Picture Atlantic
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Picture Atlantic

San Jose, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

San Jose, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Alternative Rock

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Picture Atlantic has a bone to pick - particularly with the music industry. Their latest release, "Digital Tension," stands as an open rejection to the tepid, cookie-cutter, mass-culture machinations of the business. Members Nik Bartunek, Ryan Blair, Brian Graves and Daniel Martinez crusade against the normative, in favor of a local, independent, more emotionally authentic brand of rock music.`

Given that ethos, it stands to reason that PA would choose, what is arguably the most raw, edgy, angst-ridden track on "Digital Tension" as their first visual work from the release. "Twist" is just that; a 1 minute 55 second barrage of post-punk, rhythm-driven energy.

The band re-enlisted director Paul Aspuria of San Jose's Film Antics Independent Productions; a director who's worked with PA before, filming videos for 'Joust,' 'With One Clipped Wing,' 'Cassandra Castaway/Clytaemnestra,' and 'Guerilla.' However as lead singer, Nik Bartunek elaborates, this one was different:


Picture Atlantic - Twist (Official Music Video)
"The Video shoot was really us hanging out and having fun. It was so much different than our last handful of shoots. We didn't have to act. We didn't have to stand in the hot sun. We didn't have to work on Zombie Makeup. It was us hanging out with our friend making a video."

The video, itself, is an equally energetic display as the track, with the camera engaging a series of quick cuts, each lasting no more than a few seconds. The dark, wood-paneling and blacked out windows convey a claustrophobic constriction. The band members are dressed in signature mod-style suits, as the camera cuts shift between the members, drums, vintage amplifiers (one of which reads the song's title, "Twist"), a vintage Fender P-bass, keyboards, and Bartunek's guitar witch has the phrase "Invest In Quality Music" scrawled across it. The shots seem to quicken with music's intensity, capturing the furious pace of the track.

The visual affectation of Aspuria's work is fast, driving and potent; a fitting realm for Picture Atlantic, as they make their points both musically and politically. Bartunek adds his thoughts on the final result.

"The finished product is great. We've done performance videos before, but this felt different honestly. It's so cut and dry, and relies on a totally different aesthetic as a video. In a way though, I think that is it's strength."

Be sure to catch Picture Atlantic as they tour California with Mountain View's Dogcatcher:

'THE LAST BANDS ON EARTH' California Tour
starring Picture Atlantic and Dogcatcher

02.07 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill w/ Cash Pony
02.08 Fresno, CA @ Kuppajoe w/ Sea of Sound and Indian School Rock
02.09 Davis, CA @ The Turtle House
02.15 Newark, CA @ Love at First Slice w/ Girl Named T
02.23 Hollywood, CA @ AMYPLYFi w/ Summer Leagues and Cat Who Will Eat Planets

For further info visit:

http://www.pictureatlantic.com

http://www.dogcatcherband.com - examiner.com


Seems like we’ve got yet another amazing bit of art coming straight from our own backyard! Local band Picture Atlantic released this wonderfully shot, terrifically energetic music video for their song “Twist” this Tuesday and we’ve got it here for you to check out! You may have heard these guys on Aaron Axelsen’s weekly local music program Soundcheck or maybe you’ve seen them at one of the great local venues in the Bay like Bottom of the Hill and the south bay favorite the Art Boutiki – but no matter where you heard Picture Atlantic you’re sure to love what you hear - Live 105


The song Twist featured in Picture Atlantic’s new music video is high-energy and pissed, specifically in the way that a young person gets at an even younger person who has become too big for his (let’s be honest, her) miniscule and well-tailored black britches. It begins with the syllabically contorted and very attractive phrase, “You believe all your rhetoric, and it makes me sick.” This much is plainly evident if we assume that the disease in question is one that renders the victim incapable of controlling his adorable “rock mouth”.

The San Jose-based band doesn’t sound that much like a San Jose band, but more like a band that is already famous. Perhaps some cuter, younger version of a Muse-Train hybrid. (Maybe they too should adopt one of those one-word band names. Map comes to mind. Or how about Bangs?) And they look like they sound. Their new video for the song Twist, off their sophomore release, Digital Tension, depicts them as one very handsome young man and his three average-looking friends having a very intense time playing music in a room.

Twist is Picture Atlantic’s first performance-based (performance-only) video. Singer Nik Bartunek says this has some to do with the band finally gaining enough confidence in their live(ish) appearance to carry an entire video. Indeed, the track, a high-energy, erratic number clocking in at just under two minutes, is a great choice for this endeavour.

In addition to being short and sweet, the song well represents the tone and subject matter explored on the majority of of Digital Tension. Of the album’s lyrical content, Nik writes, “Digital Tension is about my peers, more than anything. Our social norms are digital in nature, so I think a lot of the things that bother me relate to how we live in this country and culture. People are disconnected from reality. People break up with each other over texts. It’s all very cowardly and sad.”

Ah…nothing quite like the musings of a young man who is disappointed in his generation. Twist is more specifically about a certain kind of manipulative girl he encounters regularly, but broadly speaking, it’s fair to say that most of his stuff is about how terrible young people, sometimes himself included, are. Very relatable stuff.

Their next San Francisco date is 02.07 at Bottom Of The Hill w/ Cash Pony.
- Uptown Almanac


-Vincent’s Take-

If the snapshot that my mind associates to the first notes of the very young Picture Atlantic’s Digital Tension is the image of a stadium arena immersed in intense lighting effects and fireworks, I guess that it can already be considered a great result, right?

Being a musician myself, I find it really amazing that an album, recorded and produced in studio, can remind me of the live experience; the lifeblood of artists and the size of the supreme music. I am so used to being faced with a hyper-produced album and musical experimentation that often fall into bad taste, almost baroque, that when my stereo plays Picture Atlantic, I cannot help but listen to them with genuine attention to every chord. I should point out, in fact, that this music genre (modern rock, topped off with a great and irresistible taste in pop) is not really my cup of tea, so I find it hard to believe that I am so fascinated by such an album. Perhaps because in Nikolaus Bartunek, Brian Graves, Ryan Blair and Daniel Martinez I see my peers; intent on playing, straight from the heart, the music they love. I thoroughly enjoy each song, without exception, from Digital Tension (their second full length).

The influences of bands like Radiohead and Coldplay, and I personally would add Blur, are doubtless, but these are just solid basis for a completely original compositional work. Well balanced throughout the album, alternating hoochy songs as “Regina,” “Halogen Lights (or Babies Having Babies and Kids Getting Married)” or “Twist and dilated” oneiric tracks, full of musical pathos (“5:50 Hurts” is my favorite, I must admit, and “Meme,” the last song on the album, with its typical post-rock sound). Large credit should be given to producer Aaron Hellam, who was able to capture the primary essence of a rock band perfectly rather than oppress the music under the sparkling cloak of a phony production – something that the nowadays scars thousands of “new albums.” He prevents them from reaching an exaggerated false level which would result, ultimately, in mediocre and uninspired work. In addition, also for professional bias, I cannot deny that Nikolaus’ voice is able to reach me clearly and perfectly, all while disclosing an endless sequence of emotions that only few singers can leak. In short, a twisted mix between Chris Martin’s pure voice and Robert Plant’s soul (the more I listen to his voice the more I feel this similarity, totally unusual and distinctive). As a whole Digital Tension is a really mature album musically, especially considering the young age of the band from San Jose. This does nothing but increase the value of Picture Atlantic. The quality of the songs is really astonishing and each of them could be released as a single on its own (my personal way to judge whether a song is good or not).

My last consideration, more like a funny curiosity: “We live in a strange digital age. Protests. Smart phones. Riots. Bad Economy. Loss of focus. Digitized social structure. The Internet. Information overload. Excess. Surplus. Not enough. Generational identity crisis. Social Justice. Boredom. Facebook Blues. Over excitement. This is digital Tension” they say and they are definitely a band leaning on digital: they have announced their new drummer on their official website, the title of this brand new album via Twitter, the producer via Instagram and the recording sessions’ dates on Tumblr. I definitely love this kind of digital tension, too.



-Greg’s Take-

I’ve spoken a lot in the past about the music scene in the Bay Area. Typically this is set in context of a drooling obsession with their passionate and infectious folk scene. But just when you think you have it pegged, it throws a curveball at you.

The blind side of musical genius (not kidding, it is spectacularly enjoyable) comes in the form of an Ezra Koenig-like vocals fronting four diversely talented musicians.

Picture Atlantic is exactly what we need in a time when Vampire Weekend is opting to do very little. Now, it must be said, that though I cannot shake the VW association when listening to Picture Atlantic’s Digital Tension, it is very much a compliment. Where Koenig and crew lean to Indie-Folk, Picture Atlantic turns to Indie-Rock; much to my enjoyment.

The twelve track sophomore album from Nikolaus Bartunek, Brian Graves, Ryan Blair and Daniel Martinez is easily one of best investments you can make this year. It has the ability to captivate and suck you into its relentless grasp as it bleeds hard working music at its best. Bartunek tears open the record with “Regina.” The well timed entry into Digital Tension immediately snares your attention. Progressing further in we’re met with the rolling bass riff and swaying melodies of “White Knight” and just as you begin to settle in to a slower pace, they deliver a, well, “Twist.” The hard hitting rock track is immediately distinguished by “Don’t Be Cheap,” which dances on a refreshing vocal/keys duet, making you second guess what you just heard. Though keeping close to melodic rock, the capabilities of Picture Atlantic is thick throughout; making replay ability endless.

