Friday, March 4, 2011

Atari appriciation part 2:Skate Tuff

This was the first Atari record i ever bought.Funnily enough i bought it off Pauly Edge when my old band were on tour and played the same bill as Meltdown.They were big back in the day.I can still listen to Demolition and enjoy it though.Anyway i digress.I saw this in Pauly's distro and snapped it up fast

reg cover(1st press)clear green /104

I put it in a mailer i had in the van and finished tour.It ruled by the way.
I already had the mp3s of the discography and knew the songs.The majority of the best songs feature on this 7" for real.
'Go' is hands down one of my favourite Atari songs.Its just incredible and has lyrics taht really speak to me.Its positive and to me reflects what the band were all about

i'll never just sit back and watch
motivation and effort can change so much.
just when you think you've got nothing left to show,
thats the time you gotta get up,gotta get up and go
days go by so fucking but what gets done?
wasting life sitting on our ass,
blame everyone lets make a change
lets get out of that bed we made
never waste a single day
never let the moment fade

we can do so much i know
if we just start now and fucking go
no excuses im tired of those,
excuses are just wasted words.
get up and go!

That song inspired a line for one of the songs in one of my other bands.If you wanna read that as i ripped it off....i cant disagree with you.

The cover of this record is just awesome as well.Whats better than having skateboard on the cover of your record?Having a kickflip to indy sequence obviously.
To me Atari come to mind as much as Bones Brigade or Suicidal when i think of skate bands.Plus you could always shred listening to Atari.That was key to what made a good band.

reg cover black vinyl(2nd press) red ink for sleeve /832

This 7" to me is perfect.I know im slightly biased in saying that considering i love this band and sentimentally this was the start of my collection.The fact that 'Go' is on there is also a plus point.

Brett Barto interview continued:

How far afield did you guys tour?

the closest we ever got to an actual tour was 3 shows we played with Fastbreak and Reach the Sky starting in Wilkes Barre, PA and then off to Toronto and Montreal. it was just a long weekend jaunt but we rented a van, printed shirts and stickers and made limited edition covers for the Too Tired To Drive Home 7" which was pressed but the final covers hadn't arrived yet. so i guess Toronto was technically the farthest we ever travelled for a show. besides our Canadian weekend and the occasion show in Maryland, Buffalo, Syracuse and up around Boston, we never really got to play that far out of our "area". unfortunately we got a reputation for that too.

what was the deal with your set at the third Posi Numbers? Im to understand there was some fallout.

i don't want to retell the whole story (you can read it in the discography liner notes) but i will say that there were many factors working against us that night and in my head i definitely felt we were "off" as a band. not necessarily playing wise (although some in the audience that evening may beg to differ) but more so as a group. it didn't feel like the Atari all of us loved to be a part of and have fun with. suddenly there were heavier issues than "should i wear the chain of strength or turning point shirt tonight?" i was also really sick that night so i know that, at least in my head, that didn't help things. we got slagged pretty hard on the Rev board the following week for our on stage fashion. that was definitely the beginning of the end for us. and not just because of the posi numbers appearance. things were changing amongst ourselves regardless of how other people were viewing us. i guess if Atari ever had any "dark days" they would have been around that time. i'm probably making the whole thing sound really overly dramatic. our friendships were never threatened at any point, just different people started to have different priorities.

What was your highlight of being in Atari?

getting letters from kids all over Europe and Japan, seeing the first kid (who wasn't our friend) stage dive at one of our shows, starting to recognize faces and saying "what's up" to people i'd see at all the shows again like i did when i first got into hardcore, skating with friends before almost every show, stuff like that. actually, if i had to pick just one, i'd say it was a letter i got from a kid from Europe who wrote on the back of a paper bag while he was sitting on a like a four hour train going to visit his girlfriend. it was easily the most heartfelt and sincere correspondence i've ever received regarding the band. he didn't even really ask any questions or ask for a shirt or sticker or anything like that. he just offered his thoughts on our music and lyrics and how he could relate. i still have all the letters people wrote us but honestly that's one i still pull out and read occasionally. he definitely "got" what Atari was about. and i'm not saying that like we were trying to be elusive and mysterious so only an enlightened few would appreciate us. that couldn't be further from the truth. i could just tell from his writing that he was attached to the hardcore scene in a much greater sense than any limited edition colored vinyl could provide.

You recently had an Exhibition called It Goes On. Tell me a little about it.

my friend owns a skateshop in Bethlehem, PA and every other month they have a local artist display their work on the back wall. i had a specific vision of what i wanted to show and the timing was right so i asked him if i could show some work. i love that i was able to hold it at a local skateshop run by actual skaters who legitimately want to get the community involved with what they're doing. be it skating, art or music. it out.

What made you do it?

last winter i had a lot of things going on in my life that i'm sure weren't very apparent to friends or people around me but were affecting me pretty deeply. i'm not trying to sound overly dramatic but it got to the point where my head was getting pretty cloudy over decisions i had made and i knew something had to change and it needed to happen quickly. let's just say it definitely wasn't the most "posi" era in my life. i was out for a run one night and the streets were just so dark, cold and empty. it was the perfect setting for me to do some real "thinking" and try to figure out what needed to change. what i really needed was something to focus on. something to devote my energy towards that would have a tangible end result for me. i had been documenting my travels and daily sights with a crappy digital camera for almost 4 years at that point and had a high quality printer at my disposal so the idea of a photography show came to me pretty easily. i basically planned the whole show out that night on the run. "i'll choose a group of shots that mean something to me personally. i can screen print posters to promote it. i can design a zine to hand out at the opening...etc, etc, etc." by the time i got back to my house i had a rough gameplan of the whole show. it was a small show in a small skateshop but it was exactly the sort of thing i need to focus my energy on. all in all a great experience. the name of the show came from a Robert Frost quote, "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." it fit perfectly with how i was feeling at the time.

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