|Interview by Burt Wolf with Jason Healey, vocalist, bassist, lyricist, artist & manager of ATOMIZER.
Interview done June 21st, 2004.
COULD YOU GIVE SOME OF THE HISTORY OF ATOMIZER & HOW YOU CAME TO EXIST? ANY
OTHER BANDS YOU WERE IN BEFORE?
ATOMIZER have been together for close to six years. We have released three albums & four EP's, done about
85 live shows, and got together with the intention of creating some good Metal with a sound that other bands had
hinted at, but possibly not achieved to the extent we imagined that it could be.
WHY WAS THE NAME ATOMIZER CHOSEN FOR THE BAND?
I wanted a band name that had a destructive quality to it, one that I could find no evidence that it had been used
by another Metal band, and one that had some meaning to me. I took the name from the title of BIG BLACK's
1985 masterpiece "Atomizer". A great & violent record!
WHO OR WHAT HAS HELPED INFLUENCE YOU IN CREATING YOUR SOUND?
This is always tricky as personally I think it is coincidence that our sound has a similar feel to other bands. Take
SODOM for example, I would never think of them as an overt influence, yet I see similarities, probably because
a lot of ATOMIZER's is written on the bass, as with SODOM. Personally, I get ideas for songs, etc from
books, films & research. Of course it is imperative to put your own slant on things, but anything can trigger an
idea, but it is rare that lyrically that influence would emerge from listening to another band. As we all listen to a
lot of different kinds of Metal acts from various eras, I guess those interests filter through, but in a sense it is
better having that interest in a lot of different styles as it is easier to assess the originality of what we are trying to
do. Not that we are trying to be completely unique, but I mean we do what we want to do, play what we think
sounds good, and don't let ourselves be affected by too much noise surrounding what is and what is not
YOU GUYS SOUND VERY TALENTED &
EXPERIENCED, HAVE ANY OF YOU HAD
ANY LESSONS OR ARE YOU SELF
TAUGHT? DO YOU PLAY ANY OTHER
INSTRUMENTS BESIDES WHAT YOU PLAY
IN THE BAND?
I'm pretty sure our guitarists have had lessons,
although the two in the band now are not those
who played on "THE ONLY WEAPON..." You
can hear them on our forthcoming release
"SONGS OF SLAUGHTER-SONGS OF
SACRIFICE" which is out during August on
HELL'S HEADBANGERS. Myself & Suds (bass
& drums) are probably mostly self taught. I
learned everything I know (he, he, a comment
open to interpretation) through playing with other
people. I'm sure lessons would have benefited me
though. I guess I settled for good timing...
HOW HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN TO YOUR NEW ALBUM "THE ONLY WEAPON OF CHOICE?
The response has been really killer! I always take more notice of the comments that comprise a review rather
than the score, but we have been getting a lot of 8/10 and the odd album of the year etc. I know that
ATOMIZER has better releases in us, but "THE ONLY WEAPON..." represents our finest hour to that point and
believe in it & it's merits. I'm not sure about the sales at this time, although I guess it has moved around three
thousand so far.
HOW DID YOU GET HOOKED UP WITH AGONIA RECORDS? HOW HAS IT BEEN WORKING WITH
We agreed to work with AGONIA for the release of the Pic LP version of "THE ONLY WEAPON...", which
extended to the release of our first & second albums on LP also... should be during July I hope. Anyways, Filip
& I exchanged a zillion emails & came to an agreement. I am pleased to be signed to this label & think that it is
the best thing for ATOMIZER to be on a label who believes in the band & are proud to stand behind us.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE COVER ART?
Like everything, the cover is open to interpretation, but as that is a very lame answer, I like to think of it as life
after the Only Weapon Of Choice is unleashed.
WHAT IS SOME OF LYRICAL CONTENT IN YOUR SONGS?
War, anti-christianity, death...the usual stuff, but I try to take a radically different approach to writing lyrics. I
think so many bands settle with any old lyrical approach & are content with themes & ideas, rather than serious
content. I try to write as though I were the person having the experience... that sort of thing... Instead of
writing"i hate Christians" I try to illustrate the shortcomings of that religion, and to compose lyrics in a way that
may cause people to think about their lives, scenario. That's my take on it anyway. People that take the time to
read the words usually have great things to say about them, so coupled with my own satisfaction I would say
that is a good thing.
