ATREYU frontman Alex Varkatzas has revealed to the "Scars And Guitars" podcast that the band recently completed the first of two three-week sessions writing and recording the follow-up to 2018's "In Our Wake" album. The band is once again working with producer John Feldmann, who previously helmed "In Our Wake" and 2007's breakout album "Lead Sails, Paper Anchor".
Asked if ATREYU spends a lot of time in pre-production before entering the studio, Alex said (hear audio below): "There is zero pre-production. We're fucking ballers, man. We've been doing this for so long. I write lyrics in my sleep. Literally, I wake up and I have a line and I write them down. And there's two songs from this record — if they make the record, of course — that is literally me waking up in the middle of the night, and I have to write down lyrics or something. But that's the way it goes, man.
"We've been doing this — it's 20 years," he continued. "We're not good at a whole bunch, but we're okay at this. And John Feldmann, our producer — he did 'Lead Sails' — he has crazy energy. He has more energy than us, and he's a few years older than us. And so when we get around him, it pumps us up. And no matter what, we write one song a day. Every now and then, we crank out two songs a day. So, I think in three weeks — realistically, we work on the weekdays; we don't work on the weekend — I think we had 18 or 19 songs. And that's just in our first block. So we'll come back and we'll probably write at least another dozen songs."
According to Alex, the upcoming ATREYU album will 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."
Last August, 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.