ATAVISTIA: "We believe we have discovered our own sound, and there is a lot more to come"
It's always great to have friends pushing a band in your direction with their enthusiasm, which also happened with Canadian Symphonic Death Metal band ATAVISTIA and their previous album "The Winter Way" in 2020. Having followed them since then, their new epic "Cosmic Warfare" (that came out on April 21st) and tour announcement didn't go unnoticed, and offered the perfect opportunity for another stop in Canada.
Welcome to read more about their most recent live experiences, the inspiration for their current record, and its stunning cover artwork here:
Hey, thanks for making time to answer my questions. How are you today?
Thank you for having me! I’m currently dealing with the post tour blues, but other than that, I’m doing very well!
Could you please introduce yourself and Atavistia to our readers?
Hey everyone! My name is Mattias Sippola, and I am the founder of Atavistia. I do the screamy / singy bits and play guitar.
You just came back from your first tour with Metsatöll and Skálmöld, with a second part ahead, and I was lucky enough to catch you live here in Munich. What kind of experience was touring in Europe for you?
Words cannot describe how amazing the experience was for us. We’re all still trying to process it actually haha. Europe really knows how to treat artists at all levels.
Happy to hear that :-) Congrats to the release of your new album, which is absolutely epic! How do you feel about it, and how was the reception so far?
Thank you very much! "Cosmic Warfare" has definitely been very well received, much more than our previous releases, and we cannot wait to reveal what’s next! We believe we have discovered our own sound, and there is a lot more to come!
Sounds promising! Let’s take a look at the stunning cover artwork: What can you tell us about its origins, and how does it reflect "Cosmic Warfare" thematically?
We were searching for the perfect style to suit the themes within Cosmic Warfare’s music and lyrics - We found it with Adam Burke. His oil painted canvas of a black hole swallowing a star system encapsulated our vision perfectly. We also love the oil painted style within the futuristic art genre.
Could you dive a bit into the record’s topics with us, please?
"Cosmic Warfare" is part of a multi album soft concept, our next two releases will be continuing this style. "Cosmic Warfare" was written in a time of turmoil in my personal life. During the dark times of the pandemic, I struggled to know what my future would behold.
It has always been difficult for me to explain the meanings behind each song, as I’d like the listener to create their own story for them.
Totally get that. Your music is brutal and beautiful at the same time, and I love how you melt the different stylistic elements to a mighty, new whole. What is your musical background, and where do you draw your inspiration from?
Thank you! There cannot be light without darkness and vice versa. That has always been in the back of my mind when writing Atavistia’s music. We don’t want to be locked down to one genre, so being able to blend genres like Black and Folk Metal together helps to cross the bridge of writing exploration. We all grew up listening to similar bands and genres, and since starting our personal music endeavors, those have been at the backbone of inspiration.
With Atavistia, our inspiration comes from the natural landscape and climate where we live. The seasons heavily sway our emotions as they are vastly different from one another.
Could you briefly describe your writing and recording process, please?
Sure! Our first release, “One Within the Sun”, was an obvious and uncanny tribute to the mighty Wintersun. After receiving so much positive (and negative haha) feedback, it was time to continue writing and bring Atavistia to the stage. To this day, 6 years later, everything is written, recorded, and mixed in my home studio. (Except drums - Which are recorded at Max’s home studio)
My inspiration strikes are random and can last for weeks. Then it can disappear for the same amount of time!
Let’s make a little trip through time and space ;-) When and how did you guys
Atavistia began as a one manned bedroom project in 2017. After I decided to make the project a live act, I needed to find members. Dalton Meaden (Guitarist) and I met the year prior while we were in different bands playing a show together. I met D’wayne Murray (Bassist) at a festival in Vancouver, BC in 2018. Max Sepulveda (Drums) joined in early 2020 after meeting us at one of our local shows with a hired drummer.
How did you come up with your name, and is there a deeper meaning behind “Atavistia” for you?
I found the word, “Atavistic” (An Archaic English word for ancient), and a good friend of mine put a twist on it for me! At the time, the name didn’t have any particular symbolism, but now I believe it reflects the music and lyrics very well. Many of the lyrics in Atavistia revolve around time passing and what is yet to come.
Awesome! Let’s talk about Atavistia live again: What was your most memorable show so far?
Aside from all of the European shows being drastically better than any show we’ve played before in Canada, our top 3 favorites have been, “Rock Your Brain Festival” in Sélestat, Mannheim, and München. They will live forever in our most memorable shows.
Nice :-) How would you describe your local rock/metal scene, and is there anything special about it? Did you notice differences to the European scene while being around here?
Our local scene is decent. I wouldn’t say there is anything special about it, but there are many dedicated musicians who love every second of being on stage. Unfortunately, our local scene is trumped by Europe’s metal scene. In Europe, there seems to be little to no stigma about being into metal. Here in Canada, one is viewed as an outcast from the norm. The European venues are designed for music and the treatment of artists is unfathomably better. The professionalism and efficiency we experienced by everyone around us while on tour was mind blowing to say the least!
As an independent band: What are your experiences with today’s music business
regarding the biggest changes and challenges?
Money, money, and money! haha even bands who are signed to labels still have to fork out a lot of money to pursue touring and recording albums. It is not the same as it was 20 years ago.
This is why it's very important for fans to support bands directly by going to shows, buying merch, and purchasing their music online rather than streaming it. As great as the system streaming is, the payout to artists is laughable at best. By no means am I knocking the streaming method, but I believe it is important for fans to know the truth behind it.
Absolutely! Blessing and curse in one. What can you tell us about your future plans?
We shall continue the second leg of Skálmöld’s Ýdalir tour in Europe with Seven Spires beginning 07/03/24. After that, we will start to roll out our upcoming EP and following album, which will both be released in 2024.
That's great news :-) Before we wrap things up, do you have any further thoughts you’d like to share here?
We’d like to say thank everyone for the amazing feedback and support during our first big tour. It was a surreal experience meeting those who came to see us and who have supported us over the years. We are forever grateful for this opportunity to be able to play for our fans in Europe, and we cannot wait to return in March, 2024!
You're most welcome :-) Thanks again for your time, and all the best for you and your future plans \m/