California metallers ATREYU have released two new songs: "Warrior" (featuring BLINK-182 drummer Travis Barker) and "Underrated". They are taken from the band's upcoming album, "Baptize", which is due on June 4 via Spinefarm Records. The tracks arrive five months after the release of "Save Us", which was the first taste of the band's music since the departure of vocalist Alex Varkatzas in September.
"Warrior", "Underrated" and "Save Us" all showcase ATREYU's current lineup consisting of drummer Brandon Saller focusing completely on singing after previously sharing lead vocals with Varkatzas for most of the band's two-decade-plus existence. Sitting behind the kit is Saller's HELL OR HIGHWATER bandmate Kyle Rosa, who had filled in for Saller on drums in 2019 after Varkatzas bowed out of the band's European tour while dealing with serious back and hernia issues.
ATREYU said: "'Warrior' is song about persistence and never giving up. We hope this song can be the puzzle piece that helps people realize that we ALL have the capacity for greatness. Sometimes, greatness can exist in the shadows and lives buried under negativity, trauma, or anxiety. 'Warrior' is about searching through all of that endless darkness to finally find the sunrise.
"When we wrote 'Warrior', the idea to do a big marching drum break came about. We wanted it to feel like a hometown football game. Travis Barker was the perfect person to bring this to life. It's cool to have him be a part of the song and to perform in a different light than what people may be used to."
Regarding "Underrated", ATREYU said: "We've always had to prove ourselves. We've never been handed anything nor have we taken any shortcuts. It's never been 'the easy way.' Over two decades later, we're still making our mark."
"Baptize" track listing:
01. Strange Powers Of Prophecy
03. Save Us
05. Broken Again
07. Dead Weight
09. Fucked Up
10. Sabotage Me
11. Untouchable (feat. Jacoby Shaddix)
12. No Matter What
13. Oblivion (feat. Matt Heafy)
15. Warrior (feat. Travis Barker)
Asked in a recent interview with the "RRBG Podcast"if fans have responded positively to ATREYU's new single and lineup change, guitarist Travis Miguel said: "For the most part, yeah. There's obviously naysayers and people who are bummed out. And that's totally fine — I mean, we all expected that. Because change in any shape or form, really, can be very uncomfortable. Especially for a band that loses their frontman, a lot of bands, they either thrive or it just doesn't resonate the same with the listeners. But luckily, it's not like we got a complete stranger coming in and moving up to the frontman spot. Brandon, obviously, did just about 50 percent of the vocals on all ATREYU stuff anyway. And he's been working his ass off kind of transitioning from literally the dude from behind the drums to into the front of the stage.
"That being said, not this past summer, but in 2019, we did a tour in Europe, and Alex, at the time, he had injured his back and he literally couldn't sit on a plane for 11, 12 hours to fly over to Europe, so he had to sit that one out," he continued. "So we went over to Europe with this lineup that we have now. So there wasn't a whole lot of thought [put into it]. It was kind of a no-brainer. Kyle Rosa, who is now playing drums for us, it was almost like that was his tryout, and we didn't even know it. So it's just kind of weird how things pan out."
Speaking about the musical direction of the new ATREYU material, Travis said: "There are definite heavy bangers on there. It's definitely ATREYU, which that could mean just about anything, really. A lot of people would consider that complete shitty music. Some people think it's the greatest thing on earth. It's all over the place, really, which is kind of what we've always done."
ATREYU spent the first couple of months of 2020 working on material for its eighth album with producer John Feldmann, who previously helmed 2018's "In Our Wake" and 2007's breakout LP "Lead Sails, Paper Anchor".
In August 2019, ATREYU released a deluxe edition of "In Our Wake" via Spinefarm Records. The new version featured the original "In Our Wake" album, along with seven additional tracks. The bonus material included B-sides from the sessions for both "In Our Wake" and 2015's "Long Live", along with alternate versions of the title track and "The Time Is Now" from "In Our Wake". The deluxe edition featured completely redesigned artwork and a total of 19 songs.