Atreyu is an American metalcore band from Orange County, California, formed in 1998. The band consists of vocalist/lyricist Alex Varkatzas, guitarists Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel, bassist Marc McKnight and drummer/vocalist Brandon Saller. The band was originally named "Retribution" but later changed their name to "Atreyu" after the character of the same name from the fantasy book (movie) The Neverending Story when they found out that another band from Hemet, California had been using their original name. Since their formation the band have since released four studio albums, Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses, The Curse, A Death-Grip on Yesterday and Lead Sails Paper Anchor, each of which has sold more than 200,000 copies. They will release their fifth studio album, Congregation of the Damned, on 27 October, 2009. In 2008, they were on the Projekt Revolution tour with Linkin Park and headlined the smaller Revolution Stage along with 10 Years, Hawthorne Heights, and Armor for Sleep.
1999?2000: Independent years
Atreyu currently consists of drummer Brandon Saller, vocalist Alex Varkatzas, bassist Marc McKnight and guitarists Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel. During the independent years though, the members were only Brandon, Alex, Dan and Kyle Stanley. The band changed its name to Atreyu, which was suggested by a friend, Scott Lloyd, aka The Mess.
In 1999, Atreyu released an independent 7-track EP titled Visions. The album was sold at their live performances. Their second release, was a short 5-track EP released by underground label Tribunal Records and featured tracks that would be re-worked in later releases. Atreyu signed with Victory Records in 2001, and their most critically acclaimed works would be to come from these releases.
2001?2006: Victory Records
In 2001, Atreyu signed with Victory Records, who were famous for signing young, upstart metalcore bands and making them successful, later releasing in 2002 their first full-length album Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses. The band also introduced another singer, Brandon Saller, the drummer, who would become more prolific in their later releases. But in this album, his parts were largely confined to choruses. Music videos were filmed for the singles "Ain't Love Grand" and "Lip Gloss and Black." The latter video found significant airplay on Headbangers Ball and Uranium in fall of 2003, gaining Atreyu some of its initial mainstream attention.
The group's second album, The Curse, was released in 2004, selling 450,000 copies. The band was then featured on the soundtrack to the film Mr. and Mrs. Smith with a cover of Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name". Atreyu was also featured on the soundtrack to Underworld: Evolution with "Her Portrait in Black." The band gained further fame when "Exs and Ohs" appeared on the soundtrack to Madden NFL '07. "Right Side of the Bed" also appeared on the Burnout 3 Soundtrack, a racing video game.
In 2006, Atreyu released its third studio album, A Death-Grip on Yesterday, on , 2006. The album peaked at number 9 on the Billboard 200, with sales of 690,000. The album was said to have a balance of Brandon Saller's melodic singing vocals and Varkatzas's aggressive screaming. The album was met with positive reviews."
2007?2009: Hollywood Records
In early 2007, Atreyu signed a record deal with Hollywood Records for America and an international deal with Roadrunner Records. With a new label, the band began to prepare its fourth studio album. A jigsaw puzzle was released on the band's website, as the goal was to put all the audio clips of the single "Becoming the Bull" into correct order, forming the whole song. The album was received with mixed reviews, and was a notable change in sound for the band.
Lead Sails Paper Anchor was released on , 2007, and debuted at number 8 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 43,000 copies. The American release of the album had a bonus track, a cover of the song "Epic" by Faith No More while the European and Australian bonus track was a cover of "Clean Sheets" by The Descendents.
They toured in the United States, in the Taste of Chaos 2008 tour, alongside bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for My Valentine, and Blessthefall. The band also toured with co-headliners Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet for My Valentine in Australia and New Zealand, to positive reactions from audiences and stated on a blog on their MySpace that they're planning another tour down there later in the year.
On April 22, 2008, Lead Sails Paper Anchor was re-released with two previously unreleased bonus tracks, a DVD, and a digital booklet. It also featured new cover art. A trailer was released promoting the CD on their MySpace page.
On May 23, 2008, Varkatzas was forced to drop out of two shows ? the shows being May Day in Indianapolis and Balloon Fest in El Paso - due to a throat infection, which resulted in Saller and McKnight taking over vocal duties for both dates.
Apart from being on the US Taste of Chaos they are also headlining the international leg of the tour. Other bands playing are Story of the Year, As I Lay Dying and Mucc. Travis Miguel stated that the band will do "whatever it takes" to get food on the road.
From July to August 2008, Atreyu headlined the Revolution Stage of Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution. Their setlist consisted of 45 minutes of various songs. With them on the stage were 10 Years, Hawthorne Heights, Armor for Sleep, and Street Drum Corps. Several interviews with various band members have stated that the tour was one of the best touring cycles they've been on, and cited Chris Cornell as the most surprising performer on the tour for his performance of his various projects, and his introduction of his new music from his latest album entitled Scream, produced by Timbaland. Here is a recent interview with the guys: http:app.synclive.com?show/29398
2009?present: Congregation of the Damned
Atreyu will release Congregation of the Damned on October 27, 2009. The album, which was produced by Bob Marlette (Ozzy Osbourne, Airbourne) and mixed by Rich Costey (System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine), is said to be "darker" and "heavier" than the band's previous albums. While the album is expected to contain heavier tracks such as "You Were the King, Now You're Unconscious" and "Bleeding Is a Luxury," Congregation of the Damned will also feature slower songs such as "Wait for You." According to lead singer Alex Varkatzas, the record is a "mix of everything we've ever done. For every song that's more melodic or rock-driven there's a total shitkicker, and I think that's what makes us a well-rounded band."
The band started a co-headlining tour with Hollywood Undead and Escape The Fate in October, and as promotion of album have debuted songs like "Bleeding Is A Luxury" at K-Rockathon 14 in New York State Fairgrounds, Syracuse, NY., and "Gallows". Atreyu has also promoted their new album in many other ways. For example, 5 webisodes, between September 1 to October 20 every two weeks, have been released advertising the album. They describe the album to "Make more sense than the other ones because they finally realise what they are".
Alex Varkatzas ? lead vocals, (1998?present)
Brandon Saller ? drums, percussion, lead vocals, piano, additional guitar (1998?present)
Dan Jacobs ? lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals (1998?present)
Travis Miguel ? lead & rhythm guitars (2000?present)
Marc McKnight ? bass, vocals (2004?present)
Chris Thomson ? bass (2001?2003)
Kyle Stanley ? bass (1998?2001)
Brian O'Donnell ? bass