It is apparent that I’m a fan of Picture Atlantic; I was on just the first run. Their style is rare and their talent is admirable. They have a vision that is very hard for even the most seasoned bands to obtain. Though they have hidden hooks and peaks in their music, their passion is everything but. Picture Atlantic’s Digital Tension is a must have of 2012 and reinforces the San Francisco music scene in a big way. - Nanobot Rock Reviews


Maybe it’s just because the quartet hails from the unofficial genius capital of the world, Silicon Valley, but indie-rock quartet Picture Atlantic takes a near-scientific approach to their new album, Digital Tension as it carries a listener through the sea change of emotions that accompany us in a fast-paced digital age, where everything from our status updates to our purchasing decisions become factors in an algorithm. An exquisite mix of thrilling boppy synth highs and dark, heavy bass lows, this almost too appropriately Kickstarter-funded album captures the joys of an age of instant contact and gratification with the hangovers of media and information overload in the same effortless harmony with which we casually check our Facebook updates every hour. The progression just seems natural.
To see the band IRL (that’s Internet for “In Real Life,” of course), check out Picture Atlantic’s live chops on their west coast tour starting in Sacramento July 13, or at their San Francisco album release party at Bottom of the Hill July 14. - The Owl Mag


Picture Atlantic’s second full-length album, Digital Tension, marks a huge stylistic shift for the San Jose-based band.

Starting with the band’s debut EP Change is Welcome in 2006, a six-song collection of alternative pop songs, Picture Atlantic has grown and matured through lineup changes. Today, the band features Nikolaus Bartunek on vocals, Ryan Blair on bass, Brian Graves on keys and new drummer Daniel Hernandez Martinez.

Digital Tension is playfully self-described as “witpop,” but many of the songs on the album feature a darker sound than the band’s previous releases. You can feel the weight of the digital age with the band as it moves forward in an uncertain future . “Halogen Nights,” the fourth track, sets the tone of this weight as people today “fall for the panic as the news heads shout and blare of an old Iron Curtain and a terrorism scare”.

The overall album sound is completely unique in comparison to Picture Atlantic’s past work. It’s covered with synths—present before but with less dominance—and heavy-laden bass solos followed abruptly by bursts of noise rock. This is most apparent on tracks like “Twist” and “Oathbreaker.”

“White Knight” features a haunting but memorable bass line while Bartunek tries to find balance between the admiration of the “white knight” but also not disregarding one’s “black night deeds.”

Bartunek, especially in the middle of tracks “Don’t Be Cheap” and “5:50 Hurts,” hits the high notes with control, a signature to each of Picture Atlantic’s releases.

Digital Tension is out now on Bandcamp . The CD Release Party is at Bottom of the Hill July 14, with Cold Eskimo, Dogcatcher, and Please Do Not Fight. - Metroactive


"I see your skin as it should be," Nikolaus Bartunek croons ten seconds into Picture Atlantic's first track on Digital Tension. The racially charged lead-off track, "Regina," negotiates around an ironic, vaudeville-style piano line that sends a cerebellum reeling; it's clear that this isn't just another PA release. The South Bay, alt-pop outfit is no stranger to the music industry. With several EPs, singles and now two full records, Digital Tension will mark the band's second, full-length release - the follow up to the candy-sweet pop rock of 2008's Kleos. For PA, change has arrived.

Bartunek feels that change is inevitable, welcome and tantamount to the act's success.

"The new music is simply where we needed to go. For once in a long time I feel like the band, as a group, and the music, are in syncopation. We are very proud of it, but at the same time also very in tune with it . . . ."

That syncopation led to a stripped down, bald-faced take on the music and a decidedly rhythm-heavy flair, led by the band's newest member on percussion, Daniel Hernandez Martinez. Consequently, seven of the twelve tracks begin showcasing Martinez's drumming. That, along with an invigorated social message, a few dark musical twists and plenty of angst directed at a trifiling music industry makes Digital Tension a formative, sea-change release for the band. Bartunek continues,
Picture Atlantic- Regina
Video: Picture Atlantic- Regina

"The whole approach was vastly different. We love being studio nerds and doing lots of production but we also felt it was doing the band an injustice by being vastly different than our live show.Our intentions as an act became about so much more, too. We wanted to not only make good music, but for once, stand for something with integrity and honor, and stop playing into the ridiculous, vapid, and egotistical nature of a lot of the facets of the music industry that we saw around ourselves."

PA's intensions become wholly self-evident, as they stretch into the band's unchartered territory. Digital Tension pits a newer sound against an older formula, creating tracks dense with musical vision. Unbridled honesty becomes the key to the hard-edged, gritty resonance of the punk-influenced "Twist" and "Oathbreaker," the brilliant, reggae-inspired bassline on "Don't Be Cheap" and the psychedelic musings of "Turn It To Wine." The albums closing two tracks drive PAs vision home, with the breath-taking pain of personal history, lonliness and hertitage on "Melting" and the slinking darkness of the anthemic "Meme."

But, the PA faithful need not worry that the band's initial pop-sensibilities and traditional songwriting fall by the wayside. Songs like "Silly Tie," and "Halogen Lights (for Babies Having Babies)" are both surreptitiously playful and outwardly poigniant. While the 70s sounding "5:50 Hurts" with its Rhodes-style keyboard and falsetto vocal lines, the ethereal "White Knight" and heartfelt "Edgewood Drive" shows the act's mellow, but no less pensive side.

With hints of influence from acts like Jeff Buckley, early-era Radiohead, U2 and The Beatles added to their already developed influences, Picture Atlantic has uncovered a depth and viscosity of a band realizing their true nature. If their task on Digital Tension was to probe their inner workings in search of musical and personal honesty for something that's always been there, they've unabashedly succeeded. The finished product yeilds something intense, introspective and revealing, all the while producing a highly enjoyable listening experience.

Go to http://pictureatlantic.bandcamp.com/ to sample and purchase Digital Tension. - www.examiner.com


Last Friday at Trinity Gold Media we had a awesome show. Starting off the night with Brandon Zahursky who is just finishing up his 1st tour started off the night with his beautiful acoustic music. Then Picture Atlantic from San Jose, Finish Ticket from Alameda and then Napa’s own Anadel finished out the night. Such a fun and great night of music. - I Heart SF Bands


The Owl Mag‘s Happy Hour during last week’s Noise Pop festivities was a huge success thanks to our friends at Noise Pop, Audyssey, Bender’s Bar, and our new friends in Coast Jumper, Soft Swells, and Picture Atlantic, and all of you who came out to kick off an event-filled evening of amazing music in San Francisco. As happy meter during Happy Hour continued to steadily increase with a mixture of some seriously heart attack worthy bar food and $3 Trumer, the boys of Coast Jumper started the night out on the right foot and showed why San Francisco boasts some of the best up and coming artists on the scene.

To close things out, Picture Atlantic had Bender’s jumping around with the happiest of Happy Hour glee with their energy-filled seven song setlist. Until next year San Francisco, here’s a big feathery hug from all of us at The Owl Mag. We can’t wait for Noise Pop 2013! - The Owl Magazine


Say Anything have announced a slew of dates for their headlining North American tour. Joining them throughout the entire cross-country road trip will be Eisley and .mooneen. The tour will also include appearances from Miniature Tigers, Moving Mountains and Picture Atlantic on select dates. You can check out all the stops and their respective rosters below:
- Alternative Press Magazine


Rico: I'm Rico Rodriguez and I play drums.

Nick: I'm Nick Bartunek and I sing and play guitar.

Rico: And we play in Picture Atlantic. Is this too loud? Okay, cool.

Meghan: First question, who thought up the name and how?

Rico: You'll have to talk to him.

Nick: We actually had a previous drummer, before Rico. This was a really, really long time ago. We really liked going to the beach. It was summer of 2006 or something like that so we were trying to come up with a name and we came up with Picture Atlantic. I don't know why we came up with those words, but there was a Thrice song called "Atlantic."

Rico: In a lot of ways it doesn't make sense because were on the beach of the Pacific Ocean, but some of the best things in life don't make sense, so that's alright.

Meghan: I appreciate that.

Meghan: So you guys all are pretty young, if that's not a sensitive topic. Young to the point that you can't actually stick around in the club after you've played the show?

Nick: I can! I just recently turned 21.

Rico: I'm 22.

Meghan: Oh, so you guys can. How old are all of your members? Somebody told me you were all in high school. That's not accurate?

NICK: No!

RICO: No. I'm 21. Nick's 22. How old is Ryan?

NICK: Ryan is 20. Patrick, our guitar player, is 19. Our keyboard player Brian is, like, 37.

Rico: Yeah.

Meghan: So you guys buy the booze?

Nick: Yeah, I guess. I don't drink very much, so....

Rico: I don't drink at all. I actually never drink.

Meghan: What are you waiting for, if you don't mind my asking?

Rico: I just don't want to, really. Another interview, another time.

Nick: He's a Scientologist!

Meghan: You guys have really distinctive cover art. Can you tell me a little bit about the inspirations or where that came from?

Nick: It has to do with the general theme and name of the album. The cover's actually Achilles stabbing Hector in the neck with a spear and I had that idea because in one of the songs we play there's a part where I mention Achilles in the song. A very vengeful duel just appealed to me, for some reason.

Rico: To give credit, Andrea Rhodes did that and she's a very talented artist. She works for Pixar.

Meghan: And you know her personally?

Nick: He does, not us.

Rico: Yeah.

Meghan: So you got the hook up.

Rico: Definitely.

Meghan: So you guys released Kleos last year. Can you tell me a little bit about the album?

Rico: Yeah. It has 14 songs. I feel like every song is different, which is a cool thing. A lot of times an artist will release and album and all the songs sound the same. Sometimes people up in the industry actually like that, when you fit into a niche, but what I like about the album Kleos is that all the songs sound really different. You can go through the whole thing in one sitting and not feel like you just heard the same thing for an hour. On the musical side, that's how I feel about it.

