Interview: Maps & Atlases


Maps & Atlases aus Chicago gelten im Folk- und Indie-Bereich als einer der vielversprechendsten Newcomer aus den USA. Zwar nicht als Anwärter auf reißenden Absatz an den Plattentheken, dafür betrachten sie Kritiker in künstlerischer Instanz als eine der aktuell wenigen Bands, die sperrige Entwürfe und künstlerischen Spieltrieb in originelle Songs von drei Minuten packen kann. Ohne Quetschen, ohne Spannen. (auftouren)

Ich bin von ihrem Album “Perch Patchwork” ziemlich begeistert, auch wenn ich zugeben muss, das wir noch einen langen gemeinsamen Weg vor uns haben, bis aus Begeisterung echte Zuneigung wird. Aber eigentlich mache ich mir da wenig Sorgen. Ihr kennt ja meine aktuelle Situation, deswegen habe ich auf eine Übersetzung verzichtet.

Hello! Thanks for taking the time answering some questions! Can you please introduce yourself?

My name is David and I’m in the band Maps & Atlases

Your debut record “Perch Patchwork” will soon be released in Germany. How do you guys feel about the reception and finally having a full length out there after two EPs (plus one unofficial CD-R, as far as I know)?

I feel very excited that we have been able to make and release the music that we want to make and that we have fans who are receptive to that.

I red an interesting review of your record ( Maps & Atlases formed in 2004 and six years later they’re releasing their debut album. What the hell have they been doing all this time? I’ll tell you using metaphors and similes. They’ve been hungrily eating and digesting the works of many of the finest alternative artists of the last 10 years, and assimilating them into their repertoire. The result is something like what happens to those dogs in ‘The Thing’ when the parasitic extraterrestrial host reveals itself – a bloody mess of entrails, legs, heads and tentacles. Why did you choose to put out your first full-length record so far into your career?

Both of the EPs had an energy that seemed complete and in both cases we were faced with the choice of turning them into full lengths or releasing them as they were and I think that in both cases we made the right choice. We waited until now because this was the first time that we had an album that felt like a complete work.

In your own words, what is the difference between this full lenght an your EPs?

I think that there are many differences and that we have grown quite a bit in many ways, but I guess the main difference would be that this album has a larger scope of mood, textures, instrumentation and more sonic diversity.

“Perch Patchwork” is an amazing record, full of sounds, drum patterns and things to discover. You’ll not get it at first listen. It sounds like there was lots of time put into it. How was the recording process?

Recording the album was a long process of experimentation. Producer Jason Cupp did a great job of guiding the process and helping us to explore all of the different potential paths for the songs and we had a lot of fun working together.

Lyrically, this albums seems dark, but the music is very bright. Is that something sort of natural? Did they just sort of tie together in the end?

I think that the album may seem dark in contrast to the EPs, because it has a much wider spectrum of moods. We have a natural energy together that does seem to be relatively bright, but with this album we wanted to explore different things and create a balance of emotions within the record.

What is the song writing process like in the band? Does everyone contribute lyrics and music?

The process is different for different songs. Earlier in the history of the band many of the songs arose from jamming on ideas and stumbling onto things that were fun to play, so many of the parts on Tree, Swallows, Houses came about in this way with Erin and I contributing most of the lyrics. You and Me and the Mountain started more toward the direction of Perch Patchwork by still allowing surprises and evolution in the live setting, but having the chords, song structure and lyrics laid out ahead of time to keep the songs focused.

Where do your get your inspiration from?

Everyday life, normal experiences. I go for a lot of walks and I feel that I am always stumbling upon small or silly things that stick with me .

Can you imagine writing a score or compile a soundtrack? What kind of film or genre would you choose?

I would love to contribute to a movie soundtrack in some way. Chris (drums) and Erin (guitar) were film majors in College and I think that our band has a somewhat cinematic approach toward making music and I definitely feel that I have a cinematic way of interpreting music. I’m not sure which genre would be ideal though, maybe a comedy.

You already toured the EU as support act for the Foals. In October you’ll play a few gigs in Germany. What can we expect from your shows?

We always try to do things that are different and that feel authentic and we always have fun. We have been trying to challenge each other more musically to do new things, but at the same time balancing that with the fact that we are putting on a show.

Is the reaction to your music different in different countries?

The reaction to our music is very different everywhere, even in different regions in the US. It is interesting, but keeps it fun and exciting for us to play in different types of environments for different audiences.

I assume you use computers in your daily life. In which way do you use them for making music?

Sometimes I try to use computers for making or recording music, but mostly I just rely on more skilled people to help me with that.

As an artist, what are your views on how the Internet is changing the way music is discovered and distributed?

I think that the internet has created an extremely interesting environment for musicians and artists. There are so many great bands in the world and I’m glad that I can hear so many of them thanks to the internet.

Please name a band or musician who you love and think more people should be listening to.

Nick Cave, Kate Bush, Bill Callahan

Do you want to say anything else to my readers?

We are very excited to come to Germany!


Maps & Atlases – Solid Ground from FatCat Records on Vimeo.

“Perch Patchwork” bei Amazon


16. Okt 2010, 19:30 – Hafenklang, Hamburg
17. Okt 2010, 19:30 – Festsaal Kreuzberg, Berlin
18. Okt 2010, 19:00 – Beatpol, Dresden
19. Okt 2010, 19:30 – Cafe Cairo, Würzburg



2 Antworten zu „Interview: Maps & Atlases“

  1. Interview: Maps & Atlases | nicorola musikblog – rock-a-hula baby: Both of the EPs had an energy that seemed compl…

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