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An Interview With West Street Atomics

A new release from West Street Atomics is a wonderfully baroque pop single that bends and winds as it plays out with acoustic guitars, live drums, and a subtle and soft vocal that is all accompanied by a classic feeling bass line and over laying electric guitars that all together, create this almost brooding atmosphere that feels something like Elliot Smith at times and gives of a cinematic undertone that you get attached to quickly.

"Battle Axe" is a personal track lyrically and the whole thing is performed with a fantastic palette that helps create the theatrical premise of the song.

The release breathes and has this feeling about it that becomes welcoming and warm really.

It feels like watching the rain on a cloudy day and listening to it hit the window in front of you while you daydream about memories from your youth.

This was beautiful really. It sort of lets you inside the thoughts of the writer and it's very infectious in that sense.

This is a sort of indie-pop track, but it also has tendencies of late 90's underground alt rock tracks that have gone unplugged and its outstanding.

The project is all at the helm of one man that is a multi-instrumentalist, and this may be why the song feels so good.

Maybe it came out as close to what was in his head in the first place.

So, in light of this info, we decided to have a sit down with Chris Leavenworth aka West Street Atomics about the song.

Here's what happened.

Buzz Slayer: Let's kick things off with "Battle Axe". This song has a personal approach to it. Where did this track come from?

It’s based loosely off a Norm MacDonald Joke when he refers to his wife he makes up in his joke as a real battle axe. I was really shocked when he passed last year. His heavy-handed humor has been something I’ve appreciated my whole life. His joke was in my head, but yeah there’s def something more personal there. I think it has more to do with me being attracted to cold, emotionally unavailable people even though that’s not who I am or what I really want.

Buzz Slayer: So, when did music start affecting you?

When I was 6! My grandfather (my mom’s stepfather), would pick me up from kindergarten and have a cassette tape recorded with Stevie Wonder, The Drifters, Simply Red, Bee Gees, all kinds of RnB and Pop music. I really enjoyed everything he put me onto. Later I fell in love with hip hop, punk, country, the stones, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead.

Buzz Slayer: When did you know making music was something you wanted to be doing?

I was 14 and first heard Dammit by Blink 182… hah

I had a friend who played drums and guitar. He was bipolar and unpredictable. One summer he let me borrow his Peavey V, which had this almost unplayable and painful action to the strings and fretboard. We started a band but I couldn’t keep time worth shit. He would lose it on me. One time he threw a stack of speakers at me. I’d write songs but couldn’t actually play them. He wound up kicking me out of the band and kept my songs hah.

Buzz Slayer: What inspires you to write a song?

It’s generally my default mode. Songwriting. I let whatever I’m feeling inform the songs I’m writing. Throughout the day, I let my mind play with the melody, phrasing, and words. Especially when I’m driving or doing something routine.

Buzz Slayer: This track has some great styles! Can you all give us some of your top musical influences?

Thank you so much!! The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, Wilco, Pavement, Silver Jews, The The, Cate Le Bon, James Taylor, Glenn Campbell. I’m leaving out a lot. I really listen to a bit of everything.

Buzz Slayer: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?

I have a 13-year-old son. That and I do work fulltime within my community.

Buzz Slayer: Who's in your headphones right now?

Matt Berry, Beach House, Sharon Van Etten, The War on Drugs, Calvin Love, Curtis Harding, Black Pumas, Cass McCombs, Richard Swift, Thee Sacred Souls, Duran Jones and the Indications (Matt Berry if only asking one)

Buzz Slayer: Are you doing any live performances right now?

I play at open mics throughout NWFL and still really learning the performance side of it. Hopefully soon I’ll start connecting the dots to put my music on the road. I’m in the process of setting up a live stream for performances from my studio.

Buzz Slayer: This single feels like a big undertaking, is there any advice you'd give to other up and coming artists out there?

Thank you! I tend to spend way too long on my comps. I’d say always think about your relationship with music. It’s different for everyone and it changes, just be conscientious of it. Be realistic with your expectations. Focus more on who you are.

Buzz Slayer: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?

I have a new single coming out on the 30th called I Don’t Keep Time. I’m really excited for it! I hope everyone has a chance to give it a listen. I’ll also be releasing a full-length album in the first quarter of 2023.

Buzz Slayer: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?

Thank you!! I am truly honored to earn your ear. Feel free to email me whatever you’re working on or passionate about or drop a line! I’d love to see / hear / read it :)


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