Interviews: Atarka

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Melodic Death Metal band, Atarka from the UK. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, did you plan it or came out just like that?

Adam: The band name derives from a dragonlord in the tabletop card game 

Magic: The Gathering. Around the time of writing our debut album ‘Sleeping Giant’, Dan and I were playing the game a lot and we felt it summed up our ideal for the music we were writing.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Haydn: I’ve listened to metal since I was 4 years old, it’s what inspired me to pick up a guitar and start playing music, for me it was a no-brainer from the get-go.

Adam: I think that’s the same for all of us, we gravitated toward the music we enjoyed listening to.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Haydn: Me personally, I’d met Dan, Jamie and Phil from gigging alongside them in other bands in the local scene and we’ve all been friends for as long as I’ve been doing music. Adam and I are related but prior to this, we hadn’t worked together musically.

Adam: Yeah me and Haydn are cousins so when he stepped in after Dan’s departure it was kind of a big deal for us to actually be working together. I knew Dan through playing in a band together before, and Jay was in Dan’s university friend group. Alex also went to the same university but was a year lower I think. 

4. Each band member's favourite band?

Haydn: My favourite band is Trivium. I've been a diehard fan since I first heard ‘Like Light To Flies’ when I was 11 years old, as soon as I heard it along with the rest of the ‘Ascendancy' album I knew that was the kind of music I yearned for. However my first favourite band as a child was Slipknot, I discovered their self-titled album when I was 4, followed shortly after by the rest of the Nu Metal scene that emerged around that time.

Adam: I think a ‘favourite band’ kind of evolves over time. One of my first biggest influences on my songwriting and my first real favourite band was Avenged Sevenfold. The ‘Waking the Fallen’ album was it for me and is still one of my favourite albums to this day. A couple of my other favourites are Mastodon, Ghost and UK glam rock outfit T. Rex.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Haydn: I’m mainly inspired by intricate songwriters, especially conceptual lyrics and albums, Rush is a great example of fantastic lyricism that never fails to amaze me, we’re huge fans as a band of semi-conceptual lyrics and themes, songs that could be perceived as fiction and/or reality.

Adam: For me, it’s the Gothenburg Melodic Metal scene, bands like In Flames and At The Gates have been hugely inspirational since I was 15 years old, I like to think we expand on that sound.

6. Where was your last gig?

Haydn: Our last gig was at The Alma Inn in Bolton, a massively underrated metal venue in the heart of the town centre, we love playing there and we can’t wait to get back over there soon. The Alma Inn was the first venue I played with Atarka so it’s a very sentimental venue for me.

Adam: Every time we’ve been it’s been a blast, the locals and the staff are super friendly. I only wished we lived closer to get down there more often!

7. Where would you like to play? 

Haydn: The festival scene in this country and abroad is something we’d love to take part in, so many amazing line-ups across different countries.

8. Who would you like to support?

Haydn: Our dream bands would be the ultimate goal, anyone from Trivium to Alter Bridge or maybe even Cradle of Filth.

9. Who not?

Adam: For me, I don't want to play with anyone that spreads negativity or hate, Heavy Metal is one big family and negativity has no place in it for me.

Haydn: So maybe not Trapt, not after their fall from grace in recent times.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Haydn: I first got stage fright when I played my first big gig when I was 16 years old. The best way to eliminate stage fright for me personally is to keep gigging and get used to it, alongside giving every show 110% and not worrying what others think of you. Get on stage and it’ll get easier with time.

Adam: I think everyone suffers stage fright to some extent, the best way to beat it is to surround yourself with people who will give you constructive criticism of your performance, take that on board and hone your craft. No one is perfect so stage fright is bound to come up now and then, it’s just human nature.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Haydn: Trivium and Rush inspired me the most in terms of musicianship and lyricism, other bands like Alesana and Cradle of Filth for stage presence and conceptual pieces.

Adam: In terms of musicianship I’d probably say Mastodon, every album sounds so vastly different.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Haydn: I’ve been asked to play Ed Sheeran a couple of times!

Adam: I think when you start getting fans showing up regularly and they ask for photos and autographs, it can be a bit surreal at first. But now, we love doing it for anyone who is kind enough to come and see us or stream our music. But I suppose there hasn’t been anything we consider out of the ordinary so far. But there’s still time haha.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Haydn: Our fans are the greatest, having folks travel from different parts of the country to raise hell with us every night is something that never gets old and we appreciate every single one of them.

14. What do you think of our site?

Adam: I really like it, I love how you guys support the underground metal scene with your interviews and reviews. Being able to find bands from different countries and cultures via the site is a really cool way to discover all the varied ways people create metal.

15. Something to add?

Yes, you can stream our new single ‘Barbarian’ featuring Björn Strid of Soilwork on all streaming services now. Our new EP ‘The Mountain’ is available on April 14th, and until then you can go back and listen to our debut album ‘Sleeping Giant’ everywhere you can stream music. Thanks for the chat! We hope to see some of you at a show near you soon! Keep in touch at -

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