Nuclear energy

Atomiks recharge their music with new members, new album

The newfangled Atomiks gave us a hand during one of the moments that all the members were actually together.

The newfangled Atomiks gave us a hand during one of the moments that all the members were actually together.

Photo By David Robert

While Nevada may not give the time of day to suitors with nuclear proposals for Yucca Mountain, the Battle Born state seems reluctant to fight Atomik advances on Reno.

Perhaps it’s all about timing, since time as we know it—UTC, or coordinated universal time—is measured atomically. On second thought, if you’ve been to one of the Atomiks’ shows, you know that Atomik time is not something you can set your watch to, unless your watch looks like it belongs in a Salvador Dali painting. The Atomiks preach tirelessly to the faithful time and time again against the evils of an incomprehensible military-industrial complex, while extolling salvation through baptism by bourbon.

The truth is out there, Scully.

The Fox Mulder character (or Don Quixote, depending on how you see it) responsible for this small-town seduction is singer/songwriter and underground conspiracy author George Pickard, who wrote the book Liquid Conspiracy: JFK, LSD, the CIA, Area 51 and UFOs (under the name of George Piccard to confuse the echelon of forces trying to track him down).

The Atomiks—Pickard, guitarist Steve Larkins, drummer Jason Kellner and upright bass player Luke Hoffman—seem to be in a liquid state themselves.

“Hoffman is in Alaska right now, and Kellner is somewhere in Ecuador,” Pickard said. “And Larkins is hard enough to track down when he’s in Reno.”

So for the time being, Pickard is the nucleus, and they’re behaving as electrons should: independently. But they’ll be a nuclear family again in no time. They have no choice. A new Atomiks album titled Motordeath is being produced at Sierra Sonics with Vince Gates and should be finished within the month.

“The album [is], yes, different,” Pickard said. “Not experimentally different, just pleasantly adventurous. Adulterous. Hippo kills hotel bellman. Don’t recall his name, but his face sure rings a bell.”

The album also explores, according to Pickard, “love and hate relationships against a backdrop of a desensitized nation” while promising a serious break from the Atomiks’ typical structure, including the introduction of a DJ on some of the songs.

“We’ve got a bit of rhythmic scratching,” Pickard said. “I experience some arrhythmia. My pop blows sax on the wax. It’s everything from screaming engines to rain collecting in the gutter of another pop band shanty. And saints, the unknown saints, doing backup vocals for theta induction.”

Otherwise, it’s relatively simple to explain the theory behind the changes, according to Pickard:

“I’m just getting a little sick of the same old routine, to the point where I’m even considering changing the name of the band, in which case I would have to go with George Pickard and the Atomiks. Now that [former drummer Dion Gioleto is] gone, it’s not the same band anymore. Wouldn’t want to steer people wrong.”

Gioleto has since moved on to a band called the Diesel Patriots, which Pickard described as “100 percent pure rock ‘n’ roll.” As for George Pickard and the Atomiks, they’ll probably continue to revise reality as they see fit with their music, well into the future.

“I think of Earth as Venus’ older sister with the slutty reputation. She’ll throw us out sooner or later, but I still wanna serenade her ‘cause she smells so good."