Bands don’t come much more exciting than diverse Brisbane four-piece AT Band.
In Queensland, Australia storms can brew up in mere minutes, and AT have developed a thundering live set to match the local weather: a devastating combination of acoustic songs and hard rock that sees most venues declared natural disaster areas well before the encore.
Up front, vocalist/lead guitarist Andrew Thomas and rhythm guitarist Ben Vawdrey unleash upon the audience a sound that is new and intense but also influenced by bands of old. The fluid playing of bassist Barn Gickel dovetails with the drumming of tireless powerhouse Pete Turner, making for a rock-solid rhythm section.
AT formed in June 2006 around Thomas, whose healthy diet of guitar-driven bands from the ‘70s and ‘80s shaped his distinctive style of playing. Directionless and drifting after a family tragedy, he was persuaded by a mate that there was never a better time in his life for realizing his dream of starting a band. This was the catalyst he’d needed; he placed an ad in the local street press that very day, with a clear ambition of forming a band as soon as possible.
Pete auditioned first, bringing his versatility, passion for big sounds and solid playing to the group. And on that very same day, Andrew also met Ben, who’d been killing time jamming rock, metal and grunge tunes with mates. In the first session the new three-piece had four songs sounding great. The search was on for a bassist, and within a few weeks AT auditioned Barn, veteran of the Brisbane scene, whose rock/funk style saw him being offered the spot that night. The first phase of Thomas’s mission was accomplished.
Literally weeks after the band formed, producer Wernher Pramschufer was coaxed round to the band’s studio, The Vault, where they played him most of their set list. Impressed by the tightness of their playing and the catchiness of their tunes, he agreed to produce an EP for them – Chapter 1.
With four recorded songs under their belts, the lads played their first gig at The Living Room in Brisbane to a receptive crowd. Gigs started to flood in and by early 2007 the band had played most of Brisbane’s iconic local music venues like Ric’s, The Zoo and the dearly departed Alley Bar. The boys really pounded the city’s rooms, playing to as many people as would listen - and by 2008 they’d pumped out their second release in the form of the Chapter 2 EP, which got them noticed not just at home but abroad as well. This convinced the band they had the framework set, and the time was right to record a debut album.
First Act was ready to be released in early 2009. Recording the album was a democratic process for AT - every member had a full say. Thomas himself put the cap on the process, spending the final few weeks belting out his heartfelt and honest vocals which engage with all facets of the emotional spectrum: anger, sadness, regret, happiness and hope, a key theme in many of their songs.
After a tour up and down the east coast of Australia in 2009 the band knocked out a 5 track live acoustic EP in early 2010 to rave reviews before beginning work on their follow up long player, Second Act. Recorded in The Vault studio in Brisbane the twelve new songs were recorded over an 18 month period but it won’t take that long before AT Band are taking their message to the road again.…..
WHAT THE PRESS SAY:
“There’s a more classic rock mould in this band’s sound … encapsulating some of the guitar-god bands of the ‘80s but stretching back to the ‘70s as well. So if you like a band that’s firmly anchored in rock’s heritage but updates it with plenty of chug and swagger, this is where it’s, er, at.”
BILL HOLDSWORTH, RAVE MAGAZINE, QUEENSLAND
“AT have released that certain type of disc that on first listening grabs your senses and demands attention … it is just what we need at this moment; it's innovative, fresh and well up there with the best of any chart band's efforts… AT deserve far greater exposure, both within Australia and outside, as this is a band with a 'sound', tight musicianship and great production. Bands like this normally don't just appear; this band appears to be the exception to the rule.”
TONY BATES 100.7 FM, VICTORIA
POINTS OF INTEREST
September 2011 ‘Second Act’ album released
January 2010 Recorded live DVD & EP – ‘AT Acoustic: Live in The Vault’
June-August 2009 First Act Album Tour - Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria Australia
June 2009 Signed Distribution Deal with MGM and Waterfront Records
June 2009 Debut album ‘First Act’ released
March 2008 ‘Chapter 2’ EP released to national and international acclaim
Feb 2007 – present Many shows played throughout Australia
January 2007 Played renowned Brisbane venue The Zoo after only three gigs
October 2006 ‘Chapter 1’ EP released to critical acclaim
July 2006 Signed to ACT Music label
June 2006 Band Formation