Emily Allen, Chris Suter, and Paul Ward are Atrium – an American alternative rock group from North Carolina.

Since their formation in 2011, it’s safe to safe Atrium are the new rockers on the rise. Their power chords and soaring vocals could sure give popular American groups like Flyleaf and Evanescence a run for their money.

Having performed at the popular American alt-rock festival Warped Tour twice already, this trio shows no signs of slowing down. Their two EP’s – Post Script and The Tide – have gathered wild success amongst new and loyal fans alike. Their first music video “Alive” racked up over 1 million views on YouTube, and their Facebook page already has over 8k fans.

I was lucky enough to chat with Emily and the group. Check out their story on the band, new music, and moon real estate, all below!

The Interview

How’d you guys find each other, and how did you form the group?

EA:  Paul and I had been in a previous band together, and not too long into this band’s formation, we found ourselves in need of a touring drummer.  We brought Chris in for an audition – which was actually really amateur on our end.  We had him playing along to a quiet speaker while we watched in the corner, realizing he was too good for us, and wondering how we could trick him into joining our band.  It didn’t take long for him to become a permanent member.

What’s the inspiration for the name Atrium?

EA: We were brainstorming potential names and asked a close friend what he thought of Atrium.  He said he wasn’t sure about the name, and asked if that’s where they kept the pterodactyls in “Jurassic Park” – so it was a pretty obvious choice at that point.

Sounds like a clear-cut sign to me. So, do you guys have any big musical influences?

EA: We all draw inspiration from really random places, but there are a couple that are universal, like Tides of Man and Alexisonfire.  

Emily I know you studied violin and vocal performance in university. Did you all get involved with music from a very young age?

Chris: I got into music when I was probably 8 or 9, but I didn’t get a drum set until I was 11.

Paul: My mom got me a guitar when I was 10 and I used to pretend I could play it, so really, not much has changed.

You guys have played Warped Tour in the U.S. a few times. What was that experience like?

EA: Gratifying, encouraging, and humbling – all at once.  The first time we played was our first experience performing for a festival type crowd, where people didn’t necessarily go that day to us, but were free to come and watch our set if they were enjoying the music.  We had worked really hard to get to the point of being on that stage, and it was very rewarding to meet new fans that shared a genuine interest in what we were doing.

In addition to Warped Tour you’ve been performing together on the road for a while, how do you guys like touring and traveling together?

EA: We love it; we spend most of our free time together and have all lived together in the past.  There are very few people that we could stand to be around [or could stand to be around us] in a small, confined space for extended periods of time without inevitable legal charges.

Well thank God for none of those. Now let’s talk about your EPs. How has your sound changed from 2011’s Post Script to the newly released The Tide?

EA: We definitely explored a more technical direction.  We pushed our abilities as musicians and went outside of our comfort zone, and what we came out with on the other side was a more authentic, honed in sound.

From Post Script, your single “Alive” just broke 1,000,000 views on YouTube, congrats! What was filming that video like?

EA: It was our first music video, so we were filled with such innocent excitement that we were down for anything, even shooting in an asbestos-filled building a few days shy of being demolished.  We were chomping at the bit to release it, hoping that we would maybe get a few thousand views, but we never could have guessed that it would be met with the great success and support that it has thus far.

That must have been such an exciting time for you guys! So, what about in the future, how do you see yourself growing as musicians in the years to come?

EA: We’re pushing ourselves everyday – we’re not content writing music that feels comfortable and safe.  We want to continue breaking boundaries and testing ourselves as musicians and songwriters.

You guys also have a pretty strong social media presence. How do you guys stay engaged with your fans online?

EA: Our favorite bands were always the ones that we felt connected to as people, and that’s how we engage with our own fans now.  We’re not comfortable putting on airs and feeling idolized; we’re three best friends that are usually hanging out, realize we should post something online, and let our friends and fans share in that moment.

Any dream collaborations?

EA: We don’t have any specific artists in mind.  Our dream collaboration would be with anyone that connects well with us musically.

What’s next for Atrium?

EA: We’re working on our first full length, new music videos, planning more shows, and hopefully we’ll be the first band in space.  We’ve been investing all of our finances into real estate on the moon – we’re pretty sure that’s going to pan out.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. Finally, what’s one thing you want potential voters to know about your band?

EA: …We need this.  We just got a call on the moon hotline from the moon president, Frankie Muniz, and found out that our moon real estate is tanking.  Your Earth votes will help get us to the moon before the government seizes our properties for defaulting on our moon loans.

Thank you all for your continued support.  We love you guys.

Atrium on Spotify


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by Sierra Vandevort
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