The Photo Atlas keeps busy: Local band has new label, record and side project

If you go

Who: Il Cattiveo with The Photo Atlas

When: 9 p.m. Saturday

Where: 3 Kings Tavern, 60 South Broadway, Denver

Cost: $7

The Photo Atlas is one busy band.

The indie-pop rockers just signed a deal with The Bravery’s new label and a new album’s in the works. Plus, the group’s side project Serious Moonlight is taking off — and several band members are booking indie nights at Boulder’s Brick House.

That’s not all. The Photo Atlas is playing a special show at 3 Kings Tavern on Saturday. Whew.

Denver’s Photo Atlas has a lot on its plate, but bandleader Alan Andrews chatted with the Daily about it all.

Q: The band’s been together for six years. What direction is the music taking now?

A: We’re kind of into fast-paced music. It’s rock ‘n’ roll, it’s fun and it has certain energy.

Solid music that’s upbeat and fast-paced has always been our thing. We’ve been figuring out how to put more pop elements into it and make a party out of our live show.

Q: The band was signed to The Bravery’s new label. Is this something The Photo Atlas was looking for?

A: It’s The Bravery’s own label and it’s more of an indie thing.

Having already been through the major label process, this was right up our alley. We wanted an indie label, but one that had good amount of integrity.

Q: Give Daily readers a sneak-peak of the new album.

A: We just got a new drummer and that’s opened us up to more of a radio feel.

This record opens us up to more of a pop world. We’re using more major-sounding chords. It seems all right to take a radio angle with this record.

This record is definitely going to open us up to a new audience. Any type of person might listen to this.

We already have five songs recorded, and the songs are poppy, dancey kind of stuff. It still has dance beats and riffs.

We’re finishing up the record by the end of summer and hopefully releasing it next year.

Q: Why did you start the folkie spin-off act Serious Moonlight?

A: I’ve always been into folk music — like Bright Eyes and Elliott Smith. Recently, I moved into a basement and started writing all these single chord based songs.

Some of the musicians in our crowd latched onto it and we decided to make a band. Bill (Threlkeld) from The Photo Atlas switched from guitar to bass and I play an acoustic guitar.

Serious Moonlight is a guitar-folkie, indie thing. This is a different set-up than The Photo Atlas and it’s nice to challenge myself.

We’ve already played the Larimer Lounge and the hi-dive.

Q: What’s happening with the 3OH!3 tour?

A: We just found out about that.

We’ve known 3OH!3 since they used to open for us. We’ve been friends forever.

We’re going to do a little tour run together after the Warped Tour.

Q: What’s going on with the Boulder indie rock nights?

A: We’re doing indie rock nights at The Brickhouse (at the Lazy Dog) on Thursdays.

We started doing it at the end of last year and it worked out well.

We’ve been getting a lot of friends of our in bands to come up and play Boulder. We’ve had Churchill, the Swayback and The Pirate Signal play there.

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