Nick: Yeah, I feel somewhat the same. I think he put it just as well as I could've said it.

Meghan: As a songwriter do you have a preference to working alone or with a group of people?

Nick: I think I don't really have a preference, but I find it more convenient to sit down by myself because I'd have to be stopping the band every five seconds, "Oh, play that part over again because I have a different melody idea." The lyrics are impossible to write if you do it with a band.

Meghan: What are some of the inspirations for Kleos? Were you listening to anything a lot at that point in time?

Rico: A lot of Frank Sinatra. Boy George.

Nick: A lot of crooner jams. Dean Martin. I don't know, I listen to all the same bands, but, this is going to sound weird, but "In Rainbows," the Radiohead album, came out right at the very end of the recording. It was more of an inspiration to keep going. It was more like an engergizer, I guess.

Rico: It's inspiring for musicians to hear good music, so I think an album like that, and I'm not necessarily a big Radiohead fan, but I can see how that could inspire.

Meghan: What else are you guys really big fans of? What gets a lot of play in the tour van?

Rico: Well, right now, in the van we have headphones. All of us are so different. In the car today I was listening to a lot of harder metal stuff, Oh Sleeper and Norma Jean and stuff, but sometimes I listen to way different stuff. I like everything so it's usually hard for me to say. I don't know what Nick's been listening to.

Nick: I've forgotten my iPod, actually, so I've been bumming it off of Ryan, but I did listen to a great album by Graham Coxon, the guitar player of Blur.

Passerby: Great fucking set!

Nick: Thank you!

Rico: Thanks, man!

Nick: So I've been listening to that, which is really cool. I've been listening to a band called the Servant from England that I really, really like. They're unfortunately not around. I still thought they were a band. I found out shortly thereafter that they are no longer a band, so I had some indie cred by default right there.

Rico: There's a band called the Last Shadow Puppets that's really good.

Nick: Yeah, Last Shadow Puppets is cool.

Meghan: I don't know them.

Rico: That's a good band for you to check out, if you're looking for a new band. They're very new.

Nick: Yes! Check that band out!

Meghan: Do you guys know some of the members?

Rico: No! They're actually from the U.K.

Nick: Some of the guys from the Artic Monkeys are in that band.

Rico: That and a band called the Rascals. Two of the guys came together and made a band. But anyways, they're really good.

Meghan: So you guys are in the middle of a tour, right?

Nick: Yes.

Meghan: Primarily West coast and then some Midwest?

Rico: All of California we did, up to Seattle. We're going to go South through Texas and Arizona and Missouri and Oklahoma. Hopefully we're going to do something for South By Southwest. Things are kind of sketchy, as a lot of your tours are when you're putting them together yourself. Our manager worked really hard but things fall through and stuff. We're working on it.

Meghan: The music industry in particular. You guys had a couple of shows cancelled, right? Can you tell me about that?

Nick: That was because word had spread ahead that we were really violent onstage and we'd break things.

Meghan: That's interesting, because I didn't find that to be true.

Nick: No, we're not. Actually a couple of the shows got cancelled because the band that was originally supposed to go on tour with us bailed out and since there was already four people on the show, it didn't rub the promoter the right way. Then another band found out and they were like, "We don't want to drive out if there's not going to be a full bill," and things kind of domino effected and we lost a couple of shows.

Rico: But Picture Atlantic is soldiering through. We made it happen.

Nick: We still made it happen.

Meghan: The show must go on.

Meghan: So this is your first big tour, right?

Rico: Yes.

Nick: We've done several tours but this is the first one this long and big.

Meghan: Do you approach your shows differently because this is the first big one?

Rico: I feel like we play every night the same, just as hard, no matter what the show or how many people. We approach every show the same, from the biggest one to the smallest one.

Nick: It can be kind of demoralizing. The funny thing is that you show up to a show and you're like, "Oh, there's nobody here, this sucks," and then everyone comes.

Rico: We always do the same thing, just as hard every time, but it feels different depending on how many people are there.

Nick: And the energy of the room.

Meghan: I read that you guys won a contest to open for Coldplay.

Rico: True.

Meghan: Can you elaborate?

Rico: There was a contest that Live 105 did and basically, you had to enter a video and they chose so many hundred bands....

Nick: We did a song, then a video.

Rico: Yeah, yeah, and then they voted on it and chose fifteen bands out of hundreds. Then they narrowed it down to three by votes and then Coldplay picked one of the three.

Meghan: Congratulations! So when was the show?

Nick: July, was it? June, July.

Rico: Summertime. It was summertime.

Meghan: Did you guys get to meet Chris Martin and the bros?

Rico: We did meet them, yeah.

Meghan: How was that?

Rico: Really cool. We hung out with their bass player for a while. He was a really cool guy.

Nick: I don't want to sound cliche by saying "humble," but they treated us like peers, which was actually mindblowing. We had just heard their new album and I really like Coldplay, and they were like, "There's this one song on the album called 'Viva La Vida.'" They talked to us like we didn't even know they had an album out, which was really cool, actually.

Rico: Coldplay, if you're listening, we want to play with you guys again. Please.

Nick: That's just sycophantic.

Meghan: You didn't write down any email addresses or take any numbers?

Nick: They all got CDs from us and I don't know, we don't want to bug them too much. They were cool guys.

Meghan: Last question. You guys are originally from where?

Nick: At one time everyone in the band lived in a different city. Right now, pretty much every one is in San Jose.

Meghan: Okay, so you guys are local. Are some of you originally from Wisconsin? I heard a rumor.

Rico: I live in Fresno and San Jose.

Meghan: How does that work?

Rico: I just drive back and forth.

Nick: That's weird. Wisconsin? Nobody's from....There's been this rash of rumors spreading. I had somebody come up to us and say, "Hey, did you ever get managed by this person?" and apparently people have been claiming that they have managed us and that somebody claimed at one point that they wrote one of our songs and then gave it to us, on our old E.P., so there's been all these bizarre rumors lately.

Rico: The more and more people that get to know you, no matter what you do, whether you're in politics or music they start making things up.

Nick: Or things get blurred.

Meghan: Well, do you guys have anything up and coming after the tour? Do you have plans?

Nick: We have a lot of things that are tentative that we shouldn't even talk about but there's a couple of tours after this that are way, way cooler than this one.

Rico: More grandiose.

Nick: So be on the look out for what we're doing in the future because we should be going all over the place.

Meghan: Very good. - Soma FM


San Francisco’s own Picture Atlantic started out in 2006, when bassist Ryan Blair and guitarist Patrick Chu tired of the hardcore scene that they were faced with in the Bay Area. They, along with singer Nikolaus Bartunek, strived to find a style that was more like the music they actually enjoyed listening to, and the result was a unique and fun melodic rock. Patrick, Ryan and Nik, along with a local drummer, began to write and rehearse music they felt passionate about - they played off of the ideas of one another. “I don’t know what we were setting out to do specifically, but I know we wanted to just be playing shows” says singer Nik.

The band released their debut EP, entitled Change Is Welcome, which led to the spread of their music locally. The band spent the next year writing and recording Kleos, their first full-length album, which they released in June of 2008. Following their release, they spent some time playing shows all over the Bay Area, one of which included opening for Coldplay in San Jose. With a total of six members now - Nikolaus Bartunek (vocals, keyboard, guitar), Ryan Blair (bass), Patrick Chu (guitar, vocals), Brian Graves (keyboard, synthesizer), Rico Rodriguez (drums, vocals), and Grant Averill (guitar, vocals) - it did not take long for Picture Atlantic to establish themselves. With a goal of becoming a touring band, they are well on their way to success.

Picture Atlantic is, once again, writing and recording in hopes of finishing another full-length. The band puts a tremendous amount of effort into their work; they try to stop writing, but they cannot seem to. Nik Bartunek believes that writing is the best when it is unintentional. He also says that being a member of this band changes the way he thinks about things. He claims that playing shows has altered his view of a nine-to-five job. He also states, “One direct thing is that I’m much more thankful for what I have at home, and in the band. We’re poor little traveling bards, but we’re also very lucky little bards as well, just because of the chances we’re given.”

Catch Picture Atlantic at their upcoming show at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco on July 1st.



Continue reading on Examiner.com Picture Atlantic's road to success - San Francisco Local Music | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/local-music-in-san-francisco/picture-atlantic-s-road-to-success#ixzz1nS3jORLs
- Examiner


So with Tiger Uppercut, as it is a blog of life, I want to try to these “Of The Weeks”… things as often as possible. There are so many great things out there waiting to be discovered and musically speaking, this week, the band to look out for is….

Picture Atlantic!

Cool Facts:

They respond to me A LOT on Twitter, which I think for any person but band especially is waaay cool.
They are managed by Jake Turner of Say Anything [who in my opinion, you should always be listening too.]
They play primarily in the Bay area of California but have ventured down to So.Cal[where I live] once or twice.
Next So.Cal Shows: 11/21- @HOB San Diego w/ Say Anything/Eisley [I’ll be there, come say hi.] 11/22-Cinespace
New EP out this winter.
THEY ARE SO GOOD!

Lets just cut to the chase. People are getting tired of hearing the same music from different bands who look exactly like each other. I mean… I know I am. Picture Atlantic is the antithesis of that. They have a really smooth, melodic and soulful sound that’s quite addictive and catchy. Great lyrics pieced with great music can only equal a great band. And holler at all my ladies and my gays- a band full of super cute dudes.

