Introducing: Atomic Agent

Atomic Agent self-describes as Hard goth rock with influences from the likes of Love Like Blood, Billy Idol, Danzig and whatnot. Let Atomic Agent creator (and until recently, sole member) Al Aston tell you all about it…

What are the origins of the band, how long have Atomic Agent been playing together?

Until recently, Atomic Agent has been a one-man band for a few years now, or in the beginning, a project really. I’ve – I as in Al Aston – have written, sung, and played everything myself, but a few weeks ago I recruited a drummer, Count Jan Woods, and a bassist, Neville van der Smith. Both of them are I my old trusted associates from another band, so I know, what I’m getting. Also, a rhythm guitarist has been added, we just haven’t yet rehearsed together with him, but I have a good feeling about him. I’m still looking for a lead guitarist with a sense of style, preferably someone who can make the guitar sing, you know.

What should people expect when they check the band out? How would you describe Atomic Agent?

Expect the unexpected. Sure, now that there is the debut album out, you have a certain idea of what Atomic Agent is about, but you only know a fraction of what this outfit is capable of. But the main genre is Hard Goth Rock, with a whole lot of different influences. And one thing is certain, all songs are more or less on the darker side.

The new music scene is bursting at the seams at the minute with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out to build a name for themselves?

Atomic Agent is fighting this same dilemma, and I’d probably switch from playing in a band to the business side of things if I had an easy solution. I’d just work hard, be confident and determined, and put some real effort into promoting the music. There are many ways to promote, of course, and I’d recommend having a professional doing that if you don’t have that kind of know-how yourself. Being active on the gig front doesn’t do you harm either.

What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?

There are a couple of new singles in the works, that will hopefully be released in the next two months. Can’t reveal too much yet, but there is a nice Finnish talent featuring, and you’ll also get to hear a whole new vocal sound from yours truly.

In terms of a similar audience, which band out there at the minute do you feel Atomic Agent would be best suited to open for?

I think we’d do well for someone like Tribulation, Candlemass, NFD, Fields Of The Nephilim, and so on. Maybe even Ghost, stadium level or bust, ha-ha!

Excluding yourself, which new band would you like to see break out and become a success?

Damn, I’ve fallen a bit away from the “new music scene” as I’ve been so intensely working on Atomic Agent and my metal band, I haven’t really had the time to check out any new bands that much. But let’s say Abandon All from Finland. They play this smooth style of Melodic/Gothic Metal and they are really nice people. I’ve worked with them a couple of times in the past and they are bound for success, I think.

What are your first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?

My first musical memories are related to seeing David Bowie music videos or some concert from a B/W TV, and getting into Elvis Presley’s music. But what really made me want to play an instrument myself, was getting into Thrash Metal in my teens. Stuff like Slayer, Dark Angel, Deathrow, Overkill, Metallica and such.

What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?

Hmm, seems it was the I Am Morbid gig at Hellsinki Metal Festival last August. I was a bit sceptical how Pete “Commando” Sandoval could deliver all those Morbid Angel classics, as he looked so fragile and tired at first, but boy did he prove me wrong! He blasted everyone’s brains out there with all that immense groove, technical brilliance, and sheer sonic assault that rendered me almost speechless. Also, David Vincent was in super form with his voice and his bass playing. The hired guns on guitars were good too, but of course, you did miss Trey Azagthoth’s presence there a bit.

What current social issue are you particularly passionate about?

Don’t even get me started, there are so many things upside down in today’s world! Sometimes I think to myself, that this present era is some sort of a huge candid camera show, where all the common sense and good behaviour have been thrown in the bin. The war on Ukraine is one thing and the climate problem another, but to me, the biggest problem is the polarisation of opinions in general. Seems like we can’t discuss things and look for solutions in a civilized manner anymore! I mean, come on, especially in politics, things aren’t always that black and white. Politics concerns every one of us, whether we want it or not. There aren’t straightforward answers to everything like the most populist folks lead us to believe.

The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?

I spit in the general direction of Spotify, but from my album collection I can mention The Bridge by Ace Of Base. They were a very popular and highly commercial Swedish dance-pop band in the 90s. Although being a totally commercial product, they actually did have a few genuinely good songs, I think they had a bit of classic ABBA in their DNA.

What new music have you been enjoying so far this year?

The year is still young, but to be honest I haven’t paid too much attention to what albums have been released lately as I’ve been so focused in my own artistic bubble. The new Judas Priest album sounded very strong after a few spins though. But what I’m really waiting for, is what King Diamond and Mercyful Fate can come up with, not to mention if Dark Angel would manage to pop out the successor to their last album from 1991.

What does 2024 hold for you?

2024 holds new single/video releases, a certain collaboration with another artist, a new EP, and possibly the second full-length album. It also means completing a full line-up and rehearsing for possible gigs.

How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?

Facebook and Instagram accounts are actively used, just send a message or tag/mention the band.

https://www.facebook.com/atomicagent666/

https://www.instagram.com/atomicagentband

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