Alright The Captain are a band we discovered a few years ago- we slightly became obsessed with this Nottingham/Derby based talent and knew it wouldn’t be long before their fanbase was enviable and their music was heard by all the right people- these three have worked so hard; relentlessly touring the world, splitting all their time either on the road or in the studio- this band have effortlessly established themselves as a sonic force to be reckoned with, thanks to their uniquely imaginative brand of math-rock and their fierce live performances. Alright The Captain produce what we can only be described as vital listening for any fans of guitar based or electronic music. This is not a band that can be pigeonholed as merely “instrumental.” The trio have rightfully earned themselves a dedicated following across the globe. Their DIY interests and the genuine support they provide to so many acts afar- ATC are the kings of what they do.
The 3 piece instrumental math rock band consist of Marty Toner on Guitar, Todd Wood on Bass and drummer Jamie Cattermole. When the trio aren’t touring hard, they are producing more complex, more mature compositions yet still exploring their mathy jazz core roots. Following their triumphant ArcTanGent headline performance last year and the release of their incredible album ‘Contact Fix’, with more shows under their belt then possible to mention; the trio have decided to announce a hiatus, so the guys can take a well earned rest.
Before they go quiet, the band have unveiled a new video for that track ‘I’m not smart, I don’t have all that book learning stuff’ taken throughout their time across all their European shows. The film took over 8 years to complete- and when you see it you’ll understand why. Watch ‘Fountains of Europe’ in full below.
All photos by Todd Captain.
Film by Philip Formby
As mentioned previously the band are now taking a break. Back at the start of summer they announced via their facebook feed “ATC isn’t dead, just hibernating for a non-specified amount of time. we’re just going to explore some other musical projects for a while. We’ve had a blast over the past 8 years and we’ve travelled to places we would never have seen before. We’ve made some great friends, drank a lot of booze (especially Marty), waited in traffic for hours and broken vans in exotic places. we are all still mates and that isn’t ever going to change”-This announcement shocked the captain community before they embarked on their final (for now) farewell shows.
We are delighted to spend a little more time with Todd of ATC to find out more about the indefinite hiatus, the highlights for the trio, this toilet humour and what each musician will be getting up to now- to put these fans minds at rest.
Thanks for spending some more time with us!
Back to the beginning of ATC and the formation of the band, how did all three of you meet?
Me and Marty met though our old Guitarist and later, drummer, Ash who I knew from similar circles in Derby. We just went for a jam with a different Jamie on drums.
That initial Jamie didn’t last that long. ATC have been through quite a few drummers. New Jamie came along 4 years ago and been with us since.
Casting back to when you were recording the debut album SNIB, follow up EP and then sophomore album release ‘Contact Fix’, enlighten us on your writing process and how you utilize your workmanship, did certain members have their own roles within material making.
Haha well our ‘writing process’ has changed a bit I guess as the band and it’s members have changed over the years. But it would usually boil down me or Marty bringing in a riff or structure, the other wouldn’t like it, and it would be mangled in the practice room into some kind of hybrid.
How has your own writing process changed/developed throughout each release?
Not a great deal! Jamie has added his expertise to the mix since joining the band. Marty actually listens to him which has definitely helped.
Both ‘Snib’ and ‘Contact Fix’ solidified Alright The Captain a respectful reputation and dutiful support from a fan base, that and your tours, did you expect the support that arose from each release? And how does this make you feel knowing the work you create is constantly aiding others?
We didn’t go in with many expectations to be honest, and of course we have been humbled by the response we received for those albums. It’s really hard to get an objective view of your own music, so were glad some people liked them!!
When you announced the hiatus, obviously without touching too much on it encase it was a pivotal and upsetting moment, but to the outside world it seemed like such an unexpected shock. For yourselves was it a long time coming?
No, just time for a little nap.
Throughout your time together what have been the highlight(s) and most defining moments of ATC time?
There has been alot of personal highlights for me, so many places and crazy situations that I would never have been to or experienced otherwise.
I think travelling and playing in other countries has been the most rewarding thing for me.
Is there a gig that just felt like the pinnacle moment for the band?
I would say the show at ArcTAnGent festival in 2015 was the best show we have done. It was stressful building up to it, but it turned out to be an awesome show.
You’ve been on the road a lot during your time, you really are one of the most hard working UK bands. What does it take to keep pushing yourselves each night?
What is it that you personally get from your performance?
Playing temporarily fills the crushing apathy/misanthropy that dominates my daily life.
What advice would you give to any new aspiring acts trying to progress their career further?
Any advice from my limited experience would be, It isn’t going to be easy. And it isn’t going to happen all at once.
You’ve just dropped a new video, for those that love toilet humour, tell us about this new film.
Well, I was looking to document our travels as a band, and my travels more generally. I figured if you have allot of pictures of different toilets, you must have been to allot of different places.
What else in the future can we look forward to from all members of ATC until you all come back for a much needed return tour?
Marty and Jamie are joining up with Chris from Cheap Jazz to work on a project called ‘A-tota-so’. As for me, I’m not sure yet.
We know it’s a temporary rest- but any last words?
Be excellent to each other x
Thank you so much- we wish Todd, Marty and Jamie the best of luck with everything and from the bottom of our hearts- thank you for everything!!!! We already miss you guys.
See you soon honey badgers