Musuk does 10 Questions With Mick Armstrong from Atma Weapon!

Here we have our 10 Questions With the amazing Atma Weapon, all of these questions are answered by vocalist/rhythm guitarist Mick Armstrong. This is our 6th installment and we are grateful to Atma Weapon for giving us this opportunity. Be sure to check out their links below!
Q1. Where did you all meet and how did you form the band “Atma Weapon”?
Bassist Billy Guynn and I (Mick Armstrong) had known each other for about 10 years prior to joining the band. Guitarist Cameron Johnson, Drummer Brandon Allen and Billy had already had the first album “Dark Tower” recorded and were a month away from the date that the album was due to be mixed and mastered when they decided to part ways with their vocalist at the time. Billy contacted me and asked if I might be interested in tracking vocals for the album. I told them that I would be more than happy to…So, I ended up rewriting all of the lyrics and tracked vocals within a two-week period. It was very stressful, but we all seemed to mesh very well musically, so I joined the band full-time and now Atma Weapon has become my main passion in life.
Q2. Where did you get the band name from?
Atma Weapon came from a character in the Final Fantasy video games, I think. I believe it is one of Cameron’s favorites. I personally do not care much for them or know a lot about them. I will wear some wii bowling out though, for sure. 😉
Q3. Where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
Cameron does most of the writing, musically. He has a very unique sound and method to his riffs and chord arrangements…He’ll demo a few guitar riffs or an entire song idea and email the rest of us….I’ll put on some headphones and just get lost in the music and see where it ends up. Sometimes after I’ve written lyrics, and demoed vocals I’ll sit back and think “whoah! That’s insane!” I have no clue where that came from and I think that’s just amazing. I love for the listeners to dig into the music/lyrics and kind of “find their own meaning” to the songs. Same goes for Billy, Brandon or myself…We’ll have an idea, demo it and email it to each other and duke it out until we all agree or give in. 😉
Q4. What bands influence your genre of music?
All of us have very different tastes in music and who/what inspires us. I personally have always been inspired by Slash/Guns-N-Roses, Dimebag Darrell/Pantera, Creedance Clearwater Revival, Johnny Cash, Green Day, Rancid, etc. I even find myself rocking out to some Jessie J every now and then. I know the other guys seem to be pretty big fans of Opeth, Porcupine Tree, etc.
Q5. If you could play with any band/artist, past or present, who would it be and why?
Slash, Dimebag Darrell and Opeth, but in reality, we would just love to play with any/all artists. It’s always great getting to meet other artists and sharing the stage.
Q6. Where is the best show you have played?
My personal favorite was my third show with Atma Weapon, at a place called “The Flat Iron” in Greensboro, NC. Small, friendly pub with a great atmosphere. Was a very small stage, but the crowd was great, the other bands were super friendly and the staff were very humble. It’s no longer open, which I really hate.
Q7. What tips and hints would you give to other bands who are just starting out?
We’re just starting out as well, but I would say: “If you’re passionate about what you’re doing and the music you’re writing, then eat, sleep and bleed your music. Reach out to as many people that you can and build those new relationships. Learn to do as much for your band as you can, like recording, graphic design, printing your own shirts, etc….it’s cheaper, you don’t have to depend on others and you can really feel good about the work you put into it.”
Q8. Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK that we could attend?
We do not, but would absolutely love to tour outside of the U.S. soon. We just don’t have the backing financially to make it happen at the moment.
Q9. How does being in a band and touring affect your personal life i.e, Children, relationships etc?
Being in a band affects all of the above. Cameron and myself do not have children(and aren’t planning too at the moment), but Billy and Brandon both do have children. It is more taxing on them to balance their schedules, but they make it happen. As far as relationships go, I know it takes a lot of understanding and patience for a significant other to be with a full-time musician. It takes a level of selfishness for us as musicians. There’s always a show, another song to write/record, etc. But at the end of the day, if they believe in you and know what they’re getting into beforehand, then it shouldn’t be a big issue. I think it makes it easier of you can make your “other half” feel like they’re a part of your world, instead of “they’re one side of your life and your music is another.” If they’re into a tv show or something and you’re right next to them practicing your 10 minute long solo section over and over, they’ll be ready to keep it separate for a little while though, I’m sure. haha.
Q10. Last question… Is there anything you want to tell your fans at Musuk?
Thank you all so, so, SO much for taking the time to listen to our music, for reaching out to us and just saying “hello”, or passing our name and songs along. You guys mean the world to us and words could not express just how much! Cheers!
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