Chris Swinney von The Ataris

Chris Swinney von The Ataris

Band: Chris Swinney von The Ataris

Interviewer: Franziska

Datum: 30. März 2009

In einem Interview mit unserem Magazin spricht The Ataris-Gitarrist Chris Swinney über das neue Album und das Line-Up der Band, das sich in den vergangenen Jahren jedes Album geändert hat. You´re releasing a new album this summer. What is it going to be like? Will it be more like Welcome the Night or older stuff, like the Blue Skies album that Kris played on his recent solo tour?

Chris Swinney: The new record is kind of a back to basics type album.  Kris fell back in love with the older song while doing his acoustic tour, and then when we joined the band. We are way into punk and metal.  So when we started writing the album, it just came out more rocking.  It is a good cross between Blue Skies ,So Long Astoria and a little Welcome the Night.

What will the new CD be called? Is there a release date (for US or Germany) yet?

As of right now, it is still being worked out.  It should be coming out the middle of this coming summer, and around the same time for you guys as well.

What are the album and the songs about?

It is about relationships... good and bad.  About being positive, making memories count.  Along the same lines as our other songs.

You´re touring through the US at the moment. Are there plans to tour Europe as well?

We are hitting up South America after our Warped Tour run and then I believe Europe will be next.  Starting with the UK, then full mainland. 

The band has been through a lot for the last couple of years, changing band members almost every album. What was the reason for this? And will this line-up be the final one?

Kris has always been the main song writer and driving force behind the band.  A lot of people have come and gone in this band.  After the touring cycle for the last album, Kris moved back home to Indiana from California.  When he wanted to start writing a new record after the time off the other guys who live in New York, started another band for fun but decided to continue on with it and leave The Ataris.  Kris never wanted the band to end.  I really believe this band has some great music still in it.  I believe that this will be the final line up.

How did you (Chris, Bryan and Jake of The Widow Jenkins) become a part of The Ataris? Did this mean the end of your former band, or does it still exist?

After Kris moved back to Indiana, and the other guys decided not to come back he needed guys for the band.  Bryan and I had always known Kris.  We talked to him at Warped Tour, would go see The Ataris when they played close.  Kris dug our band, The Widow Jenkins.  Well, we were getting ready to sign a record deal, and our singer quit.  We freaked out and didn´t know what to do.  I called Kris to see if he was interested in singing for us as a side project.  He then flipped it on me and asked us to join The Ataris.  It was crazy.  We had always been fans, and now we get to be in the band.  The cool thing about it is that our old singer was not into touring, so now that we are busy he wants to sing again for The Widow Jenkins.  So we are currently working on a full length album [for the Widow Jenkins].  We hope to finish it during our breaks from touring and then release it on some label.  Check out our myspace

With the three of you mingling with The Ataris (or actually, simply with Kris Roe who was the only one left of the original line-up), how has that affected and maybe changed the sound?

Well, it has been great.  Kris likes my writing style so he let up a little and we wrote about 3 or 4 songs together for the new record.  My style is a little darker, more minor key stuff. But it still sounds like The Ataris.  Just because The Widow Jenkins was a heavy band doesn´t mean The Ataris are a heavy band now... we love all kinds of music and we are tasteful with our writing.  Our fans and our haters will love it!

Who wrote most of the songs and the lyrics?

Kris writes all of the lyrics.  I have never been able to do that.  When I try my lyrics sound like bad 8th grade poetry.  As far as the songs go, Kris had most of them done when we joined, but like I said Kris and I wrote 3 or 4 together.

Are the lyrics still personal and authentic (Kris used to say all of his lyrics were own experiences and very honest)?

Oh yes... This album is very honest and personal.  It is almost like a singer/songwriter type of story telling.  It might be the most personal album yet.

Who would you like to be on stage with? And what are your favorite bands in general?

I would do anything to be on stage with Metallica playing Master Of Puppets!  I started playing guitar when I was 7, because I got Master of Puppets on cassette.  They will always be my favorite, because they got me into music.  My favorite band of the moment are Alexisonfire. City and Colour, Propagandhi, Kings Of Leon, Thrice, Silverchair, Lucero, Black Tide, Zephr, Crusoe, and The Summer Skyline.

The Ataris exist for more than ten years now. What has changed over the years?

Some of the faces have changed, but the work ethic and passion have not.  We are still very much a DIY kind of band.  We run our own Myspace, we respond to our fans all the time, we do a lot of our own PR work. 

Is it still the same fun making music and going on tour? And what keeps you going?

It is great!  We have all been in bands and toured a bunch, but with this group of guys it is amazing.  Kris wanted us to join because we are all from the same area of the midwest...we all grew up the same way, we all get each other.  We are all best friends, and we get to tour the world having the time of our lives...and we get paid for it.  It is the best job in the world!


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