Seize Atlantis Prepares to Release Sophomore EP, “Ruins Rebuilt” on June 17th
GLENS FALLS – Local alternative-rock band, Seize Atlantis, is gearing up for the release of their sophomore EP, Ruins Rebuilt. Set for release on June 17th, the band’s singles: “I Need It,” “Monster,” and “Crawl,” from the upcoming album display a growth in their songwriting abilities, as well as some very nice production improvements. All of their hard work is certainly paying off, as the band celebrates winning “Favorite Rock/Hard Rock Artist,” and “Favorite Progressive Rock Artist,” at the 2023 ListenUp Awards.
I had a chance to sit down with vocalist James Mullen prior to the album being released. What follows is our conversation.
Lucas Garrett: So, James, I see you’re releasing more and more music with Seize Atlantis! How’ve you been, man?
James Mullen: Pretty good, Lucas. It’s nice to catch up with you again. We’ve been putting out music since March, now. We’ve got three singles from our upcoming EP that’s coming out on June 17th. It’s called Ruins Rebuilt. We’re going to be doing a show that day at Mean Max in Glens Falls to celebrate.
LG: Where did that name come from?
JM: We discussed it as a group. We were talking about… we went in the concept direction on the first EP, and we didn’t deliberately stay away from that, but this is more introspective. If the first EP is social commentary, this EP is looking at ourselves, and our relationships with ourselves and others – fixing what’s not right, and overcoming what is within. Those personal battles with demons.
We settled on Ruins Rebuilt because we liked the way it sounded, the way it flowed off the tongue, and the way it captured the message of rebuilding yourself, personally. And, keeping that Atlantis imagery, too.
LG: How many songs are on the record?
JM: There’s going to be five on the record; we’ve got three singles out. We’re releasing another one a couple of weeks before the EP drops, but that’s going to be an acoustic version of our song, “Hide.” On the EP, it’ll be a different full-band version.
LG: Are you the main lyricist?
JM: Yeah, I typically write most of the lyrics. Mike (Dardas) has also contributed lyrics to “I Need It.” He wrote the lyrics to the bridge part on that song.
LG: How is it decided who writes what part? Does it all just happen in the room?
JM: Yeah, it’s organic. Mike had been going through some things and had been working them out by writing some lyrics. He sent a few over to me, and was like, “If the opportunity comes up and you can fit them into a song, I’d like to use them.” We had this bridge part that I didn’t have anything for, and when I went back over the lyrics he sent me, they fit the theme of that song, and they flowed over that section of music. We talked about it and decided to use those lyrics in that spot.
LG: Are there any stylistic differences on the new record?
JM: We stay well-rounded in our genre; we try to. We do the alternative-rock thing, and we’re a little on the hard rock side. A lot of the best parts of what people like on the first EP will be present. It’s really just our approach to the writing that’s changed a little bit. On the first EP, each song was one person’s idea that we directed everybody else toward.
For this EP, the songs came out of us writing them together in the same room organically from scratch. We’d come up with an idea, and would jam it out. We’d dedicate a whole practice to writing that song that day.
LG: How long did it take to write the record?
JM: We started writing it in September I would say, and we finished the last song – although there may be some debate over whether it’s actually finished or we have to tweak it a little – around February. So, it took a few months to get everything written.
LG: I ran into you and Mike not that long ago in Glens Falls. While I didn’t get a long time to chat, when I was talking to Mike, he said he really enjoyed the new way you’re working on songs. It was a loud room, so I couldn’t really hear what he was saying, but I’d like to know more about what is so different about the way you’re handling this record.
JM: Everybody is equal. On the first EP, like I said earlier, “Atlas Shrugged” was one that I wrote and then brought to the band. Mike did the same with “Paradise Lost” and Luc (Bourgault) did the same with “Imperius Rex.” On this EP, every song has come out of a jam that we did together. It was never one of us bringing our own idea and then everyone else writing parts. It was very organic in the way it all came together; a totally shared creation. Which was a lot of fun, like Mike said. It makes everybody more satisfied with the end result and process.
LG: When it comes to people self-promoting – in my mind – your name is at the top of the list. I always thought it was funny how you went about that in a creative way.
JM: Thank you.
LG: Does it ever get tiring for you?
JM: Sometimes it can. I personally really enjoy making the content. It can get a little bit frustrating, because sometimes it feels like you put a lot of time and effort into social media. It can feel, materially, when you don’t get a lot of engagement, like it’s not being rewarded. But then, you’ll hear people at shows say, or like you just said to me now… it resonates with people. They remember you do it. I think it’s really important that you stay with it. People may not react, but it stays with them and it’s something that sets you apart. It connects with people on a fun level.
LG: How do you think of the content to make?
JM: We try our best to keep it fresh; I’m not the only one that does it. Cody (Platt) and Cheyenne, who’s one of our people behind-the-scenes, do too. I have an app on my phone that updates with whatever memes are trending at the time, and I take the ones that are relevant that we can fit in a joke or one-liner about one of our songs. Keep it fresh in a funny way that people will stop for a second, laugh at it, and remember. It’s all about building those positive reactions as much as we can.
LG: You’re a fairly new band in the scheme of things, but you’re already winning awards. Congratulations on that!
JM: Thank you so much, Lucas.
LG: How did that feel? Did it come out of nowhere?
JM: I don’t want to say it came out of nowhere. We definitely feel that we work very hard and are good enough to stack up with the best bands in the region, but we definitely don’t think that we’re better than anybody, either. We think everybody’s great. It’s not about competition, for us, so it was super surreal to be recognized, but also very rewarding. The way everyone’s responded to it, and responded to everyone who’s won awards – it feels like a very wholesome and supportive thing. Nobody ever feels like they’re saying, “Why did this person win? Why didn’t that person win?” Everybody seems genuinely supportive and that’s probably our favorite part about the whole thing.
LG: Where do you see the band going from here? What do you want out of it?
JM: What’s most important to us is to keep progressing year-over-year. Whatever that means. We like to grow a little every time; make sure we’re reaching new audiences; getting on the radio a bit more; expanding our reach on where we book shows. This year, we’re looking at expanding on TikTok and YouTube. We’re always looking for ways we can do more for ourselves on the DIY-front. Once we maximize that, we’re looking for other ways we can improve ourselves.
LG: Is there anything I may have missed that you want to talk about?
JM: You can find us on our Linktree, which has all of our social media sites. Our new singles are out on all platforms, including Bandcamp and Spotify. Those singles are called “I Need It,” “Monster,” and “Crawl.” The rest will be out on June 17th. We’re excited.
LG: It’s good talking to you, and I’ll be in touch soon.
JM: Thanks, Lucas. It’s good catching up with you.
LG: Have a good day.
JM: You too.