And if all my adjectives haven’t sealed the deal yet, just go see them live. I’ve had the opportunity to see them once and was very, very pleased. And mind you, this was at a Say Anything show- the band of my life and PA was able to capture my attention and keep it and ever since then, I swoon for Picture Atlantic every day.

Where You Can Hear Them:

www.purevolume.com/pictureatlantic

www.myspace.com/pictureatlantic

Follow them on Twitter: @PictureAtlantic

Best On The Go Songs: Muses, Slip Into The Sea, Air.

Final Words? Picture Atlantic is truly a great band that I just cannot stop listening too. All they need is that one opening shot to shoot you in the heart. I promise, you will love them.

Enjoy and tumble away my lovelies!

[P.S] Feedback is ALWAYS welcome but keep in mind if you wanna talk shit get your own blog asshole. - Tiger Uppercut


IRR famous maker Aaron Blumenshine had a nice sit down chat with the boys in Picture Atlantic while they were in San Francisco promoting their new EP ”Dulce Et Decorum Est” with some live songs. Aaron didn’t stop with the video, he took it a step further and shot a video of the band and took photos for your enjoyment.

——

Notes by Aaron: A few weeks ago we decided to work on some promotional work and possible album cover material for their new upcoming EP ”Dulce Et Decorum Est.”

For those interested in the band, you may want to know that I conducted a small interview with Nikolaus Bartunek (vocalist of Picture Atlantic) and found it pretty intriguing… Enjoy.

IRR: What was the major influence for the Title “Dulce Et Decorum Est”
PA: The Major influence for the title was actually a rather famous poem by Wilfred Owen. In WW1, Wilfred Owen was a foot soldier in the trenches, and wrote a lot of really, in my opinion, intense poetry. I didn’t have to dig very far or anything to find this poem, since its probably one of the most well known poems of the war. Something about the name just felt right. That title in of itself is from another poem by Horace, and it translate to “How Sweet and Fitting It Is”.

IRR: What Aspects in history helped form the moon/content of the album?
PA: Mainly the mood and content are shadowed by WW1, and the turn of the century. The short years after 1900 were very much, in my opinion a confused marriage of the late 1800’s, with its carriages, gentleman, and honor, and this bright new future that had just dawned, with its terrible and awesome technologies. If you look back at the pictures from that era, you see many family photos with some members wearing older looking suits, with high collars, and some wearing more modern suits. It must have been a scary time for some people. Having latched onto this point in time where there were some very strict and orthodox points of life and society, and then to have this new generation rising up with the turn of the century. After WW1, I think the world learned quite a bit about the shallow nature of “Gentlemans Code” that the war was so fervently based on.

IRR: Tell me a little about general idea of the album, as far as the modern release, but with classic photography?
PA: I’m not nearly as political as some musicians are, and I’ve never found it even mildly attractive to become a political act, but I started to see parallels in certain points in history, and our time now. We are standing on the turn of a century ourselves, and things are rapidly changing in our culture and in our modern world. We have currently, as a country, been going through some wars that I think are, plain and simple, completely pointless. On a flip side, I have always been in love with literature from before the turn of the century, and even shortly after. That literary world from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to H.P. Lovecraft, has always appealed to me. Naturally I saw that WW1 shared quite a great deal of political climate as our “War on Terror”, and something clicked in my head; for my love of what once was, and my frustrations for what is happening right now in front of me. We may not fight our wars by going over the top of trenches, but I think the action is equally as futile as it once was. - Indie Rock Reviews


On Saturday night (4/24/10) San Jose-based Picture Atlantic and Bay Area natives Bird by Bird and Please Do Not Fight rocked Bottom of the Hill.

Very slowly, Picture Atlantic has been leaking tracks off their new EP Dulce Et Decorum Est (Latin for “It is sweet and right”) on their Pledge music page. As always, it was such a pleasure to see them perform because they combine tremendous musicianship with well-written songs. Onstage front-man (Nik) will keep you wondering where he gets the energy to make those facial expressions. Seriously, go check them out, if only for his expressions.

Playing songs off their prior full album, Kleos, combined with their new tunes, they kept an almost packed house at Bottom of the Hill fully satisfied and wanting more and more. If you missed it, check here for more tour dates. - The Owl Magazine


Band Name: Picture Atlantic
Hometown:San Jose
Website: pictureatlantic.com
Hometown favorite food: Pho
Tour favorite food: Trail Mix


Do you grow your own food?
Why thank you for asking. Yes I do. Corn and tomatoes. Basil and other herbs. Eggplant and some peppers have recently joined on too.

Do you like to cook?
Is the Pope a guy with a huge hat? I love to cook. I’m usually requisitioned to make pasta dinners for the guys in the band. If I can say so myself, I have a knack for taking anything and making something out of it. At least, that is the knack I give myself.


Regular or Diet?
Regular. Diet makes me feel like a straw man.

What’s the first food you eat when you get home from tour?
That would have to be a salad. You can never be too cautious about scurvy!

What food is on your backstage rider? Or what food do you wish was on your backstage rider?
Coincidentally, I’d have to say salad again. Sometimes eating a hamburger before going on is a bad idea!

What’s the weirdest thing you have eaten on tour?
I’m ashamed to say that has probably never happened. We usually eat awesome Burritos, or Sushi. Maybe once I ate a raisin that fell on the floor. Who knows.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw?
Well, since I enjoy meat, I’d have to say raw.

What’s for breakfast?
Most of the times, Breakfast is also lunch…That leaves the options endless.

Spicy or Mild?
Spicy. Spicy is the best.

What’s on your bar tab?
Tequila and Newcastle Brown Ale

Do you see the dessert menu?
Always. I see it in my mind when I sleep.

Best fast food?
In N Out

Favorite cocktail?
Long Island Ice Tea of course. Its the classy drunkards drink.

Are you adventurous or stick to trusted favorites?
Adventure is the spice of life. Or maybe that is Garlic. I’m not sure. But I will always try new things. Some could say I have a stomach of Iron.

Coffee? How do you take it?
All kinds of ways. Black can be fun if you want to be a cowboy, but you can’t be Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk.

Favorite condiment?
Mustard.

Favorite midnight snack?
Three Layer Sandwiches.

Do you eat for pure taste or nutritional value?
Sometimes both. It helps if healthy food tastes awesome.

What do you eat before you hit the stage?
Crackers. It gets hard to sing when you have an entire sub sandwich in your stomach.

If your sound had a taste, what would it taste like?
It would taste sweet, then sour, and if the mood was right, probably salty.

Do any of your songs conjure thoughts of food?
If so, which ones? and what would it taste like? Sadly, none of them do. They are just about plain old, boring old life.

Anything else you want to add?
Don’t lose hope in your dreams. You like that? I’m selling the concept to a new Disney kids show. - Taste Of Sound


Like certain music blogs or labels, we all have those friends that we can turn to for a good band recommendation. More often than not, when those people tell you that a band is good – they are right. That is precisely how I became acquainted with Bay Area indie rockers, Picture Atlantic. Somewhere between winding down from a California tour this past August and pushing through the final stages of a brand new EP titled When Everything Is Numbers, band members Nik Bartunek and Ryan Blair were able to put together a gut squirming mixtape definitely evocative of their own raw, emotive sound. In it they reflect on the tricky part of growing up that I like to call “freshman year of life.” Rather than elaborate myself, I’ll let Nik and Ryan explain what they’ve called “22 Going On 40 – The Soundtrack For Growing Up.” And make sure to check out a couple of Picture Atlantic’s own tunes at the end of the article – a free download of “Muses” as well as a track off their new EP!

TA: First of all, how old are you guys?

Nik: 22
Ryan: 22

TA: Most people consider “growing up” what you do until you reach 22 – why start at that age?

Nik: 22 has been a strange age for me. Somehow, it didn’t feel like the real world hit me until then, and when it did, it was in a sharp and distinct way. Aaron Weiss has these great lyrics, that go “We’re all children dressing, in our parents clothes”, and that’s really what I feel when I look at “Young Adults”. In many ways, my generation , even in our early 20's, are just kids. Kids with bigger more real problems. I can’t say that 22 is the age for growing up in everyone’s life, but for me, it certainly made sense.

Ryan: I’ve started to feel like people at this age are finally taking time to reflect on the past four years or so (the college years for many of my friends,) we may be prematurely wallowing in the idea that our youth has passed us by. In reality, our lives are again just beginning, as depressing as some of these songs make it seem.

TA: Did you start with a particular song, or the theme – “22 going on 40 – The Soundtrack For Growing Up”?

Nik: I think it was really the theme. It reflected very much of what I was listening to at the time, and some favorites between Ryan and I. In some ways, I think it also was my stream of thought for the most part about the past several months.

TA: If you could describe this playlist in three words, what would you use?

Nik: Life, Reassuring, Terrifying

TA: It seems like your goal was to paint a picture of an outlook on life, rather than tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Is that a correct assessment?

Nik: It’s an outlook. These songs, for better or for worse, strike chords in how myself and Ryan feel about certain situations. I can’t think of a song that has every really covered “it all”. Sometimes having a song to champion specific moment is the best.

TA: For the most part the tone is full of disillusionment, resentment, and ennui – none of the songs are too loud or really emotional. Was this on purpose or did it just happen that way based on your song choice?

Nik: I certainly didn’t mean it to be that bleak. I guess you could call it a Freudian slip. At the same time though, the songs do represent how Ryan and I feel about our generation, and the youth culture we’re in at the moment. We’ve had long, long, long conversations about all kinds of topics, some of which are referenced or noted in these songs. It’s hard not to be a little disappointed sometimes, but we also have a morbid sense of hope that rides up to take the lead in the end.

