Maps & Atlases “We don’t have any grand hopes. Just to keep playing”
aaamusic | On 26, Jan 2011
2010 was a busy year for Maps & Atlases so AAAMusic thought they should catch up with the band before what will undoubtedly be another one!
AAAMusic: Hiya Guys, How are you?
Maps & Atlases: Doing well. We fly to UK today. We are really excited.
AAAMusic: How did 2010 measure up for the band?
M&A: 2010 was great. The busiest year we have ever had. We released our first full length record and have been touring nonstop. And also went to the wizarding world of Harry Potter at Universal Studios.
AAAMusic: You have been together since 2004 so what do you think makes the band such a solid unit?
M&A: Well we spent a long time just playing together. We were all full time students for the first couple years and so the band was more of a recreational hobby, just playing together when we could. We learned how to understand each other musically, which helped when the band became a full time thing.
AAAMusic: What music has influenced your songwriting?
M&A: Our influences are kind of all over the place, from David Bowie to Otis Redding. I think a few artists who have guided us from the beginning are the Talking Heads and Deerhoof. But we have also always appreciated artists like Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and a lot of the motown stuff.
AAAMusic: You guys are labelled as ‘math rock’; How would you describe your sound and the way that it has changed over time?
M&A: This is always a tough one. I feel like bands/artists often have a difficult time categorizing themselves. We get called “Math Rock” a lot but I don’t know if we really consider ourselves that. We have always sort of considered ourselves a pop group. So if we had to come up with some sort of label it would be something like “progressive pop”
AAAMusic: How did the process of recording a full length compare to recording a shorter work?
M&A: Making the EP’s was more of a documentation process. We had the songs finished and had been playing them live for a little while. So when we went into the studio we just sort of played them as is and documented it. Perch Patchwork was much more of a constructing and deconstructing process. We had the skeletons of the songs and in the recording process we built them up and broke them down. A lot of the writing took place in the studio.
AAAMusic: You have supported a lot of awesome groups on tour; do you think any of these bands have had an influence on the way that you work now?
M&A: I think they have influenced us in crafting our live shows. We have sort of always considered ourselves a “live” band and so it’s been great sharing the stage with bands like Frightened Rabbit who put on a flooring live show or Wild Beasts who have so much texture in their performances. It’s been really inspiring playing with such great artists.
AAAMusic: You have a pretty packed tour schedule at the minute; is touring something that you enjoy?
M&A: Touring is both a really great time and extremely exhausting. You get to travel to all these great places but we are so busy that its always a challenge to see anything other than a dirty rock club. You have to make time to get out and see the places you go to or else you might lose your mind.
AAAMusic: What can fans expect from a Maps & Atlases show that they won’t hear on one of your records?
M&A: The live show is a little more stripped down and a little more Rock & Roll.
AAAMusic: Any plans for a new release anytime soon?
M&A: Nothing definite but I’m sure we will start working on a new record pretty soon.
AAAMusic: What are you hopes for 2011?
M&A: We don’t have any grand hopes. Just to keep playing music for people
Author: Josie Payne