Q&A with Nick Miles of the Photo Atlas

Nick Miles, drummer for the Denver-based band Photo Atlas (courtesy photo)
Nick Miles, drummer for the Denver-based band Photo Atlas (courtesy photo)

Billings native Nick Miles began his musical career in the halls of a Billings high school, a path that led him to drum for the Denver-based dance punk band Photo Atlas.

Still riding the high from 2009’s successful release of “To Silently Provoke the Ghost,” The Photo Atlas has been working on new material and will hit the road in October for a national tour.

Before they head out, the band is stopping in Billings Friday night for a musical reunion with long-time friends and musical peers. With a lineup of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado bands, the concert features 1090 Club, Flowers From Her, Photo Atlas, and The Front.

Miles took some time to discuss the band and his experiences since moving to Denver to drum for the group full-time in nearly three years ago.

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Little Brazil back in a big way

Little Brazil in preformance at the Railyard Nov. 4, 2009.
Little Brazil in preformance at the Railyard Nov. 4, 2009.

Little Brazil hit the Railyard in a big way last week, exploding with a refined sound full of active melodies and bursts of engaging guitar work.

I first saw the band perform in Billings in 2006, and they were a rowdy and rollicking bunch. Through the years they’ve kept that energy but have a newly-developed focus, and the band has come into its own.

Little Brazil sports a frontman, Landon Hedges, with impressive credentials. Hedges honed his skills in Saddle Creek bands The Good Life (a project of Cursive’s frontman Tim Kasher) and Desaparecidos (a side project Conor Oberst, one of the Saddle Creek founders and frontman for Bright Eyes).

Hedges’ time spent in such influential bands has no doubt influenced the music of Little Brazil, which is sternly anxious yet robust and melodic.

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Little Brazil schedules last-minute performance

Little Brazil performs Wednesday at the Railyard.
Little Brazil performs Wednesday at the Railyard.

Omaha-based rock band Little Brazil snagged a last-minute spot on Wednesday, performing with 1090 Club at the Railyard.

Formed by Landon Hedges (The Good Life, Desaparecidos), Little Brazil is touring on its album, “Son,” released in March. The band has made several performances in Billings, including a March performance with Saddle Creek rock band Ladyfinger.

Doors for the 18+ concert open at 9 p.m. and the cover is $5.

For a free download of the band’s music, check out their October 2008 Daytrotter session.

Triple indie rock bill tonight at the Railyard

Denver rock band Photo Atlas performs tonight in Billings.
Denver rock band The Photo Atlas performs tonight in Billings.

The Forecast, 1090 Club and The Photo Atlas are joining forces for select dates through the west, and the three bands come together tonight for an all-ages concert starting at 6 p.m. at the Railyard.

Denver-based band Photo Atlas is touring in support of the newly-released sophomore album, “To Silently Provoke the Ghost,” released nationally April 21 and produced by J. Robbins (Against Me!, Jets To Brazil, Murder By Death).

1090 Club is close to wrapping its two-week tour in support of their newest, “Natural Selection,” with a Missoula and Seattle date left in this leg of the tour.

Peoria, Illinois’ band The Forecast, whose last performance of layered harmonies and boisterous rock melodies in Billings was on Labor Day 2007, is co-fronted by vocalist and bassist Shannon Burns, guitarist Dustin Addis and drummer Matt Webb.

The three bands also perform together at the Union Hall in Missoula Tuesday and Studio Seven in Seattle Wednesday. 1090 Club returns home for a performance  with Murder By Death on May 1, and The Forecast and The Photo Atlas continue touring the west together through early May.

1090 Club has hometown launch for new album

1090 Club members perform a free instore performance at Ernie November in Billing March 24.
1090 Club members from left Michael Galt, Sean Lynch, Steve Serfazo, and Megan Dibble perform a free in-store performance at Ernie November in Billing March 24.

With little ostentation, Billings indie rock band 1090 Club celebrated the release of “Natural Selection” at their local record store last night. Friends, family and fans packed the small independent record store to celebrate the album’s national release.

The band played a scattering of songs from the “Natural Selection,” released nationally March 24 on SideCho Records. Just like their hometown, 1090 members were casual, approachable and appreciative of the local support at the in-store.

“Natural Selection” is the band’s sophomore release following their label debut, “Shipwrecked on Shores.” The new album open with soaring, layered melodies and engaging, brooding compositions, cataloguing the Montana musicians’ coming-of-age. Songs such as “Conversations,” “Hearts” and “Skipping” interject a delicate sweetness amongst the indie rock storm.

1090 Club keyboardist/vocalist Mike Galt.

Following the album’s release, 1090 Club announced a series of tour dates, including a CD release party at the Railyard April 18.

Tour dates are as follows:

  • Apr 17: The Badlander w/ Secret Powers, Volumen, BEDM, Missoula.
  • Apr 18: Railyard w/ Loopian Zu and Flowers From Her, Billings.
  • Apr 22: The Aquarium w/ Murder By Death,  Fargo, ND.
  • Apr 23: O’leavers w/ The Photo Atlas,  Omaha, NE.
  • Apr 24: Vaudeville Mews w/ The Forecast,  Des Moines, IA.
  • Apr 25: The Roman w/ The Forecast,  Kearney, NE.
  • Apr 26: Hi Dive w/ The Forecast, Denver.
  • Apr 27: The Railyard with the Forecast, Photo Atlas, Billings.
  • Apr 28: Union Hall w/The Forecast,  Missoula.
  • Apr 29: Studio 7 w/The Forecast,  Seattle.
  • May 1:  The Railyard w/ Murder By Death, Photo Atlas,  Billings.