The core of Atoms & Void, (formerly Ghost Wars) is formed in the friendship and songwriting partnership of Arlie Carstens and Eric Fisher.
Carstens, former guitarist & lyricist of Seattle-based indie band Juno, has spent much of the 00s living and recording in Los Angeles while band mate and audio engineer Eric Fisher has continued living in Seattle and working with a wide variety of bands and solo artists, (Constant Lovers, Triumph of Lethargy, Damien Jurado, Rosie Thomas).
The origins of Atoms and Void can be traced back to the early-90s, when Carstens first heard Talk Talk's 'Spirit of Eden' and 'Laughing Stock'. “Ever since first hearing those albums I've wanted to do a band like this, something that has a distinct sound and vision but that is not the work of a specific group of musicians,” Carstens said in an interview with Dirty Waves, Sept. 2005.
With that idea in mind, Carstens asked longtime friend Fisher to be his songwriting and production partner. Thereafter, whenever time allowed, the two began recording songs onto 4-tracks, answering machines, micro-cassette recorders, laptops and iPhones. They recorded in cramped apartments, empty houses and tiny rehearsal spaces in Los Angeles. They recorded in real and make believe studios in Seattle, Shoreline, Sunland, Santa Monica, Studio City, Echo Park, Angelino Heights, Highland Park and Downtown Los Angeles. They recorded in Portland, San Francisco, Boston, Austin, Mexico City and New York...for years.
Eventually Fisher and Carstens began integrating a slowly evolving cast of additional instrumentalists and audio engineers to help bring their compositions to life, including (but not limited to):
Nate Mendel (Sunny Day Real Estate, Foo Fighters, Juno), Gabe Carter (Juno), Jay Clarke (Pretty Girls Make Graves), Cory Murchy (Minus the Bear), Morgan Henderson (The Blood Brothers, Fleet Foxes, Cave Singers), Rosie Thomas (Sufjan Stevens), Eric Akre (Treepeople, Built To Spill, Juno), Joel Culping (Constant Lovers), Josh Myers (The Fire Theft, Jeremy Enigk, Rosie Thomas), Drew O’Doherty (Ted Leo & the Pharmacists), Griffin Rodriguez (Icy Demons), Jenna Conrad (Avians Alight, Damien Jurado), and Lena Simon (Pollens, La Luz) among others.
To date, Atoms & Void has recorded 33 songs. Along the way they've had a laptop stolen in Toronto and crashed a hard drive in Seattle, circumstances which have caused the duo to pause for years at a stretch while figuring out how best to re-record the album. Twice.
Early versions of three songs have floated around the Internet for years, ("Destroyed, The Sword of St. Michael," "Lay Down Your Weapons," and "Waves of Blood"). Folks rip them, trade them, and write social media and YouTube odes to them. For a handful of listeners the album-in-progress has taken on an almost mythic resonance. Fair enough, it's been a long time coming.
We're happy to confirm the band's first full-length album, "And Nothing Else," is now ready for your listening pleasure. The 12-tracks comprised herein offer a dark, slow, heady and heartbreaking world of sounds and experiences. Indeed, you will find it has been worth the wait.