Atreyu: Prior Convictions
Originally published in Guitar World, February 2010
Atreyu draw from the most fundamental aspects of their previous records for their latest metalcore masterpiece, Congregation of the Damned.
“We’ve been a band for 10 years now, and this is our fifth full-length album. In a way, this release is really a culmination of all of our records, mixed together.”
Atreyu guitarist Dan Jacobs is discussing Congregation of the Damned, the most recent release from SoCal’s metalcore masters. The band has been busy with press appearances ever since Congregation of the Damned debuted at Number Four on Billboard’s Hard Rock album charts. Fueled by a potent concoction of powerful pop hooks, solid lockstep precision and blazing harmonized solos, Atreyu have followed the success of their last release, Lead Sails Paper Anchor, by raising the bar even higher.
Jacobs continues, “There are elements of Lead Sails on the new record, in terms of the focus on strong vocal melodies, but we also brought in more of the metal attitude that you’ll hear on our previous records, with the throaty vocals and the shreddy dual lead guitar parts.”
Following their recent tour with Hollywood Undead, Escape the Fate and the Sleeping, Jacobs and fellow Atreyu guitarist Travis Miguel dropped in at GW’s headquarters to discuss the making of Congregation of the Damned.
For their latest creation, Atreyu called upon the services of veteran producer Bob Marlette (Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper) and mix engineer Rich Costey (System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine).
GUITAR WORLD How did the material come together for the new album?
TRAVIS MIGUEL The writing sessions for the album started in November 2008, and we just hammered out all of the tunes right up to when we started pre-production, which was probably in April 2009. Then we went into the studio, and here we are with a 13-song album. We recorded it in Woodland Hills/Hollywood, in beautiful sunny California.
GW This is the first record with which you worked with producer Bob Marlette. He’s worked with everyone from Alice Cooper to Slayer to Black Sabbath. What did he bring to the table?
DAN JACOBS For just about every record, we’ve worked with a different producer, either because our tastes changed at the time or because we felt that a certain person would be appropriate for that particular project. When we started the new record, we were working with someone else, but it didn’t work out, and suddenly we needed a producer immediately.
A friend of ours was recording and working with Bob at the time, and when we heard the stuff they’d done we thought, Wow, that sounds really good. So we looked into what he’d done, and we saw that he’d just recently finished Lynyrd Skynyrd’s new record, God & Guns.
Bob was great to work with. He wasn’t too pushy, like, “This is the way it’s gotta be.” He was more like, “Okay guys, what do you got?” And he’d say, “This part’s really good, but this part’s not as cool. Try to do something different,” or, “Try to come up with something that has more energy.” And that would inspire us to change things up.
MIGUEL He was definitely not kissing our asses, telling us, “Oh, this record is going to be huge!” He knows that we’re just five douche bags from California.