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The Ataris, live in South Africa!

March 11, 2009

the-ataris-sa-tour-posterAuthentic Ideas is proud to present The Ataris, live in South Africa!

The Ataris will take South Africa by storm in May, and it is expected that this pop punk band from the mid-Western United States will inspire pop punk fever among music fans across the country. The band will perform only four times in May before returning to the US to headline The Warped tour.

Chris Swinney, the guitarist, says the band is very excited: “We love going to new places that none of us have ever been to. It is going to be a great adventure. We are planning on swimming with sharks, checking out the penguins at Boulder Beach, Cape of Good Hope, we just want to experience everything South Africa has to offer”.

Since its inception in 1995, the band has gone through a lot of transformation, and Chris says that this is necessary in the music industry – the band has to continually adapt to continue on. But once “you finally find that right combination of people, it can be a wonderful thing”.

However, Kris Roe, the lead singer and songwriter, has, Chris says, always been the driving force in The Ataris. He takes his craft so “seriously” and “passionately”, and it’s nice to work with someone like that.

SA radio stations and music fans cannot forget the band’s version of the classic Bob Henley song, Boys of Summer, which flew to the top of the charts when their platinum-selling album, So Long Astoria, was released in 2003. The album touched music fans from around the globe with its personal, storytelling lyrics about relationships, discovery and the things we leave behind. Many believe that this album introduced The Ataris to a larger mainstream audience, and although some might deem this a loss to the underground rock scene, it has certainly been of benefit to the larger music industry, and now to South Africa.

Chris feels that the band has produced quality music since day one. “We have our own unique style, for sure”, he says, adding that they are very much a rock band while their writing style is sort of singer-songwriter. “We could fit on a tour with the Foo Fighters or Coldplay” – the band’s music is universal and has elements of versatility to it. Their major influences vary, some of which include classic artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, and newer inspirations such as Descendents and The Misfits.

Currently, the band members are hard at work recording their as-yet-unnamed new full-length album, due to coincide with their Warped tour booking. When asked which song the band has spent a lot of time on, Chris says the band tries to spend as much time as possible on every song: “They all deserve the same attention”. The band has spent hours and hours on the songs for their new album.

It is expected to have a “kind of back to basics sound”, Chris says, with big sing-along choruses, huge hooks and upbeat power pop anthems, such as those seen in their earlier albums. The band has a newfound respect for the older stuff they’ve done, after Kris Roe went on an acoustic tour and fell back in love with the old stuff. Chris adds, “When it came time to write the new album, it just came out as a straight ahead rock record”. The new album is expected to be completed soon, and the band is aiming for a mid-summer (mid-winter for us!) release. “We are very happy, and can’t wait for everyone to hear it”.

Best of all, some of these new hits are part of The Ataris’s line-up for their South African fans, mixed in with their old smash hits. Chris Swinney, the guitarist, says, “We will be playing a good cross section of old songs with maybe a couple of new ones, and maybe a few surprises also”. “Playing the singles are always fun,” he says, “because everyone in the crowd sings along”. Chris personally loves to perform the song San Dimas: they usually pull a fan out of the audience who knows the chords and they allow them to play with the band.

South African fans have something extra to be excited about: The Ataris is releasing a limited edition live EP in the country for the duration of the tour, which will be available exclusively at the venues the band plays at. The songs have been specially handpicked for South Africa.

Ahead of the tour, Authentic Ideas has been holding Support Search shows across the country ahead of The Ataris’s tour, and the final event takes place at Burn Nightclub in Durban at the end of March.

The Ataris is: Kris Roe on vocals and guitar; Chris Swinney on guitar; Bryan Nelson on bass; and Jake Dwiggins on dums. Catch The Ataris at Zeplins in Pretoria, Burn Nightclub in Durban, Klein Libertas Theatrein Stellenbosch, and TemposPunk Festival in Kya Sands.

Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to see The Ataris live!

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