Interview with Macca (Mark Wilkinson), the TAUP bassist and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
Macca: Music from the heart…
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
Macca: A serendipitous turn of events… we had been making music for a few years in a band called Come the Spring. Prior to the pandemic, we’d just parted ways with our second singer and wanted a reboot – something more authentic, less shiny – harking back to the hardcore sounds we’d grown up with in the late 80s/early 90s. We recorded the music, but managed to lose our 3rd singer somewhere along the way. As the world locked down we were left holding these songs, not quite sure what to do with them. At that point we invited our great friend, recording artist and label collaborator Craig Cirinelli to take them under his wing. This triggered a 2 month period of joy and wonderment as each little digital file was returned – the music we knew, but the melodies, lyrics and emotional weight were a revelation. It came together so perfectly that it’s difficult to remember that the music and vocals were completed 3500 apart and weren’t carefully crafted around each other in the same sweaty, buzzing, bouncing room.
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
Macca: Speaking for myself, music is a wonderful distraction from the world and I count myself incredibly fortunate to still have the opportunity to collaborate on and share this experience with friends. The Atlantic Union Project is definitely a love letter to the hardcore and emo bands we obsessed over in the 90s (and earlier…). As a bass player, I tend to spend my time trying to work out what Mike Watt is playing, or pinching a riff or melody from Colin Meeder (The Hated/Three Shades of Dirty).
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
Macca: To make music that I’m proud of for as long as I can.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
Macca: Whilst I’ve never had a music career, there are few moments that stand out for me – holding our new album in my hands definitely ranks up there with the best of them!
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
Macca: I think the problem is that it can be difficult to tell. The internet provides an incredible opportunity to promote your music, but I’m not sure how much of it is actually tangible. It is so easy to share music, set up a promo page or online magazine these days – but how many people take notice?
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
Macca: As a band we are geographically challenged existing both in the US and the UK. But we managed to get together and rehearse in the same room earlier this year, and definitely have plans to do so again and try and get a gig or two lined up. Watch this space.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
Macca: As a user, I think Spotify is the closest thing to magic that we have. To be able to access all of those tracks whenever and wherever I like is a miracle. However, it’s the old quality vs quantity quandary again. Whilst I love to be able to flick through a playlist or check out multiple new releases on a Friday, music inevitably becomes less meaningful because it is so accessible. In the old days, I would buy a record, and spend several hours listening to it on repeat whilst poring over the lyric sheet. If you didn’t like an album straight away, you put the time and effort in to try and find a reason to like it – I just don’t think that happens anymore. If I don’t like the first track or two, there’s ‘000,000,000s of others to listen to.
Similar quandary as an artist – to be able to document, and share our recordings so easily and for so little cost is absolutely incredible. But… when there are so many other bands out there, artistic efforts and endeavours become lost all too easily.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Macca: I’d probably give you a different answer every time you asked this question… today it’s Unsatisfied by The Replacements. Simple and slightly sloppy as the best Replacement songs are, but heart achingly brilliant.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
Macca: Much like any other industry, success in the music industry is based on profitability and exploitation. It’s inevitable in our GloboCap world – bring on the revolution comrade.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
Macca: Myself, Jamie and Simon are also in another band called the Evening Sons, which has the advantage of being based in one city. So we are regularly rehearsing, and less frequently, recording and gigging. In parallel though we are working on new Atlantic Union Project songs and hope to get back in the studio in the next few months for our next release.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
Macca: Head over to our website for all of your Atlantic Union Project needs; Home | taup (theatlanticunionpr.wixsite.com)
The Atlantic Union Project links:
Band/Artist location – Location: UK (Brighton) and USA (New Jersey)
Website – Facebook – Engineer Records You Tube – Soundcloud –
Bandcamp – Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer –
Check our page for The Atlantic Union Project