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New Atlantic hones stage act, finds musical focus

New Atlantic.jpg

A singer’s voice can’t be 100 percent every night, and at some shows, it can be close to a whisper.

That’s when a singer has to rely on showmanship.

Last month during the Bamboozle festival in East Rutherford, N.J., New Atlantic singer Giovanni Gianni, who was suffering from a sinus infection, had to rely on his stage smarts to get through his band’s set.

“I had almost no voice at all,” Gianni recalls. “I tried to sing the best I could, and the only thing I could think of was to ask the kids to sing as loud as they could.”

It wasn’t the only time he involved the crowd when his sinuses troubled him.

At another show when his voice was fading, Gianni — realizing he “had to do something cool” — took a stage dive and had the crowd carry him back to New Atlantic’s merchandise table.

“[It seemed like] the kids thought it was the greatest thing they had ever seen in their life,” he says.

Gianni has seen his share of audiences in recent years. New Atlantic — previously known as Glendora and co-founded by Gianni and guitarist Christopher Hindley when they were students at the College of New Jersey — has toured the United States with regularity, and this spring, the band has been on the road supporting its debut album, The Streets, The Sounds, and the Love (Eyeball Records).

New Atlantic had met with other labels, but Gianni says Eyeball was the first “that really threw everything down on the table and said, ‘We want to sign you tomorrow, if we can.’ They weren’t beating around the bush.”

The quintet went to Seattle last fall to record The Streets, The Sounds, and the Love, which was released in April. Gianni credits co-producers Casey Bates and Bobby Darling for putting New Atlantic on track to be a “legit pop-rock band.”

“Bobby said to me, ‘I want New Atlantic to be the Third Eye Blind of 2007,’ ” recalls Gianni.

— By Chris M. Junior

New Atlantic on tour (schedule subject to change):

* June 3: Java Jazz — Houston
* June 8: Culture Room — Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
* June 12: The Casbah — Charlotte, N.C.
* June 14: The Ottobar — Baltimore
* June 15: First Unitarian Church — Philadelphia
* June 16: Knitting Factory — New York
* June 17: Axis — Boston
* June 21: The Hangout — Edinboro, Pa.