Recently reunited Californian metalcore heroes Atreyu finally announced their triumphant return to the music scene with new album ‘Long Live’ dropping last week, their first in six years. To celebrate, we got lead guitarist Dan Jacobs to run us through the 5 biggest moments in the history of the band.
1. Getting signed to Victory Records.
That was, for us, the first big step up where it was like, “Whoa, this is our first big jump where something serious is happening. We’re not just playing local shows.” The second we got signed by Victory – which is actually an interesting story in itself. We sent CDs out – demos – to every record label we could think of that would sign bands similar to us – except for Victory Records.
Victory Records, we felt, were just bigger than all those and had bands that we didn’t think were like us and we didn’t think they’d be interested. Strangely enough, the only label that hit us up out of nowhere via email – before Myspace or any of that stuff – we got an email from somebody at Victory who was like “Hey, we heard these songs you guys put up on your website and we really like it and we want to check you guys out.” We responded back like “What the fuck are you guys talking about? Are you guys fucking with us? This is bullshit. We didn’t even send you a CD. Stop messing with us.” And they were like, “No, no, we’re serious.”
They flew out, this girl Cathy, she flew out and we had two shows and we were playing a party with Avenge Sevenfold. This lake party. We all drove down to this lake, Lake Elsinore around here, and played the party and she watched that and the next day we played a club show and she watched us there and liked what she saw and we got signed. From there things took off.
Watch: Atreyu – So Others May Live
2. Selling out Hogue Barmichael’s – this local club by us.
We were getting ready to go on our first headlining tour and we started off the tour by headlining our local venue and we sold it out, which is just like just such an exciting way to start off the tour. The first time we’d ever done anything like that. It was one of our first sold out shows ever. It was a really big deal.
3. The day The Curse came out because that album for us changed our career.
That album for us picked us up and people started noticing us at the mall kind of thing and wanting to take pictures with us and wanting our autographs and stuff like that. The day our CD came out we did a signing at this record store called Virgin, which is unfortunately not really around anymore, but at the time was this really big record store and the one at this mall was a block by us where we were doing our signing and we’d never done anything like that before, so I can’t even imagine why they’d want a band like us – so heavy – doing a signing at a giant Virgin, but we were like “We’ll just go do it and whatever.”
So the day our CD comes out we show up at the mall and there’s already a line backed up half way around the mall. I’d never seen anything like it. That was the first time that we were walking around the mall and people started coming up to us and wanting pictures and that was weird. You could feel stuff changing. We signed for like five hours. It’s still to date the biggest, longest most intense signing we’ve ever done. We had to take intermissions because we were getting so tired from just signing for so long. It made us go crazy a little bit. It was amazing. I just wanted it to be forever.
I still remember the first time we went down to Victory Records and having all this stuff for us to sign and being like “Okay guys we need you to sign all this stuff.” I’d never been asked to sign a ton of stuff before and was like “Wow, this is what they do in the big leagues!” Having that happen was so surreal and was like “Wow, I can’t believe this is happening to me.”
Listen: Atreyu – Do You Know Who You Are
4. The first time we did Ozzfest.
This was right after The Curse came out and it was such a big tour – it was our first festival tour we’d ever done. The line-up was amazing, I mean original line-up Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Slayer, Slipknot, Lamb Of God, Hatebreed – it was just stacked out with bands. For us we’d never been on a big packaged tour like that before. We’d never been around that size and that calibre of bands and so for us that kind of felt like another big jump. Like “we’re in the big leagues now.” I actually have a laminate I have to wear with glittery stuff on it. It was cool – definitely a milestone moment.
5. Taste Of Chaos 2006.
That was the first time we ever did a full arena tour. That was just like I’d finally made it, you know? Walking out on stage for sound check on the first day and rolling out all our cabs – we had 24 guitar cabinets – just ridiculous. Three kick drums – everyone was just going for it. So we were doing sound check and walking out on stage for the first time and our front of house guys was like “Alright Dan, give us some of your guitar,” and it was like here we go, I get to just jam in an arena that’s empty right now through the biggest, loudest amp you could ever play through – the amp I’ve been wanting to play through my whole life. It was pretty crazy.
Atreyu’s new album ‘Long Live’ is out now through Spinefarm/Caroline.
Watch: Atreyu – Long Live