Ryan: Disillusionment and resentment are probably two of the most resounding emotions for people at this age, so I would have to disagree and say the tone may even be overly emotional.

TA: Are all the artists – The National, Rogue Wave, Blur, The Jesus and Mary Chain – featured on this mix important to you guys, or did they just have songs that fit your theme? Do you think they are bands that will withstand the test of time?

Nik: Since the mix was democratic to an extent, it’s safe to say that these bands mean a great deal to Ryan and I. And yes, I think they really will stand the test of time. Half the bands you just mentioned are some of the biggest mainstream and Indie bands. Their track record speaks for itself.

TA: Is this how you perceive the world – like your younger, vivacious years are behind you?

Nik: How I perceive the world is an 80 song symphony with guest appearances by Arvo Part and Chopin’s corpse. To really get specific though, this mix is definitely more about the trials and tribulations. Growing up rocks at the same time. Some of the very same bands make me want to climb to the top of a mountain and fly a kite. The harsher realities can be a little too present for me at the same time though.

Ryan: I don’t think youth is ever truly behind you as long as you can keep some of who you once and always were.

TA: Does that outlook show in Picture Atlantic’s sound and songwriting? If not, how would you describe yourselves?

Nik: Yes, I think both those outlooks can show. There is a pretty wide range of thoughts and emotions in our songs. Some songs are happy, some are streams of specific thought, and then even others are angry or cynical. I usually hate to describe our sound though, because even if I think I have a solid idea of it, I’m honestly pretty stuck at a basic level for a good description. The way I view Picture Atlantic is very different than the next person.

TA: Rogue Wave’s “California” is a pretty specific, bitter song. You’re based in Northern California – do you have allegiances elsewhere, or do you just hate your homestate?

Nik: We’re just crabby bastards I guess. I was born in Colorado, and moved to Susanville (which is basically still Colorado) when I was only two weeks old. I’ve truly grown up in the south bay (Los Altos, Mountain View) and the Silicon Valley, but in the back of my head, there is this pretentious idea that I somehow still belong back at home with John Denver. California is great at the same time though. It’s a love/hate relationship. Really, I wouldn’t imagine myself anywhere else except Middle Earth, but we all know that place got bought out by New Line Cinema.

Ryan: I love California. I can safely say it is my favorite state. Rogue Wave are also from the Bay Area and from what I’ve gathered they don’t hate it here either. “California” has both sides of the coin, detailing the somewhat impersonal and fleeting relationships we all have here, while also giving the sense of hope and wonder our state holds, especially the line “…she could light you up like a holiday tree in the summer months.”

TA: Who’s the classical music fan that included the piece by Estonian composer, Arvo Part – what was the reasoning behind including his work in this mix?

Nik: That was me. I got turned on to him by a friend whose musical tastes I highly respect. He also has a perfectionist’s dream of a sound system at home. He built all the speakers himself. If you hear Arvo Part on these speakers, you are ultimately transported to another world. This specific track is just a heartbreaker for me. It’s all about the dynamics, and the tones, and the layering. The musical idea is simple, but ultimately its pure sorrow in my eyes. The first time I heard it, it made me want to cry. I usually don’t get “emotional” in that sense when I listen to music.

TA: The last song on the mix is the classic, “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis. Do you see that song as hopeful anticipation of future or afterlife? Or as a melancholy reflection on all the songs before it?

Ryan: Two years ago, a friend of ours suddenly passed away. From the moment I heard the news, to the candlelight vigil at our old high school, even as far as the memorial service itself, I just couldn’t believe something like that could ever happen. Our group of friends had never experienced anything like that. Of course we’ve all lost loved ones before, but it was the first time for me that a group of friends had lost someone who had truly become family. The group had been drifting apart for some months before she passed away, but losing her brought everyone back together again. It made me realize how short all of our time together can be.

My fondest memory of her will always be the Christmas party we had the year before she passed away. I was sitting next to her on the floor while we were all singing along to Oasis’ “Champagne Supernova”, lost in a moment of every emotion a teenager could ever have, embracing that feeling of just being alive. Every time I hear this song I think of her and because of the kind of person she was, it always makes me hopeful.

TA: I have to imagine there are plenty of things that Picture Atlantic has to look forward and get excited about in the coming months – what are they?

Nik: So much actually. If I can toot my own horn. We’re just putting out a new EP which we’re very proud of. It will be out end of November, early December. At the same time though, we’re also writing for a brand new full length which we’ll be recording early next year. Another tour is in the works, which is always fantastic. Whenever we can put out, and record lots of music, we are happy. Those are just two new things on our horizon, but they spell out much more activity and speed for our band in the end. - Tadpole Audio


PICTURE ATLANTIC
"Guerrilla"
* * *

If "I Am Not The King Of Anything" was fairly chill by PA standards, consider this a return to their old indie-bombast hijinks--war chants and impending-doom guitars merge with harmonicas, barroom pianos, and Bartunek's keening yelp to create what sounds like the entire Civil War rolled up into one song. Bartunek may not be the king of anything, but on "Guerrilla," he sounds ready to change that. - SF Rebirth


Picture Atlantic Music Group

Contact: Nik Bartunek

Asking Price: $200 to $800 per gig/ $8 EP

Phone: (408) 243-1361

Email: pictureatlantic@gmail.com - CBS Television


Q&A with Nikolaus Bartunek of Picture Atlantic

1. How long has your band been around?

Our band has been active since around mid 2006.

2. Any plans to tour around the US? Or even out of state?

We always talk about that, but long story short, it always ends up being more worth our time to stick to the west coast. We’d love to tour the US though if we get the chance.

3. Does the album When Everything is Numbers differ from your sophomore album Kleos? What sort of thought and planning went into creating this third album?

In retrospect, I can see the differences now. When we first began working on it, the two seemed quite similar in some aspects to me. The planning and creation was much different for this EP though. Kleos took a year to complete, but this new EP was recorded in a matter of two weeks. We did some amazing pre-production with our producer. The songs had already been written and arranged, so he had to tinker with the songs less for the EP.

4. I see your upcoming release for the album When Everything is Numbers is December 16th 2010 at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, California. What excites you all mostly about events like these?

Playing with your friends is always great. We get to play with our friends in Stomacher and Ghost and The City for this gig and the show just seems so much friendlier when everyone is pals. It’s also going to be a fun show for the band, in the sense that we get to share our CD with everyone. We have the bad habit of saying we’re doing something, and then it comes out ten years later. This time we get to complete our promise in good time.

5. Where do you guys currently reside?

Spread out in South Bay Area. Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Redwood City. San Jose is really our home town though.

6. Your sophomore album Kleos definitely had Greek Mythology antidote, what is significant about the album, When Everything is Numbers?

When Everything is Numbers was and is from a strange time in the band. To put it in a nutshell, I started to forget why I was in the band. It caused me immense stress, and sort of put me up against the wall. Instead of feeling like we were doing music, for music sake, there were all these horrible situations where we were trying to make “sound business decisions”, and were worrying about things like promoting properly, or making sure that everything lined up in some naive sense. It all became a math equation in my head. I had to step back and remember that I play music for music, and for the love of it. The album is my wake up call. - The Handsome Boy


PICTURE ATLANTIC

When Everything Is Numbers - EP

* * *


Picture Atlantic didn’t fool anybody. Their recent single “I Am Not The King Of Anything” displayed some *gasp* modesty, pairing Nik Bartunek’s schizophrenic vocals with moody guitars and gothic organs and displaying little to none of their characteristic bombast. But even a simple look at the song titles on When Everything Is Numbers (“Joust,” “What Men Live By”) will tell you Bartunek and company are back to their old alt-mythology-rock hijinks. However, this is not to say this EP is devoid of sonic experimentation. The most interesting things happen when the group steps outside its characteristic sound--the highlights of this EP are the almost Robyn-ish synth-rocker “With One Clipped Wing” and the Finish Ticket-goes-Into The Great Wide Open rocker “What Men Live By.” While the rest of the album is archetypal Picture Atlantic, it’s great to hear the group experiment in this way, and let’s hope they keep up the tinkering for future releases. - SF Rebirth


It’s always nice to catch up with a local band like Picture Atlantic. Check out Picture Atlantic for the latest news and listen to their latest EP, When Everything is Numbers on their Bandcamp!

What are some things the band enjoys about being from the Bay Area?

The Bay Area is a fun place. It has a lot to offer as a whole. Just being a beautiful and iconic place is enough for me.

What are some things that have inspired the band locally (local art, local music scene, etc.)

For me, its getting to play with friends. Feeling like you have the support of your peers is invaluable. Seeing other local acts do music they care about really stokes the fires.

What albums is the band currently listening to? What do you consider to be influential personally?

I’ve spent a great deal listening to Doves. Something about the last couple of months has made me buy lots of albums. I think I’m in Rasputin every other week. Strangely enough, The Dead Weather has been played a little bit on my ipod. I thought I would hate them, but I was seriously impressed.

From 2006 to 2011, what do you think has changed the most for the band? What are some of the major lessons learned?

So much has changed from the very start to now, that it would almost seem impossible, and maybe even irrelevant to try to figure out what has changed in every facet of the band. At the end of the day though, I always find that continuing to do what you feel is right, and what you love is the best thing you can do for yourself. Don’t get hung up or stalled by the people around you, just keep playing music that you love and take pride in.

What are some of the major themes covered in your newest EP, When Everything is Numbers? Where did the inspiration come to write this EP?

