- by Tom Dumarey
We caught up with Microwave vocalist/guitarist Nathan Hardy to get some inside info on his hometown of Atlanta, following the band's release of their heaviest yet still melodic album to date, 'Death Is A Warm Blanket' (Buy - Stream). If for some reason you thought of them as another emo alt-rock band up until now, be ready to have your mind changed.
The band will be heading out on tour with Boston Manor next month to support the album. Click here for the tour dates.
PRT: What made you first fall in love with the city?
Nathan: I worked at DUA Vietnamese Restaurant downtown for a few years delivering food on a moped. I only had to work 11AM-3PM Monday through Friday and I made the most money I've ever made in my life. I got to know a lot of the security guards at government and business buildings that we delivered to as well as the people that would order food all the time. The food was really good so even if it took a long time, people were always stoked when I showed up. I basically smoked weed every day and rode a moped around downtown for a few hours giving people high fives and making fat stacks. There's a unique culture that exists in Atlanta especially downtown and in the areas that haven't been destroyed by gentrification. There's a lot of super chill, charming people.
PRT: If you had to come up with a marketing slogan for the city, what would it be?
Nathan: City of Trees? haha idk
PRT: Best place to play?
Nathan: We've always loved playing at the Drunken Unicorn. It's a cool venue and it has good sound.
PRT: Best place to go for a late night drink after the show?
Nathan: This has changed for me a lot over time, but my current favorite spot is 529. Everyone who works there is super chill and they book some wild ass shows with obscure artists that are entertaining. It's also really affordable and they have Jameson slushies and an outdoor patio which is crucial for sustained hangs.
PRT: Best place to go for a late night snack after the drink after the show?
Nathan: Waffle House.
PRT: Best touristy thing to do in the city?
Nathan: Riding Lyft etc scooters around on the beltline and over through Little 5 Points is a pretty fun activity. Although the scooters slow down on the beltline which is lame. Luckily they speed back up when you cut off the beltline to the Old 4th Ward skatepark so you can speed over the roly-polies and get BIG AIR. You could also ride over to Jack's Pizza and get 4$ High Life Pitchers and soul food pizza that has fried chicken, collard greens, mashed potatoes, and gravy on it.
PRT: Best hidden spot in the city?
Nathan: The Doll's head Trail on the southeast side of the city at the Constitution Lakes Park is pretty cool. There's this swampy boardwalk and then this weird trail of dismembered doll parts and . . . art things.
PRT: One thing you would like to see changed in the city?
Nathan: The public transportation system MARTA sucks ass and it seems to have gotten even worse over the last few years. The bus comes like half as often as it's scheduled to now and when a train comes to the platform now they often say you need to wait for the next train because this one is out of service. Traffic has become unbearable over the last several years as a ton of people have moved to Atlanta. Drives that would take 30-45 minutes with no traffic now take 2-3 hours during the ever-widening peak traffic hours. Whenever city officials try to expand/enhance public transportation, it gets shortchanged and thwarted by the great hoard of ignorant car commuter cattle people (or whoever represents them). The more progressive city government's good intentions get averted and they end up doing things like installing a useless street car that's slower than walking and adding a single reversible lane to the already like ten lane section of I-75 north of the city rather than expanding the train system to go up there. It's truly mind-numbing to behold.
PRT: What's your best memory about the city?
Nathan: There was a year sometime around 2014 where everyone I knew went to Jack's Pizza 4-5 nights a week. I lived a mile or so from there and I'd get drunk and leave my car there (back when I had a car) and walk back in the afternoon the next day and end up seeing more of my friends there and staying and getting drunk again and leaving my car there again. With 4$ pitchers, 2$ shots, 2$ slices of pizza, and 2.50$ cheesy garlic bread it was easy to justify going there every night.
PRT: Where in the city did you get your heart broken?
Nathan: Stovall St SE.
PRT: Is there a historical fact about your city that makes you chuckle?
Nathan: Downtown Atlanta was built over the old Atlanta that was destroyed in the Civil War. They literally just left it there and built over it and integrated it into the sewer system etc. Apparently, you can crawl down there and walk around and explore although I've never tried.
PRT: Favorite song about your city you'd like to share, either yours or someone else's?
Nathan: 'Spottieottiedopaliscious' by Outkast