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Over The Atlantic Back In The Pacific

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Fuseworks Media
Over The Atlantic Back In The Pacific

Since signing with an independent United States record label before even playing a live gig, Wellington's Over the Atlantic haven't looked back. CHRIS ORMOND of NZPA reports.

Wellington, Nov 11 NZPA - Over the Atlantic creator Nik Brinkman hasn't had much chance to gain traction in his home country, but hopes to start changing that.

He recently returned home after five months touring in Europe, North America, Britain and Australia, and is about to release album number two, Dimensions.

While the songs on the albums were created electronically by Brinkman and finished by Wellington producer Bevan Smith, a bass player and drummer were recruited for the live gigs and a keyboardist has been recently added.

"So it's a full live band now and quite different to the recording. It's the same songs but without the electronic elements," Brinkman says.

He says past British bands such as Ride, Slowdive and the Cocteau Twins have been influential, and still appreciates the ambient guitar and synthesizer sounds from the 1980s and 1990s.

"I've always been into that kind atmospheric, dreamy pop stuff.

"There is heaps of emotion in that kind of music. A lot of people think it's pretty cheesy, but I find a lot of it kind of cheesy because it's so real."

With the help of Smith, Brinkman has managed to take the dreamy and atmospheric pop sounds he admires and turn them into his own style of pop on Dimensions.

Over the Atlantic's style appealed to Washington DC-based independent label Carpark Records, which signed them in 2006 after hearing the first album, Junica.

The label then wasted no time in introducing Over the Atlantic to the United States and getting the first support tour under way when the band was an electronic-based two-piece.

Brinkman says Smith already had a relationship with the label through his electronic outfit, Signer, and was pleased to be able to get a breakthrough that connection.

"Since that came up they asked us to tour in the States, so straight away we were doing shows overseas -- we kind of got thrown in the deep end.

"Once that happened we started getting reviews, and with all these things happening overseas, nothing was really happening for us in New Zealand, we kind of just by-passed it accidentally," Brinkman says.

He says the recent tour -- about five months on the road -- was an intense time, but quite an experience.

While hard to make a profit as a touring indie band, gigs generally covered expenses and the music community pitched in with accommodation offerings.

"It's quite DIY and also quite expensive to do, but it's totally worth it, I don't regret any of it," Brinkman says.

"You meet amazing people and make heaps of contacts and new fans, and you get to see the world."

He says in Europe he found people welcoming and open to new music and touring bands, while in the United States the punters were harder to please.

"It's a bit more stand-offish. They're a bit colder and more reserved when it comes to applauding ... it's harder in America to make an impact.

"There are so many bands touring around America. You're competing with all these amazing big bands you can see really cheaply.

"When the small bands come from New Zealand it's not really a big deal."

He says he's keen to spend time here and play gigs while working on a third recording.

"I want to stick around for a few more months and push the record here and play some shows around the country.

"I've got a great live band which I really like at the moment and I don't want to lose it.

"If it's just me going overseas then I have to kind of start again when it comes to getting a live band back together.

Brinkman says he's written a new batch of songs, something at which he has always been prolific, and now needs to work on the lyrics before they go into the production stage and on to an album.

* Over the Atlantic gigs: Wellington, Nov 21, San Francisco Bath House; Hamilton, Nov 28, Flow; Auckland, Nov 29, Kings Arms; Gisborne, Dec 31, Rhythm and Vines.

* Dimensions is released in NZ on November 17 through A Low Hum and Involve.

* For pics go to www.alowhum.com/overtheatlantic/press or contact Ian at A Low Hum on 021 2655277.

NZPA WGT co mgr nb

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