Right when we need some of those west coast psychy garage bands to start acting more like angsty garage bands again, here comes Atom Age. Well, they’ve been at it for a few years, “accidentally” kicking over beers around their Oakland, CA, homeland. But you might be hearing more from them since their latest album—Hot Shame, out August 28 via Asian Man—explodes out of the speakers like a garage punk band factory crumbling into and rolling down an earthquake cracking crevice on a hill into the Pacific.
But before they hit the waves, the band pulled in Blag Jesus (longtime leader of the Dwarves and punk producer extraordinaire) to make this third album. It’s a frantic blast of flailing, surf-riff wrangled rock’n’roll that will allow you to lay off a few pots of coffee this week.
We’ve got the premiere of the Wasteoid below to get you ignited while you read what singer/guitarist Ryan Perras has to say, below.
So, what’s your band “meet cute” story?
We actually met via Craigslist over the span of a year, so I think it’s more on the weird/creepy side than anything cute. Our first real show was on Halloween 2008, we played a house party that got shut down by the cops after a few songs. Our sax player cut his arm on a guitar tuning peg, and some girl from the crowd licked the blood off before the cops got there. After the party got stopped we went over to the movie theater where Peter our guitar player worked and did another set in the theater. It was a pretty cool first show, or two.
How was it working with Blag Jesus? Where did you record?
Working with Blag was fantastic! He has a crazy encyclopedic knowledge of all things pertaining to garage and punk. He gave us killer advice on songwriting and arrangement, as well as some much needed production tips. Blag got what we were trying to accomplish and encouraged us to go with our idea of adding a ’60s organ to the band, which we ended up doing for this record. We recorded at the studio I run in San Jose, California, called District Recording. Since it’s my place, we had a lot more time than usual to flesh out ideas and bounce them off Blag and each other which really contributed to the record and the production.
Wasteoid has a kind of rockabilly riff, to my ears. Are you guys fans of that, well, the original junk anyway?
Yeah we are nuts about all early rock’n’roll, rockabilly, R&B and soul. That’s some of the most visceral stuff ever recorded. Definitely the world that riff came from.
It’s probably a good thing people do not warn your potential girlfirends you are a wasteoid, am I right?
Believe me they wouldn’t need any warning. A bunch of guys in a band, most of whom work at a pizza place? C’mon, we practically have it written on our foreheads!
Did any of you go to the Burger Boogaloo? Best band? Worst band? How were the Mummies?
Yes we did. Best band: the Mummies. Worst band: the Mummies.
Plans once the new album comes out?
Tour the U.S. September through October and our second trip to Europe in November. Then more touring, followed by some more. Hopefully sprinkle in some more videos and maybe some new songs on a 45.