Photo: Courtesy of B-Side Sessions

Local band returns to rock Columbia

Atlas Road Crew, a Southern rock band made up of former University of South Carolina students, is returning to their hometown with a show at the Music Farm on Sept. 9.

Atlas Road Crew formed in 2011 while the members were still attending USC. The band’s beginning was a humble one; they played cover songs at various local bars and practiced in a hot storage unit on Atlas Road, where the band’s name came from.

“It’d be like 120 degrees in that thing,” drummer Patrick Drohan said. “No AC or heat or anything.”

Bar shows led to fraternity parties, which led to trips to Clemson, Wofford and Presbyterian College, and eventually the band found themselves touring to places like California, Chicago and many cities along the east coast. In January and February of this year, they were able to go on a six-week European tour.

“We did 30 shows in 35 days, which was really wild that our music could bring us overseas as well,” Drohan said.

The level of success that the band has reached is something that Drohan said he never thought would happen. Drohan and the other members assumed the band would be a short adventure and that they would only make one EP and go on a small tour. One full-length album and years of touring later, Atlas Road Crew is beginning to be known for their original work outside of South Carolina.

Courtesy of Jeff Myers

In the beginning of the year, Atlas Road Crew went on a six week European tour.

“When we would go to other cities and we would have people singing along with our original songs is when it was kind of surreal,” Drohan said.

Drohan said that taking opportunities and having patience is key for student musicians who are trying to build a band in the way that Drohan and his fellow band members did when they were students.

“Nothing happens overnight,” Drohan said. “The only way to really expand your audience is to just keep playing live. Take any show you can get and just have some patience.”

After extensive touring, Drohan said that it feels great to be playing a show back in his hometown with familiar faces, the USC crowd and to have the opportunity to make new fans.

“We love coming to Columbia,” Drohan said. “Those shows are always the most fun for us because we see a lot of people that we used to work with and stuff when we were first coming up.”

According to Drohan, Atlas Road Crew’s sound is influenced from the variety of musical backgrounds that each of the five bands members have. However, what every member of the band shares is a love of rock 'n' roll. Drohan mentioned The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd as classic inspirations, while bands like Kings of Leon, Red Hot Chili Peppers and My Morning Jacket are more modern influences for the band.

Atlas Road Crew is looking to record the follow up to their debut album, “Halfway to Hopkins,” this winter. “Halfway to Hopkins” can be bought on iTunes, Google Play Music and other music services.

In addition to Atlas Road Crew, the show features Brave Baby and Dear Blanca. Doors open and 8 p.m. with the show starting at 9 p.m., and students get in for $5.

“We’re just really excited to come back to Carolina, where it all started, and kick off everybody’s school year on the right foot,” Drohan said.



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