A is for Atom,
The TVD First Date

“The first vinyl record I ever listened to non-stop was the soundtrack to Star Wars.

“I was 7 and I have listened to it probably more than I’ve seen the movie. I know where all of the musical phrases fit into the film—I think that I can even run the soundtrack in my head to this day (it really helped me in film scoring school!) I listened to a lot of my dad’s vinyl records and he had a very nice turntable. He really only had classical music. Since my parents were divorced at this point, I would go over to my mom’s place and she would play a lot of folk and country music.

When I was around 13, I started listening to heavy metal (since all my friends were) and the album that changed my life at that point was from Metallica. I had been listening to Quiet Riot, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden. My friends told me about this local band Metallica, so I ran out to the record store in Huntington Beach and bought Kill ‘em All. I played the first track on side 2 (for some reason) “Whiplash”—it was the fastest thing I ever heard up until that point and the guitars sounded like galloping jet engines. Very exciting!

When I was 14 I started playing the bass guitar—and my love for heavy metal began to wane—I never liked to play those bass lines. When I went to Austin that summer, my Aunt had a copy of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper. I listened to it non-stop and learned all of the songs and they are still really some of the best bass lines to play. I was very taken with “Lucy in the Sky…” Still one of my favorite bass lines of all time. I still have a copy of it on vinyl, and I just bought a new record player and I’m going to listen to it again now!

Around 15 or so, I started to actually get good at playing bass and was playing in bands (by then I had moved to Springfield, VA). I heard Led Zeppelin II at my friend’s house, and my life changed again! I bought a copy and started learning everything. My favorite song to play is “The Lemon Song,” just amazing bass work by JPJ. I learned how to play every line on that album, it took a while and I certainly scratched up the record a lot!”
Mike Cykoski

A is for Atom’s EP, “Song for You” is available now.
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