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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Senses Fail, Bayside to perform Billings in off-day from Warped Tour

Alan Andrews Jr., lead singer for the Denver-based indie rock band The Photo Atlas, performs at a previous concert in Billings. The band opens a concert for Senses Fail and Bayside, two national acts currently touring on the Van's Warped Tour
Alan Andrews Jr., lead singer for the Denver-based indie rock band The Photo Atlas, performs at a previous concert in Billings. The band opens a concert for Senses Fail and Bayside, two national acts currently touring on the Vans Warped Tour

Denver-based indie rock band The Photo Atlas returns to Billings Aug. 10 to perform with national acts Senses Fail and Bayside (appearing during an off-day from the Vans Warped Tour) Aug. 10 in the basement of the Shrine Auditorium.

The Photo Atlas last appeared in Billings as headlining act for the annual Concert for a Cause in mid-July. The band is releasing a 7-inch vinyl record of new material recorded during the past year Aug. 8

Senses Fail and Bayside will co-headline the concert, taking a off-day from the Warped Tour to travel and perform in Billings. Their show is one of a few concerts the bands are performing outside the festival.

Formed in 2002, the New Jersey band Senses Fail have developed a catchy sound of post-hardcore meets emo (think Saves the Day). The band released its sixth full length, Life Is Not a Waiting Room, at the end of 2008.

Bayside, based in New York, formed in 2000 and garnished a following for their melodic guitar-driven emo/punk. They’ve shared the stage with indie rock heavy hitters, including Alkaline Trio, Taking Back Sunday, and Further Seems Forever. In September 2008 the band released its fourth full length album, Shudder and a live album, titled Live at the Bayside Social Club.

The all-ages concert begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 (plus applicable fees) in advance and available at Ernie November, Rimrock Mall, the Shrine Box Office, by phone at 800-325-SEAT or online at 1111presents.com.

CFAC raises money to benefit local charities

Missoula band Places performs at Concert for a Cause in downtown Billings.
Missoula band Places performs at Concert for a Cause in downtown Billings.

This year’s Concert for a Cause, an annual benefit festival featuring local and regional bands, raised a little more than $2,000 in ticket sales and donated bar proceeds, according to event organizer Eric Grider. Bands from Billings, Missoula, and Rapid City, S.D. came together to raise money for two local organizations, the Meadowlark House and Art Without Boundaries.

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Concert for a Cause lineup announced

Photo Atlas in a previous performance in Billings. (Photo by Casey Riffe)
Photo Atlas in a previous performance in Billings. (Photo by Casey Riffe)

Concert For A Cause, a benefit music festival founded by local music lover Eric Grider, is back. After taking a year off, Grider regrouped and put together his sixth concert, taking place July 25 at Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co., to raise money for two local organizations, the Meadowlark House and Art Without Boundaries.

“This year I felt like I needed to do (Concert for a Cause) because these charities could definitely use some help, and I enjoy putting it together,” Grider said.

Grider formed Concert for a Cause at age 14, shortly after his grandfather, Gary Kallem, died of cancer. The first Concert for a Cause, held in the summer of 2003, raised nearly $1,000 for the American Cancer Society.

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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.