1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the solo project these days?
- I've spent the last four months or so transitioning careers. Unfortunately, this has really cut into the time that is usually dedicated to Atomic Drop. Hoping for life to return to normal in the next few weeks!
2.Since 2020 you have released a great amount of material, can you tell us a little bit more on how your music has progressed over these recordings?
- I think the music has embraced more influences outside of black metal and thrash. There's definitely more traditional metal as well as power metal creeping into both the verse sections and chorus hooks. While the song structures are pretty much the same, the tempos have begun to vary a bit. That's what happens when you start to get old. Haha!
3.A lot of your lyrics cover Wrestling themes, can you tell us which era's of wrestling you prefer and some of the wrestlers that you have covered lyrically?
- As far as the era's go, mid 80's through the late 90's. That was the peak of my fandom, and most etched into my brain. Especially obscure angles and wrestlers. Events that didn't happen in primetime, but rather on the syndicated programs. Up until the last two albums, all of the content was wrestling based. The song titles kind of give away which wrestler or story I'm talking about, but sometimes you have to dig deep into the lyrics to find out.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Atomic Drop'?
- I don't know, really! The live band I'd been jamming with had just dissolved because of Covid, so I figured I'd start my own thing. No compromises. Atomic Drop doesn't have too many syllables, it rolls off the tongue easily, and it could be wrestling related. It's a dated wrestling maneuver, but still pretty cool. Dropping a dude's ass on your knee. Haha!
5.In the last 3 years you have released a great amount of material, do you spend a lot of time writing and creating music?
- Not so much in the last 12-18 months. From 2019 through 2021, I was writing and recording music every day. I have several albums worth of unreleased material. Now, it's just a matter of mixing and mastering it all, and then scheduling the release dates. Every time I mix an album, I learn something new. It's a blessing and a curse. The freshly mixed and mastered material sounds better, but then it makes me want to backtrack and remix things I've already worked on.
I try to keep it at two full length albums per year, with singles and EPs mixed in between.
6.With the exception of a session musician you record most of the music by yourself, are you open to working with a full band or do you prefer to remain solo?
- I prefer working solo because I don't have to make any compromises. Perhaps down the road, I can pay some folks to round out a band and play some dates. That won't happen anytime soon, though.
7.Are there any other topics you cover lyrically besides wrestling?
- Yes! The "Pick Your Hill to Die On" album is almost entirely about my friend, Danny Strickland. There's a few tracks in the last two albums and the upcoming release about corrupt governments and religion, politics, horny vampires, after hours parties at strip clubs. Nothing really groundbreaking, but it fits the instrumentation pretty well.
8.In 2021 you were a part of a split with 'Tongan Death Grip', what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?
- They're awesome!!! In my opinion, they're at the forefront of wrestling themed heavy music. Calvin is a bit of a wrestling historian, and it shows with they're material. If you get the opportunity to check them out live, do it!!!
9.On a worldwide level, how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black and thrash metal?
- Outside of the U.S., it's been great. They seem more interested in dissecting the music, and not just the wrestling themes. They purchase merchandise and listen to the albums in their entirety. Most Americans are too lazy or lack the attention span to listen to a band for more than a song or two. It's pretty cool that there's metalheads in Russia, Finland, Indonesia, South America, and small villages in Ireland listening to this music. From what I've gathered, listeners either really love the vocals, or they absolutely despise them.
10.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
- It's my hobby, so I'll do it until it stops being fun. I'm not worried about getting a million streams or getting signed to a label. I write whatever I want, then share it. If people dig it, that's like a bonus.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles you are currently listening to nowadays?
- I don't really listen to that much music. Mainly just podcasts or whatever music my wife is playing in the car. I've been hearing lots of Lil Wayne, DMX, Kendrick Lamar, and Taylor Swift when I'm driving with my wife. I think it's pretty dope. DMX is a big influence for my music. The bands I'm really digging right now are Cruel Force, Skull Fist, and Condor. The new Nas album is pretty dope, too.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
- Thank you for your continued interest in Atomic Drop!!! It's crazy to me that people care about my music, but I'm glad that they do. I'm hoping to have the next album, "Steaming Cheekz", available to stream and purchase in February. That's all going to play out based on what my new work schedule is like. The album that will drop later in the year is called "The Bidding of the Beast." I've been working on it for about four years now. It will be the album that gets a vinyl release. So, stay tuned and stick around!!! Atomic Drop is just getting started!!!
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