one might go through, we like to get in touch with it. We want to use this band to the best of our ability to express ourselves.
“Episodes of Solitude” album was released last year. Are you preparing new album now?
Yes, we are writing new songs! We’ve been writing for a while now, but we want to take our time. We have maybe 6 or 7 songs ready now, which is fairly good, in my opinion. We’ve already shared some of those songs with our label and they really, really love it, which is very encouraging and uplifting. But for now, our focus lies on getting our new EP out, which we recorded ourselves in May.
Tell me more about upcoming stuff. Maybe some little secret:) Is it planned to be the same genre borders?
As I briefly mentioned above, we are releasing our new EP called “From Ashes” in November. This is not a typical EP, as it still clocks in at around 35 minutes, so really, it’s a mini album haha. It will contain some very old tracks of ours that we think deserve a better sounding representation and soundscape, they were first released on our CD Azrael. We never stopped playing some of those songs live, even after we released Episodes of Solitude, so obviously, we are very proud of those tunes. So we re-recorded them, worked on the arrangements, added some harmonies here and there and had Johnny Mazzeo of Mathlab Recording Studios mix it as well as Chris Donaldson of The Grid (and guitarist of Cryptopsy)master it. We’re gonna share the first songs off of that soon!
Talking about secrets: The new music we are writing is coming out to be more vibey, and for the first time, someone else is contributing music on a regular basis, which is great. I’m a big fan of reverb and delay and I’ve been using those effects more extensively on the songs. It’s also a bit more proggy, in a sense. Not all of it, of course, but I am a big fan of prog metal and that creeps in from time to time. I wrote the longest song yet for us at just under ten minutes! So, there you go, some new info!
Where do you take all inspiration from?
Anything can be inspirational. New music, new genres, books, movies, series, what you go through everyday, everything can be that spark that lights an idea for a new song. During summer, I can barely write new music, I find. So it seems that dark and cold weather helps me with that, I seem to spend more time at home and write more as a consequence. Also, our new guitarist Dave sends me riffs from time to time and when one of those riffs hits the spot, I’ll write a new song just based off of that riff. It happened a bunch of times already for the new stuff!
How do you like cooperation with Wormholedeath / Aural Music? Do they really make your music available wide and wide through all possible stores etc?
I love working with Carlo. He’s honest, direct and most of all, really stands behind what we do. Him and Nat both take pleasure in supporting the bands on the WHD roster, and that is worth so much, man. Working with people that get our music, our visions and concept is our top priority. We don’t want to work with anyone that feels like it’s a chore or only does it for the cold hard cash. We want people on our team that like our music and us as human beings. We didn’t always have that support before, so this feels right.
And yes, they do make it available. You can get our music at any online store you want, most of those I don’t even know myself.
In your opinion, what is the best way to define Atropas’s sound?
I’m not sure if I’m the best person to do that, but most people would probably put us somewhere in between melodic metal, metalcore, melodic death metal and some other genres here and there. Once people know about our influences, it makes more sense, I think.
What are your main musical influences? How huge is their influence in your sound?
We listen to so many different bands and all of them play a part in our music. We are all big fans of Metallica, Slayer, Pantera and all those great bands. Our more contemporary influences are right now bands like Gojira, Trivium, Machine Head, Killswitch Engage, Periphery, Tesseract, Northlane, Sylosis, August Burns Red, Avenged Sevenfold, Lamb of God, Parkway Drive, Protest the Hero, Slipknot… I could go on and on and on, you get the point, I think haha. And those are just the metal bands that influence us, that’s leaving out all of those great rock bands we all love.
Is there some well-known musician in particular that you would like to use in one of your upcoming albums?
As in, have someone do a guest appearance? I’m not so sure, we’re quite happy doing everything ourselves, if we can do it. If it was someone on an instrument that we don’t have in our band or no one can play out of the four of us, that’s a different story. But for that, I don’t have an immediate answer. For the next record, we do want it to have all real instruments. Real pianos, real strings, real everything, so we will probably end up having some guest musicians on album 3. We’ll see what time brings!
What is your personal strategy for making your music heard by a larger audience?
There’s only the one strategy, man: Gigs, gigs, gigs. Of course, the internet helps tremendously and I’m not discrediting that, but who isn’t on the internet nowadays? So how can you distinguish yourself as a band? You play your heart out at every show with every band, 110% every damn time. And it’s working more and more in our favour. The biggest Swiss metal band of all time, Eluveitie, invited us to play shows with them twice already, and their audience loved us both times. Those were larger audiences both times, so that’s all there is to it. Play shows all the time, tour, and of course, release good music haha. We try our best!
Do you have any other hobby beside music?
We all do! Kevin, our bassist, is big on sports, hiking and he’s probably more of a gear nut than I. He told me a while back that he might start programming, so I guess that’s a love of his.
Sandro, our drummer, loves cooking, he enjoys video games a lot (which I have in common with him) as well as taking care of his two reptiles. I always forget what they are, not sure if they’re geckos or some other weird green animal. Also, he loves coffee. A lot. Maybe too much? One time, I hid his coffee in the morning and that didn’t end well, pissed him off to no end haha.
Dave is a pretty skilled skateboarder, he travels around quite a bit and enjoys all sorts of outdoorsy shit. He just came back from a short trip, surfing on the west coast of Spain and I think France? Also, he’s a big fan of coffee, too. Not sure if he’s more into it than Sandro, but he even has a tattoo of a coffee mug. Sandro and him sometimes talk about it like the little snobs that they are. I love them, nonetheless haha.
Me, personally, I’ve taken photography up lately, something like a year ago. It’s just a different creative outlet. Also, I’m getting very serious about music production, I’m starting to build up my own recording studio. Recording and mixing are a lot of fun for me, it’s a super creative job and I can’t wait to get started. Also, like I mentioned, I recently got back into video games. I’m enjoying The Witcher 3 a lot, such a great game, man!
Are you all supported by your relatives towards your devotion to music?
Yeah, we are, thankfully. They always were and hopefully always will be. They don’t always understand our music, but they don’t judge us for it. My mother still makes fun of my screaming, but she supports us nonetheless.
How’s the metal scene in Zurich right now? Is it easy to play gigs, to buy records etc. there these days?
Zurich and Switzerland as a whole has some absolutely great bands, thankfully. It’s getting easier for us to play with actual metal bands now, as opposed to the many, many hardcore heavy bands out and about in our scene. Playing with them is not a bad thing, but to be honest, it’s just much, much easier to play in front of an audience that really wants to hear your music and not just wait until you’re done playing your metal. I don’t blame the audience one bit, I get it, which is why it’s cool to finally be able to play with metal bands instead. We are working on another Swiss tour with some other Swiss metal bands, so we can’t wait to get that out there soon! Playing gigs is getting easier for everyone, I think. Biggest reason for that is the appearance of some serious bookers, which is great for us bands. I’ve tried getting into the whole booking thing, but I hated it. I’ll stick with the musical side of things. And buying records is as easy here as anywhere in the world, we got the internet after all!
Thank you for answering my questions, see ya on the road!
Thanks so much for the cool questions! Cheers!