INTERVIEW: Atomic Walrus – Rock the Beach LA Contestant Spotlight

           As you may know, LA Weekly and LiveList have partnered to give bands across the country a once in a lifetime opportunity to play in front of thousands of people on the beach in LA at the Hermosa Beach Summer Concerts this August. We had the chance to sit down with Los Angeles based act, Atomic Walrus, to chat about their band, live streaming, and what they would do if they played in front of 10,000 people on the beach.


LiveList: So, you’re entering Rock The Beach LA, what would performing in front of 10,000 people on the beach in your hometown mean to you?

Atomic Walrus: Playing the Hermosa Summer Concert Series would definitely mean a great deal to us, and would bring a lot of things full circle. At least for Joe and I, growing up in the South Bay exposed us to many of the influences that have helped shape Atomic Walrus. Whether it be listening to punk, going to shows, or making ridiculous free-styles with our high school friends at lunch, these experiences, at least in part, lead us to want to form Atomic Walrus.

Having said that, it would be amazing to be able to give back to the community fostered our growth as people and as artists and put on an epic show for our closest friends and family. And of course, to rub our success in the face of all those girls who rejected us in high school.

LiveList: What’s the story behind the name “Atomic Walrus?”

Atomic Walrus: Ahh, yes. Atomic Walrus… That’s a great question. A really great question. Thank you for the question.


LiveList: Have you guys delved much into the realm of live streaming? Whether it be on facebook, periscope, or concerts and shows?

Atomic Walrus: To be honest, no matter how hard we try to stay on the cutting edge of technology and the unique marketing opportunities that come along with it, it seems to always be like 50 steps ahead of us. Although, last month we created an Atomic Walrus geo-filter on Snapchat, which is pretty edgy if I do say so myself, so we’re not completely clueless. We’re definitely interested in all new ways to express ourselves and share our music, so were ready to delve deep into the unknown abyss that is live streaming.

LiveList: Where do you see live streaming taking the music industry in the next five years?

Atomic Walrus: Hopefully it plays into the ever-expanding interest in live performances that’s been characteristic of our generation, and encourages people to attend more shows. This is huge for bands, because as many know, most bands make very little to no money from record sales (due to record labels, streaming services, piracy, etc). What keeps bands going is the money we make from performances, so hopefully live streaming is a catalyst for a huge growth in show attendance.

And while we don’t think live streaming could ever replace a raw live performance, live streaming could be like a taste-tester for a live show. For example, if you stream an Atomic Walrus show, you’ll soon see that if you attend there’s a very good chance that you’ll get body-slammed by Guy Fieri (who religiously attends our shows) in the mosh pit. That way, you’ll know not to bring your Aunt Susie who’s visiting from Long Island to the show (unless of course she’s into that shit, and we can assure you that many older woman ARE).

LiveList: Any plans to record soon? 

Atomic Walrus: Yes! We are currently in the process of self-recording/producing our second EP which is going to be called “Inappropriate Funeral Music.” We plan on releasing the EP as a series of singles, the first of which will be released in the next month or so.

The EP is going to be pretty eclectic and unlike any of the music we’ve released thus far, so we are really stoked to share it.

LiveList: Out of the songs you have released, which one is your favorite to play live?

Atomic Walrus: I can’t speak for the rest of the band, but personally my favorite song to perform of the songs we’ve released in “In This Economy??”. We lead into the song with a jam that our lead singer Joe freestyles over. He gets topics from the audience (usually 3) and with each new topic, we layer in a new instrument and eventually go into the song.

The song has good dynamics, interesting transitions, a brief time signature change, and (personal favorite) a fat outro guitar solo that we extend live.

LiveList: What are your plans as a band over the next year?

Atomic Walrus: This next year is going to be a zinger for The Walrus. As I said, we are going to be releasing our next EP, which will call for another tour, and a few music videos to go along with it.

Aside from that, we will be looking to play out as much as possible, playing bigger and doper shows, and to push ourselves to put on the best live performances that we can. We want to make our shows unique and powerful so that they resonate with the audience and keep them coming back for more.

Furthermore, call us crazy, but we also have plans to hop back in the studio and release yet another EP. We met this young producer Nick Williams out in Riverside on our California tour last August, and have been dying to get in the studio with him and write and record some dope stuff. He comes from an RnB/Neo-Soul background, and in collaborating with him we can redefine our sound and take things in a new, very cool direction.

LiveList: To all of the users out there discovering live concerts: what would you like them to know about Atomic Walrus?

Atomic Walrus: Whether you see our show in person or through a streaming service, it will be immediately apparent that we BRING IT every single performance. And the energy you see from us on stage is matched by our work ethic off of it. We’ve accomplished a good deal in our (less than) 3 years of existence because we’ve made huge sacrifices and put everything into this band. With the support of our current and future fans, we’re taking this thing to the top.

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