Interview: Brandon Saller of Atreyu
Fresh off his first solo performance at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, CA, ATREYU drummer Brandon Saller discusses with us at length his new solo project along with the new ATREYU record and his thoughts on the recent passing of Avenged Sevenfold drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan.
SoCalMusicToday.com: You played your first solo show the other night at Chain Reaction in Anaheim. How did it go?
Brandon: It was amazing man! There were a good amount of people there and they were all super excited. I was pretty nervous and didn’t know what to expect but I had a great time and the energy was amazing. I just wanted to keep playing you know?
SCMT: What is it like playing Chain Reaction on your own versus behind your drum kit with ATREYU?
Brandon: It was cool since ATREYU hasn’t played there in a long time. For one it was cool to be back at Chain since it had been awhile and two being at the front of the stage with a guitar in my hand instead is a little bit different but it was still a lot of fun.
SCMT: What type of plans do you have for your solo project in the future?
Brandon: I’m eventually going to record an album and go full force with this project. ATREYU as you know just released “Congregation Of The Damned” last year and we are still barely in the record cycle for that. There is still some time left on the cycle for the ATREYU record and once it’s done and we take a break, I’m planning on putting out a record and going on tour. Just see how things go from there.
SCMT: When did the initial idea form to create your side project?
Brandon: I started writing songs a couple years ago while we were writing “Lead Sails Paper Anchor” and it just snowballed from there where I just started writing songs as they were pouring out of me. I recorded about an EP worth of material and put several songs online. It’s just something that I’ve always wanted to try out and see where it took me.
SCMT: Speaking of ATREYU, the new record has been out for several months already. How has it been received by your fans?
Brandon: The new songs are a bit more heavier and fun to play live. The kids already have their obvious favorites by now. We’ve only been able to be on tour for about two months with this record and are looking forwards to getting back out on the road again soon.
SCMT: I noticed on the new record that ATREYU abandoned the darker style of music during “Suicide Notes & Butterfly Kisses and The Curse” for a heavier and melodic approach this time.
Brandon: With the new record we really focused on what ATREYU were as a band and figure out what and who we wanted to sound like. We took our favorite parts from every previous record and this is what came out of it. When we write in a darker tone I feel like it’s more natural for us, why I’m not sure but it’s how it naturally comes out for ATREYU.
SCMT: Wasn’t it the highest selling debut for ATREYU?
Brandon: “Lead Sails Paper Anchor” was our highest debut but the new one was our second highest and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re all really excited about it.
SCMT: Any plans yet for a second single off “Congregation Of The Damned?”
Brandon: I believe “Lonely” is going to be our next single and it’s going to drop in February followed by a video not too long after that we’re going to be doing in Japan.
SCMT: Talk to me about the trip to Japan in a few days.
Brandon: We’re taking the opportunity and advantage of the amazing place that we’re going and excited for it. We’re apart of this tour with IN FLAMES and CKY.
SCMT: After the Japan tour you’re hitting the road a few days later with The Used for a North American tour that starts here at the House of Blues-Anaheim.
Brandon: It’s been a really long time since we’ve been able to tour with THE USED and we had such a great time on our last tour with them. It’s going to be nice to be home for two days before heading out as well.
SCMT: What can we expect to see at the shows every night?
Brandon: I think we’re still working on our set to throw in a few new songs we haven’t played along with maybe some older songs that we haven’t played in a long time. We’re really going to try to rotate our set through-out the tour to keep it more interesting for us on this cycle. It’s really cool to start the tour at home because you always want to play your best at the home show and what’s better is it’s at the beginning so we will be all fresh and ready to go.
SCMT: Any plans yet for a summer tour in the states?
Brandon: We are going to do a summer tour in the states that hasn’t been announced yet but will be shortly. I think the summer tour is going to be a mix of all the major markets.
SCMT: Over the years growing up in the Orange County music scene that we both call home, I’ve watched ATREYU grow and evolve immensely aside the amount of bands who have also achieved success and broken out in their respective careers. How have you taken it in?
Brandon: It’s an awesome feeling being apart of a group of bands who have busted their asses to get to where we currently are. It’s definitely not an easy thing to do but we have been fortunate to do.
SCMT: While on the topic of Orange County music, The Rev tragically passed away several weeks ago in his home. ATREYU and AVENGED SEVENFOLD went on many tours together over the years and I’m sure it hit pretty close to home for you.
Brandon: It’s definitely a sad thing since those guys are really good friends of ours. Jimmy was a really good friend of mine personally. It’s just a sad thing to see someone go so young along him being a good friend of mine.
You can catch the boys this coming Thursday January, 28 at the House of Blues in Anaheim. Tickets are on sale via LiveNation.com