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Ativin

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Ativin is a math rock/post-rock band from Bloomington, Indiana, USA.

Formed in Bloomington, Indiana in the February of 1994 after Chris Carothers (guitar) and Rory Leitch (drums) met at Indiana University. They began playing basement shows and continued their search for a bass player. A few bassists drifted in and out, but nothing seemed to fit the evolving formula. The following autumn of 1994, a mutual friend introduced the duo to guitarist Dan Burton, who had just started school. Dan grew up near Louisville, KY and shared a similar affinity for some of the local bands. At the time, Chris and Rory weren't necessarily looking for another guitarist, but of Dan's playing served as a catalyst for their chemestry; he was perfect for the band.

From that point on, the three started playing shows in the area. Around this time, Ativin played a basement party with the band Braid, and guitarist Bob Nanna invited Ativin to appear on his up coming compilation record, "Ooh Do I Love You". Ativin contributed the track "Slovenia" along with Bloomington rock lords, Slavic 747. The three continued practicing and writing songs with the hopes of putting out a record of some kind. Ativin recorded a demo tape at Chris' house, and started shopping it around to any label that might be remotely interested. Matt who ran Polyvinyl Records Co. label liked the demo and offered to put out a record. The name of the band would be Ativin. The band contacted Steve Albini about recording the record. After a bit of correspondence, a date was set to record their first EP in the basement of Steve's house in Evanston, IL. Ativin recorded and mixed four songs in one day during the month of March, 1995. The three returned home content with these songs, but they still had one that wasn't quite finished during the Albini session. Ativin finished the song soon after and the track "Meditational Flaws" was recorded by long time friend, Carl Saff in the basement of Rory's house. The record was dubbed "Pills Versus Planes" by comrades, Slavic 747.

Ativin and the Slavs formed a close bond and the two played together around the Mid West through everything from tornados to burning cars the next year or so. During this time, Ativin joined forces with the then forming, Secretly Canadian Records,local Bloomington record label. Ativin recorded the "Modern Gang Reader / Larkin" 7" single in November of 1996, and released it through them. That summer, the band toured the Eastern half of the States with their good friends Roadside Monument (who were kind enough to invite them along). The next record was brewing and Ativin decided to record with Andy Bryant after they heard the Skinner Pilot record he recorded at Idful Studios in Chicago. "German Water" was recorded during the month of October, 1997 at Kingsize Sound Laboratories, in Chicago. The band wanted to make a record that focused less on intense song dynamics and volume, and more on fluidity and various types of instrumentation between the three. Dan had been making recordings at home of manipulated guitar sounds and field recordings which were used throughout the record. The next month, the band came back to Chicago to mix the record at Uber Studios with Andy Bryant.

Ativin had been fans of the Chicago band Dianogah for quite some time and formed a friendship with the members. Ativin was eqaully enthusiastic about the silkscreening that printer Jay Ryan, Dainogah's bassist, created. Ryan contributed the artwork for German Water which was released February of 1998, simulatanusly, the band was planning their next recording. They decided to do another session with Steve Albini his new studio in Chicago. "Summing the Approach" was captured in the B room of Electrical Audio during the 29th and 30th of March of 1998. This record hinged more on angular rhythms and off-kilter sound orchestration than did "German Water". Ativin shed many of the layers of instrumentation on this recording; using only guitars, drums, and manipulated tape samples. Chris and Matt Clark of Pinebender collaborated their artistic efforts and produced the dark visual element to round out the album's eerie feel. During the next few months, Ativin continued to play as many shows as possible and contributed a number of songs to some friends ("Zum Audio Vol. 2", "Regeneration", and "How to be a Hero") who were releasing compilation records at the time. The following June provided another opportunity to tour the Eastern half of the U.S. A three week tour ensued, and the three had a successful tour travel and met up with more like minded people along the way. Ativin returned home and took a bit of a hiatus while the members shifted focus to other projects. Chris decided to head North to Chicago for work. Rory and Dan stayed in Bloomington and continued to play in their other band, Early Day Miners with Joe Brumley, Kenny Childers and Pete Skafish. Dan also was working towards completing his degree in Audio Engineering at I.U., and continued to record bands such as: the Panoply Academy Core of Engineers, Dave Fischoff, Loren Mazzacane Conners and Songs:Ohia for Secretly Canadian. Unfortunately, the geography between the members began to take its toll, and over the course of a few months the band broke up. Ativin played a final show at the Fireside Bowl on August 14, 1999 with their brother's band from Portland, SPECTATOR PUMp.

