Belgian ambient/djent band Atmospheres have just returned with their second album “The Departure,” and although being released late in the year it’s a release that definitely has potential to be one of the top albums of the year.
I talked with the band’s guitarist Stef Exelmans.
How did you guys start making music as Atmospheres?
ATMOSPHERES started out with me making some demo’s for fun. I’ve been studying music production at the conservatory of Ghent so I’m constantly writing music.
When I started writing in the style of ATMOSPHERES there wasn’t a clear vision of starting a band or making albums. It was just me having fun on an 8-string guitar!
It was only after a few songs I started to collaborate with other musicians to play in a band formation.
Your most fresh release is the second album “The Departure.” Are you satisfied where it landed?
Of course! When I’m writing this, the album is about one week old and I must say the mother and child are both doing very well. We have an enormous response on Facebook and Youtube. We love to see people happy with the result!
Thank you Atmosfans!
What are you talking about in the lyrics on your new album?
We’re mostly playing around a main idea or theme when it comes to lyrics. It’s never literally speaking about a specific subject. All the songs on “THE DEPARTURE” are dealing with us, humans, departing from our earth because we’ve sucked it dry. That sounds pretty depressing and dark, but we are trying to give it a positive feel. It’s more like making a fresh start on every level…
Where do you draw your inspiration from? Are there any specific bands or musicians that have impact on your work?
We all listen to many different kinds of music, not just metal or prog rock. Most ideas come from an unconscious fusion between lots of music that we’ve absorbed in the past. To us, it’s more exciting to think a bit out of our comfort zone when writing music.
What fun is making music when you have all those boundaries?
Will there be a European tour for the purpose of promoting “The Departure” live?
We are currently looking for some bookers, but have not found one yet, so we are fixing shows ourselves. *hint* It’s a little to early and expensive for us to go on tour right now, but we are certainly working towards that!
What does an Atmospheres concert look like?
One big trip! Haha, what’s more fun than having the feeling you played one long song like you’ve just watched a movie?
What do you think about progressive rock/metal today? Do you believe it got better by time or is it worse?
None of those two! You can have an endless discussion on what’s better and what’s worse… There are awesome bands in the past just as there are awesome bands right now, it’s just different and it evolves (luckily). Sometimes you need to listen to music you might not like in the first place a few times before you start appreciating it!
What is the progressive rock scene like in Belgium? Does it receive the respect it deserves?
For the people that don’t know: Belgium is that tiny county north of France that is imaginary divided in two regions that have a different language. Haha!
So if we are talking about a music scene (if that even exists in Belgium), we are talking about the music scene in Flanders (north part of Belgium).
That music scene is very good in ignoring certain artists. There are so many nice bands and artists in many genres here, that simply don’t get the attention that they deserve.
Our radio stations mostly focus on music that is provided by the big labels, leaving very little space for local artists. And even than it’s only pop music.
That doesn’t stop ATMOSPHERES from doing it’s thing though…
We love what we do and that’s enough to keep us going. Let’s start that Prog-army! Haha.
What are your plans for the close future?
Making more music and hopefully play more shows!
We have enough ideas flying around that will hit your eardrums at some point in time.