Atreyu: Heavy Duty

Originally published in Guitar World, September 2009

Atreyu continue work on the follow-up to Lead Sails Paper Anchor.

"It’s nice to be recording somewhere other than a normal studio,” says Atreyu guitarist Dan Jacobs over the phone. “Right now we’re taking a break and I’m relaxing in a cabana, hanging out by the pool.”

Jacobs and his Atreyu bandmates may be soaking up the warm California sun, but that doesn’t mean they’re not working their asses off. The band is currently holed up at the Blue Room in the San Fernando Valley, the home studio of producer Bob Marlette. The celebrated knob twiddler, who has worked with everyone from Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne to Saliva and Seether, is manning the boards for Atreyu’s as-yet-untitled fifth studio album, to be released this September on Hollywood Records. “Bob’s been doing this longer than any of us have been alive,” says Atreyu co-guitarist Travis Miguel, “so he knows what he’s doing.”

Adds Jacobs, “One of the big reasons we went with Bob is because he’s worked with a lot of classic acts, as well as modern bands that have big melodies and hooks. Basically, if you combine every record he’s ever done, that’s kind of what the sound of our band is.”

According to Jacobs, the new disc is also a combination of the sound of every past Atreyu effort. Prior to entering the studio, the band penned more than two-dozen new songs—“the most we’ve ever written for a record,” says Miguel—of which 12 or 13 will be recorded for the new album. And whereas the group’s 2007 breakthrough, Lead Sails Paper Anchor, was a departure for Atreyu, eschewing much of their abrasive metalcore sound in favor of a slicker, Eighties-metal-influenced vibe, Miguel says the new album features “some of the heaviest stuff we’ve ever done.”

Jacobs adds, “To me, this record is more like how we wanted Lead Sails to sound in terms of the ratio of heavy to not-so-heavy songs.”

And while he admits that there is one new tune that has “a bit of a ballad feel,” he confirms “there’s nothing as left field as [Lead Sails’] ‘Falling Down’ or ‘Slow Burn.’” He laughs. “This is definitely not going to be a pop album.”

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