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The First Album I Ever Bought: Mike Duce, Lower Than Atlantis

Lower Than Atlantis frontman Mike Duce says why he stumped up his pocket money for Foo Fighters' third album

The first album that I bought was There Is Nothing Left to Lose by the Foo Fighters. I was 13 years old and in my first year of secondary school at the time. I walked to town with my friend Elliot Pattle, who was my first real mate at school, and we went to MVC [the now defunct entertainment retailer Music and Video Club] to buy it.

I’d seen the music video to Learn to Fly and I was trying to explain to the shop assistant that I was looking for this particular Foo Fighters album, which I’d been in a couple of times and asked for already. It turns out I’d been looking for the wrong album: I’d been asking for their Greatest Hits. The guy told me the one I was looking for was There Is Nothing Left to Lose, and so I bought it.

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I can’t remember who it was, but someone was round my mum’s house while I was listening to the album and I told him or her that I was listening to the Foo Fighters, who were my new favourite band. Whoever it was – maybe it was my uncle or something – said, “Didn’t the singer of that band used to be the drummer in Nirvana?” I was like “No way,” but I Googled it and it turned out that it was, which made me love the band even more because I already knew and loved Nirvana.

Stacked Actors is the first track on the album and I remember so clearly the first time that I heard it because the riff is so heavy: the guitar is in this drop A tuning and it’s super heavy. Our new song Work for It is actually in drop A as well, so maybe it was inspired by that heavy as fuck pentatonic scale kind of thing. One of my favourite Foo Fighters’ songs of all time is on that album as well – Generator.

Weirdly, almost a year ago to the day I got back together with an ex-girlfriend at a Foo Fighter’s gig in Milton Keynes whilst they were playing Learn to Fly. I always bonded with our bass player Dec – who I’m waiting for as we speak –over the Foo Fighters and that album in particular. It’s probably one of the reasons he’s in the band. So there are a lot of special memories linked to the Foo Fighters and There Is Nothing Left to Lose.

I think what a lot of people like about the Foo Fighters is Dave Grohl. He’s a massive part of it and he seems like a normal, nice guy. The other reason I think so many people like the band is because they just play good rock music, and there’s loads of Dave Grohl-isms in there. They write big anthemic powerful rock songs, but they’re also interesting from a songwriting and playing perspective.

A lot of the time when music appeals to a mass audience it’s made palatable for that intention, but I think Foo Fighters have managed to become this ginormous stadium act but remain credible and cool. They’re just fucking great, aren’t they?


Lower Than Atlantis will release a new album next year. The band will tour next spring.

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