ATREYU's BRANDON SALLER: So Many Bands Are 'Negative About A Lot Of Things' They Get To Do

June 17, 2024

In a new interview with TotalRock's "Louder With Ore B" radio show, ATREYU vocalist Brandon Saller and guitarist Dan Jacobs were asked if they feel their latest music has been more positive, in a way, despite having darker overtones. Brandon responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "A hundred percent. Our music has always been kind of bordering that line; there's always a little bit of dark and light. But [2021's] 'Baptize', I think, definitely was a darker record. We came out of the pandemic, which was crazy. We made that record during the pandemic, essentially, and a lot of it just kind of became darker too. And we were relearning what our band was and figuring out how to do that. So I think that was just a — not difficult, but challenging thing for us to figure out. And I think [2023's] 'The Beautiful Dark Of Life' came from going back out on tour for a year or so, playing shows, getting comfortable and really, like, kind of [being] comfortable in our skin as a band again, and I think you hear that and you see it on stage. We most definitely feel frickin' way fucking stronger."

Dan added: "Yeah. It feels good. Everything that we do is a reflection of what we're feeling at the time, which keeps our emotions relevant in the music and stuff like that. Right now we're just very much in a headspace of just trying to have as much fun as possible. We've been doing this for so long, and I feel like we've put so much thought into things for so many years, but now we're at a point where we feel more grown up, and we're just, like, 'Let's just fucking have fun.' That's what it's all about. We don't really care about anything else. As long as we're having a good time, that energy will reflect on and translate on everything that we're doing."

Asked how common that state of mind is in the music industry, Brandon said: "[It's] not. It's a shame. I see so many bands that — I don't know if 'jaded' is the right word, but they're just negative about a lot of things, and a lot of things that you get to — I stress, get to — do as a band, are just, like, 'Ugh, we've gotta go do this. Ugh.' And even like on stage, I think so many bands are so concerned with being so just, like, 'ugh,' tough, and 'look how serious we are', and it's, like, we're not that as people. Our life is 90 percent dick and fart jokes, and 10 percent sleeping, pretty much. So I feel like… it's, like, let's just be ourselves. And there's no trying anymore. You just go out there, and we're us and that's it, and it's so much more comfortable and validating. And in turn, I think it helps us creatively as well."

Dan concurred, saying: "You've just gotta be yourself, be authentic. And people appreciate you just like… You might think, like, 'Oh, I'm being so weird,' or something like that. But if you're genuinely being you to the most honest extent that you can be, people appreciate that, 'cause they're like… You don't need to be perfect. People appreciate that you're just being real, and that's what they connect to. That's something that I wish we would have learned way earlier in our career. Not that we regret anything that we've done, but it's such a valuable mind space to live in. And I wish just for anybody, whether you're in a band or not, just being a human being on this planet, the sooner you can learn that, the more freeing your life will be and the more weight that will be taken off your shoulders and the more you'll enjoy life because you're just alleviated worrying about things that aren't important."

Brandon added: "I think as a band too, it's not lost on us. We've been doing this for 25 years, and I think we're having a better time now and enjoying it more now than we ever have. And that's rare, I think. And I think that if more bands in general just really step back and kind of zoom out for a second and appreciate the insane fucking things we get to do, you feel a lot better about things."

"The Beautiful Dark Of Life" came out last December via Spinefarm. The LP is an emotional journey through three distinct phases accompanying ATREYU's previously released three-part EP series — capturing the essence of despair on "The Hope Of A Spark", the pursuit of hope on "The Moment You Find Your Flame" and the triumphant self-discovery and purpose on "A Torch In The Dark".

ATREYU will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band's 2004 sophomore album "The Curse" by performing the gold-certified LP in its entirety at the House Of Blues in Anaheim, California on October 18. Support at the gig will come from EIGHTEEN VISIONS, which will play the group's "Obsession" album in its entirety to celebrate the LP's 20th anniversary, and DEATH BY STEREO, which will kick things off with a 25th-anniversary performance of that band's 1999 debut, "If Looks Could Kill, I'd Watch You Die".

Photo credit: Micala Austin

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