Attic Light’s Nathan Bowman wants to make you groove
Nathan Bowman has a flair for the theatrical. You might guess that after watching “Whiskey Love,” the latest music video from his band, Attic Light, and the lead single off the April-released Exile EP.
Bowman — dressed in a white suit and a perilously unbuttoned shirt — mugs for the camera and exaggerates his singing. All this, he says, is in hopes that you’ll be inspired to shake it just half as hard as he does.
Ahead of the band’s Sunday-night show at the Riot Room — and before Attic Light embarks on a summer tour — I called Bowman to chat about where Attic Light got its groove.
The Pitch: How long has Attic Light been together?
Bowman: We first got together and started playing back in 2012. At that time, it was just myself and our bassist, Patrick [Rippeto]. We had a few other guys that aren’t in the band anymore. We started playing shows and released an EP called Different Shades of Black in 2014 with that lineup. We mixed things around and found our current drummer [Joseph Dillman] and guitarist [Michael Pittman], and we started writing the Exile EP, which just came out a few weeks ago.
I write all the music. When I first started Attic Light, I wanted to form a band that could do what I was writing. When I started, I wanted to write simple rock tunes that people could move to. “Whiskey Love” is an example of that — it’s something that’s fun, that you can move around to and dance to. It’s got a beat, and it’s something you can sort of feel.
It’s a lot of work, holding down a full-time gig and committing yourself to a band. How do you make everything work with Attic Light?
We’re very ambitious, at least from my point of view. It’s not a hobby for us. What little free time I have from my job is spent on the band, because we’re also independent, so I also manage the band. Outside of actually playing and writing and rehearsing, I spend 20 hours a week maintaining our website and social-media presence. We’ve got a very busy touring schedule coming up.
Is it hard to stay ambitious with so many obligations?
With regard to ambition, I think you just have to get out there. We’re not making any money on music sales — any income we have as a band comes from playing shows. So in terms of keeping the band financed, it comes from touring and traveling, and it gets the music out there. I don’t think any of us would say that what we’re doing as a hobby.
How did you discover music and how did it became such an important part of your life?
For me, at least, listening to music a lot was just what I did growing up, especially pop music. I listened to a lot of pop music as a kid, and I started trying to do music by myself. I loved the Spice Girls and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I loved listening to pop music because it made me want to move and have a good time, and in high school, I started writing lyrics and stuff. I realized I needed to learn to play an instrument if I wanted music to be put to it, and I started playing around in high school. In college, I did the solo-acoustic-songwriter thing, but I didn’t like that, because I liked rhythm, and I listened to a lot of Prince. I’m not just saying that because of recent events — it was the syncopation of multiple instruments and a funky dance beat. I loved that, and I couldn’t do that with one person, and that’s when I put Attic Light together.
What do you want someone to take away from a first listen to the Exile EP?
I guess, for me, if they take away anything, I want them to have something stuck in their head. Hopefully, with songs like “Whiskey Love,” they take away a little bit of the theatrical nature of the band. But if they can listen to the record and get something stuck in their head, I would love that, more than maybe anything about the band’s personality.
with Rococode, Vigil & Thieves, Mime Game
Sunday, May 15