Lower Than Atlantis have been a major part of the rock music scene since 2007, and with their latest release of the album Safe in Sound last February being their biggest yet they are taking over with their clean cut yet still grunge-rock sound. After touring the UK following the release of the album last year they are not far away from the beginning of a smaller more intimate tour. The band have had their ups and downs over the past 11 years but are still making the world head-bang, sing their hearts out and dance a long to their unique but instantly recognisable sound.
I caught up with the bassist of the band, Dec Hart and chatted about everything from his favourite bands to his least favourite venues.
You have had a great year with the release of the latest album Safe in Sound last February, how has this past year been for you?
Yeah wicked, I mean we started off the kind of album campaign doing our biggest headlining tour we’ve ever done, we ended on Brixton Academy which was crazy for all of us, we played a few festivals and we went out with bands like Enter Shikari and then yeah it’s now 2018 and it’s nearly been a year since Safe in Sound came out which is mental.
Since the release of the album you have toured the UK and are going on tour again in the next couple of months playing some more intimate venues, would you say that you prefer the bigger shows or the smaller more intimate shows?
Well we haven’t really done many small headline shows for a while, it’s going to be sick to get back to playing a few of the smaller venues since we haven’t done it for around 4 or 5 years, the most exciting thing, for me anyway, is this is going to be the first time on any headline tour we have played music from all of our records, we’ve got a lot of songs to throw in there.
What would you say the best venue you have ever played is?
I’m probably going to say Brixton Academy, it’s more than just the best venue it’s like the pinnacle of our career so far really
And what about the worst venue you have ever played?
Oh there’s too many to name, I remember, I think it was in Bury St Edmunds, it was a sick show, this was 8 years ago or something, it was in some kind of town hall or something and on the roof they had those sort of square polystyrene type blocks, sort of cheap roofing and kids just started ripping it all up and the venue was a complete mess and they tried to get us to pay for it and we were like we ‘we didn’t do it’ it was probably the worse venue as in the state it was in by the end. It was the weirdest venue like someone could have a wedding reception there. I think someone just payed to book it out to put a band on.
What is your favourite track from Safe in Sound to play live? and why?
I think probably ‘Had Enough’ just because it’s one of my favourite lyrics, ‘I hate everyone that I meet’ it’s just a sick way to open a record it’s not what people would expect which is why I like it.
It’s relatable content as well!
Yeah exactly it’s like I think people are a little bit scared to like not be ‘it’s all sunshine and rainbows’ I think it’s cool, that’s what the bands all about it’s cool to not be what it’s supposed to be and our music is kind of a release.
What are your favourite and least favourite things about going on tour?
My favourite thing is that we get to play music as a job and get paid for it and travel the world, like who would not want to do that. The only bad thing is being away from home, not being with your mates, being away from my dog who is currently scratching where his treats are because he knows he wants one, sit down (to the dog), sorry, but anyway I think little things like that you miss on tour because it becomes sort of like Groundhog Day after a while but I wouldn’t change it because the things I have seen are more than the things people have seen in their entire lifetime so I’m grateful for that.
When you’re on tour do you like to party or just chill out?
Way more chilled these days, back in the day we partied all the time and I like a party every so often but you’ve got to look after yourself, I want to be doing this until I’m old so if you don’t look after yourself, I can’t be doing this when I’m old if I can’t hold my guitar.
With the success of the self-titled album in 2014, did you feel a lot of pressure to make this album just as successful if not more?
Yeah I think it was the pressure we put on ourselves like how do we better that, with the self-titled record we were kind of just done because we were potentially going to break up before that record and we just thought let’s give it one more shot and it was more successful than anything we have done before so we thought oh okay I guess we just do whatever we want and that’s what works and I think that’s why people like us because we are not trying to do what people expect of us. Say what you think and do what makes you happy basically, that’s kind of the message of our band.
Lower Than Atlantis have been around since 2007 and you joined the band in 2010, how are things different now to when you first started out?
Well for one thing when we started out we had no money whatsoever, just driving around cheapest vans you have ever seen and it was actually pretty cool. Anything you want to do in life it’s going to take a long time to get there, I wouldn’t change anything, if we didn’t make any mistakes we wouldn’t be here today, the silly things that we did that probably weren’t the right moves to make.
You were obviously young when you joined the band, what advice would you have for young aspiring rockstars looking to make it big in the industry?
People ask me that kind of thing a lot, asking if they should go to music uni and stuff, I don’t think it’s a question that people should ask I think you should just do what you think is right for you, if that’s what’s going to make you happy then do that but if something else is going to make you happy then do that, the most important thing is to work hard at what you’re doing and just keep working and don’t listen to what other people are going to say because once you say you want to be a musician people will say you should get a proper job until the day you die so that’s the one thing you have to throw out the window, just keep your head down and do what you’ve got to do, there’s no right or wrong way and don’t let anyone tell you that.
So did you want to do music from a young age then?
I actually just found a really funny picture from when I was a kid I must have been about 3 or something dressed up in whatever clothes I could find like my stage gear and I had this plastic guitar with no strings on it, I don’t remember that but I found a picture so I guess I have wanted to do it since a young age.
How do you think the music industry and rock music as a genre has changed since you started in the music industry?
Massively, I think it came out that now hip-hop is worldwide the most popular genre, it was always rock-pop was the biggest but now its hip-hop. Music is always changing and I think that’s one of the most exciting things about being in a band, you always have to adapt to change. In 2018 I could go and record a song after this conversation and get someone to mix it and it could be online by tomorrow. But maybe 8 years ago that wasn’t so easy. Technology completely revolutionised the way music is created and sold. One thing that is cool is everyone was angry about downloads 10 years ago but now it’s not as much as it would be if people buy the album but you do get paid from Spotify plays and stuff. Also people can’t really download music anymore you have use Spotify or YouTube which I think is cool because the music doesn’t leak. So I guess that’s how its changed, definitely for the better.
Are there any newer bands that are around now that you really enjoy listening to? anyone you think we should be looking out for?
Well on our tour next year, one half we are taking out one band and one half is another band, one band is called Milk Teeth and they kind of sound like Hole and I think Decendents, it’s weird but cool. The other band we are taking out is Boston Manor I believe, I haven’t checked them out properly yet, listened to a few tracks. I think it’s a good match, they don’t sound a lot like our newer stuff but are definitely similar to our older stuff.
Catch Lower Than Atlantis on their upcoming UK tour:
Mon 02 Lincoln Engine Shed
Tue 03 Cambridge Junction
Wed 04 Leamington Spa Assembly
Fri 06 Swansea Sin City
Sat 07 Pontypridd Muni Arts Centre
Sun 08 Gloucester Guildhall
Mon 09 Bath Komedia
Wed 11 Exeter Lemon Grove
Thu 12 Southampton Engine Rooms
Fri 13 Watford Colosseum
Sat 14 Southend Chinnery's
Sun 15 Brighton Concorde 2
Thu 03 Oxford Academy
Fri 04 Reading Sub 89
Sat 05 Wrexham Central Station
Mon 07 Liverpool Hangar 34
Tue 08 Aberdeen Lemon Tree
Wed 09 Edinburgh Liquid Rooms
Fri 11 Middlesbrough Empire
Sat 12 Hull Welly
Sun 13 York Fibbers
Mon 14 Sheffield Plug