MY FAVORITE SONG OFF YOUR NEW DISC IS "WHEN I DIE I WANT TO DIE VIOLENTLY". WHICH
IS YOURS & WHY?
"When I Die..." is a pretty obvious kind a song, and while we thought it was a little weird at first, once we
started playing it live, it was pretty clear that people were right into it. I think the whole album is really killer, and
would not leave any of the songs out, and never wish we had written any of them differently, and considering
that these songs were completed about a year & a half ago, I think they are wearing well. I do like "For
Blackness Absolute" - that gives me a bit of a rush.
COULD YOU GIVE SOME INFORMATION ON YOUR OTHER RELEASES & THEIR AVAILABILITY?
EP's "GIMME NATURAL SELECTION" - Released December 2001 by NIHILIST VOID RECORDS (Sold
Out), "TYRUS: THE DOOM WAR OF THE ARMOURED ANGEL" - Released March 2003 by SOULSELLER
RECORDS (Sold Out), "AND THE HUNT STARTS AGAIN" (split with ROOT) - Released May 2003 by THE
AJNA OFFENSIVE (Sold Out), "SONGS OF SLAUGHTER-SONGS OF SACRIFICE" (double 7" EP) -
Released August 2004 by HELLS HEADBANGERS.
"THE END OF FOREVER" - Released April 2000 by END ALL LIFE
PRODUCTIONS. (Sold Out)
END ALL LIFE PRODUCTIONS. (Sold Out)
"THE ONLY WEAPON OF CHOICE" - Released October 2003 by THE AJNA
OFFENSIVE (In Print)
All of our albums are still in print on CD through AGONIA RECORDS, and
"DMDA" is on DRAKKAR PRODUCTIONS.
HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE PROGRESSED FROM THOSE
ALBUMS TO THIS NEW ONE?
We refined the approach to song writing, really stripped back anything
unnecessary, and really tried to assess the songs to ensure they flowed well,
were well constructed and had no holes or flat spots. We never settled for
anything except what we felt was the best. Anyone who writes music
continually and takes the requisite time to ensure they have created
the best music they can will inevitably get better at it.
HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE & SOUND?
Some of our catchier stuff was that it was like AC/DC on meth! That was killer! Although it only represents a
small amount of what we do. Basically we all listen to all kinds of Metal & we try not to inhibit ourselves from
working any good ideas into our "sound". I like things to evolve & I want to do different things within the
confines of being an extreme Metal band.
DOES ATOMIZER PLAY OUT A LOT? WHERE ARE SOME OF THE PLACES YOU'VE PLAYED &
WHO ARE SOME OF THE BANDS YOU'VE SHARED THE STAGE WITH?
We have done about 85 shows over an almost five year period, so I don't that constitutes a lot, but some shows
are great, others disappointing... I guess all bands experience this sort of thing. We have toured with PUNGENT
STENCH which was really killer, and played with bands like DESTRUCTION, INCANTATION, etc. We've
played across a lot of Australia, right across New Zealand, and will hit Europe in September for the first time.
That tour is gonna be with IMPIETY & WITCHMASTER, so you know it's gonna rule!
YOUR MUSIC HAS SUCH A HIGH VOLUME OF INTENSITY & I'M SURE WOULD BE GREAT LIVE.
COULD YOU DESCRIBE WHAT AN ATOMIZER SHOW IS LIKE?
I don't know that our live shows are anything that legend will be made out of, but I've seen a fuck load of bands
over the years & I guess the experience a fan has at the show is really where your answer lays. We always give
our best, and ensure we are well rehearsed & focused for the show at hand. Ha, come see us play & you can
decide for yourselves!
IS THERE ANY SHOWS OR ROAD STORIES THAT STICK OUT FOR ANY REASON?
Nothing I could convey in words to make it sound exciting.
WHO DO YOU FEEL ARE SOME OF THE BETTER LABELS, BANDS,
ZINES, ETC...FROM AUSTRALIA?
Australia really doesn't have any labels that exist like they do in Europe. Most
exist in order to release material by bands that don't have deals outside Australia
lot of cool bands here... I quite like PORTAL, DESTROYER, GOSPEL OF
THE HORNS... I'm sure there are more that evade me just now...
