Atomokazi: A Look Inside A Campus Band

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Having been worked and reworked again, Atomokazi, a band here on UNT’s campus has been born only just a month ago. The musical group consists of 4 members, Gabe, Mak, Kenny, and Antonio. According to the guitarist and singer of the band, Gabe, they had formally come together towards the early middle of the fall semester.

 “We had the band for about a year, we went through a couple of basses and a couple of guitarists…” Though, the band has been fully up and active for the better part of over a couple of months. 

According to Gabe, Antonio was a more technical player, “Antonio was… great. He was like one the best guitarists I had seen in the area.” 

Antonio and Gabe had met through a person of mutual interest. It happened at a party Gabe had invited Antonio to. As the two conversed about bands they enjoyed, it wouldn’t be soon after Antonio would officially join Atomokazi. “We both liked Smashing Pumpkins a lot so I’m like… You’re in the band or we’re gonna kill you.” Gabe laughed.

Their drummer Kenny, had been picked up by the bassist and vocalist, Mak. Kenny, having been in another band at the time was playing on Mak’s drumset one day before Mak casually invited him to play for Atomokazi. 

“We had our very first rehearsal with Kenny… He was good.” Mak said.

 “He ended up playing this song we have called Half Life… [after] playing the song for like 5 minutes, and he ends up writing an entire drumline for the entire song,” Gabe said. 

“We’d be playing and then I’d just look over and scream “YOU’RE A REALLY GOOD DRUMMER” and he would be like “THANKS!” and we’d go back to playing.” Mak smiled.

Mak and Gabe, the self-proclaimed parents of the group met through a mutual friend. The two started music at an early age, each roughly around age seven. The duo writes a lot for the group be considers writing to be collaborative, getting as much involvement as possible. 

“I’ve written music with people before but I think working with him has been my favorite,” Mak said about Gabe.

Being students, the band’s practice sessions lean more toward the spontaneous side, each session pushing out quality content. “We’re still getting practice one way or another and the results that come out never fail to surprise me in a good way,” Mak said. 

Much of their sound is inspired by ‘90s grunge, according to Gabe, “[It was] an emotional time for music because everyone just stopped giving a shit.” Gabe said. Their music is heavy and intense, inspired by a mix of screamo, punk, and overwhelming guitar. “It’s like that one moment whenever you get in an argument and you just hit that point where you’re done being rational, and you hit that emotional peak where you’re just like “I’m just gonna start flooding on you, and if you drown in whatever I’m saying that’s completely fine,” I just live to drown people in our sound,” Gabe said.

The band has discussed playing live and intends to play as soon as possible. Though they’re interested in live performances, they explained that they’re making the music for themselves. “I want to put it out there and say we put it out there. It doesn’t have to be the most successful thing on earth but we put a root down.” Gabe said.

As of now, the band Atomokazi has music released on @Atomokazi, their official Instagram page. They currently have two demo tapes available for listening, Half Life and Razor Jaw. According to the band, the setlist they’ve constructed is leading toward a potential album. 

“It’s just a matter of teaching and just getting good… We’re way too invested in this to let it not happen.” Mak said. 

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