Interview: Travis Miguel of Atreyu
Interviewer/Writer: Alex Hill
It’s been well over 3 years since the riff crushing, Metalcore godfathers ATREYU last hit our shores. February 2020 sees their triumphant and long awaited return thanks to Silverback Touring. Everyone leaves a legacy behind. No matter how big or small, our words and actions echo forever and make a lasting imprint. Two decades since their 1999 formation in Southern California, that truth weighed heavy on the members of gold-selling metal mavericks ATREYU. We caught up with rhythm an lead guitarist, Travis Miguel, as we spoke about their return to Australia, they're evolution as a band and much more.
Your latest album In Our Wake has been out for a little over 12 months now. With everyone taking the time to digest it, how have the fans been reacting towards it? Does everyone seem as excited about the band’s direction now as opposed to when you released an album like Lead Sails Paper Anchor?
“Yeah for the most part, the album has been out for about a year and so far the reception has been pretty awesome. The album before In Our Wake called Long Live didn’t really do as well from our perspective. It was kind of a lacklustre touring cycle or album cycle in general but for In Our Wake it’s been really, really good.”
Long Live seemed like a return to your Metalcore roots and In Our Wake definitely feels as though it’s taken it’s own creative direction. Was there a change in the creative process?
“We’ve never really been a band to repeat ourselves, we’ve always tried to spread our wings and try new things and basically throw everything at the wall and see what sticks for us, anyway. It keeps it fresh and interesting for us as well as the listener. If we were to keep writing and recording and releasing the same album over and over again we probably would have just been spinning our wheels.”
In Our Wake is a very introspective album, and I guess introspection more broadly is a strong undertone on most of Atreyu’s songs. This is obviously most evident through lyrics, moreso than the music, but when you are writing your lyrics, do you ever find it difficult to verbalise or express what it is you see when you look inside?
“Alex rights the lion’s share of the lyrics, the rest of us will come in and share when needed but Alex, he’s a very introspective guy, there's a lot going on in that brain of his. He definitely has a talent for expressing them and as far as his lyrics go, to me anyway, very clever and hit the nail on the head in a lot of aspect.”
The band’s sound on your last two albums is very different from your first few albums, and could be described as the band being very transformative, growing in line with your individual influences, over the years. Do you guys think that you have changed that much from where you originally began or do you think you have kept true to the Atreyu sound along the way?
"I think a little bit of both, as i said earlier Atreyu has never been a band to repeat themselves but we keep in mind that whatever we do release, it has to sound like Atreyu. When we write anything, we have to be comfortable enough with it. We do like to throw curve balls but we don’t wanna throw too hard of a curve ball and turn our fans completely away. We try and keep a balance of both sounding like Atreyu and progressing in our sound."
You guys have VIP packages on offer for this tour, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Living The Dream foundation, which is a Melbourne based not-for-profit organisation that seeks to provide a positive response to the needs of at risk, disadvantaged and marginalised young people. What was it about this charity that drew you guys to wanting to help this organisation out?
"When we have a certain kind of platform where we do have eyes on us, i don't wanna say our complete responsibility as a band to pay it forward but i don't think we as a band and as individuals would feel right if we didn’t give a helping hand somewhere when we have the ability to do it. With the charity, once again i don’t wanna say it’s our job to shed light on these things but if we have the opportunity too then we might as well help, only good can come from it."
Touring can be a very tiring endeavour and I hear a lot that bands can get quite homesick being on the road for lengthy periods of time. Given your past experiences in Australia, is that a feeling that the band experiences when they travel here?
“We’re all extremely fond of Australia, its one of the few places on the planet that's a no brainer, we get asked and we just automatically say “Yes! We’re going”. Obviously it’s completely on the other side of the world from our respective home bases. What I think helps when it comes to Australia, it has a lot of parallels with southern California, the weather is pretty similar. The beaches are gorgeous, the culture is very similar so i think that helps a lot.”
A Post on Instagram two weeks ago revealed you guys in the studio with Mark Hoppus. Consensus is that a new album is underway, is there any information you can reveal to us about that?
“ I don’t wanna divulge too much information but yes, we are in the midst of recording a new album, we’re in the studio with John Feldman who did our last record as well as our Lead Sails PAper anchor album. He’s actually the only producer we’ve ever returned to, so this will be our 3rd record with him and the work environment that he has is very, i hate to say organic because it sounds cliche but its very, very true. We all just kinda show up to the studio and if anybody has an idea we present it. Pretty much anything is done in the studio even alot of the writing. Typical days consist of us showing up to the studio to drink some coffee and then just throw ideas around and then just literally track it as we’re moving along. It’s a very in the moment type of studio experience, which is really cool because prior to it we have never really done anything like that before.”
Catch Atreyu at one of their upcoming Australian dates this Feb/March:
Wed 26/2 - Brisbane - The Zoo
Thu 27/2 - Sydney - Manning Bar
Fri 28/2 - Melbourne - Max Watts
Sat 29/2 - Perth - Amplifier
Sun 1/3 - Adelaide - Jive
TIx available here - https://silverbacktouring.com.au/atreyu2020
In Our Wake is out now through Spinefarm Records.