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Musicians signed and ready for big time

PUBLISHED: 09:00 18 June 2010 | UPDATED: 09:49 01 August 2010

THEY had all but given up on a career in the music business.

But now two friends from Bungay and Barnby are poised for stardom as they await the release of their debut album in major stores across the country.

THEY had all but given up on a career in the music business.

But now two friends from Bungay and Barnby are poised for stardom as they await the release of their debut album in major stores across the country.

Matt Snelling, of Bungay, and Ben Piper, of Barnby, joined Norwich outfit Atlas&i only 10 months ago.

But following a whirlwind turn of events the band are now on course for great things after being snapped up by up and coming record label Small Town Records.

They are currently working on their first album in a studio in Essex, due for release in September, and will be embarking on two tours of the UK in the summer.

Matt, 25, and Ben, 23, met for the first time about a year and a half ago and started writing music together. They decided to audition for Atlas&i when they heard that some of the band members had left, and since then the act has gone from strength to strength.

“When the six of us got together it just clicked,” said Matt, an ex-Bungay High School student. “They became my band members and best friends in about a year. I'd pretty much given up on the idea of having a career in music, and then I thought I'd give it one last shot- and it paid off. I think Ben felt the same way.

“We didn't expect to be signed so soon. It will be nice to get a physical copy of the album and to walk into a store and see one of my CDs sitting there. It will be surreal but definitely a feeling of accomplishment- especially coming from Bungay.”

Atlas&i also features Robbie Hubbard, 24, of Norwich, on guitar; Jarrod Brown, 21, of Hopton, on guitar; Josh Cooper, 18, of Norwich, on keyboards and vocals; and Christian Kett, 21, of Norwich, on drums.

Matt said that they did not like to define their sound, but said they were influenced by relatively unknown bands such as Saosin, Circa Survive, and 30 Seconds To Mars. “It's a really big epic alternative sound,” he said. “But although the bands we like aren't mainstream, our music is accessible to people who aren't necessarily into underground music. We're not a pop band and we're not a pop-rock band, but we don't neglect catchy chorus and big hooks.”

Ben had just started up a photography business when he heard that the band had been signed. Despite embarking on a career in music, he said he would continue to run the business, Benjamin Piper Photography, which is based in Norwich. “It was the perfect opportunity to do my two biggest loves in life side by side,” he said.

Atlas&i embark on a UK tour in July and will only have a week off before setting off on another tour in August. They have two “homecoming” gigs in Norwich, on July 13 at The Marquee and August 1 at B2.

The eight-track album is as yet untitled and will be available at all major music stores. For more information on Atlas&i visit www.myspace.com/atlasandi.

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