The main idea was really more of a personal one. Being in a band is incredibly hard on so many levels, and sometimes you fool yourself into thinking that if you can just find the right formula or equation, you’ll be successful. Whether that is promoting yourself “the right way” or whether its selling X amount of tickets for a show. It becomes about the numbers, and not the music. That concept plays itself out quite a bit in the EP. I had to stop myself and be reminded that I really can only worry about the music. The rest will fall into place, God willing.

So you guys have generally stuck to the west coast. Any plans for a US tour?

If a kindly old man with thousands of dollars decides to treat us to a huge check, then we’ll head out. Otherwise, for us as a band, there is truly no point in doing a full US tour at this point. The west coast has a lot to offer and we still have work to do here.

Picture by Anna Larina

What are your thoughts on being on a major label vs. staying independent?

Unfortunately, and I think the music industry has done a good job of keeping this low profile, in many cases there is really no difference between Major and Indie. Many Indie labels are run by Major labels, and the structure may be smaller and more quaint but the basic idea is there at the end of the day. As for staying independent in the sense that we are doing it all DIY, I think it just depends on what band you are, and where you are at. Some bands couldn’t manage themselves out of a wet paper bag, and they probably need the help of a label or management group. Some bands can do the DIY thing to great success. I’d say we’re a strange mixture of both.

What are some challenges that the band has had to face?

The band has faced many a challenge. Probably nothing new under the son honestly. Most bands have to deal with the same handful of problems. Staying mentally up, and having morale is always a struggle. No matter what may be going on around you , in terms of positives, your mental landscape paints the physical one.

Do you have a Picture Atlantic song that you are extremely proud of, perhaps one that stands out from the rest?

There are a handful. To choose one, I’d have to say Cassandra Castaway/Clytaemnestra. The lyrics really flow well, and I think they are evocative and paint a good picture. I’m not even sure how I wrote that song to be honest. It really felt like the music and lyrics were beamed to me. Something about an experience like that is special to me.

What are some of the immediate plans for the band, be it CD release shows, video releases, new music, etc etc?

We have a lot going on. We’re really just waiting for the Holidays to end and the new year to warm up. We’ve just released our EP and we’ll be touring on that. At the same time, we’re currently in production of three music videos, which blows my mind if I think about it. Almost every song on the new EP will have a music video. Insanity. We’re also working on another full length album too, and the demos and studio sessions are already sounding really promising. Our blog might not be red hot with gossip, but we’re certainly at a lack for free time.

By Carlos Cisneros
- Bay Area Native


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March 11, 2011

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Dirtbag Dan Dirtbag Dan
Dirtbag Dan

Looks like Dirtbag Dan's hometown has finally discovered what it was missing. The longtime local MC built an international following while traveling from country to country smoking the competition in a series of Internet-broadcast rap battles with monster views on YouTube, but his bearded antics never seemed to catch on at home, until now. The Dirtbag has officially arrived.

Fingerbangerz

Gnarboots


Best Local Band

Picture Atlantic

Santa Clara alt-rockers Picture Atlantic put themselves on the map around here when they won Live 105's local band contest in 2008 and got a chance to open for Coldplay at HP Pavilion. Clearly, Picture Atlantic has built on that opportunity, taking its first Best of Silicon Valley award on the heels of last year's EP, Dolce Et Decorum Est. Not bad for a band originally formed by a folk singer, a punk guitarist and a metal drummer. - Metroactive


Hardcore music is a ground assault, an in-your-face power that hits from below. I'm not from San Jose, but I hear they have a bit of a hardcore scene. Picture Atlantic are from the area, but they're a band with wings that escaped the ground assault and flew their mission high into the sky. Nikolaus Bartunek, Brian Graves, and Ryan Blair make harmonious indie rock that recalls bands like As Tall As Lions, Travis, and Radiohead, with an equal focus on both percussive hooks and soaring melodies. Their most recent release is the When Everything is Numbers EP.

There’s a casual urgency to songs like “With One Clipped Wing” and “What Men Live By” that provides the music with a confident air. It’s something that only intensifies the cavernous, and somewhat eerie, character of songs like “Guerilla” and “Ladder.” Picture Atlantic move their music to new heights with an emphasis on earnest delivery across the board. Frontman Nikolaus Bartunek sings as though he’s envisioning filling the sky with his voice; it’s a whisper in the dark and a shooting star in the twilight. Picture Atlantic aren’t afraid to embrace pop's magnetism, and with their strength in melody, the sound becomes a bit charismatic.

Hear 2 standout tracks from their latest EP, When Everything is Numbers, see an acoustic performance of "Ladder," and check out the humans vs. zombies music video for "Guerilla" all after the hop. - Mixtape Muse


ProTip for other writers who might be inspired to create their own "novel soundtracks": try to find musical artists who understand/love your genre. That's exactly what I found courtesy of Nik, Vincent and Ryan from PICTURE ATLANTIC. Not only are they an absolutely excellent band who write complex, catchy yet intellectual rock...they're also Sci-Fi/Fantasy geeks just like us!

In ASCENSION, the Atlantians are a nervous sort. The first (and failed) offspring dreamt by the Humans, they now reside in Agartha (Earth's core). An ascended soul group, they live in secret while the Earth-bound Luciferians obliviously occupy the surface. You remember the story of Atlantis. They done got flushed; they weren't up to par (say..."not brutal; more interested in Ascension than war"). Now, as the Humans return to collect their disposable soldiers (the Luciferian souls), the Atlantians are quite un-nerved to be facing their old nemesis once again; kinda like seeing an estranged, angry parent many years later.

"Guerrila", I thought, perfectly captured that nervous energy. The guys from PICTURE ATLANTIC graciously agreed to let us use the song as part of the "soundtrack". They also "got" the concept of ASCENSION immediately and were excited to be a part of it. I couldn't be happier!

Plus, along the way, I made friends with some dudes that might have a few beers with me and watch Battlestar Galactica, SGU (Insert Geek Debate: it's really the best one...seriously...wait...what? It was CANCELLED?! It wasn't freakin' OVER!! WTF happened to the dude and that chick?! Nerds assemble!! To the Internets!!!) or Firefly the next time I'm in San Jose or they make their way to Muscle Shoals.

Visit their site and download their stuff! You'll love it. I'm tempted to guarantee it. :) - Brian Rickman


Picture Atlantic
San Jose, CA
www.pictureatlantic.com

Starting in mid 2006, Picture Atlantic was a band formed out of the San Jose Hardcore music scene. Wanting to create something more focused on melodic soundscapes, they quickly began making a name for themselves as a band with diverse depth and sound.
Comprised of Nik Bartunek, Ryan Blair, and Brian Graves, Picture Atlantic has thus far brought forth four releases, played with bands such as Coldplay, Say Anything, Dan Black, The Wooden Birds, and Jaguar Love.
Not really having a set sound, Picture Atlantic has been exploring songs with Folk, Rock, Trip Hop, Electronica, and Indie-Rock, as well as a strong pop sensibility. - Save Alternative


Picture Atlantic tosses ‘that band that opened for Coldplay’ title, forges own path
When asked about the time his band opened for Coldplay, Nikolaus Bartunek deflects the question with a languid, matter-of-fact, “We won this contest,” then adds, “We were one of three final contestants, and Coldplay chose us.”

Nothing more. Nothing less.

Bartunek isn’t too-cool-for-school, or feigning humility. The singer and songwriter for Picture Atlantic, a San Jose-based alt-rock outfit, is concerned that he and his band are living in the shadow of the gig.

“It was a show,” Bartunek says of the 2008 performance at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. “At the time that it happened, it was great. I'm really glad we got to play it.” Then again, he worries that when his band's name is mentioned at a party, or in a bar or coffee shop, they will simply be that band that opened for Coldplay.

“I'd rather have the music speak for us,” he says. “A lot of really bad bands opened for Coldplay, we could have been one of those bad bands.”

It’s hard to believe that Bartunek is so wary of his band’s future, considering he puts everything he has into Picture Atlantic. Over seven years, Bartunek’s wavy croon has propelled the band through three EPs, one full-length, and more than four West Coast tours.

The urgency in his voice meshes well, both with shimmering folk strumming and the explosive, heaving whirlwind of electric guitars and electronics that Picture Atlantic adeptly navigates—maintaining accessibility even at their most tangled and spastic.

That accessibility may have helped persuade Coldplay in its decision to award the band. It also couldn’t hurt that, in his mellower tones, Bartunek is reminiscent of Chris Martin, and the piano-driven pop of “Parliament of Two,” off of the group's 2011 Amalgamash EP, wouldn't seem out of place coming from the British mega-band.

However, as Bartunek pushes harder, he takes on a psychotic wavering akin to Muse’s Matt Bellamy, until his voice begins to break up into something that sounds more like Jim Ward of Sparta. And as the band picks up steam, they can only be compared to more psychedelic groups such as The Radio Dept, Facing New York and Santa Cruz's own Mountain Animal Hospital.

Picture Atlantic lost its original drummer when he went off to college; and a few other members have rotated in and out around core members, Bartunek (who plays guitar in addition to singing), bassist Ryan Blair and keyboardist Brian Graves. But despite its fluctuating lineup, the band's persistence is another clue that none of the members think of themselves as “one of those bad bands.”

“We don't really make any money off of this,” he says. Nonetheless, Bartunek, who first dropped out of college and then later quit his 9-to-5, devotes as much time as he can to Picture Atlantic—teaching guitar lessons and picking up other odd jobs on the side.

Currently, the band is working on its next full-length, which, according to Bartunek, will focus on the “very strange digital age” in which we live. He hopes to have it done and available for fans in the next eight months.

