On The Level

Well Hello again Tumblr,

As always I hope you’re all doing well. Its a good day today. The weather has really cleared up, and I can feel the summer heat slowly inching its way into the bay. Summers in the bay are some of my favorite times.

This past week, I’ve had a tornado for a head. There is a lot to work on and keeping focus on one thing is always a hard task when you have three major projects going on. Strangely enough though, I’ve caught some blogs posts by some of the bands we follow on Tumblr, who also happen to be friends of ours which we play with from time to time. In some kind of bizarre twist of fate the posts were very much in line with a blog post I had been mulling over in my head, which I was finally inspired to post up today after reading some of the aforementioned posts.

Picture Atlantic has been very busy lately, but more importantly has also gone through some major changes internally and externally. The one major event was our line up change which happened at the end of last year.

Like I had said above, I was really inspired by some of the posts I read, and to save me a ton of writing I’ll just reference a really great post by my buddy Zen, from Please Do Not Fight , which you can read here (http://pleasedonotfight.tumblr.com/post/4127473990/new-band-members). He said some things which were in parallel to my thoughts on Picture Atlantic. Reading it helped me form some ideas in my head about what I was even trying to say, if I even said it.

People were bummed about our line up change, and members leaving. Some people were not. Some people had no opinion. Regardless of where people stood, I felt very little was said about the whole situation. It was basically “These people are leaving, here is their goodbye letter, our CD release is on X Date, and then we are working on an album”. That transition was given its own time, but it wasn’t spoken about too much beyond that. Really the only reason I bring this up, is the questions and comments I’ve received as of late from people at shows and occasionally online. I felt it would be appropriate to speak a little bit about it and acknowledge the people who have brought it up in the recent past.

I can remember very clearly the first big changing point in Picture Atlantic’s timeline. As some of you may know , we were a completely different band when we started in around 2006, musically and in terms of line up. We gigged around. We thought we were a serious band, but we learned more and more about new steps we could take to up the ante. We were in a good spot, and we were just about to head into the studio to record what is now Kleos at around the early part of 2007. We got a bombshell dropped on us when one of our original members asked to talk to us, and told he was leaving the band to go to school down south. The timing was not so fortunate, but we didn’t resent him for it, and we respected his choice. It didn’t change the fact that we thought that our musical lives as we knew them were over. The band had a very static image to us, as though this incarnation was our final ‘Pokemon Form’ so to speak. It shook us up, and we had no clue what we were going to do. I can remember sincerely thinking the band was over. Irregardless we pushed on, headed into the studio anyways, and started writing. We had faith in what we were doing, and most importantly the music we were making. We had no idea what the future held at the same time. It almost felt like a thankless, hopeless task at first. After time though, we worked hard, got back to full strength, and even added a new member. I’m truly glad we didn’t give up back there in Ye Olde 2007. Even after the fact, we still had some line up changes. And to time travel even further, when we first started we played with about five or six live rhythm guitarists, some of whom even had a short amount of time as members in the band.

I guess what my message is, is that sadly, these things happen. I don’t mean to sound blase about it at all, but the reality is, that since the creation of this band, we have had people come and go. Its the way of life sometimes. In fact, if you want to be a purist, we aren’t even the same band at all from when we started.  Sometimes band chemistry works. Sometimes it doesn’t and people move on. And even some people just get a calling in a different direction other than music. In a lot of ways, I don’t blame those people. Music is hard and without a heart for it, I’d be in College for a Venezuelan Literature Degree, or to figure out a way to make bread toast itself.

To sum this up, to some people, they may not understand the reasons or like the changes we make as a band. In fact, I can remember after Kleos came out, people posting comments along the lines of “Your new Music sucks” on our myspace page. The reality is though, that we shouldn’t care, and we certainly didn’t. We moved past it. Our music has always changed. I’d like to see the spread sheet that shows the massive similarities between each album and musical incarnation of the band.  Some people are irked by these changes, and I have total respect for that. I can’t make you like the changes that happen or choices that we make, but at the same time I certainly can’t apologize for them. They are going to happen. We do this band for other people just as much as we do it for ourselves. Even though we have no clue what the future holds, we are still just as in love with music as we were in day one, and we are going to trek on as long as we humanly can, and feel is appropriate. Continuing to play music together as Picture Atlantic feels right to us.

There is an Arabic term, Insha’Allah, which means “God Willing” or “If God Wills it”, which is a phrase used to signify hope for the future, or a specific event to occur. At the same time, it’s also a conscious omission of the fact that the future is out of our hands. We have no idea what tomorrow brings. So really, all I can say is Insha’Allah.

And quickly, to dispel any rumors that you may have heard (since I have heard some pretty outlandish ones, let me tell you), yes, we are playing with live musicians right now who are helping out with shows, but no, we have not added anyone permanently into the band at this time.

Finally, I would like to thank all of you out there, who have supported the band, and still support the band to the current. My constant thankings on blog posts and the like, aren’t just polite social etiquette. I mean them very seriously every time I write them. Without support and love from our fans, we’d be nothing near to what we are now. We have great things planned, as our scheming never ends, so I hope we can share this adventure with as many of you that want a spot on the train. We certainly have a ticket if you want one.

Until next we meet.

Much Love,

-Nik & Picture Atlantic