Brandon Saller On Upcoming Atreyu Album: “It’s Probably The Heaviest Record We’ve Made In A Long Time”


Atreyu vocalist/drummer Brandon Saller recently spoke with ‘Cutter’s Rockcast‘ about the band’s decision to move forward without vocalist Alex Varkatzas, who officially exited the band in late September following weeks of rumors.

Since then, Hell Or Highwater drummer Kyle Rosa has joined the fold to allow Saller to focus more on his vocal duties. Meanwhile, bassist Marc “Porter” McKnight has stepped up to take on the heavier vocal parts. Speaking of the matter and how that lineup came to be, Saller stated:

“I think we were really blessed with a moment last summer, where we had to go to Europe without Al. The two things are completely unrelated and have nothing to do with each other, really, but we had played in Europe and felt what that was like with the lineup that we currently have, and it worked, and it felt strong.

So when it came time to figure out what was gonna be, obviously, Kyle Rosa was our first choice to call to play drums. If anyone knows me in Hell Or Highwater, Kyle is the drummer of Hell Or Highwater. He’s one of my best friends and just a phenomenal human. So we kind of started playing with him and jamming with him and going through the motions to see how it felt, and it still felt really great. So that’s where we are now.”

Regarding why they opted to keep the lineup in-house and not bring in a replacement for Varkatzas, Saller replied:

“A new voice, I think, would completely shatter people, whereas I think just having me — everyone knows me, every Atreyu fan knows my voice and knows what it is in the band, and it’s still there. And we just integrated Porter doing a lot more of the screaming stuff. I’m doing some of the screaming stuff on [upcoming] the record, but most of it’s Porter.

If you know our last five records, you know his voice too. Since he’s been in the band, he’s been screaming on records and he’s been in the mix. So it still felt really familiar. We’re trying to take ourselves outside of the band and put ourselves in the fans’ shoes. And this still feels so much like Atreyu, and I feel like we’re stronger than ever. And it feels good, and we all are so excited for this.”

Today, October 15th, saw the debut of the band’s new single “Save Us“—their first since parting ways with Varkatzas. Saller said of the ‘heavier’ direction of it:

“I think a lot of people expected us to, for some reason, put out a pop album. It’s probably the heaviest record we’ve made in a long time. And that’s not to say there isn’t some freakin’ pop-style stuff on there — there is, just like every other Atreyu record. Every record we’ve done for the past decade-plus has had those moments, and that’s always been the band we are. It’s brutal, and it still feels like Atreyu to me.

This isn’t a slight on Al at all, but not everyone lives and breathes on the Internet. There’s a lot of people that will hear this just on the radio and will have no idea, because it’s not a crazy departure style-wise.”

In the days prior to the release of the single, Varkatzas seemingly fired a shot at his former bandmates, warning that the “Save Us” would be ‘fake heavy.’

Listen to “Rockcast 207 – Brandon Saller of Atreyu Saves Us” on Spreaker.


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