Following our review of their impressive new record, we caught up with Jay from Across The Atlantic…
The Punk Archive: Hey Jay, how’s it going?
Jay: Hey! All is going really well, thanks for featuring me today.
The Punk Archive: Introduce us to Across The Atlantic, and tell us a bit about how you formed?
Jay: Well we’ve been a band for about five years now. We started in San Antonio, Texas really as a product of nothing more than just looking for a way to pass the time. Over time we pieced together our present day line-up all through the internet and classified websites like Craigslist. Since we all were unfamiliar with one another we each brought a very different element and influence from one another and after a lot of trial and error we began writing music. We toured extraneously as an independent band and during that time we released a EP and then full length album as well. Early this year we signed with Sharptone Records and recently put out our label debut Works of Progress earlier this month. Though it’s been a long time coming it feels like things are moving at an all-time speed so quickly and we’re just very excited to see what may happen next.
The Punk Archive: As you mentioned, you released your debut record Works of Progress last week. Talk us through the writing process: what and who were your influences?
Jay: I’m sure if you asked each member in the band that question you would have a unique answer for each particular person. For me though it was simple: my life was the biggest influence on Works of Progress. At the time of writing this album I was 24 years old and I really felt like I was at the breaking point in life between choosing to continue pursuing a career with the band or start considering a life without music. It seemed like during that time all of my friends were starting families and buying houses and cars while all of my time and attention was focused solely on the band. For a while I questioned my intuition. I wondered if me investing so much into music made me selfish or foolish. Ultimately I stuck to my guns and promised to make this album solely for the purpose of giving myself something I could be proud of. For the first time in my life I wasn’t concerned about getting signed or breaking through to the next level, I just wanted to make something I could look back on ten years and twenty years from now and smile about. In a lot of ways I really thought that would be my last album and final pieces of music ever constructed but as it turns out life had a different plan for me, luckily.
The Punk Archive: Were you excited to release the record, or were nerves the overriding feeling?
Jay: To be honest with you, a little bit of both. We had been sitting on this album for ten months. You can imagine that felt like an eternity for an eager, bright-eyed band like us looking to make our label debut. For a long time the waiting game just seemed to drag and drag so when we finally got to the final countdown it was a bit of relief and welcomed but at the same time when the reality set in that all of this was really happening it was nerve-racking also. This particular album is very personal to me, a lot of the songs are closely reflective of my life so it was a scary thought to expose myself like that to the public in a way that’s vulnerable. Intimidating to say the least. There’s so many mixed emotions, expectations and in general uncertainties that it’s hard to get a grasp on much during that time but I’m just really glad its finally out and the feedback has been so positive, huge relief after so long.
The Punk Archive: How would you describe your sound?
Jay: We’re a band that plays rock music…other than that I really don’t know what to say. We don’t ever write with an agenda and that makes for some very interesting diversity from track to track but that’s what makes it all fun for me. I love the freedom in self-expression: as a songwriter it’s liberating. Works of Progress is a good example of just how all over the place we are, from heavy to pop and even some acoustic songs. Music is music and we’re just happy to have the opportunity to play what we want.
The Punk Archive: You’re soon to head out on a European wide tour. Are you excited to get back on the road?
Jay: Very much so, it seems like it’s been an eternity since we’ve last performed. So much has happened and it feels like we’re reborn again there’s a new sense of energy in the band and I couldn’t be more excited about starting in a brand new market in Europe. So many beautiful cities and awesome fans, this is the stuff that dreams are made of, seriously. It’s cloud nine. We’re just really humbled to be starting in such a perfect opportunity.
The Punk Archive: What else do you have planned for the rest of 2017?
Jay: Hopefully a lot more touring. We’re really interesting in just getting back out there and connecting with people on a personal and intimate level. That kind of stuff really can’t be replicated and I think that is what I miss the most of all of this. It’s just a really exciting time for us all and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.