The past couple of weeks have certainly been eventful for the members of the Photo Atlas. Late last month, the band parted ways with drummer Devon Shirley in the middle of an East Coast tour. And this past Monday, word came down that Rob Stevenson, the head of Stolen Transmission, the act’s current label home, was handed his walking papers by Island Def Jam.
That news was followed by a post from label co-founder, Sarah Lewitinn (aka Utragrrrl), on her personal blog assuring everyone that everything at the imprint was business as usual. “Stolen Transmission started IN MY BEDROOM as an indie label putting out hand made cds of bands that me and Rob Stevenson believed in,” she noted. “We werent funded back then, and we were really happy.
“We're just working from a different location,” she added. “We're still working all the bands we released (no bands we were working with had anything unreleased -- cept for innerpartysystem who are still in the studio and will remain there til they're done). We're still doing everything the same as before, for the most part.”
Speaking with Morning After Records Dan Rutherford earlier this week, he kind of had the same thing to say – sorta. “Right now,” he said, “I don't have enough concrete information to even... as of right now, the band and myself has been instructed to go on as business as usual. The records are still in stores; the records aren't being pulled off the shelves. Tours are still happening and demos are still happening.”
The difference, however, is that he and the band’s marching orders were coming from its new A&R guy at Island, who managed to survive after the layoff of Stevenson. As it turns out, Lewitinn’s commentary may have been a bit premature. Yesterday afternoon, citing an unnamed source -- presumably an IDJ insider -- Billboard.biz filed a report confirming that the future of Stolen Transmission is indeed still being determined, and that Stolen Transmission would likely continue to operate under IDJ.
However the whole thing ends up working out, it's a safe bet that you can count on Alan Andrews and company – who, although their MySpace page reads “The Photo Atlas (Still On Tour),” will be home long enough to drop into the Gothic tomorrow night with 3Oh!3 -- continuing to live on the road as they have for the better part of this past year.
I guess in that case, it really is business as usual for them. -- Dave Herrera