California metallers ATREYU have announced the departure of vocalist Alex Varkatzas. The group's remaining members broke the news of Alex's official exit in a social media post earlier today. They wrote: "We have been a band for over 20 years now. Lived our dreams together as friends and as brothers. We traveled the world doing what we love, and have been fortunate enough to play music for such an incredible fan base that provides us with the opportunity to share our greatest moments with them. Now a time of change has come for all of us. Alex Varkatzas is sailing off on a ship of his own, and will part ways with ATREYU. He will not disappear, and neither will ATREYU.
"There's nothing but love and respect for each other, and we can't wait to see what he will come up with next. Stay tuned for his upcoming projects and we all wish him success and fulfillment with all his future endeavors.
"ATREYU's next adventure is among us.
"We love you, we'll see you shortly."
Alex added in a separate statement: "After 20 rewarding years of creating music with ATREYU, the band and I are parting ways. I am forever thankful for the memories, experiences, and friendships made along the way. Thank you to all of the friends and fans. I have lots of new music and art to share with you in the future. With love and respect."
Earlier this year, ATREYU was working on material for its eighth album. The band was once again collaborating with producer John Feldmann, who previously helmed 2018's "In Our Wake" and 2007's breakout album "Lead Sails, Paper Anchor".
This past February, Varkatzas told the "Scars And Guitars" podcast that the new ATREYU album would be "that next step in maturity" for the Orange County metalcore act. "To me, in a way — and this is a fucking weird way to sell a record, because it doesn't sound like this — it has some very dark '80s gothic pop elements. And I don't mean 'pop' as in happy[-sounding music]. It's just depressing-sounding, rocking shit."
Varkatzas also touched upon the lyrical themes covered in the new ATREYU songs, saying that "it's cool, because especially right now, there's so much… If you're a comedian and a musician, there's lots of good inspiration every day — especially in America, unfortunately. Actually, all over the world, but in American especially, it's ripe with things that make you feel something, whatever it is. Maybe you're happy about it, maybe you're sad about it — it's not my place to speak for people. But you feel some shit right now. And I think comedians handle it by making fun of it, and I handle it by making music and words about it. So, it's a good time to be inspired."
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.
We have been a band for over 20 years now. Lived our dreams together as friends and as brothers. We traveled the world...
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Official statement -“After 20 rewarding years of creating music with Atreyu, the band and I are parting ways. I am forever thankful for the memories, experiences, and friendships made along the way. Thank you to all of the friends and fans. I have lots of new music and art to share with you in the future. With love and respect.”
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