ATAN: "Overall, I like writing lyrics that are full of symbolisms and metaphores, so that people can give them their own interpretation"

After having discovered singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Max Morton last year thanks to his own band Morton, his Facebook feed became a wonderful source to find interesting bands he was working with (and btw, he’s also responsible for the sound of the recent Jinjer, Ignea and Anima Tempo releases). So it was an easy choice to give ATAN’s new EP “Abnormal Load” a spin, which was mixed and mastered by Max as well, and consists of four tracks best described as modern progmetal. It quickly turned out they also had released their debut album in September 2022, which made me curious.


Welcome to learn more about ATAN's background, their name and the beautiful cover artworks here:  

Hey, thanks for making time to answer my questions. How are you today?

Claudia: We are very well, having a nice, warm summer here in London :-)

Awesome. Could you please introduce yourself and ATAN to our readers?

Andy : ATAN is a London based progmetal band formed in 2020 by myself and Clau. The line-up features Claudia Moscoso on vocals, Jeery Sadowski on drums, our bassist Marcin Palider, and myself, Andrzej Czaplewski, playing guitar. 

You just released your great EP “Abnormal Load”, only a few months after your amazing debut album “Ugly Monster”. How do you feel about it, and how was the reception so far?

Andy: The reception has been very positive for "Ugly Monster", we are still seeing the results of that. And we're very excited with the new EP - It brings a different face of ourselves that we are really keen on showing.

Let’s take a look at the stunning cover artworks, starting with “Abnormal Load”. What can you tell us about its origins, and how does it reflect the album thematically?

Claudia: The artwork is an oil painting from artist Michal Kruszczynski. We like how bizarre and conceptual his paintings are, and we believe it reflects the weirdness of our music.

And how about the artwork for “Ugly Monster”, (which isn’t ugly at all imho 😉) - What was the idea behind this piece?

Claudia: This is another of Michal's oil paintings, we love his art! This particular cover has so many details and worlds in it, much like our music. When we saw this artwork, we felt like it went well with some of the stories and lyrics we were writing at the time, so we paired each song with a particular piece of his painting.

There are a lot of topics in "Ugly Monster", I find inspiration in the most random things sometimes. Some of the songs, like the title-track, stem from short stories or poems I wrote. Some come from personal experiences, memories, or other people's experiences like "Clenching Teeth", or "Second Fig". Many of them just have general wonderings and consciousness messages like "Faces". Overall, I really like writing concepts and lyrics that are full of symbolisms and metaphores, so that people can give them their own interpretation.

How did you come up to release an EP just a few months after your debut album?

Andy: Our first album was released in September 2022 by Lynx Music, and the new EP “Abnormal Load” just came out a few weeks ago, this time with Prog Metal Rock Promotion taking care of the physical copy.

I composed the song "Abnormal Load" at the same time as the album "Ugly Monster", but it was too long (almost 17 minutes) to be included, so we decided to keep it for later.

Regarding the three additional songs on the EP: "Athanasy" is the intro we are performing live to open our gigs, and "AtAnity" is the outro. The only song with lyrics here is "Amends", which has a little bit of a different form than what you can hear on "Ugly Monster" - Claudia is using different technics to sing (growl, rap), and I composed the song on a 9 string guitar.

I see :-) Your music might be best described as modern progmetal, comes along powerful, expressive, and with a great sound. Could you briefly describe your writing and recording process, please?

Andy: Thank you! We are all influenced by many different artists and genres, which naturally comes out in our music. It all starts with a riff, then I'm building up the song with the bass and midi drums to have a solid structure. Next up, the track goes to Clau for vocals and lyrics, and after having the final arrangement it goes to Jerry for the drum recordings, before it's up to Marcin to finish with the bass. After this we hit the studio to record the final vocals and guitars.

Let’s make a little time trip: When and how did you get together?

Andy: I contacted Clau via a musicians portal in London, and we got together to talk and write, so ATAN was born. I have known Jerry for over 12 years, from when we played together in another band, so I was familiar with his work. I asked him to record "Ugly Monster", and after that we asked if he could join us. And I knew Marcin from a past session, so we also asked him to record the album, and ultimately asked to join us permanently.

How did you come up with your name, and is there a deeper meaning or story behind “ATAN” for you?

Claudia: We were throwing out really bad, potential names (laughs), and ultimately we said "you know what, let's keep it simple". So I came up with this portmanteau of both of us: 'AT' from my spiritual name "Atmaroop", and 'AN' from Andy's name. 

ATAN - first alphabetically, catchy, and short.

Absolutely. Let’s talk about ATAN live: What was your most memorable show so far?

Claudia: We just played the Metal Hammer Festival, headlining Pantera at the Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland. It will definitely be a memorable one for the years to come.

That's awesome! The UK is well known for being the home of many great rock and metal bands. How would you describe your local music scene? And did you notice changes over the past years?

Andy: The UK scene is very competitive and active. There is so much going on every day that it is easy to go unnoticed. The biggest change is because of Brexit, it has made it more difficult for musicians to tour and sell physical goods. We are lucky to have European passports, so we can tour freely without additional costs.

What can you tell us about your future plans?

Andy: We are gonna tour Europe in fall, we are at the pre-production stage of our second album, which hopefully will be a double album, and we are soon to release a couple videos, one live from the Metal Hammer Festival we recently played, and another one from our song "Amends" to promote our EP.

That's a lot to look forward to. Do you have any further thoughts you’d like to share here?

Claudia: We are very happy with how things are unfolding for us right now, so we would like to invite you to follow us on social media, our bandcamp and our youtube channel... Likes comments, support is always welcomed :-)