Pirate Fest 2019: An Interview with Brandon from Atreyu

American metalcore band Atreyu are making their way to South Africa in September 2019. The band will be playing at Mercury Live in Cape Town on the 5th of September and at Pirate Fest in Johannesburg (at Marks Park) on the 7th of September 2019.

I recently had a chat to Brandon Saller (the drummer of Atreyu) about their upcoming tour of South Africa and a few other things. This is what he had to say.

Firstly, will Atreyu be kicking ass as pirates on stage?

We will most definitely be providing high-level‘s of Ass kickery!

“In Our Wake” has such power and it has some with some tasty production work. Like the reverse sound effect on the opening vocals of “House of Gold”, and I am sure that I heard some Cello in “The Time Is Now”, and even some brass work on “Super Hero”. Were those some of John Feldman’s ideas? Do you think that working with a good producer changes your view on songwriting?

A lot of the more instrumental production ideas definitely come from us. John definitely has a great way of bringing them to life. There’s certain songs that need more than just your standard guitars, bass, drums and vocals. He has a really good ear for making those come out and still be tasteful. We love working with John!


How the hell do you sing those power notes AND play drums at the same time?

Much like Spiderman got bit by a spider to gain his superpowers, about 18 years ago Ronnie James Dio actually bit me on the hand in passing at a concert.

The guitar tone and writing has changed a lot since “A Death-Grip On Yesterday”. How do you guys keep adapting and changing? Was the writing process different from previous albums?

This writing process was definitely different than previous albums because we wrote about 90% of the album in the studio. We would come in and every day bring a fresh idea and write what was most current to us in that moment. I feel that sort of mentality has always allowed Atreyu to continually evolve and grow as a band. We always try to make sure we write and put out music that is relevant to us in the moment.

Any chance of having Dan and Travis hosting a Guitar Workshop?

I’m sure if it was something that was brought to their attention they would be into that.

Any chance of Porter hosting an Awesome Beard Workshop? I need tips

Porter’s life is pretty much an awesome beard workshop.

“The Theft” is, in my opinion, one of the best songs ever written. It is just so damn good. Dynamic changes from first to second verse. Alex kicking in with those tasty vocal techniques and the chugging guitars. Powerful chorus with a bridge that just takes you on an epic journey. That song is pure art. What was the band’s inspiration behind the song?

That song was originally inspired by one of the songs on the Edward Scissorhands soundtrack. I wanted to write a song that had the grandiose feel of some of the Danny Elfman music. I had come up with the clean guitar line in the first and then I had written the bridge lyric about Edward Scissorhands.

Alex then wrote the rest of the lyrics not knowing what the song was about for me but the concept turned into a more broad life type of thing but it made perfect sense. I’m so happy we were able to put the full vision through with the video and keep the kind of vibe that started the idea. It’s one of my favs also.

What was it like to work with M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold) and Aaron Gillespie (Underoath) on “Super Hero”?

They are both phenomenal talents. It’s a great thing to have such talented friends.

“Super Hero” is an amazing song, and it doesn’t lose pace throughout the whole six minutes. Was there a specific story behind the song that inspired the lyrics and writing process? Did each singer write their own lyrics

I wanted a song about being a father. The concept was to have other fathers that lived similar lives write what that means from their own perspective.

Any hints for South African fans that haven’t seen you live before? What can we expect? Can both the heaviness of “Bleeding Massacre” as well as the epicness of “The Theft”?

We will be playing songs spanning most of our albums. Old and new. Get ready for a party!

I’d like to thank Brandon and Atreyu for this interview. I wish them all of the best with their upcoming South African tour and their future musical endeavors.

If you don’t have tickets for Pirate Fest 2019 yet, get yours HERE. It’s going to a jol of epic proportions! Mark my words mateys…

Watch this space for updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.


Matt Haddon

Business, leadership and career consultant, coach and columnist.

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