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What do killer apes, scantily-clad female zombies and evil scientists all have in common? Well for starters they have all appeared in music videos for Berkley CA’s The Atom Age! You can check out the band this Saturday with our good friends JoJo Taterhead Revival at Gumby’s in Taylors for FREE. Also embedded in the interview you can see both of their music videos that are mentioned.
First off as an amateur video director myself I’ve always been a fan of the medium. With that being said I really dug your video for “Baby Says”. I’m always curious about how other directors pitch their treatments to bands etc. From what I can tell the story of the video is guerilla is abused by scientist, guerilla escapes and then kills scientist and then takes scientists’ girl. How was the treatment described to you guys and what was it like working on the video?
The “Baby Says” video was our idea so we had to make the director see our warped vision. Our buddy John Burke who is this crazy video dude who has worked for Troma directed the video so it was a perfect fit. I grew up with him, so it was pretty easy to make him see what we wanted to do. You pretty much have the plot, but rather than abusing the ape the scientist was hired by shadowy ring man to train the ape to kill, because killer apes are what its about. It was actually a crazy challenge and we filmed it in a movie theater after hours. It was a cool experience and it helped a lot to make our brand new video “Kill Surf City”
Where did the name come from? I feel you guys have a lot of B-movie sensibilities, was that borrowed from one?
The Atom Age name definitely came from all that 50s and B-Movie imagery. I’m crazy about the art/music/style from the 50s and early 60s. The imagery and crappy movies from period are so fun, and a lot of people don’t have a reference point for that stuff and just think we are really weird. We try to recreate the imagery and if we can recreate 1/10 of the greatness of the music than we could die happy men.
What is it like being on Asian Man? It’s a pretty historic label in the punk-rock community and I’ve always heard nothing but great things about Mike Park.
We’ll we are not officially on Asian Man but rumor has it our 2nd record may or may not be coming out on said label. I will say Mike Park has been incredibly supportive of us, and makes us feel like we are the only band on his label, while at the same time being part of an incredible community. The amount of experience Mike has is also invaluable and having that a phone call away is pretty amazing
I’ve heard you guys dressed as Juggalos at a concert and sprayed people with Faygo etc. would you play The Gathering of The Juggalos if asked? Why or why not?
We have indeed dressed as Juggalos and sprayed people with delicious Faygo on Halloween of 2010 in Atlanta. We ruined some dudes girlfriends white jacket. She was not down with the clown. We would absolutely play the Gathering and I pray to Elvis that we do. Why? Because its the best festival on the planet
What is it like being a punk-inspired rock band with a horn player? Do you feel people try to lump you in with 3rd wave ska bands or things of that nature?
It’s good and bad at the same time. It makes us stand out and that can work both ways in music today. I think the most important thing for people to really get it is to have a reference point for what we are doing. Some people in punk think if you have a horn/horns your ska but that couldn’t be further from the truth. When Rock ‘N’ Roll began tenor sax was much more prominent than guitar. We are heavily influenced by early R’N'R and 60s garage, and bands like Rocket From The Crypt which aren’t exactly the most popular stuff in the world right now, so I can see why some people, especially younger people like us don’t know that stuff. We do play with a lot of ska bands but we don’t mind and have had some of our best shows with them, the bands and their fans are usually super receptive and never call us Ska! When we play punk shows we get called Ska all the time. Remember punkers The Clash used horns all over London Calling….
What is the craziest show/event you guys have played thus far? Feel free to embellish for the readers.
We have played A LOT of insane shows. I’m gonna go with most recent: A few days ago we played this total shit show in Phoenix that was a last resort and the promoter didn’t even show up, neither did anyone else. So there was us and this metal band and while the metal band was playing they were pissed at the stage sound and just stop playing and ask the sound guy “Are you gonna be a bitch or fix the sound?” They were instantly kicked out of the venue. Hilarious.
I saw that Lou Pearlman is your manager, if you come back from tour with less than a million dollars how do you think he’ll react?
Well we never come back from a tour with less than a cold million, so he’s usually happy. I don’t even wanna think what will happen if we don’t. We’ve heard screams from his basement….
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