Wicked Wednesday Presents: An Interview with After The Calm

Kim Rogers: Share a personal statement about ATC your music, your band and how you view where you are in this industry.

ATC - “We are a band from Phoenix, AZ and we play the music we would want to hear on the radio. Our music isn’t defined by a single sub-genre of rock. If you like the heavy we have something for you and if you like melodic we have that as well. Industry-wise we are at a great place locally and it’s time we expand our reach outside our home state.”

Kim Rogers: You have focused mainly this year on releasing singles, any prospects for an EP?

Henry Cota- “Never say never. If we have the resources for another E.P., we have enough songs for another.

David Nunez - “It all depends what the results look like after we review the numbers. The music industry constantly changes and we tried the single approach to see if this is really the way to go.”

Jonathan Habermacher - “I would like to do an EP again but singles seem to be the future of music.”

Logan Miracle - “ I feel when the time is right, we’ll decide on either an EP or a Full Length.

Kody Rattler - “Not at this time, though we will always seek to write more music.”

KR: Where does "Stuck On Repeat" fit in this year in how you had decided to release each single?

Henry Cota- “We put out 3 singles, 1 heavy, 1 melodic and Stuck on Repeat. SOR is the closest to our original sound and we wanted it to be the last single.”

David Nunez - “I think we released “Captive” first because we wanted to make a statement. People had it in their mind we only play pop-punk. It cemented that we can also play heavy and do it well. “Porcelain” was our 180° flip and showed the melodic side. Then finally we released “Stuck On Repeat” and assured our fans we didn’t forget our roots and that we are still the fun Punk Rock dudes you always knew.”

Logan Miracle - “We wanted three completely different songs by three different producers. I feel Stuck On Repeat is a familiar sound to longtime fans.”

Jonathan Habermacher - “We chose these three songs from a bunch of others that we wrote because we thought they were the best. We then chose which song we thought came out the best from the studio and recorded a music video and released that last. Stuck On Repeat is the one we thought deserved a music video and would be the best out of all 3.”

Kody Rattler - “Stuck on Repeat was the second song we recorded this summer, and the third to be released. We felt this was the best of the three to include a music video.”

KR: How long have you all been playing together and what was it that brought you together?

Henry Cota- “Memorial day 2014 3 members of the current line-up met up on the recommendation of a friend to have a jam session and eat some burgers. After the initial meet up the idea to create original songs as a band came about, almost 4 years we are here now.”

David Nunez - “So the first jam session was on Memorial Day 2014 but it’s because of Discover Card we all met. My roommate worked there and suggested I jam with some of his friends from Discover. I brought Hanky (Henry) along and that’s how it all truly began.”

Jonathan Habermacher - “It has been about 3 or 4 years now. Discover card is where Kody and our original guitarist met. I knew Kody and David/Henry knew the original guitarist. After a while of practicing, we found Logan on Craigslist.”

Logan Miracle - “They found me on craigslist and they have let me stay around this long. Almost 4 years and I’m happy with where we are.”

Kody Rattler - “It’s been four years since we began, been playing the Phoenix valley for about three of those years.”

KR: After The Calm really comes across in reading about you all that you are family first. How does that dynamic play out?

Henry Cota- “Family is very important to all of us, the band itself is like a family. Our families are a support system for each of us. We might have to adjust an event to accommodate an anniversary or birthday here and there, we all understand.”

David Nunez - “In order to be happy, we all know it takes work/life balance. Even though we have fun playing music it’s work. But just like any job, family should always come first and it’s just something we all understand.”

Logan Miracle - “Family and Friends are the most important things to this band besides our fans.”

Jonathan Habermacher - “Making a career out of music is very important to all of us but we all believe that family will come before anything else in life. We wouldn’t be here without support from our friends and family so they make this possible, along with all our fans.”

Kody Rattler - “We heavily rely on the support of our families and friends. They are everything to us.”

KR: How do each of you feel about your style and direction of music?

Henry Cota- “Our style/sound has a mind of its own. What we create is more than just a post-hardcore sound or a metal sound. Because we have no restrictions it allows listeners outside of our genre to give us a listen.”

David Nunez - “I personally love it. We write how we feel and there is no real box. I like to experiment a lot and if something clicks with everyone we’ll use it. This gives me true freedom to try whatever is in my head without feeling chained to one sound.”

Logan Miracle - “I used to think I knew what we were. And now I don't know what we are, but I'm excited about where we’re headed. We write what we feel and like at that moment. ATC will always be an in the moment band.”

Jonathan Habermacher - “It is very unique because everyone has such different taste in music so we end up making completely different songs. I think these last three releases really show how versatile we are. Our direction os music will always change and so far everytime it has moved in a better direction. I feel our songwriting abilities have been getting better with time.”

Kody Rattler - “I think there’s still a lot of room for growth. Our more recent songs have been heading in the right direction.”

KR: What is the current music scene like where you are?

Henry Cota- “Compared to years ago, the scene has really come together. In the past, it was the wild west, everyone out for themselves. Currently, there are so many talented bands and we all network in some capacity makes playing gigs really enjoyable.”

