A fire requires only one match. Sometimes, it can be struck in the oddest of ways, but once those flames spread, it's impossible to contain. After a three-year hiatus, the embers started to collectively glow again for Southern California metal trailblazers Atreyu - Alex Varkatzas [vocals], Brandon Saller [drums/vocals], "BIG" Dan Jacobs [guitar], Travis Miguel [guitar], and Porter McKnight [bass]. Everybody agrees that Dan first planted the seed, individually calling his bandmates and urging for a meeting, but a different kind of call really set the wheels in motion.
"The first time I talked to Alex in what seemed like forever was when I heard he and his wife were having a child," admits Brandon. "I reached out to congratulate him. That led to us having lunch together, catching up, talking about things, and discussing Atreyu. Soon, the five of us had dinner, and we began mulling around the idea asking, 'What if we did this again? How would we do it? What would we want out of it?' We all seemed to be on the same page. We agreed on doing things the same way. This wouldn't be a nostalgia trip. We were going to play shows and make new music. That was the spark that lit the fire."
"The time away from it helped all of us gain perspective," adds Alex. "After doing 200 shows per year for a decade, we were burnt out when we went away. Once we met up, we missed the band and what it meant to us. It was time to do it again. We were a hundred percent in control of our own destiny and fired up like never before."
The group began writing in their Orange County rehearsal space, quickly tapping into the spirit millions of fans fell in love with, but harnessing their newfound wisdom along the way. In secret, they hit the studio with producer Fred Archambault [Avenged Sevenfold] and began cutting what would become their sixth full-length album, Long Live [released on Search and Destroy Records/Spinefarm Records] and first since 2009.
"It was such an honest process," exclaims Alex. "Aside from the actual sound of the production, Fred's biggest asset was letting us be ourselves and giving us free reign to do what we want to do. We're at our best musically and performance-wise when we're allowed to be us. Long Live is us."
Ultimately, the album's title sums up Atreyu's mindset, and this fire is only starting to burn. "During the first time jamming, the first time back in the studio, and the first time on stage, it became very clear that this is something that will be in our lives forever," Brandon leaves off. "Our bodies and souls couldn't let us deny the history we'd built. The record speaks for who we are. It's the truth for the five of us."