AFTM, the local Athens band that took the city by storm, recently released their debut studio album, “Around for now. ” After selling the Georgia Theater in 2018, the AFTM channeled its momentum through the creation of the first album.
AFTM has made its way through Athens bars and concert halls, fraternity parties and now even Atlanta, Savannah and Statesboro. As the group sneaks around, AFTM the fluidity is reflected in the artistic exploration. “Around the moment” is a fusion of psychedelia, indie, southern rock, jazz and funk, almost as eclectic as the Athens music scene.
“I think the album is a good representation of staying out of the box ”, drummer Cam Corsino noted. “You get a taste of all our genres. “
Just as the band’s name, AFTM, is up for interpretation, the album is up for fan interpretation as of January 22.
AFTM has barely been a cohesive unit for a year. The original members who have been performing together since childhood – Forrest whitlark (voice and guitar), John MacLane (low) and Will MacLane (guitar) – added Corsino, Kelly bouchillon (guitar) and John Cherry (keyboards) to complete the group.
Although Whitlark honed his songwriting skills since the age of 12, the actual work on “Around For The Moment” took seven months of writing and recording until it was finalized in October 2018.
“Once Kelly, Cam and Cherry came on the scene, since the spring of last year, everything has moved very quickly in the right direction. “ Whitlark noted. “I’m glad we’re in Athens because we don’t feel it so much, we’re in a good place where we can deal with everything.”
In February 2018, AFTM published their first single, “Blurry eyes.” Since then, the group has emerged from the mold of southern rock “Blurry eyes” codified. Thanks to the addition of new members and the various musical tastes that result, AFTM has not only grown in size but also in depth of musical scale.
“We’re not trying to lock ourselves in,” said John MacLane. “A lot of people have heard ‘Blurry Eyes’ and been like, ‘OK, that’s who you are – this is a southern rock band.’ Then all of the originals that we played in the concerts started to get very, very different, so people were pretty surprised at first. Everyone kind of warmed up there. “
To describe their new musical experimentation, Cherry calls it “multi-elementary rock”. Whitlark went further to describe it as “multidimensional food for the soul”. Whether your comfort food is bold, brassy tones or a generous helping of psychedelic, trippy interludes, the group’s loud buffet of bops has something for the pickiest of tastes.
Each of the 12 songs of “Around For The Moment” exhibits distinct motives while remaining true to their core. Even though the group is made up of six members, no idea overshadows another in the creation process.
“It’s very democratic, and I think that’s what makes our songs have such a good feel and such a wide range because we’re very democratic and nobody’s ideas are ever really rejected,” he said. declared Cherry. “If we don’t agree with her as a whole, we know it’s for the best of the song.
Although the creative process is diplomatic, it does not compromise the individuality of each song. Each song has a unique formation and story that shines through in the orchestration. The story of “Fly high” dates back to the original members of the prepubertal days.
“There is a huge difference every time a song is written,” Whitlark said. “‘Flying High’, our third track from the album, the three of us wrote when we were in college.”
The live performances also affect the band’s songwriting, according to John MacLane.
“We prioritize our live show really, very strongly in our songwriting,” said John MacLane.
In the process of creating their record, their live performances weighed heavily on their minds.
“I was thinking about what connects them and I feel like a lot of the structure of our songs connects even though it’s in a different sound genre ”, said Will MacLane. “We have a lot of breakdowns and buildups that I really love – which makes live shows really exciting too. “
Musical comedy palette of the band members presents a wide range of colors and textures, much like their album. Whitlark love rock bands like Dave Matthews Group and Tblack crows, while Corsica comes from a metal and hard rock background. Although from Bouchillon two biggest influences are The Allman Brothers Group, Hot red peppers while Cherry prefers music groups and Phishing– they come together with their mutual appreciation of jazz and funk. Will MacLane Also brings indie influences to the band as their twin brother John brings his fascination with electronic music into the mix.
Needless to say, the band members all enjoy “very different music and genres,” according to Bouchillon.
“We want to be able to play different genres” Bouchillon noted. “It’s really cool to be able to do “Blurry Eyes” and “Move On” and do … ‘Go down’ and get into a dark funk.
“Around For The Moment” not only explores new musical territory, but AFTM has explored a new artistic aesthetic with its album cover. For each of the five singles the band released previously, the cover art of the respective singles was consistent with similar art and font., while this album cover is a distorted vintage photo. This album cover breaks the trend and launches a different aesthetic.
Whitlark was rummaging through his mother’s college photo album for a snapshot of a 1980s college party for the album cover art. He found gold at the end of a rainbow when he discovered a photo his mother had taken at a St. Patrick’s Day festival. The band vibrated with it, so he sent it to be warped for added effect.
“As far as the brand goes, we did a 180 with the album cover art,” Whitlark said. “It might not have been super intentional, but [what we’re] try with this album [is] let’s say we’re not just what you thought with ‘Blurry Eyes’ and with this art. It kind of plays out overall that the album is a bunch of different sounds and not just one thing.
One element that has remained the same for the group is the camaraderie, which is evident through any retention held with all of the group members at once. Not only is it full of music, but also anecdotes.
“We got out of a speeding ticket on our way back from Statesboro because the cop had stopped someone on their way to our concert last night.” Bouchillon noted.
Whitlark has continued to elaborate on the identity of the group and the functionality of all of its members
“That’s what we feel as a group,” Whitlark said. “We’re not just one thing – we’re six people with completely different ideas that work well with each other. “