In Session: James Mullen, of Seize Atlantis
GLENS FALLS – Released on February 18th, “The Unstoppable Groove,” serves as the latest stomper from the band Seize Atlantis. Featuring interlocked guitar and bass lines – a quality that lends itself well to the music of an almost anthemic nature – the song is really driving. The song kicks right off with a riff and doesn’t cease rocking until its conclusion. An alternative rock song with just a dash of blues, its accessibility to those that like those particular genres of music is certainly apparent.
I had a chance to sit down with James Mullen of Seize Atlantis. During our conversation, we discussed the new single, the origins of the band, and more. Continue reading to catch the interview.
Lucas Garrett: Hey, James, thank you for sitting down with me today. How are you doing?
James Mullen: I’m doing great, Lucas. How are you doing today?
LG: Doing well, thank you. I heard your new single, “The Unstoppable Groove.” It’s pretty rocking. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about it?
JM: Yeah, thank you. The single really came together; I think it might’ve been Mike (Dardas), our bass player, who came up with the original groove on the bass. Luc (Bourgault), our lead guitar player, was able to quickly match it on his lead guitar part; take it for a walk, you know? Do his thing with it. It really came together pretty fast – it’s definitely a really funky, but the driving track in our opinion. We hope everybody loves it and feels the same.
LG: When I hear the track, I’m getting a lot of influences here and there, but why don’t you tell us some of your influences?
JM: We’re pretty influenced by Red Hot Chili Peppers; a little bit of Pearl Jam, things like that thrown in there. There’s definitely some Foo Fighters involved. Primarily, that alternative 90’s, early 2000’s, driving rock – between soft and heavy. We can get pretty hard when we want to.
LG: How did you guys come to be a band? How did it all start?
JM: So, it all started… Cody (Platt), Luc, and I have known each other since high school in Queensbury; we were in a different band back then when we were teenagers. We reconnected in 2018; we were jamming with our bass player, Mike.
JM: He was somebody we knew from high school as well – he went to Glens Falls and was in a different local band. The three of us were jamming; Luc showed up and liked our sound and decided he wanted to be involved. The four of us came together and really decided it was a good fit and that we were good together; we gelled pretty good; there’s a lot of good chemistry. We’ve become pretty close friends.
LG: That’s always the way to do it.
LG: I saw you at Gem Fest in the summer. What are some of your plans for live shows in 2022?
JM: As far as we know, Gem Fest 2022 has been confirmed recently. We’d definitely love to go back. Brian does a great job organizing that. Glens Falls, and 518 in general, has such a burgeoning and deep music scene. It’s great to have such an awesome showcase for local talent year-in and year-out. We were so grateful to get the opportunity last year; we’ll be happy to be back if we’re invited.
LG: What can we expect from the band going forward? Do you have plans for an album?
JM: We do. We have plans for an EP, but we don’t have a hard release date set for that. We’re working on three or four songs for that EP and maybe rolling out more after that. We’ve got a bunch of original songs in rotation that we play out right now; it’s really just working on getting the time and schedules lined up to get everything recorded. You’re a musician whose recorded music, you know how it goes.
LG: Where are you recording?
JM: We record ourselves at the moment at our drummer’s (Cody’s) apartment. We use Ableton Live and we have all the bells and whistles you need; microphones and soundproofing for the walls. We’ve been able to get a good sound going – we feel. It’s definitely an indie project.
LG: I really like that DIY-aesthetic.
JM: Thank you.
LG: So, when you write a song, are you the primary songwriter?
JM: I wouldn’t say I’m the primary songwriter – I’m the primary lyricist. I write the lyrics, mostly. Usually, we all come up with the music together – someone will come up with an idea and we’ll form around it. It’s a very collaborative effort between the four of us, I think.
LG: Do you find writing lyrics can be hard sometimes?
JM: It really depends. Sometimes, I really struggle – I find a lot of the time that if I don’t knock something out while I’m sitting there writing it and I let it hang too long, then it becomes more of a struggle. If I get that “lightning in a bottle” feeling and ride that to the end, I can probably finish a song in a sitting and then edit it later. If it needs to be.
LG: Where are you guys playing next?
JM: We have some shows coming up; we’re getting ready for our spring run – we just had a couple in February. We’ll be at 42 Degrees Tavern in Glens Falls on March 12th; Mean Max Brew Works in Glens Falls on March 18th – the day after St. Patrick’s Day. Next month, on April 22nd, we’ll be at Empire Underground with Under the Den, Bad Mothers, and Sydney Worthley. We’ve got those on deck coming up.
Right now, we’re in the NYS Music March Madness coming up. Voting for that opened today; you can find links for that on our social media.
LG: You’ve got a lot going on.
JM: Yeah, we do. We’re so thankful to have so much going for us coming out of a pandemic. We took about seven months off, changed our name, and came back with a new sound and new songs. Ever since June of last year, we’ve been able to keep it rolling pretty consistently. We’re grateful for that.
LG: How did you do – mentally – with the pandemic? It hit a lot of us hard; how are you doing with that?
JM: As a group, we’ve been taking it one step at a time. Playing shows when we can and when it’s safe to do so. We postponed a show in January at the height of the Omicron surge; that’s the one in April that was rescheduled from January 8th.
LG: How do you feel in performances? The audience – you never know what you’re going to get anymore.
JM: Yeah. There are definitely mixed feelings; you want to play for as big a crowd as possible but you also want to do the responsible thing and not put anybody in harm’s way that doesn’t need to be there. It’s a loaded question facing the music scene but I think everyone’s doing their best.
LG: We all have to do our best.
JM: That’s all we can do, you know?
LG: Well, thanks again, and good luck with your release!
JM: Thank you so much for your time! I appreciate you reaching out to me. Have a great day.