Contactmusic.com introducing emerging talent
How often do you see a band name that just makes sense? Not often these days, but newly emerging Boston band Air Traffic Controller like to keep things nice and simple.
Lead vocalist Dave Munro set up the band after returning from his deployment in the US Navy as, well, an air traffic controller. He'd previously sent a few short demos back home to Boston and was pleasantly surprised to find that he'd grown a small fanbase. Thus, he enlisted a few instrumentalists - including lead guitarist Steve Scott, drummer Richie Munro, bassist Casey Sullivan and viola player Kiara Perico - and embarked on his exciting musical journey. Their first album, 'The One', was released in the US in 2009 to much acclaim, landing them several awards and nominations including a nomination for 'Best Break-Out Artist' at the MTV Video Music Awards. Now, after a successful fundraiser on Kickstarter, they introduce themselves to the UK with their upcoming second album 'Nordo'.
'"Nordo" is an air traffic control term short for "no radio"', Dave explained to us in a recent video interview. 'I hope I didn't jinx the band naming our album 'No Radio'.' They shouldn't worry as 'Nordo' is indeed getting plenty of airplay with its compelling lead single 'Hurry Hurry' most recently landing a spot on RadioBDC in their home city. 'What they mean by "no radio" is an airplane that has lost its radio and can no longer communicate with the air traffic controllers', he continues. 'When I was an air traffic controller, in an emergency situation it happens pretty often and I always thought it was kind of exciting and mysterious.'
Indeed, the nerve-racking situation has inspired him enough to write 12 tracks that represent an 'introverted theme of isolation and distancing' - though lead guitarist Steve Scott thinks this often presents an accidental conflicting apposition. 'I think that every time you're writing words that are introverted, the music sounds extroverted', he suggests. 'The juxtaposition of those two at odds artistic things are really often used by us.' Dave agrees, admitting that their sad song 'Pick Me Up' is 'the most 'dance-to' song at any show we put on'.
Listen to 'Pick Me Up' by Air Traffic Controller here:
It also happens to be bassist Casey Sullivan's favourite and, while Steve reveals he likes 'Ready Or Not', Dave confesses that 'Hurry Hurry' has a special place in his heart. Produced by one of his heroes, LA based musician Bleu, the track is a personal story about his habit of rushing through life without a second glance: 'It's me trying to keep up with life.' Air Traffic Controller also performed an intimate acoustic version of the track featuring two acoustic guitars and an electric mandolin. Stripped down, the song's upbeat, contemporary folk vibe is more prominent and the raw, country style vocals make for such an uplifting tune that you can't help but join in on the "Hurry hurry whoa-oh!" chorus.
If Air Traffic Controller are sounding like your kind of thing, they'll be hitting London for a couple of dates later this month. You can expect nothing less than hard work from these guys as they don't seem to ever stop! 'We kinda like to practice and write new songs when we're on tour', says Steve, pondering their between-shows winding-down rituals. Aside from that, 'Nordo' will be hitting the UK in early 2014!
November 26 - Buffalo Bar, Highbury & Islington
November 29 - Dublin Castle, Camden