HOW WOULD YOU COMPARE THE AUSTRALIAN UNDERGROUND
SCENE TO THE SCENE HERE IN THE U.S.?
They are probably quite similar. We have Death, Black, Thrash, trad Metal
bands like you do in the U.S. & no really discernible scene or movement.
However, America has spawned some truly immortal bands & generated
massive fan bases for those bands. That has never happened for a Metal band
in Australia. Americans seem quite happy to support & salute their own bands,
where as an international band is far more inviting for Australian fans. I guess
if we had a bigger population & were not so isolated here that may be
different In a sense it is like trying to compare apples & potatoes.
WHAT IS THE BEST & WORST PART ABOUT BEING IN A BAND?
The best things about playing in a band for me is that feeling you get when you are working on a new song, and
it starts to come together, and you get this idea that what will eventuate from it may be something really special.
The same thing when you listen to a rough rehearsal recording or a quick demo and you get that same feeling...
The best things about playing in a band for me is that feeling you get when you are working on a new song, and
extends to that notion when you play live and people are up the front screaming the lyrics. I guess getting a new
record that we have released in the mail is pretty cool, but the rehearsal stages are probably the best for me. The
same thing when you listen to a rough rehearsal recording or a quick demo and you get that same feeling... What
sucks about being a band...fuck, where do I start, ha, ha! I hate the politics involved with other bands, I The
idea that you have written something as a band that people will connect with and get a kick out of. This The idea
that you have written something as a band that people will connect with and get a kick out of. This extends to
that notion when you play live and people are up the front screaming the lyrics. I guess getting a new record that
we have released in the mail is pretty cool, but the rehearsal stages are probably the best for me. What sucks
about being a band...fuck, where do I start, ha, ha! I hate the politics involved with other bands, I hate traveling
for close to three days in order to play for 2 hours, I hate people that don't answer emails, don't do as they
promise, lazy band members ( we don't have that problem any more) and the list goes on... I focus on the
positive things, other wise you'd be a complete idiot to play in a band. We all work full time jobs.
ARE YOU INTO ANY OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC BESIDES WHAT
YOU PLAY. WHO ARE SOME OF THE BANDS YOUR CURRENTLY
I like guitar oriented music. Mostly Metal and bad ass Rock 'n' Roll. I do listen
to some Electronic music. I'm open to a lot of stuff, but hate more than I like.
Hate it with a passion too, he he! Some of my all time fave bands are
MORBID ANGEL, SLAYER, MOTORHEAD, VENOM, DARKTHRONE...
ARE THERE ANY NEW SONGS IN THE WORKS?
We have just recorded eight new songs for the "SONGS OF SLAUGHTER"
double 7" and are currently working on three new tracks. We write and write
and write... there is never a reason to stop, he he.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU THINK WILL BE SURPRISED TO FIND
OUT ABOUT YOU?
I have answered this entire interview standing up.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ALL THIS WAR CRAP THAT THE U.S. HAS PLACED THEMSELVES IN
AT THE MOMENT?
It doesn't really concern me that the U.S. government have taken this path, but what does annoy me is the self
righteous way in which these conquests have been conducted. I think people would be far more accepting of
wars such as this were there a little more honesty coming from the governments. Living in Australia it appears
to be much easier to take an objective view point of the whole thing. The media representations are radically
different on the commercial stations as opposed to a more world focused station. The irony of the U.S.
government screaming unfair is a little too difficult for me to bear. But they have to use those arms somewhere
don't they? Wouldn't want an economic disaster because there were too many weapons stock piled.
WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT FROM YOU GUYS?
SACRIFCE". This will be out during August 2004 and will also be
released on CD with a bonus track "Speak English Or Die" as disc II of a
limited double CD digi pack version of "THE ONLY WEAPON OF
CHOICE" that will come out to coincide with our 2004 European tour.
As mentioned earlier, we have two 7" EPs to release for INTO THE
PENTAGRAM RECORDS and WINTERMOON PRODUCTIONS. I
hope to see both of those early
I'M OUT OF QUESTIONS, THANX FOR DOING THE INTERVIEW.
FEEL FREE TO ADD ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE!
Thanks for your support, and to those who support ATOMIZER. I
salute you! For more information check out the website.