ATREYU drummer/clean vocalist Brandon Saller and guitarist Dan Jacobs recently spoke with Andy Hall of the Des Moines, Iowa radio station Lazer 103.3. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On Jacobs's approach to guitar:
Dan: "If there's anything that I like to bring to the table, it's that classic element of having guitar solos and different lead stuff in that sense that kind of takes the old and molds it in with the new. I want to have as much of that as possible. I like to call a guitar solo the 'Dan chorus.'"
On how Saller's vocal role has increased over the years:
Brandon: "[I sang] pretty much from the beginning. I just did less of it. Alex [Varkatzas] always did the rougher, more aggressive vocals, and I did all the singing vocals. As time's gone on, we've split up the duties and have almost become 50/50 in the vocal department. It's cool — it's a fun contrast between our voices. Even with us both singing, our voices are so different, so it makes the songs more interesting."
On how the band approached new album "In Our Wake":
Brandon: "I always want to try new things [and] take new steps with every record we make. Vocally, the same thing — just try to do different things and expand on my voice. Alex is very much the same. He did a lot of stuff on this record that [was] outside the box for him — honing on different styles of singers and trying different things stylistically that he maybe has never done before. There's some very DEFTONES-sounding stuff on this record. There's him doing some more RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE-y, almost rhythmic rappy kind of vocals. It's all over the place."
On the fact that 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the group's founding:
Brandon: "That's an insane feat. I think we're very fortunate to not only still be around, but still be thriving. There's still new people every day that come to our shows that have never seen our band. There's new fans every day. The numbers on our Spotify listens and stuff are at an all-time high. I feel like we're very fortunate on a daily basis."
On the band's Orange County, California roots:
Brandon: "We were definitely the outcasts. Orange County had a hardcore scene, but us and AVENGED SEVENFOLD were the only [metal] bands that broke out of it. I feel like when we were coming up, in the hardcore scene of whatever genre we were in, we were very much the outcasts. Nobody cared; no one liked us. We literally had to leave home to get a following and really start this whole thing up. Now, it's a different story."
On AVENGED SEVENFOLD vocalist M. Shadows's guest appearance on "Super Hero", the closing track of "In Our Wake":
Brandon: "It was awesome. My other band, HELL OR HIGHWATER, had a song that Matt was on years ago. He's just really fun to work with in the studio and just a talented dude, and it made sense for the song. That song is about being a father and the perspective of being a father, so every singer on that song is a father and wrote their own verse or part about their perspective."
On the band's three-year hiatus:
Dan: "We were all kind of fried at that point. We'd been touring so hard, and we literally went from being teenagers and just dove into the touring world, and you just tour, write a record, record it, tour, write a record, record it. It just got to a point [where] we were kind of fried, and we'd swing so much one way, we wanted to swing back the other just to kind of balance things out a little bit. We just all took a step back and went and did our own things for a little bit, and found ourselves outside of the band. It's interesting — when you grow up in a band, all you know is, 'I'm just this dude in a band,' but it's cool to go out and see what other things you can accomplish and round yourself off. All of us have become not even just better musicians, but better entrepreneurs and better people. When we came back, we're much stronger now. We know how to tour more efficiently and how to not go crazy on the road, and keep everybody as happy as possible."
Brandon: "If we would have kept going, I don't know if we'd still be around. We had to stop for it to continue, I think. No one knew how long how long that was going to be, but I feel like we all wake up every morning [feeling] very fortunate and thankful that things are going the way they are."
ATREYU's seventh album, "In Our Wake", was released in October via Spinefarm. The group is currently co-headlining "The 2019 Spring Invasion Tour" with MOTIONLESS IN WHITE and openers WILSON, which wraps up May 9 in Knoxville, Tennessee.