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Atreyu at the Majestic Theatre, 3 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Twenty years ago, Atreyu came blasting out of Orange County, Calif., and save for a hiatus between 2011-14 has kept it turned to 11 ever since.

The hard rocking quintet has released seven studio albums -- including "In Our Wake," which came out during October, and four Top 10 entries on the Billboard Rock Albums and Hard Rock Albums charts. Atreyu's music has been used frequently by video game designers, and the group's work ethic has kept it steadily on the road -- where it will be well into 2019 according to frontman Alex Varkatzas...

Varkatzas, 36, says by phone that he and his bandmates are both proud and surprised by Aretyu's longevity. "I don't really think about it too much; I've always been a doer, get up and go. But looking back and thinking we've been able to play music and be at a decently good place for so long, it's humbling and we still feel lucky to be a part of it."

While 2014's "Long Live," which brought Atreyu back from its hiatus, showcased the group's heavy side, the new "In Our Wake" is more diverse -- by design. "We wanted to make a statement record," acknowledges Varkatzas, who's also a tattoo artist and sets up a private studio on off days during tours. "We wanted to do something real big and a little bit more varied than our last album. So this is all over the place musically. That's what art is supposed to be about -- not saying the same thing every time. We want to challenge our listeners, and ourselves."

Lyrically, much of "In Our Wake" ruminates on suicide and depression," according to Varkatzas, which makes it very much an album of its time. "I suffer from depression and anxiety, and at points in my life I was medicate for it. I don't take medicine or anything now; I know myself and I've learned to deal with some of my issues and tendencies. Unfortunately a lot of people don't have that. So we wanted to talk about that on this record because it's something that's really becoming prevalent, especially in the music community. We've lost so many really talented and amazing people through suicide, drugs and alcohol and depression. How can you not talk about it?"

Atreyu, Memphis May Fire, Ice Nine Kills and Sleep Signals perform Friday, Nov. 30, at the Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave. Doors at 6 p.m. $25 advance, $30 day of show. 313-833-9700 or majesticdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.majesticdetroit.com

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