Sunday, April 21 2024

Welcome to our exclusive interview with Atari Pilot, the indie rock band from Swindon, United Kingdom. With songs that blend classic storytelling with modern nuances, Atari Pilot deliver anthems that have the ability to strike a chord with audiences worldwide. Led by Onze, whose inspiring journey through cancer has influenced the band’s trajectory, they have just released their fantastic latest album, ‘It’s The Journey You Can’t Live Without.’ We recently had the privilege to chat with Onze about exploring the trials and triumphs that have shaped their remarkable career and brought them to their most recent release.


Hey Onze! Thanks for joining us and congratulations on the new album! Your journey as a band has had its challenges, including your own recovery from cancer. How has this journey influenced the themes and emotions explored in the album, ‘It’s The Journey You Can’t Live Without’?

Onze: Thank you! The whole idea of having that 2nd chance and being in a band with 3 of your best friends, especially after all this time is very life affirming. And, I think ultimately that’s the ethos of Atari Pilot. It’s music that reflects life and look’s it in the eye and tries to make some sense of it. This album is about exploring how do you come back from something, how do you connect with someone, how do you leave things behind and move on, how do you get to that place you want to go and can you get there?

Could you talk about the significance of the album title, ‘It’s The Journey You Can’t Live Without,’ and how it reflects your musical journey and experiences?

Onze: So the lyric comes from the song ‘Train of Life’ which is the first track on the album.

From station to station,
Carriages full of expectation.
Rolling on ’til the track runs out,
It’s the journey you can’t live without.

‘Train of Life’ by Atari Pilot

The overarching theme is trying to reach that point where you can make peace with yourself and try to embrace who you are and the world out there rather than feeling like nothing ever quite fits or feels right. It’s about taking chances and risks to go beyond the boundaries that you or the world has placed on you ’til now.

In terms of how that relates to me, it comes from the place of having lived one life before cancer, another one during treatment and then the life I am living now after cancer. It has been a struggle, but I feel like I’m not just an echo of my past, I am my future now. The album is all about signposting the future of Atari Pilot and our commitment to keep making music for a long time and to keep building that energy as well as really nailing our sound down.

What was the creative process like for this album, especially considering the band’s journey since your debut release in 2011?

Onze: So after my initial recovery we’d had a few years where we’d learned the old songs and maybe proved there was life in the band and that it was something to keep going. But after my final all clear last year, I finally felt like I could truly move on and try to embrace all the opportunities ahead. I spent a long time working on my songwriting and the whole production side of things. Then, in the last few months it became clear there was a collection of songs that could hang together. It felt like it was time to really show we were a band you could rely on by actually finishing and releasing a new album, even after all this time.

Atari Pilots Live

Your single, ‘No More Self Sabotage,’ carries a powerful message of motivation and self-love. How important is it for you to infuse your music with such empowering themes?

Onze: I think it’s really an important part. We want our songs to be there for people when they need them. I call it ‘on your side, in your corner’ music. ‘No More Self Sabotage,’ I imagine it as like a hype song, where you can jump around to it and say it loudly as an affirmation. Whatever mistakes you’ve made in the past, you’ve forgiven yourself and you finally believe in yourself, and, that you are not your past.

As a band, what do you hope listeners take away from ‘It’s The Journey You Can’t Live Without’? What message or feeling do you aim to give through your music?

Onze: We really hope is transmits optimism, hope, love, empathy… all these things. The message is that’s it’s a wonderful world, but we can’t make it on our own and it’s not always easy. But, if you take that journey, you never know where it can take you. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how many times you’ve failed, everyday is another chance. It’s not about where you’ve been, it’s where you’re going to.

Atari Pilots Band Rehearsal

What exciting plans do you have for the future of Atari Pilot?

Onze: The next few months is all about trying to introduce the world to the new album and seeing what kind of reaction we get. We begin live rehearsals very soon too, then we’ll be out and about playing, including, being back at Minety Festival in July. Next, plans for album 3 are already In the works! It’s an amazing feeling to really be back and to know our best days are ahead of us.

And, finally, a fun question – so, going with the band name here… If each member of Atari Pilot were a character from a classic arcade game, who would they be and why?

Frosty: I will say Pac Man as I’m always eating sweets!

Paj: I’d say Parappa the Rappa, due to his happy upbeat nature and love of music, or, Crash Bandicoot’s approach to things – just dive in and see what chaos ensues!

Andy: I’ll go for Ryu from Street fighter, cool and calm… and all the best moves!

Onze: I’d say Mario. He’s not the biggest, fastest, coolest or the strongest. But, his heart is in the right place, he never gives up and is always there for his friends when they need him.


As we wrap-up our interview, we extend our sincere thanks to Onze from Atari Pilot for sharing his insights and experiences with us. Through their music and personal journey, they have shown the power of resilience, friendship, and the pursuit of their passion. Be sure to check out their latest album, ‘It’s The Journey You Can’t Live Without,’ and stay tuned for more from Atari Pilot as they continue to inspire audiences with their songs and profound messages. Thanks guys 🙂

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About Author

Matt Warren

Matt Warren is a Cheshire based musician who studied contemporary music and composition. When not writing for The Indie Grid he enjoys watching 'Breaking Bad' on continuous loop and going to gigs. Since a youngster his fave band have been 'The Beatles' (with 'Cardiacs' in at a close second)... and this still applies to this day.

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