Tour de Force




After the super-slick piece of polished turd that was Lead Sails Paper Anchor didn’t launch Atreyu to super-stardom, the band made it clear that they wanted to get back to their roots with their new album. In fact, here’s a recent quote from singer Alex Varkatzas where he uses that very phrase:

“We started as a heavy hardcore band, and I think we’ve gotten away from that in recent years. The last record, for example, showcased us as a rock band with heavy parts. With this record, we want to return to our roots.”

And here’s Varkatzas from the latest issue of Revolver:

“Without trying to throw anybody under the bus, we looked back at our last record, and it wasn’t 100 percent the way we envisioned it.”

And then guitarist Dan Jacobs does throw somebody under the bus – specifically, producer John “Good Charlotte” Feldman:

“We let him get his hands a little too deep into the project… It made us uncomfortable in trying to express ourselves about what we wanted. He’s a big-time producer dude who’s had much success, so we were like, He must know what he’s talking about. What do we know? We’ve never had a gold or platinum record.”

So now that Atreyu have established that they want to get away from the gloss and “return to our roots,” what would you think is the best way of achieving that goal? A tour with Hollywood Undead? Yeah, that wouldn’t be my career advice, either.

Look: Atreyu never had any real cred. Their band name comes from The Neverending Story, they are one of the most unbearably untalented live bands I’ve ever seen (which renders the “quality” of their studio albums a moot point, at least as far as this writer is concerned), and, according to Metal Sludge (of all places!), Varkatzas once made this rather stunning proclamation in AP:

“I fucking hate Metallica-flat out, fuck Metallica, fuck Black Sabbath. I don’t give a fuck about the fucking ‘roots.’ Those aren’t my roots, so I don’t fucking care. Green Day was more important to me you know?”

So there’s that.

Still, I can think of at least eight-gajillion touring possibilities that would be better for this band than this one. I understand the thinking behind it – “Atreyu is terrible, Hollywood Undead is terrible, therefore they will share some portion of their fan base” – but the underwhelming sales of Sails should alert the band to one simple fact: the people that made them popular enough to get on a major label in the first place don’t want this band partaking in this kind of crap. They want the band partaking in Ozzfest circa 2004 kinda crap – metalcore, American New Wave, give it a name. If Atreyu really want anyone to give a shit about them anymore, they need to tour with some other bands that aren’t perceived as total nitwits (semi-nitwits, fine, but not total nitwits). And I’m not even convinced that Hollywood Undead’s fanbase will give a shit about Atreyu, unless they’re breaking out some vocoders and hip-hop on this new album. I mean, Atreyu are a lot of things, but they’re not wiggers.

Maybe I’m (un)dead wrong. But something tells me that Atreyu’s star will continue to fade as long as they keep making crappy decisions like this one.

Just sayin’.


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