The Atlantic Manor
"Flourishing in obscurity and flying well below the indie-rock radar, THE ATLANTIC MANOR is the alias of one R. Sell.
Born in the wake of the early 90's lo-fi explosion albums such as WHEN I AM A VIKING, THE HATE WE GET GOING, THE DESPERATE VIBE OF EMOTIONAL DEVASTATION, FAILING BY THE SECOND, SPECIAL IS DEAD, SNEAKING UP ON THE DEATH SCENE and THE TROUBLE THAT YOU LEFT exile the listener to a world of isolation, and loss. Minimalist dirges and stark fractured songs combined with traditional song craft, shards of feedback and sombre confessional lyrics have become a trademark. Fans of the off-kilter sect will find a new Champion in THE ATLANTIC MANOR. With each new release, R. Sell continues to carve his own unique niche within the underground community. Keeping The Underground Alive... One Record At A Time"
trakMARX - What inspired you to pick up a gtr in the first place?
Rick: Black Sabbath, Cheap Trick and The Ramones. Although my music sounds nothing like any of them, those were the bands that made me jump around in my bedroom and play air guitar. What fantastic guitarists - and what better place for a 13 year old kid to start.
trakMARX - What musical path led you to the door of The Atlantic Manor?
Rick: If your interested in music and have a true love for it, then it's just a natural progression. No one goes from Cheap Trick to The Velvet Underground or Half Japanese overnight. You never heard of someone like Roky Erickson or Galaxie 500 in the mainstream. The good stuff is underground. The stuff that makes an impact on your life and becomes the soundtrack to it. You have to go out and find the stuff and it's an amazing journey. Discovering a band or hearing a song that you have to play over and over and over again is what it's all about. Don’t settle for radio or MTV.
trakMARX - We can here echoes of 13th Floor Elevators, early Stipe & the wide-screen vision of Codiene - any others we may have missed out?
Rick: I love 13th Floor Elevators. "Splash" and "Don’t Fall Down" are two of my favourite songs ever. Roky Erickson is a big influence for me. He is an amazing song-writer and what I think that I’ve taken from him is being able to allow myself to venture from one extreme to the other, musically. Roky can write the most beautiful acoustic love song like "Clear Night For Love" or "Starry Eyes" and than destroy you with some real heavy stuff like "Bloody Hammer" or "Two Headed Dog" - and when he does it, it all fits and comes together. Neil Young is another guy like that. I love using feedback in my songs so I get the My Bloody Valentine or VU comparisons. I got that Vic Chesnut on crack thing going. I don’t know, for better or worse I think my stuff sticks out.
trakMARX - You are very prolific - 7 LPs in 5 years - 2 already this year - how long can you keep up this kind of blistering pace aligned, as it is, to an ever improving arc of quality? Will The Atlantic Manor just keep getting better?
Rick: I do write a lot. I have another record on the way called "ALL THE BEST GIRLS HAVE WINTER HEARTS". All the songs are done and sound great. I think I’m going to put it out in the beginning of next year. All my records are similar sounding, you know what your going to get. My records can be described as "mid-fi" so if you’re a fan of high quality studio recordings you might not be into The Atlantic Manor. I record my stuff very quickly. There are never any rehearsals involved. What you hear was recorded in one or two takes. The people who play on my records have never heard the songs until right before we record them. I show them the chord progressions and than were off - press record.
trakMARX - How often do The Atlantic Manor play out? Is this a live thing or a studio based project?
Rick: Up to now The Atlantic Manor has been a studio only thing. Who knows - maybe I should play out. I need a band first. Anyone interested?
trakMARX - Who do The Atlantic Manor view as contemporaries?
Rick: I don’t know how to answer that. No one knows I even exist. Who the fuck is The Atlantic Manor? Contemporaries? I look to people like Jad and David Fair (Half Japanese), Roky Erickson, Jandek, and Daniel Johnston for inspiration. They’re heroes for me and the reason that I exist. What contemporaries could I compare myself to? I would like to say Cat Power, Smog, Palace, My Morning Jacket, Jason Molina and Thalia Zedek (Come) - but I'm so underground that I can’t call them that.
trakMARX - What are the boundaries of The Atlantic Manor's ambitions?
Rick: Twenty years from now and many records later I will still be here. This is what I do and if you do something long enough people will notice. The crying baby eventually gets fed. I guess I just want to leave my own little mark and I’m more than happy to put in my time (funnily enough, that’s exactly the same reasons we all do this trakMARX shit – AMBITIONS ED).
trakMARX - What's coming up next for The Atlantic Manor?
Rick: I have one new record in the can ("All The Best Girls Have Winter Hearts") and plan on recording some more songs next month - so maybe I'll put out two records in the beginning of the new year.
trakMARX - Where's the best place for prospective punters to keep abreast of Atlantic Manor Action?
Rick: All your dreams will come true if you visit: www.theatlanticmanor.com
trakMARX - And finally, how will The Atlantic Manor be spending the festive period & do you have a special xmas message for trakMARX readers?
Rick: Pills and wine. Go start a band. Go write a song, record it and release it – and - if you’re proud of yourself and it makes you happy - then who gives a fuck what anyone says. Do yourselves a favour and seek out these bands:
The Holy Terrors, Thalia Zedek, Eleven Dream Day, Half Japanese, Galaxie 500, Lungfish, Wipers, Smog, Big Star, Jandek, The Velvet Underground, Husker Du and The Violent Femmes.
Many of you know these bands - but there's some 15- year-old kid who has never heard of any of them... let the journey begin.
Jean Aramis Encoule – tMx 22 – 11/05