The Black Atlas / by E

Catch up with The Black Atlas' Peter Koronios and look for Equinox, the third and final installment of his The Equinox EP series, to be released April 22.

What got you interested in music?

Peter Koronios: There was definitely a familial element. Neither of my parents played any instruments, but there was a tremendous amount of music and music appreciation in my home when I was a young child, so I guess that really pushed me into an investigation of that whole world and, eventually, I just felt like I had to participate, so I started playing the drums at about 11 years old. 

Which musicians have you been influenced by?

There have been a tremendous amount of musicians that have influenced me. I guess, particularly for this project, I've been super influenced by a lot of the people that I've worked with, like Jesse Clasen, Drew Roulette from Dredge, Ryan Hunter from Envy on the Coast and, really, they just put me onto some good music that has totally changed my game.

Is there a current artist you've got on repeat?

We're playing some Phantogram in the van, definitely some Beach House, and I've actually been listening to a lot of Beach Boys; that's not very current, but not too proud to say the amount of new artists that I'm into these days is pretty slim.

Which words would you use to describe your own sound?

It's hard to describe your own music, especially with this last release. The one that's coming out on April 22nd, Equinox, it veers a little left of center and deviates quite a bit from the sound that was established in the previous two EPs. I've heard words like ambient rock, dark rock, psychedelic, experimental - little bit of that - really, alternative being the classic go-to bracket for when music is not easily categorized. So, I'd say alternative, I'd go with.

What was your inspiration behind your single, "The Master"?

That particular tune was sort of a really intense look at a lot of my own internal struggle, trying to keep ego out of the creative process and it was just hard to do, but there's definitely a certain amount of mental checks and balances that I try to keep in place and one of them is being able to write a song about yourself and acknowledge the fact that there's that aspect of yourself that you always have to keep in check. That kicks off the EP, that's the first track, and I think it really sets the tone for what is, essentially, a dissection of myself, which is the final EP; that's the lyrical content and, really, the inspiration for the whole thing.

Could you tell us more about The Equinox EP series and this upcoming final EP?

Obviously, this has been done over the course of a year and a half and it's been done in installments, but the EP series really is a concept and, briefly, it's just about a sort of metanoia, a mental transmutation, changing your mind and really having a breakthrough; being able to see yourself as the hero and the enemy of your own story. This EP, Equinox, the last one, is kind of the catharsis and capstone to the whole story, really delving into subjects of the importance of being present and the necessity of mental clarity and stuff like that; taking a good look at yourself but also allowing there to be a certain acknowledgment of forgiveness. 

Sonically, it's a little bit more, I wouldn't say upbeat, but it's definitely a little calmer. There are definitely some dark elements and some heavy stuff that is going on that harkens back to the previous sound, but it's a little bit more accessible and the songs are not as abrasive or heavy.

Is there a song from the EP you're most excited to share with listeners?

Prog Sphere just premiered "Equinox", which is the title track of not only this upcoming EP, but the whole series, and, lyrically, it's a very exemplary song for the mindset I was in when I started this entire project. Lyrically especially, it is an extremely important song to me, personally, so I guess that would be it, "Equinox".

What do you hope your listeners can take away from your music?

It's interesting, I was having a talk about this yesterday or the day before, it's super important to me to at least feel, in some way, that I'm doing a very personal work and I think that that will, in many ways, come across to a lot of the people that are going to be interested in this type of music and, ideally, music has helped me; it's started me off on the path of a little bit more self discovery and lots of area of study that have literally just expanded my mind and helped my life and, really, when you break down what I tried to do with this EP series, is create a creative self-help manual [laughs]. It's a guide to interpreting your own psychology and, at the very least, in this three act story, what I attempted to do is lay out my own mental story. I think that a lot of it is applicable to pretty much anybody who is going through that kind of self discovery.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

We're on tour now and we're heading to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and we'll be in Aberdeen, SD tomorrow night and we're coming up on the last ten shows of the first leg of The Equinox Tour. After that, we have a little reprieve for the month of May and we're back out again in June, so we're always posting and updating our dates and things like that on social media and we'd really like to see some people out at the shows and make some new friends.

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