Over the course of the next few years, Dan and Rory continued to play in Early Day Miners while Chris played speradically in different projects (including the the band Martinsville with fellow Slavic 747 members in Los Angeles).

The long stretch of time apart prompted Dan and Chris to discuss reforming the band. During Spring of 2001 Dan and Chris decided to record a new Ativin record. Rory was not able to play, so the two recruited long time friend Kevin Dunaman of ChiselDrillHammer to play drums (as well as various guest appearances). The new Ativin record will hopefully be relesed by Fall, 2001 on Secretly Canadian Records. "Interiors" was released in January 2002 to critical acclaim.

In November 2002 drummer Kevin Duneman was replaced by Joey Ficken (The Swords Project), with whom the band started the first recording session for the next album in February 2003 in Porland, Oregon with engineer Evan Railton. Soon Joey Ficken was replaced by Mark Rice (John Wilkes Booze), leading to the next recording session in June 2003 in Chicago at Electrical Audio with Greg Norman. The band's friends Jonathon Ford (Unwed Sailor/Roadside Monument) and Jef Brown (Jackie-O Motherfucker) play bass and sax respectively on a couple of songs. Album titled "Night Mute" (tentatively titled "Birds") was released in March 2004 - and the band split soon afterwards.

In late 2014 Ativin reformed, starting rehearsing in December 2014, preparing for the upcoming short tour in early 2015. The line-up was the following: Dan Burton on guitar and vocals, Chris Carothers on guitar, Mark Rice on drums and Jonathan Ford on bass. Soon after that 2015 tour the band dissolved again.

In June 2021 Chris Carothers and Dan Burton reformed Ativin again, joined by Chris Brokaw (Codeine, Come, etc) on drums in August. In December 2021 Ativin finished main recording session for their new album "Austere" in Chicago at Electrical Audio with Steve Albini - to be released in 2023 by Joyful Noise Recordings. First single from the album, "Mountain Visions", was recorded featuring guest vocals of Natasha Noramly (Ganger) and released on March 23, 2023.

Years active: 1994-1999, 2001-2004, 2014-2015, 2021-present

Current members:
- Chris Carothers – guitar (1994–1999, 2001–2004, 2014–2015, 2021–present), vocals (1995–1996, 2001–2004) (also baritone guitar (1997–1998, 2001–2002), bass (2001–2002), drums, synthesizer, organ)
- Dan Burton – guitar (1994–1999, 2001–2004, 2021–present), vocals (2001–2004, 2014–2015), electronics (1997–2004) (also bass (2001–2002), synthesizer, keyboards, noise, tapes)
Chris Brokaw – drums (2021–present)

Former members:
- Rory Leitch – drums (1994–1999)
- Kevin Duneman – drums (2001–2002)
- Joey Ficken – drums (2002–2003)
- Mark Rice – drums (2003–2004, 2014–2015)
- Jonathan Ford – bass (2014–2015)

Session and guest members:
- Rebecca Rice – viola (1996)
- Molly Kien – cello (2001) (on "Interiors" (2002))
- Maggie Polk – viola (2001) (on "Interiors" (2002))
- Eric Weddle – electronics (no-input mixing board) (2003) (on "Night Mute" (2004))
- Alison Chesley – cello (2021) (on "Austere" (2023))
- Natasha Noramly – vocals (2022) (on "Austere" (2023), track "Mountain Visions")

Other releases:
1995 - Demo

Sites:Facebook , Bandcamp , X , MySpace , polyvinylrecords.com , secretlycanadian.com , ativinsounds.com , ihrtn.net , Wikipedia
Members:Chris Brokaw, Chris Carothers, Daniel Burton, Joey Ficken, Johnathon Ford, Kevin Duneman, Mark Rice, Rory Leitch

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