Logan Miracle - “I’m very lucky for all the contacts I’ve made in this scene. And I cherish the fact that a lot of those connections have turned into friendships.”

David Nunez - “It’s expanding at an exponential rate. The amount of music venues has doubled. People are going to shows and the talent here in AZ is so good.”

Jonathan Habermacher - “I really enjoy it! I think the scene has been getting better about supporting each other instead of just looking out for yourself.”

Kody Rattler - “I’ve met a lot of people who support one another, so it’s as much as I could ask for.”

KR: What do your friends think about your music, how is their support apart of what keeps you all going?

Henry Cota- “Not everyone is a fan of our music, different taste, but everyone is supportive. Either by sharing post or going to shows, couldn't  be happier.”

David Nunez - “Some love it, and some not so much lol. In the end, we get support so it’s all good. I always feel grateful for the friends that tell us we inspire them to chase their dreams.”

Logan Miracle - “My friends support me in anything I do. But they also aren’t “Yes Men”. My closest friends are straight up with me when it comes to our music. Which I enjoy, support with honesty.”

Jonathan Habermacher - “Some friends really enjoy it and others have different taste in music but most of my friends support us and I couldn’t ask for more.”

Kody Rattler - “My friends are honest with me, which is critical to your growth as an artist. I get an outsider’s perspective from those close to me.”

KR: Who in the band has that technique side musically and how do you all use it to benefit ATC?

Henry Cota- “That's tough to answer because we all bring unique elements to the table. Different musical backgrounds also. I have some schooling in music theory and I believe one or 2 others also do.”

David Nunez - “We all contribute but none of have been professionally trained. Some of us have taken some classes in high school but nothing intense. I consider all of us soul musicians. We play from the heart and by what sounds good to our ears.”

Jonathan Habermacher - “We don’t really write technical songs. We all just go off of vibes and how the song feels and sounds to us. I don’t think anyone in the band has been trained but just put a lot of time into learning their instrument.”

Logan Miracle - “ We all come from different musical backgrounds, so I think it makes our creative process a bit more diverse.”

Kody Rattler - “Aside from playing instruments, I know a good amount about the recording process. It’s helped in times that we need to prep for the studio, resulting in smoother sessions. I’ve built the click tracks to our songs and made sure to have notes ready for the studio producer.”

KR: Looking back over your video, they all seem to fit you. Who do you work with anyone videographer in particular and if so why?

Henry Cota- “Jacob Reynolds is the director we worked with for the latest video and our previous for Bragging Rights. He understands our music and gives input and direction, and he is from the local scene as well.”

David Nunez - “We mostly work with Jacob Reynolds. He’s always been great to work with and his quality of work is top notch. Always will
recommend him.”

Jonathan Habermacher - “We have worked with Jacob Reynolds on the music videos Stuck on Repeat and Bragging Rights. He always puts a lot of time and effort into making sure he delivers a high-quality product.”

KR: Each band member certainly brings a piece of themselves that creates a whole ATC team. That supporting part though many times that must be spot on is the drummers part. What is it your drummer, in particular, brings to ATC that you all find so key.

Henry Cota- “Kody musically is the backbone, the music needs a solid beat and timing is critical. Non musically Kody is our wordsmith. He has the ability to take all our thoughts and opinions and create one concise point of thought.”

David Nunez - “Kody is a solid drummer. He can play to a click in the studio with no music track laid down. He sets the bar for us when we record. He also has a solid perspective when we are structuring the song.”

Logan Miracle - “ Kody and I have a strong bond. And in a sense, we sometimes almost feed off of each other whether it be writing, performing, etc.”

Jonathan Habermacher - “Kody does exactly what a good drummer should do, which is have consistent timing and make sure all our songs are written with correct timing.”

KR: Goals? Management, label, booking agent? Or are you solely focused on remaining independent?

Henry Cota- “Not too many bands are getting signed anymore. If we get the opportunity and a label comes along that does want our souls or first born child then we wouldn't be opposed to the idea.”

David Nunez - “My belief is if we can do most of everything ourselves well, everything you mentioned will follow. Basically, if we are able to create a solid oiled machine on our own we are more valuable to a label, management, booking agent and we have room to truly negotiate the best deal for ourselves.”

Jonathan Habermacher - “We would love to do everything ourselves but I think it is good to try and work with others when we find people that do great jobs. 5 people can only do so much so if we come across a good opportunity that can help push this band further then we all talk about it and vote on if we should bring someone into the team to help.”

Kody Rattler - “Ideally, we use as little paid help as possible. It’s all about the work you’re willing to put in as a musician and I’m finding that to be true more and more each day.”

KR: What is next for ATC as we head into 2019?

Henry Cota- “ Touring and playing outside the South West is next on our list. Possible the earlier mentioned E.P. or album.”

David Nunez - “Touring, touring and more touring lol. We’ll be writing new stuff as well but the focus is to get out and spread our musical message to the rest of the world.”

Jonathan Habermacher - “We want to focus on playing as many states as possible so more people can see us live. I can’t wait to meet more people and hopefully make a difference through our music.”


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