We are Beneath Atlantis, a rock band from Anchorage, Alaska. Formed in 2019, Beneath Atlantis strives to elevate emotional/ mental health awareness. We also seek to put Alaska on the map as a place where legitimate art is produced. Besides trying to connect emotionally with the world, our primary goal is to ensure that everything we do has a standard of quality. We want people to trust that if we bother putting something out there, it is worth your time.
Have you always been interested in music? What is your story and how did you start making music?
We all have different stories. My name is Jason Stanley and I am the drummer/ manager (of sorts). I don’t claim to be a leader of any kind to the band, I just mostly do almost all the publishing and PR, music video planning, and administration of everything that isn’t actually writing and producing the music itself. I will be the one answering these from my perspective. I am an original member of this project, Lane Swarts and I started this band.
I have always been interested in music, yes. I am originally from Grass Valley, California. There wasn’t much to do out in the woods besides play my drums all day every day. I come from a musician family on both sides, and it has always been my dream to be the next big thing. I know this is a common dream but… may the fastest runner win.
I started making music in projects in high school, and gained skills and experience through the years. I found myself in Alaska after an unfortunate incident where I became poor and joined the Army. The Army dumped me in Alaska and I never left. When I got out, I started fighting to enter the music industry in Alaska, and here we are. Fun fact, CJ Elliott (the lead guitarist) and I are both former paratroopers in the Army. However, we both hope our futures consist of art rather than bullets and jumping out of planes.
What are you working on now? Any future releases we can look forward to?
Yes! We have big things in the works. We try to have SOMETHING in production at all times. Right now, we are sitting on about 16 songs that we are finalizing. Once we hit about 20, we are going to record them and organize them how we see fit. It will look something like two albums and a single, a few EPs and a few singles, something like that. We will release it all in a way that we all agree on. We also plan on releasing the music in chunks with music videos and merch ready to go for the release process, so when this all starts bearing fruit, there will be a million ways to represent and absorb Beneath Atlantis. You can also subscribe to our youtube, we are pretty good about steadily releasing music videos of good quality.
We are also working with the Trance scene of Alaska (like dubstep type stuff) on some remixes of our current work, so an EP of that should be coming out soon!
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry?
My personal goal in the industry is to just make it. I can’t start talking about my high and mighty aspirations before I have anything to even brag about. However, I suppose if I had a wish I just want to be in a signed band with managers that don’t micromanage our writing and our music. I hear people complain about the industry all the time but it still looks better than my day job. I’m ready to quit and drum full time the second that door opens. I’d rather complain about how the industry sucks rather than complain about my cubicle.
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?
Money honestly. You can have all the talent and aspirations in the world, but sometimes you’re sleeping in your car and it be like that. Having a life where you can afford to have a house and play drums whenever, where you aren’t bothering neighbors… not everyone can afford the dream scenario to actually cultivate this career. I had to really accept that I wasted my life and swallow my pride when I joined the Army because I was out of options. Not drumming for 4 years takes its toll… But now I can afford to cultivate the career I want. That sort of situational opportunity is what is hard for musicians in my opinion.
How do you go about writing a song? Do you have a melody in your head and then write the other music for it or what’s Your typical songwriting process?
The album that currently exists was written by three people, Lane Swarts, Rikki Harris, and myself. Every song was the same process, Lane started writing some sick riffs, I would jam with him and put drums on it, and we would complete songs this way. Then, once the songs were done, we would give them to Rikki to put vocals on. I affectionately joke about this process as this: Lane and I would bake the cakes and Rikki would frost and decorate them. After we recorded the album, we then hired CJ Elliott and Richard Fortier to perform the songs live. All music that is being written is being written by the five of us now, but it is still a similar process. Either Lane, CJ, or Richard write riffs that I will drum to as we get our groove and vision going. Sometimes Lane and CJ will collaborate and then give me a finished product (guitar wise) and I will put drums on it. It isn’t always exactly the same process, but I can tell you it is very organic. We communicate with each other through our instruments really well.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
I’m thankful for the internet because covid really messed up the local scene. We can’t really play shows or anything until things are open again, so I’m glad we have the internet to put ourselves out there. I think the internet has increased people’s awareness of music that exists, and has made it easier for artists to put themselves out there. This has it’s pros and cons, but overall I think it is pretty great.
List some famous musicians currently on your playlist? I listen to primarily rap and metal. Some of my personal favorite artists are: Mac Miller, Ray Coyote, Hed (PE), Gojira, Cattle Decapitation, Kevin Gates, TesseracT, Die Antwoord, and I’ll stop because I could literally go on forever.
What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
I sort of answered this before, but I was in the Army. I was a paratrooper, but anyone who’s ever been in the army can tell you that’s not actually a job, it’s just an augmentation of you as a soldier. My actual job was a computer technician. It was nerdy and boring and there’s not much to say about it. I got yelled at a lot and used tiny screwdrivers.
Would you have any advice for young people wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Practice to a metronome. Have your whole band be practicing to a metronome. Practice songs that you are writing to a metronome. Become a metronome.
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
If I could change anything about the industry, I’d sign Beneath Atlantis to a prolific record label and tour them all over the world. This is sort of a joke answer, but I seriously feel ill equipped to speak so arrogantly about an industry I have yet barely tapped. All I know is that there are gatekeepers with keys, and I’m hunting them. I’m right here, right now, even as I write this, hunting these gatekeepers. I know we are close.
How do you feel about originality? In our music you mean, or in general?
In general, originality is very important. Covers are cool, but if you’re in a cover band, you are screaming to the world that you are doing this for fun. Originality is the field for the real, the people who aren’t afraid of being spit on or compared to everything. Yet, originality is what makes you stand out… good or bad. Everything we do is 100% original, to the point that we don’t even have genre defining conversations in the band. We just create what we think sounds good. It’s fresh, it’s new.
Is there anything else we should know about you? or Something that you would like to add?
I don’t have much to add. We whole heartedly would LOVE your support. Feel free to message us and interact with us on platforms, we are as responsive as possible with people and we just love our community to death.