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. Originally named Retribution, they 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 already been using Retribution. They have released five studio albums: Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses, The Curse, A Death-Grip on Yesterday, Lead Sails Paper Anchor, and Congregation of the Damned.
1998-2000: Independent years:
In 1998, Atreyu released an independent seven-track EP titled Visions. The album was sold at their live performances. Their second release, was a short five-track EP titled Fractures in the Facade of Your Porcelain Beauty released by underground label Tribunal Records and featured tracks that would be re-worked for 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, later releasing in 2002 their first full-length album Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses. The band also introduced a second singer, Brandon Saller, the drummer, who would become more prolific in their later releases. However, for Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses, 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". "Right Side of the Bed" also appeared on the Burnout 3 soundtrack, a racing video game.
Atreyu released its third studio album, A Death-Grip on Yesterday, on March 28, 2006. The album peaked at number 9 on the Billboard 200, with sales of 69,000. The band gained further fame when the first single, "Exs and Ohs", appeared on the soundtrack to Madden NFL '07. 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, Lead Sails Paper Anchor. 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.Lead Sails Paper Anchor was released on August 28, 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. The album was received with mixed reviews, and was a notable change in sound for the band.
Atreyu toured in the United States on the Taste of Chaos 2008 tour, alongside bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for My Valentine, D'espairsRay, Mucc, and Blessthefall. The band also toured with co-headliners Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet for My Valentine in Australia and New Zealand. They also played the United Kingdom Taste of Chaos tour, headlining with Story of the Year and As I Lay Dying.
On April 22, 2008, Lead Sails Paper Anchor was re-released with new cover art, two bonus tracks, a DVD, and a digital booklet. 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. Atreyu was also a part of the KROQ-FM Epicenter '09 Show where they did a meet and greet to benefit the non-profit organization Music Saves Lives.
2009-2011: Congregation of the Damned, Covers of the Damned, and hiatus:
Atreyu's fifth studio album, Congregation of the Damned, was released on October 27, 2009. The album, which was produced by Bob Marlette (who has worked with Ozzy Osbourne and Airbourne) and mixed by Rich Costey (who has worked with System of a Down and Rage Against the Machine), was said to be "darker" and "heavier" than the band's previous albums. 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 shit-kicker, and I think that's what makes us a well-rounded band." Atreyu has also described the album to "Make more sense than the other ones because they finally realize what they are".
The band started a co-headlining tour with Hollywood Undead, Escape the Fate and The Sleeping in October, and as promotion of album debut songs like "Bleeding Is a Luxury" at K-Rockathon 14 in New York State Fairgrounds, Syracuse, New York., and "Gallows". Atreyu also promoted the album with five webisodes, released biweekly from September 1 to October 20. Congregation of The Damned debuted at #18 on the Billboard 200, selling 27,412 copies on its first week. Atreyu announced that they would be recording an EP Covers of the Damned with tourmates Chiodos, blessthefall, Endless Hallway, and Architects (UK). It was to be released on October 12, but was leaked on the internet on October 9. Atreyu is touring Australia in November with the No Sleep Til Festival playing most locations with Dropkick Murphys, Alkaline Trio, Megadeth and many more. In December, along with Bring Me the Horizon they supported Bullet for My Valentine across the United Kingdom.
In a short series of Twitter postings, Singer Alex Varkatzas confirmed that the band was taking a break from touring and recording to "recharge and focus on other parts of our lives." In these same twitter postings, Alex also stated that he has been working on a new project with Bleeding Through vocalist Brandan Schieppati called I Am War.
Drummer and vocalist Brandon Saller's side project Hell or Highwater (formerly named "The Black Cloud Collective") have recorded an album titled "Begin Again" released on August 9th 2011. Saller is solely the lead vocalist in this band, and this album does not feature the same metalcore elements as those of Atreyu, voicing a sound similar to bands such as Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace. The band uses only clean vocals.
In December 2011, Travis Miguel added his own endeavors to the list of Atreyu side projects with Fake Figures and their release of the EP "Hail the Sycophants". This project features an all-star lineup which includes Miguel on guitar, Rus Martin (Hotwire), Robert Bradley (Scars of Tomorrow), and Justin Pointer and Heather Baker who were both former members of As Night Falls, a project that bassist Marc McKnight played for in 2003 before joining Atreyu.
Alex Varkatzas -- lead vocals (1998-present),
Brandon Saller -- drums, percussion, lead vocals (1998-present),
Dan Jacobs -- lead & rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1998-present),
Travis Miguel -- rhythm & lead guitar (2000-present),
Marc McKnight -- bass guitar, backing vocals (2004-2005; 2007-present),
Chris Thompson -- bass (2001-2003),
Kyle Stanley -- bass (1998-2001),
Bryan O'Donnell -- bass (1998)