Atreyu: “Taking a break has only made us stronger”

Photo Credit: Gigs and Festivals

American metalcore band Atreyu stopped off in the U.K. to perform at this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival and debuted their first new material in almost six years. We caught up with the bands drummer/vocalist Brandon Saller and bassist Marc McKnight backstage to discuss their appearance at the dual-site event, their imminent album release and their touring plans for the rest of the year.

So Atreyu, how are you today?

Brandon: I’m good.

Marc: I’m f***ing great.

You performed at Reading Festival yesterday, how was your set?

Brandon: It was very sweaty, very packed and very fun. It was a small tent situation that was so full; kids were just bursting out.

Marc: It was like a double extra large man wearing an extra small t-shirt. It was awesome!

You’re set to perform at Leeds Festival today, have you got anything different planned for the set?

Marc: I think we’re going to go with the same songs.

Brandon: Yeah they felt pretty comfortable, and I want to try that again as we’ve perfectly crafted the concoction of tunes for the fans, and I think it will get them drunk on Atreyu.

Marc: We’re just here for a good time, not a long time man.

You’re set to release a new album, could you tell us a bit about it?

Marc: It f***ing sucks.

Brandon: Shut the f*** up Marc, it’s an exciting time for us as we haven’t made a record for such a long time, and we all had a lot of fun doing it. I think it’s something we all needed to do. The band went away for such a long time as we didn’t really feel the need for it we all just wanted to take a second and live life outside of Atreyu.

Marc: Taking a break has only made us stronger.

Brandon: Exactly man, we’re back stronger and a warning to all the idiots out there who don’t like the new album, I’ll f***ing bite your head off.

It’s been almost six years since you released your last album, did it feel like time stood still when you went back into the studio?

Brandon: Being back in the studio together was the breaking point. We had no plans of getting back together or doing a legacy or throwback thing, we just got everyone back in a room and started writing songs, and we thought if this works we’ll write more songs. Then we got on a stage and played a show that felt good, so we played more shows.

Marc: And that all felt f***ing awesome.

Brandon: Luckily for us it all felt good and we have fans that stuck around, and we acquired a f*** load of new fans while touring. Our fans are die-hard, and the energy they have shown us towards our new music is awesome.

Which songs from the new album have you most enjoyed performing live?

Brandon: We’ve yet to play a lot.

Marc: Yeah, live we’ve only played ‘So You May Live ‘ and ‘Long Live’ and we’ve started to practice and break in ‘I Would Kill / Lie / Die (For You)’, which in unreleased still but I’m really enjoying ‘Long Live’.

Brandon: Oh man I really like ‘Long Live’. We gave it away for free for a while on our website and on a limited 7″ without any publicity as a thank you to the fans who found it. As we’ve got an album coming out now, that’s going to be promoted via the correct channels I’m just so f***ing excited.

Will you be coming back to the U.K. when the album is released and give it a full tour?

Marc: Absolutely, we’d love to be back, and that will be sometime next year.

Brandon: Actually, we’ll make sure we visit a couple of times for sure.

What are your plans for the rest of this year?

Brandon: We go back home and then we do some shows in California on the record release. Then we do a headline run on the East Coast, and we do another headline run on the West Coast, and then we go down to Mexico to do Knotfest with Slipknot.

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Simon Robinson

Founder and Music Journalist with a passion for live music.