Up and Atom. Sound familiar? TV fanatics love it, but music lovers take note. It’s not just a fun saying, it’s also a pop punk band from down under who in the past year have dropped a demo, played some gigs and aren’t even close to being done. Yes, they have a lovely lady on board, but let’s not just shove them in that category too fast. We’re too quick to throw all female fronted bands in the “Paramore” bunch because well, we’re lazy. But we must learn to treat bands as individuals, give each a chance to shine and make their own impression.
Up and Atom have a harder sound than Paramore and a lot of other pop rock bands out there which gives them their own niche in the game. So with them being a world away, we turned to the 21st century Pony Express to see what’s going down with Up and Atom; bogans, Metallica and of course koalas.
Kendra: How did you all end up with a whole band with “M” names and then one with “Em?”
Marcus: I’m only friends with people who start with M. Em’s just lucky her name sounds like that.
Matt: We only realized that we all had Em and M’s when we were writing out our names on the MySpace page.
Kendra: I take it by your bands name; you all are a bunch of science aficionados?
Marcus: I’m addicted to Stargate. Stargate rules.
Matt: It’s a Simpson’s reference. Radioactive Man’s catchphrase!
Kendra: Science fans or not, if we were to look you guys up in a dictionary, what would the definition be?
Emily: Hungry. For a cuzza! (That’s our band’s slang for curry).
Kendra: As an American, I really only know as much as I do about other cultures because of pop culture. So other than Crocodile Hunters, koalas and kangaroos, what it something that I should know about the Aussie culture that TV probably never teaches?
Marcus: To an extent, popular culture does describe what goes on here a bit. We’re all pretty laid back.
Matt: We obviously don’t have koalas or kangaroos for pets. They don’t roam around in the streets!
Emily: We do have Bogans roaming the streets.
Marcus: Bogans are kind of an Australian equivalent of rednecks.
Kendra: Have you guys ever gotten a chance to bring your music to the US and play?
Matt: We only started playing shows this year so we’re not quite at the stage where we’re able to head over to the States. But we’d love to get over there at some point!
Kendra: If not, where’s the one place in the US you guys are dying to play?
Marcus: I wanna go to Boston. There’s a lot of great bands there and I hear the shows are awesome.
Matt: I’d love to get a spot on Warped Tour one day. That would be amazing.
Kendra: Being a female fronted band from down under, have you gotten a lot of comparison to Tonight Alive?
Emily: I like Tonight Alive! They’re really catchy and they’re great at what they do but I’d like to think that we have a different sound to them.
Marcus: People have mentioned Tonight Alive, but not in a bad way. I think people tend to think that because we have a female vocalist, that our sound would be more pop-influenced and therefore sound more like Tonight Alive. We draw a lot of our influences from hardcore/punk; we try to create a heavier and faster sound.
Kendra: Staying on the female thing for a second…I’ve noticed there seems to be a sort of double standard in the pop punk world when it comes to guys and gals. The guys can be these burly ass men, while all the females are really pretty…sometimes too pretty. What I’m saying is, do you think we’ll ever see the female equivalent to a band like, let’s say, New Found Glory?
Matt: I do think that one day there’ll be a lady-fronted pop punk band like NFG. Maybe they don’t even exist yet. There’s so many awesome bands popping up in Australia and all over the world right now, and a heap of them have female vocalists. There’s bound to be one that has the right sound to break out and reach that level.
Kendra: I mentioned Tonight Alive and New Found, both awesome bands, but do you have any who stick out as your main influence? The reason you got into music?
Matt: Metallica! I grew up learning Metallica songs on guitar. I finally saw them when they came over last year and they were incredible!
Marcus: My grandma bought me the Offspring “Americana” album when I was in fourth grade and I used to listen to it every night before I went to bed. All I wanted to do was play guitar.
Emily: I listened to a lot of punk hardcore and pop punk growing up but NFG has always been my favourite.
Kendra: I downloaded your demo, thanks for the link by the way, and I was wondering…if you had to describe your demo in four words that begin with an “M” and one that begins with an “E” what words would they be?
Up and Atom: Making Mums mosh every Monday.
Kendra: Moving on, how’s the rest of 2011 looking of you guys? Touring? Recording more?
Matt: We’re trying to organize some interstate shows at the moment. We want to go to Brisbane, Queensland around August. We’re also thinking about going to Malaysia for a couple of weeks at the end of the year to play a few shows. As far as recording goes, we’re going to see how far this demo takes us and if we’ve got enough new material we may look at doing an EP. We’ll see how it all goes, I guess.
Kendra: Now that I mentioned touring, it seems a pretty good time to ask, who has been your favorite band to share the stage with?
Emily: We started playing shows this year, so we’ve only played with local bands so far.
Matt: We really enjoyed our first show playing with an awesome local band called First Base, nice guys who’ve been around for a while!
Kendra: And who do you wish to one day tour with?
Matt: Four Year Strong! If we could support them for a tour I would die happy.
Marcus: Set Your Goals would be fun!
Kendra: Lastly, it’d be a great pleasure for you to give me five songs that would be found on a mixtape that’d represent Australia…