Virtually Atomic was originally founded by Scott Campbell after he had helped to launch music on the internet in a partnership with a company called Liquid Audio in 1997. Having worked in the music industry for nearly two decades at the time, Scott was headhunted and relocated to the USA to manage a venture for Bell Labs based at the time in Holmdel, New Jersey. Scott put Virtually Atomic on hold for a few years at this point and mostly used the brand for his consulting work. (for more info on Scott's background, click here).
A few years later, Scott and his wife Karen had their son Ross in 2001. Ross was literally played music while still in the womb and Scott even bought him his first set of bongos for his first birthday. By age three, Ross got his hands on his first guitar, a nylon string acoustic. Ross is a lefty, so Scott strung the guitar left-handed but struggled to teach any chords since he is a right-handed player himself. He figured that Ross was young enough not to know the difference, so he strung it back for a right handed player and started teaching Ross the fundamentals of the instrument. As the years went by, Ross fell more and more in love with the guitar and took an interest in the art of making music itself.
Avenue B studio was originally created as a home studio by Scott and has recently undergone significant upgrades, including sound treatments and enhancements to the recording and monitoring equipment in the studio itself. Scott was able to work in some of the best studios in the world and has previously designed and built one of the largest studios in Scotland; so it only seemed right that a special place should be created as "the ultimate recording heaven except you don't need to die to spend time there". Avenue B is arguably that special place.
When Ross turned seven years old, Scott gave him his first recording experience in Avenue B, performing under the band name 'Exploding Seltzer' and singing an EP of 5 cover songs: "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Come Together", "She Loves You", "House of the Rising Sun", and "Stairway to Heaven". Scott had put together backing tracks for Ross to sing over at the time, which resulted in an adorable recording of a seven year old singing with real gusto and the voice of a chipmunk impersonating iconic singers of the 60's and 70's.
Scott helped nurture Ross's writing talents by producing his first single called "You Rock Me", which was released under the name Hazardous Rock in 2013. From this moment, Ross got the bug for songwriting and found himself coming home from school everyday with yet another idea to lay down in Logic Pro. Through much parental negotiation and raising money from playing paid gigs and helping with chores around the house; Ross saved up enough money to buy a drum kit and evolved into a multi instrumentalist with percussion, alto and baritone saxophone, fretless and fretted bass, piano/keyboards, banjo and any other instruments he could get his hands on - even a trashcan lid and soup pot features in some of his recordings!
At 14, Ross had captured over 100 ideas in Avenue B - some more structured than others. Scott helped motivate Ross to sift through the songs to find a handful that had potential to be produced into an album, which would eventually turn into Ross's debut record Sylvænus that was released when he was 16. Once Ross had identified the 13 tracks that would become Sylvænus, Scott showed Ross what the production phase of a record was like and helped evolve the demos into fully produced songs. This was the start of a magical father son partnership to create records together which only deepens with time.
After Sylvænus was released in January of 2018, Ross immediately started recording his second album Seed which was released before he turned 18. Scott adores the fact Ross is 'riding on his shoulders' having soaked up literally every trick and technique he ever shared with him from his days in studios with some of the greatest producers of all time. Ross's second album showed where his songwriting had matured to the point you would assume he was an adult in his late 20s with songs like Valentines Day, Cheese Fry, Pollen, and REDED that all encompassed raw energy and emotion that Ross was feeling while still being a high-school student.
Fast forward to 2021 and Ross is in the process of finalizing his third studio album, Organic. In addition to his own songs, Ross has recorded, produced and performed on local and international artist's records like Charlie Krause's self-titled debut album and harpist Jessica Browning whose album Into Me Sea has received great reviews. Today, Scott is responsible for the North America Media and Telecom industry at the world's largest business software company SAP. They both still work very closely on Ross's music as well as select productions as time permits, and their tight father-son bond only gets stronger through each project they work on together.
Scott in the late 80's
at Cava Studios in Glasgow, Scotland
Ross Owen in 2020
at Avenue B Studio