There have been times when he has thought about going back to school, “but I think at the end of the day I really do love playing music with this band,” he says. “I don't think there is anything that I am aware of in my life that would make me stop playing music.” - Good Times Weekly


Wente Vineyards in Livermore doesn’t just do wine well. The winery proved this weekend they know a thing or two about how to throw a music festival. Their "Estate Tasting Room" venue played the perfect host to “Bottle RockIt.” The intimate, day-long festival featured more than 20 bands on 3 different stages and the vast majority are bay area born and bred. The intimate setting gave fans the chance to bust a move with the musicians who they just saw on stage.

While many might think of beer or hard liquor as the beverage of choice for true rockers, fifth generation wine maker Karl Wente says there’s a lot wine and music have in common.

“Wine adds to and enhances music,” Wente said. “Structural, temporal aspects, flavors, harmonies, notes, aromas… the different tastes and styles. It just makes sense to enjoy the two together.”

Wente performed with a band that came from weekly jam sessions he’d have on his front porch.

The passion appropriately named Front Porch has for music is clear along with Wente’s influences in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the Avett Brothers and even Zepplin. The whole band really shined when Suzanna Spring sung a rendition of Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough." Her voice along with an upbeat electric violin really got the crowd going. Their website reads “good food, good wine, good people, good music” and that’s exactly the vibe they give off.
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Dirty Vegas lead singer Steve Smith says Bottle RockIt reminded him of street fairs in Europe. The group who skyrockted to fame in the early '00's with "Days Gone By" helped headline the festival. He says things have changes alot in the world of electronic music since he opened for Moby a decade ago.

"Finally, electronic music has made such an arrival, such a statement, it can't be pushed away," said Smith after his hour long set. He says digital downloads have made a huge difference. Fans at a recent show in Monterey, Mexico knew every word to the new song "Little White Doves" before they could lay their hands on the cd.

"You still need radio, but now you can show up in a country and everyone knows the words before it's even played over the air," says Smith.

South Bay Bands Young Science & Picture Atlantic put on high energy sets. Young Science just looks like they’re having fun.

They played in the Subsonic room, which had a club-vibe. On a sunny afternoon, It felt awkward to walk into the room which was pitch black except for some funky strobe lights reflecting off man-made fog and the hundreds of wine barrels lining the room. Young Science quickly set the scene by making everyone want to dance.

Picture Atlantic will mess with your mind. They look really young- like the former Santa Clara High school students should be getting their homework done. However, my jaw dropped once they got going. They have a mature, layered sound.

It's primarily rock but with unique vocals. Lead singer Nik Bartunek makes some pretty silly faces and movements when he sings, but you can tell he takes his sound seriously with "Invest in Quality Music" scrawled across his guitar.

San Francisco also has a strong showing. City transplant, AB & the Sea is a like a modern day beach boys. Their song "In the Sunshine" is enough to make anyone want to run out to the beach. During "Baby You," they actually invited people to mashed potato.

The Hundred Days also really brought something to the stage. It may just be the skinny ties, but they've got a "Killers" vibe. It's a very polished, almost british rock. Their videos online don't do them justice. They put on an excellent live show.

Doin' it Well: Get in on Bottle Rockit next year. a $20 ticket is like a backstage pass. I can't tell you how many times I was watching one band rocking out on stage only to see members of another getting their dance on in the audience.

Food and drinks were also reasonable... You'll easily be tempted to buy an entire bottle of wine instead of just the glass. Water and soda were cheap too.

There is no public transit option, so make sure to designate a driver ahead of time, but parking is convenient and free. I predict big things for this show. The musicians had nothing but positive things to say about the staff and organizers, which means they'll attract more big names.

P.S. Two words. Wine Slushies... - NBC News


Silicon Valley’s garages are more likely to house tech start-ups than upstart rock bands, but Picture Atlantic is doing its best to show that the region is capable of producing more than just 30-year-old billionaires. The Bay Area group was named Best Local Band by readers of San Jose alternative newspaper MetroActive in its 2011 Best of Silicon Valley issue. It’s not the alternative rock band’s first electoral victory. In 2008 Picture Atlantic’s fans helped vote the band into a gig opening for Coldplay at the HP Pavilion at San Jose.

Singer and guitarist Nik Bartunek understands if you are skeptical of the value of such popularity contests. He’s skeptical of them, too.

“I don’t want to sound like I don’t appreciate it, but it’s really silly to me that bands spend time trying to get voted into these contests, and it doesn’t reflect on the skill or integrity of the band,” Bartunek said. “I find the bands that usually win are utter crap and they happen to have a lot of friends.”

With the exception of Bartunek, Picture Atlantic’s founding members all came up through the South Bay’s hardcore scene. Eager to make a transition to less aggressive music, they recruited Bartunek, who had been playing his own acoustic material in local coffeehouses, to handle vocals.

Only Bartunek and bassist Ryan Blair remain from the original 2006 lineup, though keyboardist Brian Graves has been playing with the group since before the release of it 2008 full-length debut, Kleos. The newest addition is drummer Daniel Hernandez Martinez, who joined in November.

At first, Bartunek said, the band tried to stay as far away from heavier elements as possible, but gradually they have come to terms with their hardcore roots.

“I will say it does have an effect on the scope of the sound,” said Bartunek, whose vocals tend to gravitate toward dramatic high notes. “We clearly love to rock out.”

At its heart, Picture Atlantic’s music remains accessible alternative rock with well-crafted melodies and poetic lyrics. Bartunek said he has always found inspiration in literature. Kleos, for example, takes its name from a Greek word found throughout Homer’s Iliad.

“That word means ‘searching after glory or your legacy,’” he said. “I felt like every band wants that.”

The title of the band’s 2010 EP Dulce Et Decorum Est, meanwhile, comes from a poem penned by a World War I soldier, who was himself referencing Roman poet Horace.

Bartunek said he is trying to get away from all the classical references.

“I don’t want people to think I’m the myth guy who’s going to do a concept album about Thor,” he said.

Maybe that’s why the band has tentatively given its next release the thoroughly modern title Digital Tension. Members are at work recording the sophomore full-length album, which Bartunek said should be finished by summer 2012.

In the meantime, the band continues to tour, and not just in the Bay Area.

“It sort of blows my mind that there are some bands that … think somehow if they play a ton of shows in their hometown they're going to get huge,” Bartunek said. “We really do take the band quite seriously. We want to take it somewhere.”

That means leaving the comfort of their Silicon Valley fan base and playing throughout California, from Pismo Beach to Fresno. - 101 Distribution


Yet another San Jose band clocking in on our top 20 countdown for 2011 and deservingly so. Picture Atlantic, primarily on the strength of their live sets and the amazing WHEN EVERYTHING IS NUMBERS EP, have amassed national acclaim and rave reviews from a multitude of influential blogs, mags and music fans alike. Picture Atlantic were also voted Silicon Valley band of the year by Metro Magazine and plan to release new music and a two part music video in 2012
Upcoming show: Friday, January 6 @ The Red House Live, Walnut Creek

Read more: LIVE 105'S TOP 20 BAY AREA BANDS OF 2011 http://live105.radio.com/2012/01/04/live-105s-top-20-bay-area-bands-of-2011/3/#ixzz1nRqxrIGg
- Live 105.3FM


Our San Jose friends and band mates of Picture Atlantic have exclusively released to us their new two-part video and two new songs. “Joust” is the new single off of their EP “When Everything Is Numbers” and is part one of the videos. The second track “With One Clipped Wing” and part two of the video will be released a week from today.

Check out their Film Noir and Hitchcock themed video, and find out why the guys decided to make this a two-part video.

TO BE CONTINUED…

[WATCH] Picture Atlantics Joust (New Video Part 1 of 2)

This video was shot in an amazing house up in Morgan Hill, CA and also in Downtown San Jose, CA. The majority of the video though was shot inside the house, which belonged to a friend of the band and who was able to help them out since the house was owned by their grandparents.

The director Paul Aspuria is a huge movie buff and so are all of the Picture Atlantic guys with a great love for Film Noir and Hard Boiled detective Pulp, meets at the crossroads. Obviously there is a bit of a Hitchcock element to it, but the main influence was old 60's Japanese Yakuza Ganster films, most notably Seijun Suzuki movies. The director and the guys would sit down at a local cafe and talk about different movies they were all digging in that genre, and they’d basically just bounce ideas back and forth until they started to get somewhere with it. The original story was so different from what they ended up with, but eventually it really got put through the entire brain process.

Film Antics is the production company, and it’s run primarily by their director Paul Aspuria. His work on music videos is actually not as extensive as his work on film itself, but he’s done music videos with Tin Parade, The London, Silent Envy, and Lovers Drug. “Overall his work is really top notch artistically and technically, and without sounding bias, I think he is probably one of the most deserving people for a big break in the Bay Area right now. His eye and vision are really immense, and he has an amazingly creative mind with a very DIY punk film approach.”

The characters are basically Picture Atlantic’s stereotypical Noir archetypes. You have the unsuspecting gentleman who gets sucked into a devious scheme, the hard edged toughs, and of course your Femme Fatale. The band picked these characters because they were the most easily recognizable, and they had thought at some level Film Noir had fallen out in popularity so they wanted people to hop into the video right away. The last big Noir movie to come out was Sin City, but that was a giant pull away from your classic Jimmy Stewart mystery film.

The video was never intended to be a two parter at all. When they originally talked about the video they definitely wanted it to have thematic elements, and be essentially a film of sorts, so they filmed quite a bit of footage. “The first song is very short though, and we ended up with way more footage than we needed. Our director called us and said… How about we do two songs? Why not? I like the idea that it’s a bit episodic, and also longer in terms of story. It was pure chance we decided on that, but I think it was also much more fun to do in that format.”

Picture Atlantic will be playing a FREE show for Noise Pop Festival 2012 on February 22nd @ Benders Bar , and will headline Slims SF on March 29th.

