Welcome the Night was quite the departure for The Ataris. In 2007, Kris Roe's Indiana-raised group swapped straightforward Pop Punk for drifting, atmospheric Indie Rock, which was a decision not wholly received well. AbsolutePunk.net assigned Welcome a dreadful 43-percent grade, and commenters echoed the sentiment. (One person overdramatically declared, “The Ataris are dead to me.”)
Instead of mourning the departure of unsatisfied fans, Roe actually hopes to do something alienating.
“I always want to throw a curve ball. If I wrote So Long, Astoria Part 2, I would have been telling the biggest lie,” the vocalist/guitarist says, referencing the band’s big-selling 2003 LP that included a spry cover of Don Henley's “The Boys of Summer.” “My duty as a songwriter is to move around and do what's inside my heart.
Only worry about what you (want), and your fans will follow.”
Though Roe levels no grievances against Welcome, he'd rather not relive its writing process as he created it while going through a divorce. “That was a product of the darkest, most fucked-up time of my life,” he says.
Roe and company are currently plotting their next album project, tentatively titled Graveyard of the Atlantic.
“My favorite shows (involve) people spilling beer on your pedals, dog piling and sharing the microphone. (The next album’s) songs bleed that vibe,” he says. “The big difference is that I'm into the shoegazey, echoey guitar style.”
Even though The Ataris have gained new sonic colors after being around for more than a decade, Roe believes that the band still handles itself in the same manner it always has.
“We're still a self-functioning entity,” the frontman says. “The world changed around us, but we go on the way we do. I don't find any reason to fix what's not broken.”
The Ataris share the Mad Hatter stage with Rosemary Device, A Decade to Die For, Pilot Around the Stars, Mixtapes and Lights Down Low. Check out performance times and get venue details here.