Read more: [WATCH] Picture Atlantic’s – “Joust” (New Video-Part 1 of 2) http://live105.radio.com/2012/02/12/watch-picture-atlantics-joust-new-video-part-1-of-2/#ixzz1nRqBA1K1
- Live 105.3FM


A new album and opening for Coldplay help Picture Atlantic set sail

By Claire Young

UNLESS they're complete wallflowers, every band seeks notoriety—to gain a following of like-minded fans, produce quality music and receive compliments on the fruits of its labor. For Picture Atlantic, those feelings resulted in a stellar full-length debut album titled Kleos, named after the Greek word used frequently in mythological works such as the Illiad and the Odyssey.

"Pretty much, kleos is glory or fame, but it also kind of pertains to what people hear about you and the word that spreads around about you, and most heroes sought after it in battles," says Picture Atlantic's lead vocalist, Nikolaus Bartunek. "So the reason I chose kleos is I think every musician, nowadays especially, wants to be remembered, and everybody is trying so hard to stamp their face on the music industry and not be forgotten."

Released in late June and self-produced by the band, Kleosis 14 tracks of beautiful rock music, coasting seamlessly from songs such as "Circe" and "Dove in the Clefts of Rock," reminiscent of Muse, Coldplay and the Velvet Teen, to "That's Just Me" and "Slip Into the Sea," which evoke the sounds of Hot Hot Heat, the Bravery and All American Rejects.

Bartunek's vocals peak with soft falsetto, but also bear down to a yell or shriek at key moments of emotional intensity, while bassist Ryan Blair and drummer/backing vocalist Rico Rodriguez lend a deeper soul and groove to the project. Guitarists Aaron Hellam and Patrick Chu at times duel but mostly make soaring, unified musical peace, and keyboardist Brian Graves adds flourishes to some songs and a beating heart to others. The result is a record that is at once youthful and mature, familiar yet fresh.

"I would say our music is very passionate and ... I don't feel like it stands in one place really; I feel like it moves around a lot, which is cool," says Bartunek. "It's edgy and heavy in different ways, like in more melodic ways. ... It's not necessarily such a straightforward type of music all the time."

Beyond the birth of Kleos, the nearly 3-year-old South Bay sextet is also garnering fame following a recent slot opening for Coldplay at the HP Pavilion after winning a contest held by Live 105. "When I found out that we even got into the top 15, I was so surprised because we'd entered a bunch of the contests they'd had before and never even gotten placed," says Blair. "So that was a shock just to get into the top 15, and then actually being in the top 3."

A friend tipped them off about the contest, but Bartunek says that he was initially skeptical about entering. "[Our friend] said, 'You guys should really do this contest because it's a good idea, and I think you have a good chance to win,'" says Bartunek. "Me being myself, I said, 'Oh yeah, right, there's gonna be some totally popular San Francisco band that I've never heard of before that's going to come and blow us out of the water.'"

That S.F. band never emerged as a threat, and following seven days topping the ranks of contestants, Picture Atlantic was chosen by Coldplay (and/or its management) from the top 3 vote getters. "That was the part for me where I felt like it kind of depended on, like, did Coldplay actually think we were a good band?" says Bartunek. "That's where it gets kind of scary. Because you put that band on a pedestal, and you're like, 'They probably listen to music from, like, 2032.'"

Blair said the chance to open for Coldplay was exciting but humbling. "For me personally, it was the best experience of my life—knowing that we won and that we were there," he says. "We had our terrible van next to these big tour buses. ... We didn't know what to expect. ... But they gave us as much respect as anybody."

Where many would step off the stage with bloated egos, tripping over their newfound stardom, Bartunek is quick to point out that Picture Atlantic, though feeling blessed by the opportunity and outpouring of fan support, isn't staking its entire career on that single moment—a defining event that does little to define the band. "Our drummer, Rico, made a really good point, and I thought this was a perfect analogy," says Bartunek. "He said this is like the pizza party at the end of the week that you get at school after you've sold enough magazine subscriptions. It's not going to make our grade, and it's not gonna make us pass high school, but it's a really cool moment that we're all very proud of. ... So for me the Coldplay thing is really cool, but I wouldn't want people to think that we're a one-trick pony in that sense."

However, performing in front of a large crowd is something they quickly warmed to. "The one thing that I felt was really cool ... [was] we were really scared before we went up to play, like we were really nervous," Bartunek says. "We usually don't get nervous, because we play local shows. But the thought of playing for so many people is pretty terrifying. But then we got up there, and the first 30 seconds were like, uuuhhh, and then everything after that was a lot easier than I expected it to be."

Blair said he had the opposite experience. "I didn't get nervous at all until after we played, and then the lights went out and we could see everybody, and I was like, oh, we just played for, like, 14,000 people." Compare that to a locally produced show with a capacity maxing out at a few hundred bodies and that's a dramatic difference in the number of eyes watching your every move.

Despite the scope of the audience, and even the interest generated from the show and subsequent plays of their songs on Live 105, Picture Atlantic isn't treating its post-Coldplay days as a sudden popularity contest. "We got hundreds of adds [on MySpace], but at the same time you can't really tell who's going to care the next day. We're being realistic about it," says Blair. The group has also received various offers since the show, but has yet to make any major changes and remains unsigned.

In terms of the future, Bartunek doesn't want to see Picture Atlantic trapped into a box of what others think they are or want them to be. "I feel like we should keep doing what we like and not worry so much about how it's going to end up ... but at the same time not be afraid to try different things, and really in essence get weirder without getting too weird," he says. "Because things have to change or you might get stuck in one spot and stay forgotten."

Blair has a similar goal to Bartunek and the millions of other bands in the world. "I just want to be able to make the music we want to make while gaining more recognition and respect for what we're doing, and touring full time," says Blair. In other words, he's seeking a little kleos—and deservedly so. - http://www.metroactive.com/


San Joe’s alt-rock sweethearts, Picture Atlantic, will be unveiling the first visuals off their new album Saturday, August 1 (that means they’ll preview a new song, too). “Shallow Words” will be the first music video off the “Assouf” record - a crowd-sourced effort that’s already payed dividends. “Shallow Words” will be song #1 (insert Blur joke here) off said forthcoming effort.

Art Boutiki (44 Race St.) will serve as ground zero for the video viewing party, and attending this party will cost you a whopping $0. That’s right, zero dinero for the first 100 persons. However, tickets are limited so an R.S.V.P. is required. Tickets can be reserved through Brown Paper Tickets. The venue is at least 50% booked, so reserve them now, before they’re gone.

The video was directed by Brittany O’brien, and will feature photographer, artist, actress Zoe Maddelena of Seattle. Her art will also be featured in the video. She’s the daughter of famous Greek artist Spirous Vasiliou, who did the cover for Picture Atlantic’s release, “Dulce Et Decorum Est.”

So, you’re busy Saturday night (8 p.m.). The show will include a short electric set from Picture Atlantic, a DJ, drinks and snacks, along with the cultural grandeur that is Art Boutiki. You'll also get to see "Shallow Words" before it goes public. - Examiner.com


2 days remain to become a part of the next Picture Atlantic album, and secure your place in South Bay rock history.

PA has utilized the music crowdfunding service, Music Putty, to fund their next as-of-yet-unnamed effort. The recording will serve as the follow -up to the highly lauded 2012 release "Digital Tension." The act will return to the studio as a 3-person act for the first time, as former keyboardist, Brian Graves, departed from the band earlier this year.

PA has set a fundraising goal of $10,000 - at current, the trio has acquired just shy of $4,800.

As a thank you, the act has released an electrified version of "Beehive," a track off their 2010 effort, "Dulce Et Decorum Est."The track is available for streaming and download via bandcamp.

Also, as a pre-studio send-off, the trio will be performing at the SFSU's The Depot SF tonight, as they close out the semester (details HERE).

So, let's get out the pocketbook quick-smart South Bay art and music fans, and give the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season - help Picture Atlantic make a record. - Examiner.com


Discography

Digital Tension
LP 2012

When Everything Is Numbers
EP 2010

Dulce Et Decorum Est
EP 2010

Kleos
LP 2008

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Picture Atlantic, the ever-evolving alternative rock band from San Jose, CA are releasing their third album with ambitions to transcend their cult status in the Bay Area and reach audiences nationally and beyond.

For the band, this means writing and recording on a level beyond what is possible of a local act. “We have to create an album worthy of listeners’ ears and deliver on what we ourselves would expect from a live show,” they explain.

With this new music, Vocalist/guitarist Nik Bartunek, bass guitarist Ryan Blair, and drummer Daniel Martinez are "more musically cohesive than ever before,” now playing to each others’ strengths as much as their own. 

The band's catalog is defined by Bartunek's striking vocal style and range combined with the musical and rhythmic backbone of Blair and Martinez, the creative counterpoint to the haunting vocal melodies. 

While the band once saw that not being similar enough to other groups secluded them from larger audiences, they now embrace the idea. “Our ‘sound' is that we don’t just have one type of sound.”

Since their debut album, Kleos (2008), the band have cultivated a passionate and devoted local fan base, becoming a staple of the Bay Area music scene. They have performed alongside Coldplay, The English Beat, STYX, Say Anything, Eisley, and Dan Black among many others. 

The band describes the new material as "darker, but also more hopeful” and “heavier" than their previous album, Digital Tension (2012) - which The Owl Mag called, “an exquisite mix of thrilling, boppy synth highs and dark, heavy bass lows.” 

As to why audiences should care, the band prefers the direct approach. “We know you'll love our music. We just need to make sure you hear it."

Band Members